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.
Smelter Historical Marker (north 6 miles). Marks the adobe remnants of
a Cerro Gordo silver smelter, once also an overnight stage stop.
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.
(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 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
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.
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