The Eastern Sierra region, also known as the Highway 395 corridor, is a long time favorite area for many photographers. Over the years well-known photographers such
as Ansel Adams and Galen Rowell produced many exceptional photographs that anyone who visits the area will recognize.
The Eastern Sierra region begins at the southern end of Highway 395 at Little Lake and continues up along the eastern spine of the California Sierra Mountain range to
the town of Bridgeport in the north. This Highway has some of the most beautiful scenery in the state of California if not the world.
The overall terrain spans a multitude of altitudes, climates, & foliages, as well as including low desert through high alpine environments.
Two of the continental United States geological icons are located in this region, Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the lower 48 states at +14,497 feet high and
Badwater, the lowest point, located in Death Valley National Park at -282 feet below sea level.
Traveling on the path of the 395 corridor the main towns from south to north are; Lone Pine, Independence, Big Pine, Bishop, Mammoth, Lee Vining, and Bridgeport.
Here are some photographic highlights surrounding these cities. Lone Pine, the home of the Lone Pine Film Festivals held each year in October,
includes photo sites such as, Mt Whitney, Alabama Hills, Horseshoe Meadows, Manzanar, and access to Death Valley National Park.
Heading north the next town, Independence, is the local county seat for the area of Inyo County. One spot in particular that is often visited for photography as well as
camping and hiking around Independence is Onion Valley.
Further north is the town of Big Pine, site of the 'Big' pine tree donated to the town by avid environmentalist President Teddy Roosevelt. A right turn off Hwy 395 at the location of this tree will head you in the direction of the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. This site has some of the most unique looking natural wonders in the world and provides some very interesting photos.
Returning to Highway 395 heading north about 15 miles from Big Pine, brings us to the largest of cities on this scenic byway Bishop. All photo enthusiasts should stop
and visit the Mountain Light Gallery located inside an old bank building at the intersection of Highway 395 and Line Street. The overall presentations of the works
of Galen & Barbara Rowell are displayed in a photographic gallery that is second to none and highlights their love of this region as well as their former works from
their worldwide travels.
Photographic sites to visit around Bishop include Lake Sabrina, North Lake, South Lake, and the creeks that feed from them. Along with the water ways are the many
aspen groves that provide excellent photo opportunities during the peak fall season. Venturing farther north brings you to some must see areas that provide a variety of
terrain changes, altitude increases, and sometimes dramatic climate variances. Locations include Tom's Place or Rock Creek Canyon, McGee Creek, Crowley Lake,
Mammoth & June Lake loops, and Tioga Pass.
Upon arriving at Tioga Pass and the town of Lee Vining the key highlight is Mono
Lake. Although the main attraction to this area is the lake itself and its South Tufa formations, there are other key sites to review and explore when trying to
obtain various types of outdoor photos. This includes a side trip up the Tioga Pass to Yosemite when the season and the roads allow.
Leaving Lee Vining heading north leads us pass Lundy Canyon to the top of Conway Summit and to the turnoff to the Virginia Lakes region. Although the lake areas
themselves are somewhat confined for photo opportunities the maintained dirt roads around the area supply all kinds of side treks to a variety of aspen groves and
other water flows. Back to the main highway and north places us at the turnoff to the Bodie Ghost Town,
a real draw for all visitors including avid photo buffs. Continuing on the main highway to Bridgeport we reach the end of the main townships
along this path before the main state dividing line into Nevada. Photo opportunities in and around Bridgeport include Twin Lakes, Walker River region, and the Sonora
As stated at the beginning of this article, the locations throughout this area for overall photographic possibilities are enormous. It is best to approach this region
in small geographic chunks and at different seasons. To try and see all of this on one trip will result in a lot of road time and not enough time spent on your
original intent obtaining quality photographs.
Click the author's gallery image on the top of the page to view the author's photographs.
My Outdoor Eyes Photography Blog|
Pretty Blue Chicory Wildflowers At Fort Hill On Cape Cod
Bright blue Chicory wildflowers are blooming all over Fort Hill on Cape Cod. Their intense blue color makes them easy to spot on the sides of the trails or in the fields. Chicory grows on a stiff stalk and has numerous 1 and 1/2″ stemless flower heads with fringed petals. These bloom for only one … Continue reading Pretty Blue Chicory Wildflowers At Fort Hill On Cape Cod
Little Wood Satyr Butterfly At Fort Hill On Cape Cod
I saw this Little Wood Satyr butterfly at Fort Hill on Cape Cod. I had never seen one before. It was right off the trail leading out to Cutting Rock. The Little Wood Satyr is light brown in color with two yellow-rimmed black eyespots on both sides of its forewings. The hindwing has two spots. The … Continue reading Little Wood Satyr Butterfly At Fort Hill On Cape Cod
Crowded, Windy Day At Coast Guard Beach On Cape Cod
Yesterday was my favorite kind of day at the beach… windy and cloudy with big, roaring waves! It was a glorious day at Coast Guard Beach, part of the National Seashore, in Eastham. So I went for a long walk on the beach. It was crowded with vacationers all with their hoodies on as they … Continue reading Crowded, Windy Day At Coast Guard Beach On Cape Cod
Spotted Wintergreen Wildflowers At Our Home On Cape Cod
We have a lot of Spotted Wintergreen wildflowers growing right near our home here on Cape Cod. They are such an interesting wildflower. You can see in the second photograph the little bud on the left and the flower starting to bloom on the right. When it is fully bloomed, it flips over and you … Continue reading Spotted Wintergreen Wildflowers At Our Home On Cape Cod
Eastern Kingbird At Our Bird Bath On Cape Cod
What a treat it was to see this Eastern Kingbird at our bird bath her on Cape Cod. We saw our first eastern Kingbird about a month ago at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. We had never seen one before. So now to see one in our own backyard is really cool! The Eastern Kingbird … Continue reading Eastern Kingbird At Our Bird Bath On Cape Cod
The Yuccas Are Blooming And Hardy Here On Cape Cod
The Yuccas are absolutely stunning this year on Cape Cod. I wonder if it’s because of all the moisture that we’ve had. I saw this “pastoral scene” with the luscious Yuccas on one of my early morning bike rides around to the different beaches. It’s amazing what you can see when you’re not worried about … Continue reading The Yuccas Are Blooming And Hardy Here On Cape Cod