Posted by: Sandy Steinman | May 26, 2010

Best of Two Worlds Eastern Sierra Nevada & White Mountain: hikes, drives & wildflowers

Updated May 28, 2016

One of my favorite summer trips is the Eastern Sierra and White Mountain.   A good base is Bishop, CA right on Highway 395.  It is between both areas and has plenty of accommodations and services.  There are also many campsites in the national forests.

In the Eastern Sierras good wildflower hikes are McGee Creek, Rock Creek, and South Lake to Bishop Pass.  These are respectively hikes # 49, 46 and 38 in Best Short Hikes of the Eastern Sierra by Karen and Terry Whitehill.  You don’t need to go all the way out on any of the trails as these hikes have wildflowers pretty much right away.  The drives to the trailhead have many wildflowers and many stops along the way can make the trip much longer than planned.

White Mountain is the home of the ancient Bristlecone pines, which are not only our oldest tree but also quite beautiful and photogenic.  The two main areas are the Schulman Grove (paved road all the way up) and the Patriarch Grove, which is an additional 13 miles up a rough gravel road that can be driven with an ordinary car.  Both areas have Bristlecone pines and wildflowers close to and even in the parking areas as well as short trails to hike.  There are also many flower stops and views of the east side of the Sierra Nevada on the way up.

For more information about visiting, hikes, and to check out current wildflower bloom reports check the following sites:

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest
 Visitor Center – Schulman Grove 760-873-2500 Phone Information
10 miles north of Highway 168 East
on White Mountain Road Summer Hours: 10:00am-5:00pm, 7 days a week.  The visitor center burned in a fire in 2008, but has been replaced by a temporary trailer.  There is a plan to rebuild it.

Two Organizations that sponsor hikes and trips in this area are:

Friends of Inyo (a Bishop-based non-profit conservation organization dedicated to the exploration, preservation and stewardship of the public lands of the Eastern Sierra.) Check their outings link: http://friendsoftheinyo.org/foi/view/explore

The Bristlecone chapter of the California Native Plant Society:  http://bristleconecnps.org/index.php
Bristlecone chapter Wildflower Hotspots Google Group 

Useful Books:

  • Wildflowers of the Eastern Sierra and adjoining  Mojave and Great Desert Basin by Laird Blackwell. (where to go and flower field guide)
  • Natural History of the White-Inyo Range edited by Clarence A. Hall Jr. ( a natural history of the White-Inyo area including, physical features, plants, animal and archeology/anthropology)
  • Sierra East edited by Genny Smith (natural history guide of Eastern Sierra)
  • Bishop Creek Checklist (annotated) by Jack and Pat Crowther (Useful plant list)
  • Best Sort Hikes of the Eastern Sierra by Karen and Terry Whitehill. (useful hiking guide mentioned above)

All of the above plus maps should be available at the visitor center or one of the stores in Bishop.

Bookmark         and Share

Advertisements

Responses

  1. […] Eastern Sierra https://naturalhistorywanderings.com/2010/05/26/best-of-two-worlds-eastern-sierra-nevada-and-white-m… […]

    Like

  2. […] Eastern Sierra  https://naturalhistorywanderings.com/2010/05/26/best-of-two-worlds-eastern-sierra-nevada-and-white-m… […]

    Like

  3. […] Eastern Sierra https://naturalhistorywanderings.com/2010/05/26/best-of-two-worlds-eastern-sierra-nevada-and-white-mo… […]

    Like


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: