Special Places Overview

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

Standing as ancient sentinels high atop the White Mountains of the Inyo National Forest, bristlecone pines rank as the oldest trees in the world and have achieved immense scientific, cultural, and scenic importance. Some of these living trees exceed 4,000 years of age and exhibit spectacular growth forms of twisted and beautifully colored wood. Full Story

A visit to both Schulman Grove and Patriarch Grove is possible in the same day if you can get an early start. Recreation Information



John Muir WildernessApproximately one million  acres of Inyo National Forest are in nine Congressionally-designated Wilderness Areas. Recreational opportunities include camping, picnicking, hiking, backpacking, and equestrian use. There are trails through the area to hike on, but no developed campground facilities. Groups are limited to 15 people or less, in order to preserve the solitude and tranquility of the backcountry. More About Wilderness


Reds Meadow Valley

Visitors have been returning to favorite places in this valley for generations to camp, to fish the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin river, and hike the surrounding trails. Places to explore include Agnew Meadows, Devils Postpile, Rainbow Falls, and Reds Meadow Resort and pack station. During summer a shuttle bus transports visitors into Reds Meadow Valley


Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area 

 Contact Nolan Nitschke Photography for use of this image Mono Lake is a vast inland sea with waters saltier than the oceans and as alkaline as household ammonia. Underwater springs create unusual limestone spires of tufa. Nestled between towering peaks and rolling oceans of sagebrush, the lake basin supports a diverse ecosystem.
View our video, Boating on Mono Lake.
More about the Mono Basin National Scenic Area.


Long Valley Caldera

Inyo CratersDuring a gigantic eruption about 760,000 years ago, an area bordered by what is now Mammoth Mountain, Glass Mountains and Crowley Lake (approximately 12 miles wide by 18 miles long), collapsed to form the Long Valley Caldera.