NorCal Roadtrips

An Explorer's Guide to Northern California

Highway 305 South- Things To Do


This area is built for recreation, with nary a metropolitan area anywhere. To find a campsite at a lake or park, click on the site name on the highlighted itinerary page. To find other campgrounds click on the Campground link. There is one to suit every taste.


If a lake is your cup of tea, click on any lake link in the narrative. If a river beckons, click this link- Rivers- Hwy. 395 South.


Inyo National Forest straddles Hwy. 395 for most of this stretch. To the north, from about Lee Vining to Mammoth Lakes, the Ansel Adams Wilderness beckons. Immediately south of there sits the John Muir Wilderness, with convenient access at Mammoth Lakes. Yosemite National Park's high country sits at the start as well. Due west of Bishop south to well past Lone Pine backpackers only can access Kings Canyon National Park from several access points, but there is no vehicle access on this, the eastern side, of the park.


We like two guides to 4-wheel drive trails. The best is Backcountry Adventures: Northern California by Massey & Wilson. The other is Guide to Northern California Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails by Charles A. Wells.

As we said before, there's something here for everyone. Bodie Ghost Town. 28 miles rated easy starting near Bridgeport to the famed Ghost Town. Kavanaugh Ridge. 18.7 miles rated moderate into the Hoover Wilderness. Depart north of Lee Vining. Copper Mountain. 12.2 mile loop with views of Mono & Lundy Lakes. Depart north of Lee Vining. Horse Meadows. 8.5 mile loop rated easy into the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Depart south of Lee Vining. Deadman Pass. 2.6 miles rated easy with views of Mammoth Mountain. Depart north of Mammoth Lakes. Inyo Craters. 12.2 miles rated easy in Mammoth Lakes area. Depart north of Mammoth Lakes. Sand Canyon. 9.4 miles one way rated moderate. Views of Rock Creek Canyon. Depart south of Mammoth Lakes. Buttermilk Country. 16.9 miles rated easy. Backcountry near Bishop. Depart south of Bishop. Movie Road/Alabama Hills. 25 miles of mostly paved road where countless TV & movie westerns were filmed.  Mono Lake Trail. 12.5 miles rated moderate departing near Lee Vining. Views of Mono Lake. Mono Craters Trail. 9.1 miles rated moderate. Departs 11 miles north of Mammoth Lakes. Access to Mono Craters. Deer Mountain Trail. 11.3 miles rated moderate. Departs 2 miles north of Mammoth Lakes. Access to Inyo Craters. Laurel Lakes Trail. 8.7 miles rated moderate. Departs near Mammoth Lakes. Ends at Laurel Lakes. Convict Lake Overlook Trail. 4 miles one way rated moderate. Departs 6 miles south of Mammoth Lakes. Views of Convict Lake. Casa Diablo Road. 23.5 miles rated easy. Departs 5 miles north of Toms Place. Access to mine ruins, views of White Mountains and a swimming hole. Coyote Creek Trail. 16.2 miles rated moderate. Departs in Bishop. Mine ruins & access to Rocky Bottom Lake. White Mountain Road. 22 miles 1 way rated easy. Access to Bristlecone Pine Forest. Departs 13 miles north of Big Pine.