For so many years living in Los Angeles our go to getaway spots for camping, climbing and all around getaway were Joshua Tree, Big Bear, and Idyllwild. I had left things like Lone Pine, Bishop, and even Yosemite to be more of a big mountain or big country adventure. The last couple years we’ve made longer adventures to Bishop but its a long drive for a weekend getaway. But as things started becoming more purposeful we began exploring the less traveled spots along the 395.
The virtually unused Alabama Hills with some amazing sport climbing being put up. Maybe not the next Joshua Tree but it feels awfully familiar but without the busy parking lots. Then the small forest service roads in the Buttermilks area of Bishop. And the $5 dirt site campgrounds near the Happy and Sad boulders. Now I’m not a hardcore climber by any means. Its always been a reason to get out, explore, and hang out with cool people. Then continuing along the 395 there is the hidden caves and mine shafts that dot the hilly landscape on both sides of the road. Exploring Death Valley and Mojave Dessert are maybe not your go to spots but seeing them in the beautiful morning light is a place like no other. Or staying up late to see the milky way pass over head never gets old. Then to keep going check out Mono Lake and take a left turn into Yosemite Valley. This way in takes a little longer than maybe some of the other routes in but the views are quite amazing.
I really don’t get tired of these mountain vistas, desert sunrises, and Sierra sunsets. It truly is God’s country.