Trailhead 2
Trailhead 2
GPS  N 37.365  W-118.5227
Elevation  5,500-9,172 ft.
Season  Best: May-Oct. Hot in summer
Terrain  Dirt, smooth to gravel, narrow to rocky two-tracks
Difficulty  Easy/More challenging side trips on marked forest roads
Required Vehicle Stock  4×4 with high clearance.
Time  Three to four hours for the loop
Length approximately 18 miles

Directions to Buttermilk Country Loop Trail:  From Highway 395 in Bishop, head west on Hwy 168 (West Line Street).  After 7.3 miles, turn right on Buttermilk Road 07S01.

Looking nw into wilderness area
Site Location and Description: The Buttermilk Country Loop trail is situated below the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains.  The trail is composed of a loop with several legal side roads to explore both on foot and in your 4WD vehicle. There are also a variety of primitive campsites on the marked national forest side roads.

buttermilk country loop

Shaded camp spot before burn area buttermilk country loop trail
Shaded camp spot

buttermilk country loop

Buttermilk Country Loop trail crosses into the famous John Muir Wilderness area that extends along the crest of the Sierra Nevada of California for 90 miles, in the Inyo and Sierra National Forests. The loop is 16 miles long and runs through terrain which varies from desert boulder strewn geography to pine forest glades. Along the first four miles, you may encounter other vehicles as this is a popular bouldering destination.  There are a couple of stream crossings that are mellow in the summer, but have the potential of being considerably deeper during rains or with spring run-off. The side roads should be explored as they are picturesque and some provide stunning views down into the valley.  A TAP recommended trail.

buttermilk country loop trail McGee Creek crossing
McGee Creek crossing

Road Conditions:  Inyo National Forest, White Mountains R.D.: Call-  760-873-2500

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New York born to SoCal via Puerto Rico and San Francisco, partner in crime and co-founder of The Adventure Portal, Lori has over 15 years experience in partaking of adventures in the American southwest, primitive camping, hiking and exploring in her Rubi. She welcomes new challenges and is always pushing the envelope of adventure in her Jeep.