Inyo County
Land of the 20-Mile Shadows
Pioneers of Eastern California

MUSEUMS & VISITOR CENTERS

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

Schulman Grove Visitor Center

This forest of 28,000 acres protects Bristlecone Pines, including 4,700 year-old Methuselah, the oldest known continuously growing organism in the world. Others, at approximately 4,000 years of age, are at least 1,000 years older than the oldest Sierra Redwoods. Two self-guiding trails, interpretive talks, and displays are at the Visitor Center. The gift shop sells books and maps. Telephones, gas or water are not available in the area. Dress warm - the weather can be cold, even in summer, at 10,000 feet elevation. Hours: Open daily June 15 - Labor Day; Open weekends Memorial Day -Columbus Day; (760) 873-2500. Located 23 miles east of Big Pine off Highway 168 on White Mountain Road.


Opened in the summer of 2006, the museum is the result of many years' work and enthusiasm to preserve the memorabilia and memories of films made in Owens Valley, especially in the Alabama Hills - Gunga Din, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry movies, Tremors, Gladiator, and on and on. Original posters, scripts, props and costuming have been donated by celebrities, the film industry and private collectors. And don't miss the website for the Lone Pine Film Festival that lists almost everything ever filmed in the area. This year the festival will be held on October 5 - 7, 2007 , Celebrating the Legend of the Singing Cowboy Honoring Gene Autry's Centennial. For more information, call (760) 876-9103. Parade, barbeque, celebrities, movies, memorabilia sales, etcetera.



Bishop Museum and Historical Society

The Society operates Laws Railroad Museum and Historical Site (see description below). It is also an archives/manuscript repository. The Society publishes a quarterly news bulletin for its over-600 members. Hours: 10-4, daily; P.O. Box 363, Bishop, CA93514; (760) 873-5950.



Death Valley National Park

Furnace Creek Visitor Center

Furnace Creek Visitor Center has exhibits on the history and natural history of the area. Rangers are readily available to advise on hiking, best places to visit in a limited amount of time, etc. The gift shop is especially well-stocked with books, posters, and topographic maps. Hours: 8 - 5 daily; open all year. Admission: $10 per private vehicle; $5 per person arriving by other means; free to holders of Golden Age or Golden Access passports. Send inquiries to P.O. Box 579, Death Valley, CA 92328; (760) 786-2331. Located on Highway 190 in Death Valley.

Scotty's Castle

Scotty's Castle was the beautiful Spanish-Moorish vacation home of Chicagoans Albert and Bessie Johnston. Built in the 1920s, it was the site where Walter Scott - Scotty - delighted travelers with his tales of goldmining adventures. Beautiful furnishings and art. A definite surprise to find such a treasure in the midst of a desert canyon. Hours: 9 - 5; guided tours on the hour; open all year; allow a minimum of one hour; (760) 786-2392. Admission: $8; over 62 and ages 6 - 11, $4.


Impressive exhibits on area history, anthropology, botany, and geology. Displays of antique farm and mining equipment, Paiute-Shoshone basketry. Also has an exhibit on the Manzanar Relocation Camp used for interning Japanese-Americans during World War II. (See below for a description of the Manzanar site.) Little Pine Village has restored and re-created buildings from the 1880s. Hours: 10-4, Wed - Mon; closed Tuesday and major holidays. Three blocks west of the Courthouse. PO Box 206, 155 N. Grant Street, Independence, CA 93526; (760) 878-0364 or (760) 878-0258



Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center

Mount Whitney information

City, county, state and federal agencies are represented by this center. Includes displays, a rock & mineral collection, and a native plant garden. Also houses one of the finest bookstores in the area with maps, brochures, posters, and videotapes. Outdoor displays in front of the building point out major peaks in the Sierra, including Mount Whitney. Picnic tables. Hours: 8 - 4:30 daily; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Years Day. Located 1 mile south of Lone Pine. Junction of U.S. 395 and Highway 136; (760) 876-6222



Family History Center in Inyo

725 Keough Street, Bishop; (760) 873-4881;
Open Tuesday 9 AM - 2 PM and 6 PM to 9 PM.



Laws Railroad Museum and Historical Site

Laws Railroad Depot (1883) and 12 other buildings, including an oldtime doctor's office, an agent's house, an 1870 print shop, and a carriage house. Also has Locomotive No. 9 with a string of cars, a working model railroad, a camera collection, agricultural equipment, and other Owens Valley artifacts. Hours: 10 - 4, daily - weather permitting; closed January 1, Thanksgiving and December 25. Guided tours - call for appointment. Location: 4.5 miles north of Bishop on US 6 to Silver Canyon Road, turn right. P.O. Box 363, Bishop, CA 93514; (760) 873-5950.

(Also see the 'Railroad' page on this website)


Pic: Train

MPEG4 MOVIE

Laws Railroad Museum


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Manzanar National Historic Site

Thousands of people of Japanese ancestry were interned here during World War II. Few traces of the camp remain - a few buildings' foundations or walls and some rock gardens. A stone guardhoues with a pagoda-style roof marks the entrance to Manzanar; 2 miles away is the cemetery, marked by a white obelisk monument. Located on the west side of U. S. 395, approximately 6 miles south of Independence. Open Daily.



Maturango Museum

Exhibits on the history and natural history of the upper Mojave Desert. Emphasizes the extensive petroglyph art of the region. Takes guided trips to petroglyph sites - sign up several months in advance - these are popular trips. The museum also has a changing art gallery and a children's section with hands-on displays. Gift shop with books, maps, children's toys and educational items. Hours: 10 - 5, Wed - Sun; closed holidays. Admission $2; over 54, military with ID and ages 6 - 18, $1. (760)375-6900. East Las Flores Avenue and China Lake Blvd, Ridgecrest, CA. (This one is just south of the Inyo County line, but is well worth visiting.)



Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Indian Cultural Center

Completed in 1979 on the Bishop Paiute Reservation, the center houses exhibits on the history of the original occupants of this land, their basketry, clothing, food, tools, and shelter. Also has a gift shop. Hours: 9 - 5., Monday - Friday; 10 - 4, Saturday & Sunday; closed January 1st, Easter, Thanksgiving, and December 25. One mile west of Highway 395 on West Line Street (aka Highway 168). 2300 West Line Street , Bishop, CA 93514; (760) 873-4478.


Pic: Mountain Road

Shoshone Museum

Highway 127, Shoshone, CA; Phone 760-852-4524 or 852-4414; fax 760-852-4414; email earthart@pahrump.com


On Highway 395 at Bishop, CA. Bookstore, maps and information on the Inyo National Forest (including the White Mountain and Inyo Range) and the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Range (from Big Pine in the south to Crowley Lake to the north)

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©1998-2008 Susan Guhm, All Rights Reserved