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Eastern escarpment of the Sierra Nevada from the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine

Don Bain's 360° Panoramas of

East of the Sierra Nevada

Mono and Inyo Counties, California

The most wonderful book about any part of California is "The Land of Little Rain" written in 1903 by Mary Austin. She lived in Independence and her book describes Owens Valley and the ranges that flank it. It is not a geography or travel book, but a collection of essays about the people and the landscapes.

By a strange quirk of history "this long brown land" is perhaps better preserved than any other sizeable chunk of California. Early in the 20th century the City of Los Angeles bought almost all the private land on the floor of the valley in order to secure the water rights - so they could build the Los Angeles Aqueduct. The federal government already owned the lower slopes (now administered by the BLM) and the mountains (Inyo National Forest). The result was a permanent halt to development of all kinds, so the towns have remained small and the desert is still dry and uncultivated.

The early days of the Los Angeles aqueduct project were ruthless and single-minded. But now decades of legal action have forced many concessions - Mono Lake must be maintained at a reasonable level, flow has been restored to the entire length of the Owens River, water has been allocated for wildlife, and dust-abatement is on-going at vast Owens Dry Lake.

To their credit LADWP (Los Angeles Department of Water and Power) have always managed their lands similarly to the federal agencies whose lands border theirs - free public access for recreation. Plus, if it were not for the water-export mandate, Owens Valley would now be covered with condos and golf courses, like Palm Springs, and I for one prefer it the way it is.

Choose one of the localities from the Table of Contents below to see thumbnail images of the panoramas.
Table of Contents
Bridgeport and Bodie
Bridgeport and Big Meadows
Twin Lakes
Bodie Ghost Town - Part One
Bodie Ghost Town - Part Two
Bodie Ghost Town - Part Three
Mono Lake Basin
Lundy Canyon and Lundy Lake
North and West of Mono Lake
The East Side of Tioga Pass
Lee Vining Canyon
Lee Vining
West and South of Mono Lake
South Tufa State Reserve at Mono Lake
The Mono Craters
June Lakes Loop on Rush Creek
Mono Lake to Mammoth
Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort
Mammoth Lakes
Long Valley and Lake Crowley
Convict Lake and McGee Creek
The Little Lakes Valley on Rock Creek
Northern Owens Valley
Owens River Gorge
Pine Creek and Rovanna
Round Valley
The Volcanic Tableland
Chalfant Valley
Laws Railroad Museum
Bishop Creek
Big Pine
The Glacier Lodge Road
Big Pine-Death Valley Road
Taboose Pass and Aberdeen
Headgates of the Los Angeles Aqueduct
The White Mountains
The Patriarch Grove of Bristlecone Pines
Patriarch Grove Lower
White Mountain Road North
White Mountain Road South
Westgard Pass Road
Independence and Manzanar
Fort Independence
Independence Creek
Manzanar - Buildings
Manzanar - Interiors
Manzanar - Gardens
Manzanar - Cemetery
Manzanar - Reservoir
Lone Pine and the Alabama Hills
Movie Flat in the Alabama Hills
Whitney Portal Road and Lone Pine Creek
Tuttle Creek and Lubken Creek
Lone Pine
Diaz Lake
Horsehoe Meadow Road
Horseshoe Meadow
Cottonwood Creek in Owens Valley
Owens Lake
North of Owens Lake
The West Side of Owens Lake
Owens Lake Trails
The East Side of Owens Lake
The Inyo Mountains
The Northern Inyo Range
The Road from Keeler to Cerro Gordo
The Semi-Ghost town of Cerro Gordo
The Cerro Gordo Mine
Southern Sierra East Side
Red Cone and Fossil Falls
Freeman Junction
Nine Mile Canyon

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