The quiet town of Independence offers some great wildlife,
trickling water, and a few quiet fishing ponds
if you know where to look.
As the county seat of Inyo County, the historic courthouse
is a good place to start. Then head west on Market Street
(by the U.S. Post Office) and drive the 13 miles to
its end. You'll then find yourself on a road that switchbacks
up the mountains. By the time you hit 9,200 feet, the
minimal vegetation of the desert has transformed into
an alpine meadow. This is Onion Valley an oasis
in the sky, where wildflowers burst into color during
the mountain spring (July & August) against shimmering
Aspen trees and pines.
There's a campground, some hiking trails and a pack
station. The Kearsage Pass Trail will take you to the
crest of the Sierra (5 miles) and the high backcountry.
Take a deep breath, look around, because nothing compares...