Inyo National Forest/White Mountain Ranger District
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Just to the East of Bishop, CA in the Inyo National Forest lie the White Mountains and Silver Canyon Road will take you right to their heart. These mountains, which extend north into Nevada, are the home of desert bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, mule deer and some of the oldest trees on the face of the earth. The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is home to living trees exceeding 4000 years old in two separate groves, the Schulman Grove which has a visitors center open during the summer, and the Patriarch Grove which is home to the world's largest bristlecone pine tree. Both of these groves are easily accessible during the summer from the top of the White Mountains.
The trail portion of Silver Canyon Road begins where the blacktop ends and is easily identifiable. Airing down is not necessary, but will create a more comfortable ride for much of the drive. Follow the main road past several unmarked side trails to the warning signs as you start to enter the canyon.
From Bishop, head north on Highway 6. Silver Canyon Road is exactly four miles from Denny's on Main Street in Bishop. You will see a sign for Laws Railroad Museum. Turn right and continue down Silver Canyon Road past the museum which will be on your right. The trail begins where the pavement turns to dirt.
Me and my wife took this trail. She is not a fan of off roading but this one just might have brought her one step closer. The water crossings were not large but they are still pretty. And the views on the climb up were amazing. I am not sure that 4 low was necessary but it was nice to have. Easily done in our stock wrangler
We took the trail from White Mountain Road to Bishop, the top part is fairly steep with a number of switchbacks, great views and not very difficult if done in low range.
The 6 or so water crossing are fairly shallow, even withe snow melt of the moment the largest being the last one. Fun trail for the changes in plants and geology
This is a beautiful and easy trail that takes you out of Laws (Bishop) and puts you squarely on top of the White Mountains. The trail starts out straight and becomes a windy climb that takes you to the top and intersects with White Mountain Road (a graded dirt road). It is otherworldly up there with pristine wilderness off both sides of the road! I'd recommend exploring up there, both north and south along White Mountain Road and then continuing a loop (south) through the Ancient Bristle Cone Forest that takes you back to Highway 168 which ultimately leads you back (west) to Big Pine and then back (north) to Bishop.
Grant has commanded a 4x4 on just about every terrain imaginable and on three different continents. Growing up in Indiana, he drove 4x4 trucks through mud and snow covered fields. After getting a degree in TV/Radio Production from Ball State University, he joined the U.S. Army Airborne, where they let him drive HMMWVs through the forested backcountry around Fort Bragg and the deserts of Kuwait and Iraq. After the military, he bought his first Jeep while living and working in Italy. It was then that he discovered a true passion for 4x4 exploration.
"I drove all over Northern Italy to find long forgotten forts and bunkers of the Great War. The Alps are full of old WWI trails and tunnels built to defend Italy from invasion."
In California since 2009, Grant has continued exploring and can be found most weekends in Big Bear, the San Jacinto Mountains or the Anza Borrego State Desert. On long weekends, he and his wife like to get out and explore a bit further and will trek up to Northern California or Arizona in search of isolated camp sites and breathtaking vistas.
"I really enjoy leading groups of novice or intermediate Jeepers. I love the challenge and sense of accomplishment when everyone makes it through an obstacle safely. It's a big confidence builder... not only for them, but for me as well."
New to the California Mapping Crew, he's excited to bring new trails to the ever growing list here at TrailsOffroad.com