California Highway 395

Friday, October 21, 2011

California’s highway 395 started as an American Indian trading route traveling between southern California along the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains and following the California/Nevada border to southern Oregon. Craggy peaks rise straight up from the desert, and the foothills are mainly strange and beautiful rock formations. There are lovely, small secluded lakes and large salt-filled lakes along the way, and Highway 395 is the gateway to Death Valley National Park, the lowest point in the US and Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the lower 48 states.

The section between Lone Pine, California and Carson City, Nevada takes the traveler through some of the most beautiful scenery in the United States. There are hot springs, ghost towns, verdant valleys with trout streams, desert wildflowers and the austere beauty of the desert. With discount car , California Highway 395 is a spectacular road trip.

In Lone Pine visitors get a close-up look at Mt. Whitney a 14,494 foot jagged peak surrounded by gigantic rounded granite boulders. The Alabama Hills near Lone Pine have strange, convoluted rock formations which were the background for many early western movies with Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry, Gabby Hayes and Gary Cooper.

Bishop is famous for its sheep herder’s bread and buffalo jerky. East of Bishop is the White Mountains where at 10,000 feet live the oldest living trees in the world. Great Basin bristlecone pines are 1,400 years older than the oldest giant sequoia. Definitely worth taking the short side trip.

Mammoth Lakes, California is a popular tourist destination, but the ride on the gondola to the top of the ski slopes to see the spectacular view is worth it. There is also a shuttle to Devils Postpile National Monument which is a 60 foot wall of basalt columns.

Just south of Lee Vining is June Lake with a 15 mile drive that winds through a glacial canyon near four beautiful mountain lakes teaming with trout in a pine and aspen forest. Just the opposite experience is Mono Lake which is also near this part of Highway 395. It is a salt water lake that is denser than sea water for a buoyant swim. One of the oldest lakes in North America, it is over one million years old and takes on beautiful colors during sunrise and sunset.

Hot Creek Geologic site is a few miles east of 395. It is a wonderland of boiling rivers and steaming rocks and looks like a prehistoric landscape.

California Highway 395 continues north through the ghost town of Bodie State Historic Park. It enters Nevada and travels east of Lake Tahoe to Carson City, Nevada. Car insurance California will give travelers the peace of mind to enjoy this fantastic road trip.

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