Winter in the Eastern Sierra

If backcountry skiing is your sport of choice, you’ll find some of the best North American descents in Inyo County, especially in the spring. Plan a multi-day trans-Sierra tour or click in for a full-day of wide open bowls and steep couloirs. Signature Eastern Sierra routes accessible from Bishop include the Wahoo Gullies, Elderberry Canyon, Mt. Tom, Onion Valley, Shepherd Pass, and Mt. Whitney. Snowshoeing is also a fantastic way to explore the Eastern Sierra shrouded in snow. Traverse expansive meadows or hike steeper terrain for incredible valley views.

Have fun, but be safe. Click here for avalanche conditions in the Eastern Sierra.

Skiing and Snowboarding

    • Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Mammoth Lakes
    • June Mountain Ski Area, June Lakes


    • Bishop Creek Recreation Area
    • Aspendell
    • Lake Sabrina

Cross-Country Skiing

    • Bishop Creek Recreation Area, Bishop

Ice Skating

    • Ice skating on frozen lakes and ponds has become popular among Eastern Sierra locals


Snowmobile rentals are available in Bishop. Miles of trails are available in the Inyo National Forest.

    • North Map
    • South Map
    • Dog Sledding – The Mammoth Dog Teams (est. 1934) provides dog sled tours near Mammoth Mountain and at Smokey Bear Flat.  760-934-6270

Rock Climbing/Bouldering

The Owens River Gorge attracts climbers in winter for its mild temperatures and superb climbing conditions. Bouldering occurs in the Buttermilks, Happy Boulders and Alabama Hills


The Owens River south of Bishop to Pleasant Valley Reservoir is open year round to fishing.


Many birds migrate through the Owens Valley in winter. Here are some favorite birding locations and what birds you might see:

    • Billy Lake – sage sparrows, red-tail hawks, golden eagles, turkey vultures
    • Tinemaha Reservoir – tundra swans, bald eagles, waterfowl
    • Fish Springs – mountain bluebirds, sparrows
    • Fish Hatchery – ducks, wrens, rails, sparrows