|GPS||N 37 7.37′ W118 4.60|
|Season||Best from April to November.|
|Terrain||Rocky terrain with off camber sections|
|Required Vehicle||4WD high clearance vehicle|
|Length||18.4 miles from Independence (16.3 miles unpaved)|
Site Location and Description: The Eastern trailhead is located 10.8 miles from the northern end of Saline Valley Road in the Eastern Sierras. The western trailhead is located off the Mazourka Peak Trail. This is an excellent, moderately difficult trail in the Eastern Sierra’s backcountry of the Inyo National Forest. The section from Badger Flats to Papoose is the most challenging and very scenic.
A rough and off camber trail traverses loose, ledgy and rutted terrain. A stock vehicle with high clearance 4×4 should be fine. Note: High clearance is needed for portions of this trail. There are several backcountry camp spots tucked into the trees.
Papoose Flats itself is a flat, treeless granite boulder strewn high desert area, with some excellent primitive camping opportunities.
Note: We do not recommend using an off-road trailer on this trail unless you are an experienced 4×4 driver.
History of Papoose Flats: The Paiute Indians spent the summer and fall in the Inyo Mountains around Papoose and Badger flats gathering pinyon nuts and killing game for winter.