Sunday, January 31, 2016

Back to the Inyo Mountains

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Heading out from Little Cowhorn Valley
The weather was nasty in the Sierra on Friday, so off we went to the Inyo Mountains again for what we hoped would be better conditions. We chose a spot close to our Deadman Canyon hike from a few weeks ago, but this time approached it from the east side of the crest - near Little Cowhorn Valley. We left the highway on a jeep road to the west at 7,200 feet elevation, then north, generally meandering here and there until it was time to turn around. We guessed right on the weather, it was calm for most of the day as the wind and storms raged across the Owens Valley in the Sierra. Birding was marginal at best as would be expected in a pinyon and juniper habitat in the middle of winter. One fun sighting was a large flock of Pinyon Jays, over a hundred in number, wheeling about as they moved down a ridge. 

As noon approached we decided to bag the nearest peaklet for a lunchtime view. From our approach perspective this peak was cone shaped with black lava formations at the top. We nicknamed it Mt. Kilimanjaro. It was a fun scramble to the top and had spectacular 360 degree views. We backtracked the route ending a lovely day in the mountains.

Our first glimpse of the Sierra once we gained the crest of the Inyo

Great old juniper

The Sierra in the distance from near our lunch spot

Looking south from the top

South and west panorama

Scrambling to the top

One more outstanding view across to the Sierra

From the top looking north to the White Mountains

Traversing the top

"Mt. Kilimanjaro" from the base

Traversing the crest of the Inyo in a sage and pinyon/juniper habitat


  1. Thanks for the nice account of your recent trek. To get in shape for your PC trek, on these smaller ones you should carry your BIG lens!! Close-ups of those birds would be great.

  2. Great photos of some beautiful country. Nice to read a well written blog post instead of just a quick FB posting. Thanks for taking the time and effort.