California's Eastern Sierra: A Visitor's Guide

California's Eastern Sierra: A Visitor's Guide


California's Eastern Sierra: A Visitor's Guide explores and celebrates a unique western landscape. A rugged country of enchanting beauty, the Eastern Sierra lies at the junction of the Sierra Nevada, Great Basin and Mojave Desert. The heart of this vast region is the magnificent eastern slope of the Sierra, extending from the 14,000-foot ramparts of Mount Whitney to the glacier-scoured peaks west of Mono Basin. No area of North America encompasses more dramatic mountain and desert scenery, and the guidebook is the ideal companion for discovering its diverse natural history and fascinating human past.

Though less famous than neighboring Yosemite and Death Valley, the Eastern Sierra has always enjoyed a reputation as one of California's premier settings for outdoor recreation and nature study. For decades, the region has been a mecca for backpackers, anglers, mountaineers, skiers, desert buffs, and naturalists. Today, there is a growing appreciation of its special qualities: wide open spaces, few crowds, and an incomparable mountain-to-desert environment that has changed little from a century ago, when John Muir called it "a country of wonderful contrasts."

Combining well-researched texts, stunning color photography, and detailed maps, California's Eastern Sierra describes more than 100 outstanding scenic and historic destinations. A number of these sites are famous landmarks and natural attractions, such as Mount Whitney, the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Mammoth Lakes, Devils Postpile National Monument, Bodie State Historic Park, Tioga Pass, and Mono Lake. California's Eastern Sierra also includes many intriguing and less-visited destinations, including the boulder labyrinths of the Alabama Hills, the Inyo Mountain ghost town of Cerro Gordo, the high-desert oasis of Fish Slough, the 700-foot-deep chasm of Owens River Gorge, the sky-blue springs of Hot Creek, the waterfalls of Lundy Canyon, obsidian flows in Panum Crater, and subalpine meadows above Saddlebag Lake.

California's Eastern Sierra presents, for the first time in one volume, an overview of the geology, plants, wildlife, and climate of this remarkable area. In addition to featuring natural history, the text recounts the Eastern Sierra's human history, chronicling its Paiute-Shoshone heritage, gold-mining heyday, pioneer ranching period, and Owens Valley water wars. Color photographs from the West's most talented landscape photographers grace nearly every page, representing the finest collection of color images ever assembled on the Eastern Sierra. Whether you are a first-time visitor or have long been a fan of the region, California's Eastern Sierra will help you explore and appreciate this powerful landscape.

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