Unplug In California's Eastern Sierra

Yes, we're a food-first travel company, so most of the time, our focus is on eating, making connections, and diving deeper into a destination.

But now, more than ever, we've traveled to unplug, be it a road trip, a trip with our inner circle, getting into the outdoors, or all of the above.

In Search Of Soft Adventure

We're always searching for adventures as we travel and are game to try anything from boating to dog sledding. But, the majority of hte time, we opt for what is known as a soft adventure. In other words, activities are as much about unwinding and recharging as they are about adventuring. Think SUP rides, backpacking, horseback riding, yoga, surfing, to name a few.

Get To Know The Eastern Sierra

And one place Californians often travel to escape it all is the Eastern Sierra. There is no hard and fast boundary, but, generally, the Eastern Sierra is the section of California found in Inyo and Mono counties that runs from the tiny town to Lone Pine to the Nevada border. Residents from across the state come here for all the outdoor activities, and the main artery through the region is the CA 395 highway.

Though it's not as known outside of the state as, say, California Highway 1, the 395 holds its own. This stretch of road traverses landscapes ranging from high desert to alpine. Not to mention it's one of the main ways to get to some of the most iconic outdoor landmarks in the state, including Yosemite National Park, by Mount Whitney, and past Death Valley.

Summer Adventures To Unwind In California's Eastern Sierra

The thing that hits you is the enormity of nature there. The second thing? The peace and quiet. And those two elements coming, making it one of our top places to unwind here in California.

Depending on the time of year and your level of adventure, you could get really active and ski Mammoth Mountain, take the Mountaiinering Trail up Whitney, rock climb, or backpack from Yosemite to Sequoia along with the John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails.

But our picks for ways to unwind are activities that are meditative, calming, and allow you to enjoy the great outdoors. Namely:

  • Fly Fishing: The Alpine Lakes in the Eastern Sierra are stocked full of trout, making it one of California's top places to fish. Go from the well-known Hot Creek or to the beloved San Joaquin or West Walker Rivers and get the tip on where to fish with the help of Sierra Drifters.
  • Horseback Riding: All sorts of pack trails leading from the Mammoth Lakes basin allow you to access nearby Lake Mary or head farther afield to Devils Postpile or Red Meadows. We recommend going with Mammoth Lakes Pack Outfit for anything from a day ride to a multiday trip.
  • Hiking: If you want something low-key, there are numerous family-friendly easy hikes, be it a loop around Convict Lake or, for more of a workout, ascending the mountains from Rush Creek near June Lake.
  • Kayaking: During the warmer months, seemingly every other car has a kayak strapped to its roof, and for a good reason -- you can find everything from calm lake jaunts to more aggressive rapids in this part of California. For a unique experience, plan a tour with Caldera Kayaks of Mono Lake.

More Travel Information For California

Okay, watch the video for some inspiration, and if you're heading to the Eastern Sierra soon, share your adventures with us by tagging @saltandwind and #swsociety on social!

Still need more info for traveling in the Golden State? Check out our California FAQs or write us at travel@saltandwind.com for help with travel planning!


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Photo Credit: Don B

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