|Spectacular Eastern Sierra in Eastern California
Part 1: from Lone Pine to Bishop
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Gorgeous Lake Sabrina at elevation of 9,800 feet and surrounded by the mighty mountain peaks of the
Eastern Sierra is about 16 miles southwest of the town of Bishop on Scenic Byway 395. To reach Lake
Sabrina from Bishop, take West Line Street in Bishop going west for a short distance, the street becomes
Highway 168 West along Bishop Creek Canyon. Go west along Highway 168 for 16 miles.
A local maps showing locations of Lake Sabrina, South Lake and Bishop is available at:
There are several paved and well-maintained roads with length ranging from 10 to 20 miles going from Scenic
Byway 395 to go west along gorgeous canyons into John Muir Wilderness Area or Ansel Adams Wilderness
Areas in Eastern Sierra. These paved roads climb up to 8,000 to 10,000 feet elevations along these canyons
to enable tourists to sample and to enjoy the majestic beauty of Eastern Sierra.
These paved roads end at the trail heads where backpackers and hikers can hike up to the top of Mt. Whitney
or hike for several days deep into John Muir Wilderness Area or Ansel Adams Wilderness Areas.
Alabama Hills on the outskirts of Lone Pine along Scenic Highway 395 are a jumble of knobby rock formations
at the foot of the towering Sierra. These unusual twisted rock formations are the sites where many western
cowboy movies were filmed.
The star attraction in Eastern Sierra in eastern California is Mt. Whitney, at 14, 495 feet, the tallest peak in the
contiguous (lower 48 states in) United States. We drove on Eastern Sierra Scenic Byway 395 on April 26,
2012 going north to tour the spectacular Eastern Sierra in eastern California. The Whitney Peak in John Muir
Wilderness Area in Eastern Sierra is visible from the town of Lone Pine along Scenic Byway 395.
Lone Pine is noted as an access for both the highest point in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney, and
the lowest point in North America, Death Valley. Both Mount Whitney and the mountains surrounding Death
Valley are visible from US 395.
消逝了的浩渺湖泊 - Owens Lake。
Spectacular Owens Valley (south part) and dry lake salt bed with the mighty mountain peaks of the Eastern
Sierra range on the west side and White Mountain range on the east side. Owens Valley is the arid valley of
the Owens River in eastern California between Sierra Nevada, White Mountains and Inyo Mountains. The
mountain peaks on either side (including Mount Whitney) reach above 14,000 feet (4,300 m) in elevation, while
the floor of the Owens Valley is at 4,000 feet (1,200 m), making the valley one of the deepest in the United
States. Towns in the Owens Valley include Bishop, Lone Pine, Independence and Big Pine. The major road in
the valley is U.S. Route 395, which provides accesses to both Eastern Sierra and White Mountain Range. The
views up and down this valley are awesome.
Owens Lake is a mostly dry lake salt bed in the Owens Valley. Before 1924, Owens lake used to be a big lake
of 12 miles (19 km) long and 8 miles (13 km) wide, covering an area of up to 108 square miles (280 km)
collecting the snow melt water from Eastern Sierra. However, starting in 1924, the California Aqueduct diverts
most of the water of Owens River for use in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area such that Owens Lake
becomes almost a dry lake.
Eastern Sierra Scenic Byway 395 is a major 4-lane highway with 2 lanes in each direction and has substantial
space separating the two opposite directions of traveling. The speed limit is 65 miles per hour. It is quite
smooth and comfortable to drive to enjoy the spectacular Eastern Sierra.
At nearly 10,000 foot elevation, South Lake offers you breathtaking scenes, cold mountain water loaded with
quality trout. The road to the lake is lined with pine and aspen and meanders along the south fork of Bishop
Creek. From Bishop, follow West Line Street (Hwy. 168 west) up paved Bishop Creek Canyon.
Another view of South Lake surrounded by majestic snow mountain peaks.
Palisade Glacier is the southernmost glacier in North America. For glacier views, take 11-mile paved Glacier
Lodge Road, west of town of Big Pine into Big Pine Canyon to reach the high mountains. You begin at about
4,000 feet in the valley floor of Owens Valley and climb to almost 8,000 feet at the end of Glacier Lodge
Road. The views are magnificent.
A panoramic view of Palisade glacier is on my web page at:
A lake with reflection near Glacier Lodge at the end of paved Glacier Lodge Road in the Big Pine Canyon.
There are many trout in these beautiful lakes in Eastern Sierra that attract many anglers to come here for
fishing in addition to many hikers, photographers and tourists.
More views of Alabama Hills. I also used the movie mode of my camera to take panoramic scan of the Alabama
Hills as shown on the following YouTube website:
It was very windy in that afternoon causing a lot of wind noise in this movie clip.
Two arches in Alabama Hills.
Convict Lake and Laurel Mountain. From Hwy 395, turn south into Convict Lake Road and go south for 2 miles
to reach Convict Lake.
One of several paved and well maintained roads going from US 395 into the magnificent canyons in Eastern
Another paved road (Highway 168) going from US 395 at Bishop climbing up into Bishop Creek Canyon to
reach Lake Sabrina, South Lake and North Lake in Eastern Sierra. The background in this picture is the White
Two of several waterfalls in the beautiful canyons in Eastern Sierra.
Owens River at the bottom of the deep Owens River Gorge.
One of several quails that we saw near Mt, Whitney Fish Hatchery a few miles west of the town of
We also saw some shore birds in addition to many gulls near Crowley Lake.
High cliff near the end of Whitney Portal Road from Lone Pine to Whitney Portal where hikers can hike "up" to
the top of Mt. Whitney.
A pair of mallard on one of the creeks in the canyons in Eastern Sierra. We also saw some hawks or eagles
circling high in the sky.
A flag pole at the front yard of the Interagency Visitor Center at the Junction of U S 395 and SR 136, one-mile
south of Lone Pine. This Visitor Center has a commanding view of Mt. Whitney. It is an excellent place for
visitors to get very good and large local tourist maps and important information on Eastern Sierra along US
395 and Northern Mojave Desert. Phone: 760-876-6222.
We asked the ranger in this Visitor Center on how to identify the Mt. Whitney Peak among so many high peaks
in Eastern Sierra Range. The ranger took us outside of the Visitor Center building to stand behind a big white
marble rock about 3 feet in size near the walk path to the front door of the Visitor Center. Then he told us to
look at this flag pole about 50 feet west of that marble rock. In this way, we are looking west to the Mt.
Whitney peak. Apparently, many tourists ask the same question. So, the Visitor Center positions and aligns
that marble rock and this flag pole to point at the Mt. Whitney Peak to help tourists identifying the Whitney
Some mountain peaks to the left side and to the right side of Mt. Whitney Peak look higher than the Whitney
peak because those other peaks are closer to Lone Pine on Highway 395 whereas Mt. Whitney is further
away with greater distance from Lone Pine on Highway 395.
It was very windy in the afternoon of April 26, 2012. The wind gusts stirred up huge dust storm in this arid
terrain as shown in this picture.
A small lake with reflection near Crowley Lake.
Another view of the majestic mountains in Eastern Sierra.
Many people come to Eastern Sierra to enjoy fishing on the lakes, streams and creeks. When I went to a
restaurant for dinner, the first question that the restaurant host asked me was "How is your fishing today?".
In the afternoon of April 30, 2012, we drove on Highway 136/190 from Lone Pine towards Death Valley
National Park and got closer to the dry lake of Owens Lake.
The dry lake of Owens Lake has large deposit of chemical Trona which is trisodium hydrogendicarbonate
dihydrate, Na3(CO3)(HCO3)•2H2O and is an evaporite mineral. It is mined as the primary source of sodium
carbonate in the United States. This picture shows that a mining company is mining Trona here on the dry lake
of Owens Lake.
On the afternoon of April 30, 2012 on my return trip driving through Lone Pine, I got a second chance to take
pictures of Mt. Whitney from the Interagency Visitor Center. However, in the afternoon, the sun light is in the
wrong direction (back lighting) which is not ideal to show the details of mountains. But it shows the profile of
Mt. Whitney and other nearby peaks.
I zoomed in again on the afternoon of April 30, 2012 to get a closer view of the Mt. Whitney.
Several towns, such as Bishop and Lone Pine, along Eastern Sierra Scenic Byway 395 have many motels and
restaurants serving many visitors to Eastern Sierra.
Two more views of Eastern Sierra mountains along Scenic Byway 395.
We toured the Eastern Sierra in the early Spring of 2012. In the autumn season, the Eastern Sierra with
autumn foliage is also very beautiful and cab seen here.
How I use information age technologies to enhance my enjoyment greatly of sightseeing large driving tour loop
of thousands of miles and of one to two weeks in duration covering many Points of Interest is described on
my web page at: