Inyo county is truly a sight to behold. From the majestic peaks of the Sierra Nevada to the sprawling desert landscapes of Death Valley, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Plus, there are countless hiking and camping options, as well as fishing, birdwatching, and stargazing.
Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a well deserved vacation, Inyo county is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.
Natural beauty, outdoor activity, and history are all fantastic reasons to visit Inyo County. Here are 10 awesome sights you must experience.
1. Badwater Basin
Badwater Basin is a spectacular place. It is the lowest point in North America, and it is truly breathtaking.
The basin is full of beautiful white salt flats that contrast starkly with the surrounding mountains.
It’s a place of extreme temperatures and a part of the region that has the record for the hottest air temperature on the planet, at 134.1°F. Despite its harsh conditions, Badwater Basin is teeming with life.
Plants and animals have adapted to the extreme conditions, and the basin is home to a variety of unique species. Many visitors come to Badwater Basin to experience its surreal beauty and unique ecosystem.
2. Visit the Ghost Town of Bodie State Historic Park
Bodie is a ghost town located in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Once a flourishing gold mining town, Bodie is now a fascinating glimpse into the past.
It was formerly a thriving 10,000-person town and is now a California Historical, a state park Landmark, and a National Historic Landmark.
The town has been preserved in a state of “arrested decay,” which means that it’s been left mostly as it was when the residents abandoned it.
This makes for an interesting and atmospheric visit. You can wander through the deserted streets, poke around in the abandoned buildings, and imagine what life was like in Bodie during its heyday.
Just be sure to take some time to explore Bodie museum, which contains many artifacts from the town’s rich history.
3. Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
The Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes are awe-inspiring, a treasure trove of history, and a playground for kids and the young at heart.
A walk through these velvety, rippling dunes will convince you that you’ve arrived somewhere new.
The dunes are truly unique with their flatness, and they are also one of the largest protected dune systems in the world.
The best time to visit is early in the morning when the light is softer and the temperatures are cooler. You can walk out onto the dunes and experience their vastness and serenity.
Be sure to bring plenty of water, as there is no shade or shelter on the dunes. As you walk, keep an eye out for animal tracks in the sand. If you’re lucky, you might even see a jackrabbit or a horned lizard.
With its otherworldly landscapes, Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes is definitely a place worth visiting.
4. Hike the Mosaic Canyon Trail
The Mosaic Canyon Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in Inyo County.
Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, the trail offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
The trailhead is located just a short drive from downtown Bishop, making it easily accessible for both locals and visitors. The trail itself is well-marked and relatively easy to follow, making it suitable for hikers of all experience levels.
And with an abundance of creeks and streams along the way, the Mosaic Canyon Trail is Trail is excellent for families with small children.
Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a leisurely stroll, the Mosaic Canyon Trail is sure to please.
5. Backpack in Lake Sabrina
There’s nothing quite like a picnic at Lake Sabrina.
Lake Sabrina is located in the Inyo National Forest in Bishop, California, at an elevation of 9,138 feet. Excellent starting place for day treks into the upper sierra alpine lakes.
Hiking, fishing, and camping are among popular activities in the region. When planning your picnic, make sure to pack enough of food and beverages. Don’t forget to bring over some games to keep everyone entertained.
If you’re looking for a scenic spot to enjoy a relaxed meal with family or friends, Lake Sabrina is the perfect place.
6. Visit the Manzanar National Historic Site
Manzanar is situated in Owens Valley, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, and lies at an astonishing 4,000 feet in height.
The site is a former internment camp that was used to house Japanese-Americans during World War II.
Today, the site is open to the public and features a variety of exhibits and educational programs. you can explore the remains of the internment camp, including the barracks, mess hall, and guard towers.
The site also features a museum with exhibits on the history of the camp and the Japanese-American experience during World War II.
The Manzanar National Historic Site is a must-see for anyone interested in American history or civil rights.
7. Zabriskie Point
Every possible hue of gold—from beige to hazelnut to yellow—can be seen in the spectacular ragged Golden Canyon bluffs of Zabreskis point.
It is well known for its incredible views of the Sierra Nevada, as well as its unique geological formations.
You can hike to the top of Zabriskie Point to enjoy stunning panoramas of the landscape, or explore the fascinating badlands below.
The point is also a popular spot for photography and picnicking. Zabriskie Point is definitely a must-see for anyone visiting Inyo County!
8. Hike the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest
One of the most fascinating places to hike in Inyo County is the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest.
The forest is home to some of the world’s oldest trees, including some that are over 4,000 years old. The forest is also an important site for scientific research since it contains vital information about the Earth’s past.
The best way to experience the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is to hike through it. There are numerous trails that wind through the forest, and each offers a different perspective on the ancient trees.
Whether you’re interested in learning about the history of the Earth or simply enjoying a peaceful hike, the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is sure to offer an unforgettable experience.
9. Stargaze in Death Valley National Park
Nothing beats a night of stargazing at Death Valley National Park.
With no light pollution to speak of, the stars seem brighter and closer than ever before. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot a shooting star or two.
The best time to stargaze is during the new moon phase, when the sky is darkest.
So pack a blanket and some snacks, and head out to one of the park’s many scenic lookout points. You’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.
10. Hike to The Top of Lone Pine Peak
Looking for a fun and challenging hike? Then head to the top of Lone Pine Peak in Inyo County.
This eight-mile round-trip hike will take you up 3,000 feet, and the views from the top are simply incredible.
The trail is well-marked and relatively easy to follow, but there are a few steep sections that will get your heart rate up.
Keep an eye out for wildlife along the way, including mule deer, bighorn sheep, and mountain lions. And be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, as there is no water available on the trail.
But trust us, the effort is well worth it when you reach that amazing summit!