Silver Canyon Road

Inyo National Forest, California

Distance11.0mi
Elevation Gain6,949ft
Trailhead Elevation4,167ft
Top10,758ft
Elevation Min/Max4167/10758ft
Elevation Start/End4167/4167ft

Silver Canyon Road

Silver Canyon Road is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Inyo County, California. It is within Inyo National Forest. It is 11.0 miles long and begins at 4,167 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 22.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 6,949 feet. Along the trail there is a tower.

Silver Canyon Road Professional Reviews and Guides

"The extremely steep trail winds down Silver Canyon and makes for an exciting drive. It leaves High Sierra #43: White Mountain Road, 3 miles north of the Schulman Grove Visitor Center. The narrow trail is roughly graded as it descends into Silver Canyon. There are excellent views all the way, initially toward the Sierra Nevada and Bishop (6,000 feet below in the Owens Valley), and then into the rugged Silver Canyon. The trail surface is slightly uneven and loose, but it should not cause any problems for most vehicles. Passing places are limited along the shelf road, so you will need to be prepared to back up for oncoming vehicles. Once down in the canyon, the trail crosses Silver Creek many times. The creek flows most of the year, and under normal conditions the crossings are fairly shallow. Special Attractions: Steep twisty trail that winds down Silver Canyon; Can be used as an alternate route to or from High Sierra #43: White Mountain Road; Wildlife viewing—bighorn sheep. High-clearance 4WDs are preferred, but any high-clearance vehicle is acceptable. Expect a rough road surface; mud and sand are possible but will be easily passable. You may encounter rocks up to 6 inches in diameter, a loose road surface, and shelf roads, though these will be wide enough for passing or will have adequate pull-offs."

"Interesting west/east traverse of the White Mountains through the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest featuring 4,500-year-old trees. Mostly smooth gravel but very steep in places with several water crossings. Low-range gearing is advised. Summer only."

"Silver Canyon, known for one of the mountain biking's most insane rides, was the route of the Plumline Outback Ultimate Kamikaze Race held during the 1980's. During the race, unusual safety precautions were taken with full communication and rescue teams in place. In the late 1980's the Kamikaze was moved to Mammoth Mountain. Laws Railroad Museum, at the foot of Silver Canyon, features the history of Owens Valley, with emphasis on the railroad. Be sure to schedule time to visit it. There are restrooms and water at Laws Railroad Museum. For out-and-back trips, carry snacks, first aid, and at least two quarts of water; there is none on your route."

"Silver Canyon, known for one of mountain biking's most insane rides, was the route of the Plumline Outback Ultimate Kamikaze Race held during the 1980s. During the race, unusual safety precautions were taken with full communication and rescue teams in place. In the late 1980s the Kamikaze was moved to Mammoth Mountain. Laws Railroad Museum features the history of Owens Valley, with emphasis on the railroad. Be sure to schedule time to visit it."

Silver Canyon Road Reviews

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10/20/2015
Note: My boyfriend and I did the ascent on Silver Canyon opposed to the descent. Amazing climb, amazing views. Be attentive for descending vehicles. Several creek crossings before you start the ascent. Highly recommended.
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6/19/2007
For thrills, this is a five star. We started from the top and we felt like we were driving over a cliff at the very beginning. It is STEEP. We had to go into 4 Lo, first gear and brake nearly the entire first three or four miles. It was a thrill though and the scenery is SPECTACULAR. I have to admit I was white-knuckled most of the way down. Having only a few months experience with this, I would have been more comfortable taking this drive uphill. The canyons are beautiful as is the 10,000 foot descent (We started at White Mountain (14,250 ft.) and ended in the valley floor at 4,140. The press here says this is the deepest valley in either the Western Hemisphere - beautiful with 10,000 foot walls of mountains all around.
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Trail Information

Inyo National Forest
Nearby City
Inyo National Forest
Parks
Inyo National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS Blanco Mtn., Laws
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Aug 2018