Topaz, Walker and Coleville, though modest
in size, are actually very interesting places to visit.
Tucked away near these small towns are some of the "secret
spots" of the Eastern Sierra.
Drivers could whiz straight through Topaz, Walker and
Coleville and hardly notice, were it not for the unusual
crafts, wind chimes, and flags that suddenly spring
up along Highway 395, which is part of the Eastern Sierra
Scenic Byway. You might say that these little towns
represent a micro-economy of totally unique arts &
crafts stores. It's Mom & Pop retailing, where most
of the crafts are built by the store owners themselves.
Some of the stores are adjacent to the owner's houses,
or they are the houses giving a whole new meaning
to the term "artist in residence".
Visit one of these craft shops chances are,
you'll be walking out with a unique gift that couldn't
have come from anywhere else. And whether you've picked
up some handwrought pewter, a fanciful Sierra Christmas
ornament, or even some handmade furniture, you'll surely
have a keepsake to share and remember.
Arts & crafts have had their place in the
High Sierra ever since the first cowboys started
whittling pine branches to pass the time. Yet
there's another cowboy tradition that is also
alive and kicking up here, too gambling.
And it's as fun as ever.
At Topaz Lake, the local casino at Topaz Lodge
is loved by sly veterans and novice gamblers alike.
We're not talking bingo here, either this
casino offers full Nevada-style gaming, from slots
to blackjack to velvet-lined craps tables. And
if you ever need to take a break, just step outside
and take in the beautiful Topaz Lake a
Some sweet & scenic spots are nestled in the Topaz
/ Walker / Coleville area, too.
Poore Lake / Kirman Lake
Between Bridgeport and Walker. For Kirman, take 395
15 miles south of Walker, drive west a mile on 108,
and park at Forest Road 137. If you've got 4WD, you
can drive in; otherwise it's a nice, three-mile hike
or bike ride. To reach Poore Lake, drive west about
six miles on 108, then south up Forest Road 061 three
Little Antelope Valley
There's a herd of mule deer that live in this hidden
valley every winter. Hikers love this place, and there's
a pack station for horseback riders. A couple miles
north of Walker, keep your eyes open for the "Little
Antelope Valley" sign and turn west onto the dirt
Topaz Lake at the State Line
Okay, so this one's no secret. It's a complete water-sports
area fishing, water skiing, bird watching
and a nearby casino, restaurant, and RV park. The perfect
spot to while away a few days in total relaxation. Be
sure to check the Nevada fishing season and regulations.