The north-south Inyo Mountains comprise a high and vast desert range, and the isolated and pristine Wilderness that bears their name encompasses a large portion of this sheerly rugged terrain. The area reaches a high point on Keynot Peak, at about 11,000 feet, and separates the Owens Valley on the west from the Saline Valley on the east. Most of the eastern border is shared with Death Valley National Park. Year-round streams, some cascading over waterfalls, can be found in eight canyons on the rough east side. These steep-walled canyons offer challenges to rock climbers. In addition to Keynot Peak, the prominent summits of New York Butte and Mount Inyo provide tough, nontechnical hikes with splendid views as rewards. Creosote, shadscale scrub, and sagebrush proliferate at lower elevations. You'll find a lush riparian habitat in the moist canyons, and pinion-juniper woodlands on some of the slopes. Bristlecone and limber pine grow in the higher reaches. Inyo Mountains Wilderness lies partly on BLM land and partly within Inyo National Forest. A rich mining legacy has left a smattering of ruins to explore, and the towers that supported a men-and-salt-bearing tram from the Saline Valley salt mines to Owens Lake can still be seen on Cerro Gordo Peak. There are 103 miles of unmaintained trails, often difficult to follow, a holdover from historic use. Most of these trails are not shown on maps. From Reward, the old Lonesome Miner Trail (40 miles) will take you south through the highest country to Hunter Canyon. The chance for a solitude-rich Wilderness experience of a high order awaits the adventurous.

A high altitude body of water that sits on a shelf above Whitney Portal. Its waters, mirror-like in appearance, stretchs out to the horizon like a natural infinity pool—reflecting the surrounding evergreens, massive boulders, and towering cliffs with perfect symmetry. At an elevation of 10,050 feet.

Awesome hike, the scenery is amazing!

Awesome terrain. Great views throughout. Challenging water crossings including a log walk across the marsh.
A must do !!
PS the lake at the end is a wonderful natural infinity pool overlooking the mountains.

Awesome terrain. Great views throughout. Challenging water crossings including a log walk across the marsh.
A must do !!

off road driving
2 months ago

Today was the second time I did this trail, and my first time leading the way. We took the side trip to see the mine. I paused the record function on the app so there's a gap in my track. I remembered to restart it as we started the drive on Cerro Gordo .
The environment changes as you move from desert to mountain to rolling hills, wooded valley, ending with a shelf section that is sure to make you a little uncomfortable.Good times , overall it's a great experience