Mammoth Lakes - Owens Valley

Mammoth Lakes and Owens Valley are childhood vacation destinations. The eastern side of the Sierras is completely different from the western side. The mountains rise up much quicker, the air is drier and there isn't a lot of people. Access to this side is less convenient compared to most of the west side. It's amazing it's only just over the hill from where I live. In the summer it's a four hour drive and in the winter it's eight hours away. You can also fly there in 35 minutes anytime. They are (unfortunately) rebuilding the airport over there to allow for more and larger aircraft. I'm not sure that I'm a big fan of this but these things are happening everywhere. Where are all these people coming from? Things change and if some are right this will be the site of the west coast's largest volcanic eruption in a years, possibly ever. Then the building can start again. Haven't we figured out that natures work is never done?

If you head up the hill from the town Mammoth Lakes past Twin Lakes there is a little lake called Horseshoe Lake. This area has Co2 coming up and settling in the low spots, like the lake and it's shoreline. Co2 kills the ground cover and trees, oh and people. There's a trail that starts here that goes right through this stand of trees, it leads to Rainbow Falls and Devils Postpile. There's a sign down by the lake warning people that it is dangerous to sit by the lake. Behind this sign there were three people laying out in the sun on the beach. They either know something we don't, are visiting from another planet and don't breath oxygen or couldn't read the sign.

Another place to go is up to the Minarets Summit parking area. From here you have views of Mammoth Mountain and of course the Minarets. If you go by the parking area it will head down to Red's Meadow, Devils Postpile and the headwaters of the San Joaquin River.

Traveling south on Hwy 395 from Mammoth Lakes you will pass by the airport mentioned above, it's on the left. Next will be the turnoff, on your right, to Convict Lake. I have camped here many times and it really hasn't changed a bit in many, many years. It's the best but you wouldn't like it. ;-) Further down the Hwy is Crowley Lake. This picture of Crowley Lake was taken at 10,000' near McGee Mountain.

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