Updated: Jan 26

During the month of June 2019, I set out on a month long road trip to  capture the

essence of the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains. I spent 3-4 months that

spring reading books and searching the web for information. Even with that effort,

what I saw and photographed was just a fraction of the history and beauty of

this area.  

Mobius arch and Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous US

 The Eastern Sierra Nevada mountain crest runs north and south down the center

of the state of California, almost like the backbone of the state. Long ago,

glaciers formed dozens of canyons running eastward from the crest down to

the high desert which lies along the eastern edge of  California. US Highway 395 runs

north and south thru this high desert paralleling the mountain crest.

Mining and timber activities in the 1800s created access roads up many of

these canyons. These roads now lead adventurers to trailheads giving access

 to large wilderness areas such as the John Muir, Ansel Adams, White Mountain,

 and Hoover wildernesses. Thousands of miles of hiking trails  lure the young and fit,

including the real challenge, the Pacific Crest Trail.

Peaks above Lake Sabrina near Bishop, CA.

 The “roadmap” I used to explore these canyons was 2 books by Sharon Giacomazzi.

The titles are Exploring Eastern Sierra Canyons, Sonora Pass To Pine Creek

and Exploring Eastern Sierra Canyons, Bishop To Lone Pine. The tremendous

amount of detail she puts into these books is a large part of why it took me 3-4

months of study to feel prepared for this trip. Sharon details each canyon, 

the roads leading to the trailheads, and the trails leading up into the mountains

from each trail head.  It suited my 68 years old legs to take only short excursions up

each canyon, but younger legs can travel many more miles, even up to the crest in

some canyons, if desired.

Some of the mineral Tufas at Mono Lake near Lee Vining CA

Along with the mountain scenery I wished to capture, I had several sites in mind that

I wanted to photograph. I made plans to visit the ghost town of Bodie, Ca., Mono

Lake with its striking tufa structures, the Bristlecone Pine Forest, and the Alabama

Hills where approximately 400 movies have been filmed.  These include most of

the Western genre films from 1920 up to recent films like"Iron Man” with Robert

Downey Jr. ( the cave scenes )

One of the many old buildings at Bodie State Park

 I broke up the trip by staying at 5 different RV parks, ranging from 3 days to 8 days

at a site. These were Carson City, NV., Bridgeport, CA., June Lake CA., Bishop CA., and

Lone Pine, CA. Since this is a blog and not a book, I will break down this trip into 3

more blog posts, starting at the north end of the route and working my way south.

Small bites of a big apple. Hope you read all the posts and take the trip with


You can see all of my photos taken on this Eastern Sierra Nevada roadtrip at


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