March 15-16, 2017
Independence Creek campground provided a convenient overnight less than 10 miles from Manzanar National Historic Site with magnificent Eastern Sierra views and nice trails.
Located only minutes from the town of Independence, California off SR395 gave me a good signal, picnic table, BBQ pit, and a toilet I didn’t use (I rather enjoy having my own). Might have been two other rigs out of about 24 sites. However I think this Inyo County managed campground is a little excessive at $14/night for a gravel semi-level site.
I saw a co-op in town and was excited but only open Friday afternoons, which it wasn’t. Shopping is limited to over priced gas station mini-marts. Hard to believe this tiny burg is the county seat. Didn’t take long to drive through. Has charm.
A short walk on well groomed trail brought me past meteros used for grinding by the Paiute and Shoshone native people of the past. I can certainly understand why they’d choose this high desert valley to live where they could hunt bighorn sheep in the high country and mule deer down low. Plus the jackrabbits are the size of a bull terrier with bigger ears.
Owens Valley stretches 100 miles long by 6-20 miles wide. At about 4,000 feet above sea level and flanked by the Sierra Nevada to the west and the White and Inyo Mountains to the east, with peaks on both sides rising above 14,000 feet, it is one of the deepest valleys in the United States.