Sierra Mountains Road Trip


Hello Adventure seekers! I’d like to introduce you to Kevin. He is an outdoor enthusiast and today he is taking us on a tour of the Eastern Sierra’s and small towns there! Hold on to your imaginations as he guides us through a visual tour of this gorgeous back-county adventure. Much Love, Chrissy

Eastern Sierra Road Trip

The Eastern Sierra Road Trip is a journey through two counties.  Mono County (Moh-no) and Inyo (In-yoh) Counties are two of the least populated counties in all of California and they make up just under 10% of the state’s area.  Ninety-nine percent of the land in Inyo County and 93.6% of the land in Mono County are public lands which allows visitors plenty of amazing places to explore and recreate in peace.

Generally, we like to road trip from north to south so the towns we will concentrate on are Bridgeport, Bodie, Lee Vining, June Lake, Mammoth and Bishop.  It’s basically a drive through the most amazing high-country desert in North America.

BRIDGEPORT, CA

Bridgeport California is known as the Gateway to Bodie and the High Sierra Mountains.

Bridgeport California hot springs - Courtesy of Kevin Paulson
Bridgeport California hot springs – Courtesy of Kevin Paulson

Whether you are looking for fishing, great food, or hiking trails, Bridgeport offers something for everyone.  Sightseeing in Bridgeport includes a must stop at the Mono County Courthouse which was built in the 1800’s and is still operating today.  We like to stop in at the High Sierra Bakery to grab a sandwich and head over to Travertine Hot Springs for a soak before a drive out to Bodie.

BODIE, CA

Bodie California
Bodie California – Courtesy of Kevin Paulson of Huntinglife.com

Bodie, California, is a ghost town and became a California State Historic Park in 1962.  In 1961 after William (Waterman) S. Bodey discovered gold near Bodie Bluff, a mill was established and a town began to grow.

Bodie California - Courtesy of Kevin Paulson of Huntinglife.com
Bodie California – Courtesy of Kevin Paulson of Huntinglife.com

Bodie started with 20 miners and had over ten thousand inhabitants by 1880.  Bodie, CA had something for everyone whether it was a gun fight you were looking for, a house of ill repute, 65 saloons and some of the coolest buildings and views of any town built in the gold boom.

Bodie California - Courtesy of Kevin Paulson of Huntinglife.com
Bodie California – Courtesy of Kevin Paulson of Huntinglife.com

A true boom and bust town, it is just 13 miles off of highway 295.  Bring your camera because there are plenty of great photos to capture in this well-preserved ghost town.

Bodie, CA a Ghost town - Courtesy of Kevin Paulson of Huntinglife.com
Bodie, CA a Ghost town – Courtesy of Kevin Paulson of Huntinglife.com

Watch for sheep on the trip out; plenty of sheepherders use this area for summer grazing.

 

LEE VINING, CA

Lee Vining California is a town with a population of less than a thousand people, and it is the gateway city into Yosemite through Tioga Pass.

Lee Vining Conway summit Mono Lake - Courtesy of Kevin Paulson
Lee Vining Conway summit Mono Lake – Courtesy of Kevin Paulson

It is also the gateway to Mono Lake, a salt lake in the middle of a great basin that holds millions of migratory and nesting birds.  Mono Lake is known for tufa sculptures which are naturally made limestone columns.  Mono Lake is a must stop visit as is Tioga Pass.

We love fishing in nearby Lundy Lake and Tioga Lake for trout, and we stay at the Mono Vista RV Park because as a kid I lived there for three years.  Bodie Mikes is great for dinner, Nicely’s for breakfast and you cannot miss a Mono Cone for dessert.

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JUNE LAKE/MAMMOTH

We love the drive around June Lake.  We often stop and take in the mule deer coming off the mountains, the fish rising on the lakes, a stop at June Lake Junction for an outstanding milk shake and outstanding views around the lake.  Our next stop is Mammoth.

Hiking Volcano mammoth California
Hiking Volcano mammoth – Courtesy of Kevin Paulson

Many people know Mammoth California as a ski town; the United States Skiing Association athletes use Mammoth Lakes as a place to train for high-altitude training.  Hikes around town are fantastic.  Check out John’s Pizza Works & Outlaw Saloon for the great local vibe.  A trip to Mammoth always ends in a trip to Wild Willy’s Hot Spring.

BISHOP, CA

The last town on our Eastern Sierra road trip is Bishop California.  We get into Bishop early in the morning because the most important stop is Erick Schat’s Bakkery.

Bishop Schatz Bakkery
Bishop Schatz Bakkery – Courtesy of Kevin Paulson of Huntinglife.com

We order bread from this bakery several times a year and have it shipped to our home in Nebraska; it really is that good.  Bishop is the gateway to Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in California. If you are here in the fall, you must attend the Mule Days Celebration.  We like hiking at Devil’s Postpile National Monument, rock climbing in the area, strolling downtown shops and taking in the somber views of Manzanar National Historic site before heading to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest for a photo tour.

This is our favorite trip road trip in all of North America.  Plan ahead and get out to the Eastern Sierras.

Author Bio:

Mono Lake Tufa Columns

Kevin Paulson is an outdoor writer and the founder of HuntingLife.com, HuntingInsider and the Outdoor-Hive.  His passion for outdoor recreation, hiking, fishing and hunting has led him all over the work in pursuit of his passions.  He is often joined on road trips by his wife Marjorie, his kids and his dog Miko.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this road trip through the Eastern Sierra Back-Country!

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