Buttermilk Country is an area west of Bishop
, tucked into the Eastern Sierras
. It is basically a large alluvial fan
, but constricted between low hills to make a long slope pointing southeast. The area seems flat from afar, but is punctuated by a few canyons, and many large boulder
s. Near its top, Mt. Humphreys rises
to almost 14,000 feet, but looks less impressive than Mt. Tom
to its north because Mt. Humphreys has its base at 9000 feet. The 'Buttermilks
' are mainly covered in sagebrush
(pershia) with scattered piñon pine
s, and riparian
vegetation along the creeks.
Although often bypassed for such areas as Mammoth and June Lakes, the Buttermilk Country area offers many opportunities for recreation and solitude. The area is accessed by a dirt road called 'buttermilk road' which is accessable for several miles by 2 wheel drive. After a while it becomes more rugged and is only accessable to 4 wheel drive, but many of the rock formations and campsites are before the road gets nasty. The area is famous for excellent bouldering, climbing about on the huge rocks scattered around the area. For info on where the best bouldering is, ask a local in Bishop. There are also many nice places to hike, wander around, or just camp. Several creeks such as Birch Creek and McGee Creek pass through the area. They were dry at one time due to diversions by Los Angeles, but they flow once more.