We picked up a magazine, Mammoth Sierra, at the visitors center, and I read an article about a scenic drive that passed through an area called Red Rock Canyon. Turns out it was about 25 miles away, and Jim always likes to get off road, so we went for a ride.
Since we came from the west we took Benton Crossing Rd and turned east onto Chidago Canyon Rd, but you can also get there from Bishop by taking Hwy 6 north and heading west on Chidago Canyon. We found some great dispersed campsites along our trip with incredible views of the Sierra Nevada and White Mountains.
Chidago Canyon Rd descends a couple thousand feet into the canyon, then seemingly out of nowhere there are red rocks lining the road, which becomes a very narrow single lane as you snake through them. We got out and walked along the road and also climbed up above the rocks. They’re very porous and have eroded in strange and fascinating ways.
Lots of arches, holes, little cavities and weird shapes. It felt like we were back in Utah.
When we climbed up above them we went to the top of a hill where we could see the White Mts and green fields in Hammil Valley.
At around 5,000 feet, this is high desert and it was getting pretty warm.
We spotted a couple nests.
And lots of these. They blend in well with the rocks.
There are petroglyphs on some of the rocks but we didn’t find them. Apparently there is a large area of protected ones off Fish Slough Rd, had we continued on and turned south.
Back on the pavement coming down from Watterson Summit, we spotted this cyclist. Needless to say, we were impressed!