On Labor Day weekend we did an overnight trip up to the White Mountain Peak trailhead, high on the crest of the White Mountains that—along with the Inyo Mountains—form the eastern side of the Owens Valley near Bishop.
A paved road travels the crest several miles to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Visitor Center, run by the US Forest Service. This is a great place to learn more about the bristlecone pine, most of which grow only here, in this mountain range. Beyond the Visitor Center, it’s another 18 unpaved, but very scenic, road to its gated end above treeline at 12,000′, near the University of California’s White Mountains Research Center Barcroft Station. The station and surrounding area are sites for high altitude ecological research of all types.
White Mountain Peak is just 7 miles from the trailhead, along an old gravel road that serves as a trail. However, the country is so open that one can choose one’s own route across the tundra to get to the peak. The opportunities for exploring are endless! Here are some scenes from that day.