The Eastern California Museum Trail is a short, scenic walking trail that runs between the Eastern California Museum and Dehy Park in the town of Independence, California. The trail includes Dehy Park's family-friendly features, a short walking path through a native plant garden, wide views of the epic Eastern Sierra mountains to the west, and the Eastern California Museum.
The Eastern California Museum contains a wealth of displays relating to the area, including sections on the Owens River being diverted for the water to be used in the distant city of Los Angeles, a large Native American basket display, and artifacts from nearby Manzanar National Historic Site, along with containing a wealth of items of interest, such as a dress worn by Amelia Earhart and a set of dentures made from coyote teeth! Further information on the Eastern California Museum can be found here.
Dehy Park, located along Highway 395 near the north end of Independence, and it is marked by an old Carson & Colorado Railway car. The park is family-friendly with water, bathrooms, covered tables, grills, and a playground. The trail begins beyond a wooden pedestrian bridge crossing the creek near the back of the park.
With free parking at both the museum and the park, the trail can be started at either end. The path follows a mostly-flat dirt track lined with stones, with small bridge crossings of Independence Creek near either end of the trail. Museum admission is free, and is definitely worth a visit. The nearest major amenities are in the town of Bishop located 40 miles to the north. A gas station in Independence has basic groceries. Overall, the Eastern California Museum Trail is one of many interesting stops to make when passing along Highway 395, including the Cottonwood Creek Charcoal Kilns, the Olancha Dunes, the Olancha Sculpture Garden, and Manzanar National Historic Site.