Pets allowed
Allowed
Guided tours
No
Backcountry camping
No
Lodging
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The largest Jeffrey pine forest in the world grows in a little-travelled area of Inyo National Forest. East of the Mono Craters, a network of dirt roads spans the vast open space. 

Known for their distinctively sweet scent, Jeffrey pine trees are a hardy species capable of growing in nutrient-poor serpentine soils. At the base of the Mono Craters, large pumice fields and sparse rainfall dictate that sagebrush, Jeffrey pines, and little other vegetation take root.

The Bodie Railway and Lumber Company harvested Jeffrey pines in the 1880s to supply the booming mining towns of Bodie and Aurora with lumber for construction and to stoke the fires of steam pumps. What remains of Mono Mills can be seen at a small historical site alongside Highway 120.

Roads through the Jeffrey pine forest are plentiful. Deep ruts are filled with sandy pumice; an all-wheel drive vehicle is recommended. The forested high plain gives way to spectacular views of Long Valley and the Sierra at Indiana Summit. For a higher vantage point, follow 1S05 to the top of Bald Mountain.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Abundant access roads. Old-growth forest.

Cons

No services.

Features

Geologically significant
Historically significant
Rock climbing
Old-growth forest
Horseback riding
Bird watching
Wildlife
Big Game Watching
Big Game Watching

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve
Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California
Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California
Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California
Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California

Comments

Plenty of dispersed camping in this area. Giant moths and sand flies too.
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