Legend has it that Teddy Roosevelt, often considered the “conservationist president”, found this place on one of his many hunting trips through the West. Located on the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway, it is aptly nicknamed the “Secret Yosemite”. The geologic formation looks as if a giant placed this tremendous boulder on a tee for a game of golf and then forgot about it eons ago. Be sure to check the road conditions prior to visiting since parts of the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway close due to snow.
Between Mono Lake and the head of Owens Valley, the icy waters of Mammoth Creek descend into the Long Valley caldera. Similar to the Yellowstone National Park phenomenon, you’ll see sky-blue bubbling pools that seem unreal. And if you’re lucky, you may even see a geyser erupt from one of the many cauldrons within the Hot Creek Geological area. Be forewarned… these pools are not for swimming.
There’s something otherworldly about caves. Maybe because they’re hundreds of feet below the surface or rather the unique types of things you’ll see. Things like stalactites, stalagmites and flowstones that you would never see above ground. Mercer Caverns, just down the road a bit from Murphys, is a MUST for anyone in the High Sierra. It’s home to a rare cavern formation called “flor ferri” and other indescribable types that you must see in person. Being the longest continually running commercial cave in the state of California, they have guest books signed by a hundred and twenty years of visitors!
Of course, you should visit the main attractions, but be sure to include a few of the lesser known attractions in the High Sierra too. So, on your next trip, discover a different High Sierra that most would miss out on.