The Eastern Sierra's have been one of my favorite places to explore since moving back to California! About 4-6 hours drive from LA, it makes for a good weekend trip or extended vacation. Some of my favorite hikes and places to explore are highlighted below!
Top 5 activities from South to North
1. Feel the elevation at Big Pine Lakes
Coming from the south, Big Pine is one of the first towns you'll hit. If you're used to the elevation already, Big Pine Lakes is one of the best alpine lake hikes in the area. At 13+ miles, it is also one of the longer ones. You'll feel great afterwards!
2. Hang out in Bishop
Bishop is a fun town to stay in as your home base. There is a great Texas BBQ Joint and Sandwich/Bakery Shop in town. There are a bunch of hikes nearby, including the popular Little Lakes Valley hike It's also not too far from hot springs! Crab Cooker is a nice one but there are other nearby as well.
3. Feel the relative hustle & bustle of Mammoth Lakes
Mammoth Lakes is probably more popular as a winter ski resort, but in the summer crowds still flock there for its abundance of fishing, easy hikes, and camp sites. There are a lot of great hikes there from 2 mile strolls to longer half-day or full-day hikes. Check out my Mammoth Lakes tag for specific hikes!
4. Head to Mono Lake for sunrise
Mono Lake is about 40 minutes north of Mammoth Lakes. Put in Mono Lake South Tufa for your GPS and get there around 20 minutes before sunrise. There is a small parking fee (cash or check only).
5. Go Camping!
There are a bunch of great campsites from Lone Pine to Mammoth Lakes. We stayed at Sherwin Lakes Campground for 1 night and had a campervan for the other nights. There is a lot of opportunity for dispersed camping. I'd highly recommend it!