Inyo National Forest is a large national forest that is located on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California and the western slopes of the White Mountains of California and Nevada. The entire park encompasses around 2 million acres and has nine Wilderness Areas. The park is home to Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain peak in the contiguous U.S. The forest is very near several national parks, including Yosemite National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, Sequoia National Park, and Death Valley National Park. Visitors to this part of Northern California and southern Nevada have innumerable choices for designing their road trip itinerary through Inyo National Forest.
Mount Whitney Trail is an in-and-out trail that is located near Lone Pine, CA. The trail is a long and strenuous hike that summits at Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous U.S. The trail gains an average elevation of 500 feet per mile and includes 67 switchbacks, and hikers will see meadows, streams, and a lake. There are two designated campsites on the trail, the Outpost Camp and the Trail Camp. Be aware that you may experience ill effects from the high altitude.
Length: 22.5 miles
Crystal Lake Trail is an in-and-out trail that is located near Mammoth Lakes, CA. This is a popular trail in Inyo National Forest that offers great views of the Mammoth Lakes Basin. After you arrive at the lake, you can continue hiking up an alternate trail on Mammoth Crest for more scenery. There are available campsites on the trail.
Length: 3.1 miles
Convict Lake Loop Trail is a loop trail that is located near Mammoth Lakes, CA. The hike is an easy trail for families in the summer but can be tricky in the colder months due to the snow that sits on steeper areas of the path.
Length: 2.5 miles
Minaret Lake is an in-and-out trail located near Mammoth Lakes, CA, that features waterfalls and a lake. The hike begins with a steady uphill incline and becomes steeper toward the top of the trail. The views at the top are nice, especially at sunset.
Length: 13.4 miles
McLeod Lake Trail is a loop trail that is located near Mammoth Lakes, CA. The trail passes by a lake and features an interesting mountain backdrop. It is fairly moderate in difficulty and has a mild incline.
Length: 1.8 miles
Inyo National Forest is a large natural preserve, and there are many available types of outdoor recreational activities to enjoy, including hiking, fishing, camping, biking, riding horses, and generally exploring the natural ecosystems. The predominant tree species are the lodgepole pine and the Jeffrey pine.
There are boundless opportunities for fishing at any of the 400 lakes and 1,100 miles of rivers and other watersheds in the forest. You will be able to fish for rainbow, brook, brown, and golden trout, and there are often contests and other fishing events during the year. Other species of fish include largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegill, catfish, and carp.
Geocaching is allowed in all national forests under certain rules and restrictions. Check with the forest headquarters before seeking or placing any geocaches in Inyo National Forest.
Inyo National Forest has minimal light pollution and affords many places to view the stars on clear nights. A popular site for stargazing is in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest because of the unique combination of twisted old-growth pines and brilliant stars in the sky above.
Address: 351 Pacu Lane, Suite 200 Bishop, CA 93514
Fee: Entry fee $0
Your journey through Inyo National Forest has the potential to be the ultimate trip you have always wanted to experience. The forest is large, and there is plenty to keep you busy, but you also have the opportunity to visit a number of iconic sites during your time in the forest. Driving an RV is the most logical and easiest way to get around to every planned stop on your trip.