Things to Do

Explore Natural Wonders in California

Eastern Sierra Marvels

sierras

Area Attractions

Guests are able to enjoy dramatic mountain views as well as a wide variety of outdoor pursuits, including:

  • Yosemite National Park (100 mi)
  • Death Valley National Park (110 mi)
  • Mount Whitney (70 mi)
  • Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort (40 mi)
  • Mammoth/Yosemite Airport (35 mi)
  • Devils Postpile National Monument (56 mi)
  • Trout fishing at Lake Sabrina and South Lake (19 mi)
  • Bristlecone Pine Forest (50 mi)
  • Buttermilk Country, a world-famous bouldering areas (15 mi)
  • Mono Lake (75 mi)
  • Inyo National Forect (70 mi)
Bouldering

Bouldering in Buttermilk Country

The scenic and awe-inspiring Buttermilk Country has long been one of California's premier bouldering destinations with a long history of ground-breaking ascents and some of the proudest, boldest, and most aesthetic lines in the world. These massive glacial erratic boulders sit in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada under an impressive backdrop of high peaks just a mere four miles to the west.

 

Interested in climbing but never ventured out before? The Sierra Mountain Guides located in downtown Bishop are the only guide services on the Eastside. Offering rock climbing, ice climbing, backcountry skiing and mountaineering adventures in the Sierras. Visit them at, sierramtnguides.com for more information. 

Petroglyphs

Volcanic Tableland Petroglyphs

Around 8,800 years ago, a culture inhabited the area we now know as Owens Valley. Petroglyphs differ from pictographs in that they are chipped with a harder stone into the dark surfaces of rock, as opposed to being painted on. The exposed inner rock lacks the darker oxidation of the exterior and provides the contrast that make the designs visible.  The local descendants of the Paiute – Shoshone decline to share detailed information regarding the meaning or functions of the rock art. There are, as always, a number of popular theories as to the meaning of the content or placement of the symbols; use your imagination..

Before heading out to the Volcanic Tableland, a trip to the Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center is recommended to experience and have a better understanding of the unique and beautiful cultural heritage of the Indigenous people of the Owens Valley. The center showcases cultural displays, historical archives, artifacts and media.

Click for more information about the Tableland Petroglyphs  and the Paiute-Shoshone Cultural Center

Bristlecone pine forest

The Bristlecone Pine Forest

The trees of the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, in the White Mountains an hour’s drive to the east of Bishop, are the oldest recorded living thing on earth. A millennium older than the Giant Sequoia trees in the nearby Sierra, many are well over 2,000 years old and the “Methuselah” tree in Schulman Grove is dated at more than 4,773 years old. These trees were young and growing at the time stone axes were being used in Europe, the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) was being built, and cuneiform clay tablets were being used in northern Syria. Bristlecone pines (Pinus longaeva & aristata) grow in the White Mountains at elevations 9,000 to over 11,000 feet. The oldest trees grow on outcrops of dolomite, an alkaline calcareous, low nutrient soil. Only on the alkaline dolomite will you find pure, relatively dense stands of Bristlecone pine.

The history, science and unique location of the Bristlecone forest is a wonderful excursion and we encourage you to take this trip.

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