Owens Valley Geology

The Owens Valley of eastern California is a deep north-south trending basin lying between the Sierra Nevada on the west and the White-Inyo Mountains on the east. The valley’s maximum topographic relief is about 10,800 feet between Mt. Whitney (14,494 ft.) and Lone Pine (~3,700 ft.), a horizontal distance of only about 13 miles. The … Read more

Owens Valley Mammals

Owens Valley mammals include species from several different biogeographic regions–including the Great Basin, Mojave Desert, White-Inyo mountains, and Sierra Nevada mountains–as well as species unique to the groundwater-dependent alkali meadows on the valley floor. The Owens Valley vole (Microtus Californicus vallicola), a nocturnal short-tailed vole, makes its home in groundwater-dependent meadows on the valley floor. … Read more

Owens Valley Flora

By Daniel Pritchett, Conservation Chair of the local Bristlecone Chapter of the California Native Plant Society Skip to: Riparian forest and shrub communities Alkali meadow and shrub communities Upland xerophytic shrub communities Groundwater-dependent vegetation References Vegetation of the Owens Valley has been studied, classified, and described in many ways. Paiutes living in the Valley when the first … Read more

Owens Lake Birds

Historically, Owens Lake was one of the most important stopover sites for migrating waterfowl and shorebirds in the western United States for thousands of years. Joseph Grinnell, visiting the lake in 1917 from the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology in Berkeley, reported, “ Great numbers of water birds are in sight along the lake shore–avocets, phalaropes, … Read more