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Inyo East (Dec 2022)

Preserved as a 205,000-acre wilderness adjacent to Death Valley National Park, the Inyo Mountains rank among the most formidable and majestic mountains in the California desert. Forming the western backdrop of Saline Valley, they rise in just a few miles from an elevation of a little over 1,000 feet at the valley floor to above 11,000 feet. Very few places in the desert are this steep over such distances. From Saline Valley, this abrupt wall appears to be impassable - and it is nearly that. The few roads that make ingress into this sheer wilderness of stone are short but spectacular, while its canyons offer some of the most tremendous hiking anywhere in the desert.

Hiking Western Death Valley National Park

With a description like that, I knew that our next trip needed to Death Valley would technically be to the Inyos. And so, over a three-day period, we reveled in the majesty of these mountains near the north end of Saline Valley - exploring mines of lead, silver and talc, climbing waterfalls cascading through narrow canyons, and enjoying views seldom seen by modern man.

Through it all, we never saw another soul. And it was wonderful.


Into the Inyo | Inyo East #1 Into the Inyo | Inyo East #1 - We wrapped up our long drive south as we turned onto CA-168 from Big Pine. My plan - crazy as it seems now - had been to get all the way to our first trailhead prior to calling it a day, but given that it was already 3:00am and the…
Tramways and Waterfalls, Cascading Down Canyons | Inyo East #2 Tramways and Waterfalls, Cascading Down Canyons | Inyo East #2 - Nestled into the mouth of an unnamed canyon of the eastern Inyo Mountains, sleep came quickly after climbing into the tent a little after 8:00pm. For five hours, everything was great - temperatures were perfect, in the low 40s °F, a gentle breeze cascaded down the canyon, and clear skies…
Big Mine, Small Dunes | Inyo East #3 Big Mine, Small Dunes | Inyo East #3 - It was 2:00am when the light pitter patter of rain woke both @mrs.turbodb and me from our cozy sleep in the mouth of canyon on the eastern escarpment of the Inyo Mountains. "Guess I waited too long to go pee," she said. "Me too," I replied. It was the first…


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