Friday mystery photo

Blue Lake in the Sabrina Basin.

Jeffrey Pang, Wikimedia Commons

This photo photo was taken in Inyo National Forest, California.

Inyo National Forest covers parts of the eastern Sierra Nevada of California, and the White Mountains of California and Nevada. The forest hosts includes 

  • Mount Whitney, the highest point in the Contiguous United States
  • Boundary Peak, the highest point in Nevada
  • The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest that protects the oldest trees in the world

The forest covers 1,903,381 acres and includes nine designated wilderness areas which protect over 800,000 acres. Most of the forest is in California, but it includes about 60,700 acres in western Nevada. It stretches from the eastern side of Yosemite to south of Sequoia National Park. Geographically it is split in two, one on each side of the Long Valley Caldera and Owens Valley.

Rainbow Falls, Inyo National Forest, Photo: Brian Tobin, Flickr

The Inyo National Forest contains the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, which protects specimens of Great Basin Bristlecone Pines (Pinus longaeva). One of these Bristlecone Pines is "Methuselah," the oldest known non-clonal living tree on earth, over 4,839 years old.

"Methuselah," the oldest known non-clonal living tree on earth. Photo: Yen Chao, Flickr

The John Muir Wilderness is a part of the Inyo National Forest and abuts Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park along the crest of the Sierra. The northern part of the Inyo National Forest is preserved as a part of the Ansel Adams Wilderness area, which borders Yosemite National Park. Together, the wilderness areas and parks form one contiguous area of protected wilderness of more than 1.5 million acres.

The Inyo National Forest was named after Inyo County, California, in which much of the forest resides. The name "Inyo" comes from a Native American word meaning "dwelling place of the great spirit." 

The forest spans parts of Inyo, Mono, Tulare, Fresno and Madera counties in California, and Esmeralda and Mineral counties in Nevada.