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Inyo West (May 2024)

Inyo WestI've done a lot of exploring in and around Death Valley National Park, and have spent many a morning watching the sun illuminate the Inyo Mountains from the east. But, I've spent almost no time exploring the Inyo Mountains from the west - Owen's Valley - side.

I'm not sure exactly why this has been the case - there's a ton to experience - but I suppose it's due to the fact that it's nestled between the dramatic Sierra Nevada and my favorite National Park.

Regardless, I've wanted to drive the Swansea to Cerro Gordo Road - up past the apex of the Saline Valley Salt Tram - ever since we visited the lower towers back in 2019. I've heard amazing things about Papoose Flats and Mazourka Peak, and the network of roads that run through the western slopes of this imposing range.

And so, with three and a half days to explore, I'm leaving the heat of the valley behind and climbing into the cool mountain air. Surely, I'll love what I find, and if it's anything like I expect, I'll only be left wanting for more. More time to explore the Inyo West.


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