I am finishing my three-part road trip blog, inspired by the destinations suggested in 7×7, about hidden Northern California gems. Here is the first one, about Mariposa to Placerville. Here is the second, about Leggett to Ferndale. And, today, we discover a route from Mammoth Lakes to Hope Valley. Enjoy!
This is a road trip that takes you along the spine of the Sierras, beginning at Mammoth Lakes. If you’ve visited Mammoth, you are familiar with its outdoor opportunities, ghost towns, hot springs, and amazing mountain passes. This route also has comfort, like the Sierra Nevada Resort, and highly rated restaurants like Vulcania.
On the way, don’t miss these turn-offs:
Devil’s Postpile National Monument: Devil’s Postpile is a natural wonder and the monument also boasts breathtaking views and hikes. I have hiked this area a long time ago and staying in Mammoth Lakes in the summer and doing the Devils Postpile was a highlight!
Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve: An ancient lake with unique natural structures protruding from the water (the “tufa”).
Bodie State Historic Park: This eerie Gold Rush-era attraction still shows the ghost town of Bodie’s deserted streets and abandoned homes.
Travertine Hot Springs: Treat yourself after a long drive! Travertine is composed of three natural pools just south of Bridgeport.
If you want to further understand this area a great book is Miracle Country by Kendra Atleework. She lived in the Owens Valley of the Eastern Sierra Nevada, where annual rainfall averages five inches and in drought years measures closer to zero. It also talks about how Mulholland and his engineering feat to get water to Los Angeles and took it from the Eastern Sierras which had a big impact on Owens Valley and the future of fires.