If you’re looking for adventure in California, you’ll have to get off the grid and take a drive up Highway 395. You’ll find mountain ranges reaching 14,000 feet, long stretches of dry plains, some of the oldest trees on earth and hidden gems dispersed throughout an area known as the Eastern Sierras. If you love the outdoors, there’s a plentiful of outdoor recreation opportunities from off-roading, fishing, hiking, bathing, snowboarding, biking and much much more.
From the South, you might want to consider the Trona Pinnacles as your first stop. Home to off-roading enthusiasts, climbers, and landscapes that look like Mars.
Don’t forget your wallet. After a long stretch of highway, you’ll definitely want to move your legs, fuel up and grab some grub in the first of many small cities, Lone Pine. A mere 15 minutes off Whitney Portal road, this city is home to Alabama Hills. Perfect for camping, more off-roading and an up close and personal experience with my favorite Eastern Sierra mountain views.
Continuing on the 395, the highway connects a unique set of historic towns, local tourism and storefronts, as well as a plethora of outdoor activities offered both in the summer and winter months. My favorite and most populated area is Mammoth Lakes. Whatever you need, the town should have it. This is considered the Mecca of hiking, with a wide variety of lakes available to explore. The first is Convict Lake, a 15-minute drive from the town.
Literally 5 minutes from this lake, you’ll find Hot Creek - a geothermal fed river from active magma only three miles under the surface.
For the 2017 - 2018 season, Mammoth Mountain was the first snow resort open in the United States. Yes, this is one of the coolest ski towns around, especially in California and it’s impossible to miss the caravan of cars heading up the 395 with snowboards and ski’s strapped to their roofs. It’s a massive resort, 3,500 acres to be exact, serviced by 28 lifts. You’ll definitely want your Grid Wallet for this town and all it has to offer.
Grab a burger at Toomey’s Restaurant and follow all the locals to the nearby Hot Springs for sunset. After all, it’s the perfect place to soak the soreness from snowboarding and watch the mesmerizing colors take over the surrounding mountain range.
As you head into the dwindling light and make your way home, its common to reflect on the beautiful and diverse landscapes brought to you by the Eastern Sierras. It’s truly surreal and the perfect place for avid adventurers. Thank you for following along our journey and we can’t wait to see the hidden gems you find as you make your way up the 395. This trip was powered by @grid_wallet and @chrispoops.