Inyo County’s labyrinth of backcountry dirt and partially-paved roads leads to exciting off-highway adventures. You’ll discover natural wonders, hidden places steeped in history, and spectacular vistas. Inyo County’s Sport Utility Vehicle Routes are fun, day-long adventures that showcase famous Eastern Sierra landmarks such as Casa Diablo Road, Sawmill Canyon, and Alabama Hills.
Poleta Open Area
At the base of the White Mountains, 5 miles from the center of Bishop, is an exceptional off-road motorcycling area. Covering 2,500 acres, the Poleta Open Area is part of an extensive network of over 2,200 miles of OHV trails and roads leading though almost one million acres of the Inyo National Forest. Most of this larger network comprises double track native surface road, but here on the eastern side of the Owens Valley about 50 miles consists of single-track and ATV trails interspersed within the system. All vehicles are required to stay on designated roads … except for the Poleta Open Area, which is designated for cross-country and open motorized vehicle travel. Managed jointly by the Bishop area Forest Service and BLM authorities this open area with its excellent network of trails is linked to the bigger network making the opportunities for dirt bike riding seem almost endless.
The area provides for a wide variety of ATV riding including motorcycles, dune buggies, jeeps and SUVs. There are beginner, intermediate and advanced technical single-track trails as well as 4-wheeled driving routes. Excellent maps have been produced by the California Trail Users Coalition and are available free of charge at many of the trailheads and, of course, the Bishop Visitor Center.
Please obey posted signage and make sure that all OHVs have a California green or red sticker or be street legal.
All vehicles must be equipped with a Forest Service approved spark arrester.