The Volcanic Tablelands above Bishop, California were formed during the volcanic eruption from the Long Valley Caldera 770,000 years ago that also formed Lake Crowley 35 miles to the north. Ash was blown east as far as Nebraska, but boulders, rocks and ash were blown south between the White Mountains and the Eastern Sierras forming what looks from the distance as flat tables.
I had originally found out about the Tablelands from the Federal Bureau of Land Management office (BLM). The BLM and the City of Los Angeles control most of the land in the Owens River Valley. As long as the land is not marked as owned by Los Angeles, you can dry camp there for free.
Ash and debris from the Long Valley Caldera backfilled the area rising 500 feet above the rest of the valley and making a distinct line.
You can see how my car is dwarfed by the rock that stopped here. It’s pretty lonely up here on top, not many people happen by – which is why I decided to NOT camp here.
The valley immediately below the Tablelands belongs to the city of Los Angeles which owns the water rights of the whole Owens Valley (more later on this) and has several forks of the Bishop Creek flowing through it. Fisherman, dog walkers (and dog car walkers – drive the car and let the dog run alongside), birders, bicyclists, hikers, and crazy dust-making circle-spinners and me like this area. Since there are so many photos I’d like to show you, I’ve also made use of my photography site. This link will work to take you to a better view of photos of the area.
The Great Horned Owl below is a juvenile, his parents were nearby. Last night, I almost got close to one of the parents, but they flew away just as I was close enough for a picture!