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Geological Diversity in Inyo County

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The Golden State is well-known for its natural beauty. In few places is the hand of nature more apparent than Inyo County, in Southeastern California. Here, the Sierras meet the desert, and scenic postcard-worthy vistas are found at every turn.


On the boundary between Inyo and Tulare counties, one can find the contiguous United States’ highest point in Mount Whitney, topping out at a craggy 14,505 feet (4421 meters.) Though towering, Mount Whitney is very climbable, and avid mountaineers make their way up the Mount Whitney Trail to the summit. The more challenging and steep East Face provides a welcome challenge to more experienced technical climbers as well. At the top, where the view of the surrounding Sierras is nothing short of breathtaking, there is a plaque dedicated to former State Geologist Josiah Whitney, for whom the mountain is named. While the trek up the mountain is about twenty-two miles, on clear days the 360° panorama of the Inyo National Forest makes it a day well spent.

Interestingly enough, just 86 miles away and also in Inyo county, is Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the contiguous United States. Badwater can be seen from the peak of Mount Whitney, as one can see Mount Whitney from Badwater. Badwater, so named because of the salinity of the groundwater seeping through the salt flats, has a recorded low of 282 feet (86 meters) below sea level. Tourists can visit Badwater Basin and see wooden signs marking both sea level and the lowest point in the continental US.

In spite of having some of the most diverse geological features in North America, Inyo county is a wonderful place to visit and call home. The county’s biggest city, Bishop, lies in the northern part of Inyo. It boasts a vibrant rock climbing community, thanks in part to several impressively tall mountains nearby, including Mount Tom, Mount Humphries, and White Mountain Peak. Tourists and locals alike dare to climb over 13,000 feet to the tops of these majestic peaks yearly. Any lover of sunshine would feel appropriately at home in Bishop, though it is not nearly as hot or arid as nearby Death Valley.

The city of Bishop, and much of the rest of Inyo County, offers an abundance of geological diversity and is an outdoors lovers’ dream come true. Trees, lakes, wildlife, trails, and small towns are the norm, and the hustle and bustle of major metropolises is nearly forgotten. However, if after living in the calm quietude of Inyo county for some time has left you missing big city life, both Las Vegas and Los Angeles are less than 300 miles away.

For more information about resort real estate in Inyo county, please contact Maggie Larson toll free at (855) GO-MAGGIE. You can also visit Sierra Resort Real Estate, Eastern Sierra Property Management, or Maggie’s  Facebook page if you are interested in making diverse, gorgeous Inyo County your new home.


One Response to “Geological Diversity in Inyo County”

  1. Surrounded by beautiful mountains in the Eastern Sierra. Truly, such a beautiful place to call home. Although my commute to my Mammoth office is 35 minutes I really look forward to the drive to decompress and clear my mind looking at all the beauty surrounding me.

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