Mammoth Lakes Ranger District is located in the northern half of Inyo National Forest, and is centered around the town of Mammoth Lakes, CA. The area is most well known for winter sports. When the snow melts, it is a mecca for mountain biking and fishing enthusiasts. Hiking and equestrian trails access huge areas of Sierra Nevada wilderness.
Spectacular views from Minaret Vista survey this canyon full of recreational opportunities. Camp, fish, hike and explore Devils Postpile National Monument, Reds Meadow Resort and Agnew Meadows. For information on the Reds Meadow shuttle check the website for Eastern Sierra Transit, at http://www.estransit.com/CMS/content/reds-meadow
Mono Lake Ranger District is the northernmost district of Inyo National Forest. The western portion of the district is adjacent to Yosemite National Park, and includes one of the most spectacular and accessible areas of the Sierra Nevada. To the east is Mono Lake, and the world's largest stand of majestic Jeffrey Pines.
The Mt Whitney Ranger District is the southernmost district in the Inyo National Forest. On its western edge is Mt. Whitney, highest point in the contiguous United States. Recreation activities include hiking, fishing, climbing, horse riding and more.
Horseshoe Meadow is a vast 10,000 foot high meadow, surrounded by lodgepole pine forest. Getting there is an adventure in itself; the road to Horseshoe Meadow climbs over 6,000 feet, as it winds its way up from Lone Pine. Three campgrounds are located in the Horseshoe Meadow Area. Trails from Horseshoe Meadow provide access to the Golden Trout Wilderness and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. The road to Horseshoe Meadow is closed from approximately November to May due to snow.
Independence, CA, is located on Highway 395, 15 miles north of Lone Pine and 45 miles south of Bishop. The Sierra Nevada and Inyo Mountains are accessible from Independence. Recreation activities include hiking, backpacking, fishing, backcountry skiing, snowboarding, and off highway vehicle exploration. Also see Onion Valley.
Located at the southern end of the Sierra Nevada, the Kern Plateau is vast area of forest covered hills and mountains, punctuated by by green meadows. The gently rolling landscape contrasts sharply with the rugged Sierra to the north. This area was not glaciated so the terrain is much gentler than most of the Eastern Sierra. The Kern Plateau is popular with stock users due to the ease of travel, abundant water and open meadows.
The Kern Plateau is home to California's state fish, the California Golden Trout, which have existed for thousands of years in Golden Trout Creek and the South Fork of the Kern River.
Trails from Onion Valley provide acces to the John Muir Wilderness and Kings Canyon National Park. In the spring, Onion Valley is popular with backcountry skiers and snowboarders. The road to Onion Valley is usually open from May to November.
White Mountain Ranger District extends from the Sierra Nevada to the White Mountains. There are hundreds of lakes, ponds, rivers and creeks for fishing and many roads and trails to explore the wide variety of terrain and life zones. Elevations accessible by car range from 3,900 ft in Big Pine to 10,100 ft at the Mosquito Flat trailhead at the end of Rock Creek Road.
Camping, fishing, hiking and backpacking draw many visitors to the Big Pine Creek Area every year. The north fork trail climbs up from the parking area to First through Seventh lakes and great views into the Palisade Glacier Basin. Overnight stays in the John Muir Wilderness require a wilderness permit.
Rock Creek Lake and Crowley Lake attract visitors from all over the world. Crowley Lake, on the Owens River is located in sagebrush country while Rock Creek Lake is a traditional alpine lake surrounded by Jeffrey Pines.
Inyo National Forest contains approximately one million acres of wilderness, in nine wilderness areas. Wilderness areas include the Hoover, Ansel Adams, Owens River Headwaters, John Muir, Golden Trout, South Sierra, Boundary Peak, White Mountains and Inyo Mountains. Three of these were among the first wilderness areas designated in 1964, while others were added subsequently. These wilderness areas encompass some of the most spectacular landscapes in the United States. These wilderness areas provide visitors and residents alike with "outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation”.
The U.S. Congress designated the 10,000 acre Boundary Peak Wilderness in 1989. This small wilderness area contains a remarkable diversity of plants: sagebrush steppe and pinyon/juniper woodlands in the lower elevations; subalpine and bristlecone pine forests near tree line; and alpine tundra along the high elevation plateaus. In this wilderness you can experience the solitude and remarkable silence of a wilderness in the Great Basin. Most visitors come to hike up Boundary Peak, the highest point in Nevada at 13,140 feet. From the summit, the view takes in the Mono Lake basin to the north, the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the west, the White Mountains Wilderness to the south, while Nevada’s Basin and Range extends to the eastern horizon.
Leave-No-Trace in Boundary Peaks Wilderness
Simply designating an area as "Wilderness" does not assure its preservation. An understanding of the Principles of Leave-No-Trace will help keep human influence to a minimum while still providing opportunities for visitors to enjoy and experience the wilderness.