It’s extremely different. The portal to both Death Valley and Mount Whitney.
Upon approach to Lone Pine, named for a towering pine that stood over the town in the 1800s, views of Mt. Whitney’s 14,496-foot summit steal the show. Beyond Lone Pine’s city center is the Whitney Portal Trail that leads to the summit of Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the continental U.S. For more info, visit Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce.
Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce
120 South Main Street
P.O. Box 749
Lone Pine, California 93545
Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitors Center
Mt. Whitney Ranger Station
Inyo National Forest
Lone Pine is the landscape, and the landscape is Lone Pine. The people in this small town have shaped the landscape and in return the land has shaped their lives and history. The visitor has the opportunity to experience this distinct landscape as history, nature, habitat, recreation and beauty, depending on why they have come.By reading Lone Pine landscape, tourists can learn much, have fun and find their stay greatly enriched. The mountains to the west and to the east of Lone Pine are most prominent.Mt. Whitney, is the tallest peak at 14,496 feet, is the tallest peak in the lower 48 states. It has always been a bit of a mystery, originally climbed by three local men and named Fisherman’s Peak after being mistakenly identified by early explorers.
The Whitney Portal Road, a turn west at Lone Pine’s only stop light, will take you up to 8300 feet to the Portal where there is a store and restaurant, a pond and a magnificent waterfall tumbling out of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
To the east of Lone Pine are the Inyo Mountains, almost as tall, but quite different in look. Cerro Gordo, the larg – est silver bullion mining area in California, can be reached by a mountain road that begins just east of the town of Keeler. Call ahead to Mike Patterson, the owner at 760-264-3273. The wealth of Cerro Gordo is credited with kick-starting the city of Los Angeles.
Lone Pine is the site of four cemeteries. The Pioneer Cemetery on Inyo Street has many of the early citizens including the grave of Charles Begole, the founder of Lone Pine. The Earthquake Cemetery is located just north of town on the west side and contains the graves of the victims of the 1872 earthquake. A third cemetery lies hidden in the desert on Narrow Gauge Road just south of the “big turn.”
Finally there is the Mt. Whitney Cemetery across from the Earthquake memorial, still in use today. Mining history is visible in the Narrow Gauge bed that ran from Nevada down to Keeler. Traveling out Narrow Gauge Road just to the north of town, takes you past the Southern Pacific Depot to Owenyo Road. Traveling north on this road will take you to the ruins of Owenyo, a town abandoned when the railroad was shut down. The old depot building can still be seen in Keeler. The Southern Inyo Museum, open seasonally, has much on display from the Darwin mining era. It is located on Bush Street.