Below are a few suggested tours to enable you to enjoy your stay in our area.

Lone Pine Town Area – 1 hour to 1/2 Day. Approx. 3 miles

  • Roadside Heritage Explore the Eastern Sierra. As Highway 395 winds its way along the eastern edge of the Eastern Sierra, you will encounter a diverse natural and cultural landscape. Here you can explore and listen to our interactive maps or view our videos.
  • Adobe Wall Remnant (In the alley behind La Florista florist shop on Main St.). The only remaining wall from the pre-1870 town destroyed in an earthquake.
  • Movie Star Signatures (Inside the Indian Trading Post on Main St.). When they were in town for location filming, dozens of actors carved their names in the shop’s front door frame.
  • Lone Pine Park (on Main Street) has an inviting stream side picnic area and a wonderful playground.
  • Old Cemeteries from early Owens Valley days are located on West Inyo Street (on the Paiute Indian Reservation), on Depot Road and Lone Pine Cemetery on Highway 395 north of town.
  • Owens River (east 1/4 mile), warm water fishery all year, native flora and fauna including tule elk reserve and grazing areas.

Cruising the Lakes – 1 hour to 1/2 Day. Approx. 3 miles

  • The Interagency Visitor Center (1 1/2 miles south of Lone Pine at the junction of Highways 395 and 136 — a must stop). Provides information about Sierra Lakes and seasonal road and trail conditions and offers displays, maps and books about the Owens Valley and the Eastern Sierra.
  • Mount Whitney Golf Club (south 1/4 mile). A relaxing pond lies near the first tee of this scenic 9-hole golf course.
  • Diaz Lake (south 1 mile). Offers fishing, boating, water sports and camping. It also has picnic and playground areas.
  • Owens Dry Lake (2 miles south). Called “Pacheta” by local Paiute Indians, a vast dry lakebed over which steamships once hauled bullion bars, now one of the worlds largest deposits of sodium silicates
  • Owens Lake Ponds (approx. 6 miles south, turn east toward dry lake). Freshwater springs excellent for bird watching in season.

movie_tour

Alabama Hills Rambles – 1 hour to 1/2 Day. Approx. 17 miles.

  • Movie Road (Northern Loop — 2 1/2 miles west of Lone Pine, turn north at street sign). Flanked by a spectacular, low range or weathered, rocky hills named the Alabama Hills after a Civil War Battleship, with a striking desert flower display in the spring.
  • Movie Plaque (corner of Movie and Whitney Portal roads). Commemorating the many movies filmed in the nearby hills.
  • Roy Rogers Movie Flats (north 1/4 mile. A photogenic area where hundreds of westerns and other movies were filmed.
  • Lone Ranger Canyon (north 1/4 mile, turn east). Another of the area’s many popular movie location sites, where scenes for the Lone Ranger were filmed.
  • Moonscape Views (2 1/4 miles north – Southern Loop)
    Gunga Din Canyon (turn south on Horseshoe Meadow Road, 1 mile). The classic 1939 film used locations in the first canyon to the east for filming.
  • Tuttle Creek (south 3 miles). A campground and fishing spot (during season).
  • The Needles Formation (2 miles southeast), a sharp spine of rocks north of the housing area.
  • Tuttle Creek Canyon Road, a scenic paved road leading down the canyon back to Lone Pine.

Sierra High Mountain Tours – Not accessible in Winter. 2 hours to 1/2 day min., approx. 40 miles.

Whitney Route

  • Lone Pine Creek Canyon and Camps (from 1/2 mile west of lone Pine to 12 miles up into the Sierra). Campgrounds, excellent rainbow trout fishing during the season.
  • Whitney Portals. Panoramic views and granite cliffs at the 8360 foot high trailhead into the backcountry and John Muir Trail. At the road end are a fishing pond and stream surrounded by pines, nearby waterfalls, campground, and during the summer, a cafe/store.
  • Mt. Whitney at 14.497.61 feet is the highest point in the contiguous U.S.

Golden Trout Route
Horseshoe Meadow (21 miles up, an hours drive to the road end). A scenic drive to 9,700 foot high summer fishing streams, campgrounds, a pack station and trailhead to the Cottonwood Lakes source of native golden trout, also a world record launch for hang gliders at Walt’s point.

Village Visits Loop- 1 hour to 1/2 Day, approx. 52 miles

  • The Charcoal Kilns (about 15 miles south of Line Pine, turn east at marker toward the dry lake). The kilns were used in the 1870’s to supply charcoal to the surrounding mines.
  • Cartago (south 7 1/2 miles) was once the site of a steamship dock and station for teamsters hauling bullion from the Cerro Gordo silver mines, Owens Lake.
  • Olancha (south 3 miles). Before the 1870’s was a supply depot form Owens Valley settlers. Note the row of cottonwood trees sprouted form early fence posts lining the highway in town.
  • Sand Dunes and Dirty Sox Springs (east 3 miles). Features fossil bed areas, hot springs where Cerro Gordo miners once bathed and an old cemetery and caves from an early settlement of Chinese mineworkers.
  • Keeler miners and the “end of the Line”depot for the Carson and Colorado narrow gauge railroad.
  • Swansea Smelter Historical Marker (north 6 miles). Marks the adobe remnants of a Cerro Gordo silver smelter, once also an overnight stage stop.
  • Cerro Gordo Mine. Private tours can be arranged.

Desert Rats Winter Tour – 1 Day. Approx. 140 miles round trip.

Recommended for 4 wheel drive vehicles and hearty hikers only. Carry plenty of water and take food.

  • Darwin (40 miles southwest of Lone Pine plus 6 miles off the main road). An old desert mining town, still populated, with mill ruins and tailings.
  • China Garden Spring (12 miles east below town walk 1/8 mile east, continue along the creek from China Garden Spring, hike or climb down the rugged canyon). The springs are the community water source, and a surprising fresh water oasis in the desert area. The 20 foot ribbon falls may be reached from below the wash. (Note: from here you can 4-wheel down Darwin Wash for 6.5 miles to Highway 190 or backtrack to 190 via Darwin and continue east)
  • Panamint Springs Resort (17 miles from Darwin turnoff). A last green stop for food, lodging and fuel en route to Death Valley National Park.
  • Father Crowley Point Monument (7 1/2 miles west on 190). A plaque marks a beautiful deep desert canyon on the pass.

Independence / Manzanar – 2 hours to 1/2 Day. Approx. 27 miles.

  • Tule Elk Viewing Area (5 1/2 miles north). Certain periods during the year tule elk graze in an area near the highway.
  • Manzanar Gate (2 miles north) Originally an orchard and farm during W.W.II became a relocation camp for Japanese Americans.
  • Winnedumah Rock View (just south of Independence). The stone “Maiden” of Paiute legend is visible in a low pass in the Inyo Mountains to the east.
    Eastern California Museum (in Independence, two blocks west of Main St.). Established in 1928, displays a reconstructed ghost town, pioneer history, Indian artifacts, ranching and mining equipment and nature and Manzanar displays.
  • The Inyo County Courthouse (center of Independence). Classical styling, wit h gardens highlighted by tufa rock, many imported tree specimens.
  • The Slim Princess Train Engine (at Dehy Park, Main St.). Rode the narrow gauge tracks through the Owens Valley and into Nevada.

 

Other Historical Buildings and Sites in Independence include:

  • The Commander’s House from Fort Independence.
  • Pioneer Memorial Church, build in 1886
  • Mary Austin’s House (author)
  • Mount Whitney Fish Hatchery (2 miles north of town, turn west for 1/2 mile). A handsome three-story building make with native stone with a year round picnic and garden area and fish ponds, a million and a half hatchable trout were once raised here each year.
  • Fort Independence Ruins (opposite the fish hatchery turnoff) from the fort used during the 1800’s Indian Wars
  • Independence Creek and Onion Valley Canyon (return to Independence, west about 12 miles up the creek road end). Offers campgrounds near and 8,500 foot high meadow, creek fishing during the season, and trail hiking past pines, wild flowers and waterfalls.