Lonesome Miner Trail

I had a lot on my plate in early 2022 as I was working, finishing up my graduate studies, and preparing to move out of Bishop. I promised myself I would make it out on at least one trip per month, and for April Matt and I penciled in the Lonesome Miner Trail, a beautiful short but taxing route up and over the Inyos. The LMT has five large climbs of 3-5,000′ all followed by equally massive descents. There is little information available about the trail online, but we found a few gpx tracks and pieced together more infomation as we went along. We were also treated to numerous ghost towns, mining ruins, as well as a few springs.

On a Friday night after work, I drove down 395 to Lone Pine, where I met Matt. We ate dinner while watching the sunset over Mt. Whitney and the southern portion of the Sierra Crest. I slept soundly in the back of my van and set off at first light to climb out of the Owens Valley before the heat of the day. The climb was somewhat familiar, as we had been down a similar route four years prior during our Lowest to Highest hike.

Upon reaching the top of the Inyos we were treated to panoramic views, feasting our eyes on both the Sierra Crest and the mazelike canyons and valleys of Death Valley National Park. We began a pleasant descent down an old mining road. This continued for quite some time, until we quickly reversed course and started climbing steeply out of the canyon towards a high ridge. Perhaps we did not look hard enough, but we did not see any water in the first canyon, so we had no choice but to proceed onwards up the climb in the heat of the day. I was feeling the effects of dehydration, so I was quite happy when we stumbled upon an old cabin midway up the climb which had a few gallons of water cached.

The cabin also contained lots of history on the Inyos and the Lonesome Miner Trail.