Inyo National Forest is a hidden jewel nestled in the heart of California's Eastern Sierra region. Boasting diverse landscapes, stunning vistas, and pristine wilderness areas, it offers numerous horse trails that cater to both novice and experienced riders. Whether you're seeking a leisurely ride or a challenging adventure, Inyo National Forest is the perfect destination for horse enthusiasts. Here are some of the best horse trails that this magnificent forest has to offer.
1. McGee Creek Trail:
Located near Mammoth Lakes, McGee Creek Trail is a popular choice among equestrians of all levels. This scenic trail winds through a picturesque canyon, passing by lush meadows, cascading waterfalls, and alpine lakes. The diverse terrain ensures a thrilling journey for riders, and the trail provides access to other notable destinations, such as the John Muir Wilderness and the stunning Mono Creek.
2. Rock Creek Trail:
For those seeking a more relaxed ride, the Rock Creek Trail offers a gentle and serene experience. Situated near Tom's Place, this trail follows along a crystal-clear creek, allowing riders to soak in the natural beauty of the forest. The trail is well-maintained and offers stunning views of towering granite peaks and verdant meadows. With numerous camping facilities along the way, it's an ideal trail for overnight trips with your equine companions.
3. Big Pine Creek Trail:
Located near the town of Big Pine, the Big Pine Creek Trail is a true gem for equestrians. This trail takes you on a mesmerizing journey through rugged canyons, alpine lakes, and ancient forests. With an elevation gain of over 2,000 feet, it offers a moderate to strenuous ride and rewards you with breathtaking panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada. Stop by the Big Pine Fossil Museum to learn more about the area's rich geological history.
4. McGee Canyon Trail:
For experienced riders looking for a challenging adventure, the McGee Canyon Trail is an excellent choice. Beginning near Crowley Lake, this trail leads you deep into the heart of the Eastern Sierra backcountry. With steep climbs, rocky terrain, and breathtaking cliffside views, it's an exhilarating ride for both horse and rider. Be prepared for a full day trip, as the trail stretches for over 16 miles round trip.
5. Pine Creek Pack Station Trails:
Located in the heart of Inyo National Forest, Pine Creek Pack Station offers a variety of guided trail rides that cater to riders of all levels. From short introductory rides to multi-day pack trips, they provide unique opportunities to explore the region on horseback. The knowledgeable staff and well-trained horses ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
Before embarking on any trail ride, make sure to check for weather conditions and trail closures. Safety should always be paramount when exploring wilderness areas. Additionally, obtain any necessary permits or passes required by Inyo National Forest.
Inyo National Forest offers an abundance of horse trails that cater to every rider's experience and preferences. Whether you're seeking solitude amidst the pristine wilderness or embarking on a thrilling adventure with your equine companion, this magnificent forest has something for everyone. So gather your riding gear, saddle up, and experience the beauty of Inyo National Forest on horseback.