The Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) trees are the oldest living trees in the world, up to 4000 years old. A visit to both Schulman Grove and Patriarch Grove is possible in the same day if you can get an early start.The Bristlecones are just a short distance as a crow flies from Dutch Pete's, but about a two hour drive from the house, through Bishop south to Highway 168. Be sure to pack sun protection, water, food, jacket and camera!
Dutch Pete's has about 10 framed Ansel Adams photographs, most of which are Modern Replicas. These high-end digital photographs, exclusively available through The Ansel Adams Gallery, can be ordered in various sizes, are printed on demand, and retain amazing clarity and drama as a large scale archival print. The prices of the Modern Replicas are a fraction of the cost of Adams' limited original fine prints. If interested in ordering a Modern Replica, or learning about Ansel Adams, please visit our website, www.anseladams.com.
The night skies at Dutch Pete's are perfect for stargazing, with zero light pollution. The Andromeda Galaxy is visible with the perfect conditions, such as a new moon with your naked eyes, ideal in early autumn. Enjoy the observatory platform to the west of the house, with a concrete pad and electrical outlets. Don't forget to bring your own telescope!
Benton Hot Springs
Relax in one of Benton's natural hot springs. These age old springs have been a destination for years and only 3 miles from Dutch Pete's. Call ahead to the Inn at Benton Hot Springs to make a reservation for a hot spring, or additional lodging if travelling with friends. Tel.760/933-2287. Reservations only.
The historic ghost town of Berlin is also home to the most abundant concentration, and largest known remains, of Ichthyosaurs, an ancient marine reptile that swam in a warm ocean that covered central Nevada 225 million years ago. The fossils are protected and displayed at the park’s Fossil House. It about a two hour rural highway drive (120 miles)through Gabbs, Nevada from Dutch Pete's. So, pack what you need and make sure you have plenty of gas!
Road biking is fabulous in this region of Mono County, start at Dutch Pete's! There are about 5 miles of roller coaster dips on Highway 120 just north of Dutch Pete's. Check out information about the Fall Century bike ride--100 miles paved loop from Mammoth, Mono Lake, Adobe Valley, turn back on Benton Crossing Road. There are many dirt roads on public lands for mountain biking exploration. And....Mammoth Mountain Ski Area turns into a mountain bike park in the summer season. Endless possibilities in this remote region of eastern California.
Enjoy an afternoon of exploration and nature at Black Lake Preserve, owned by the Eastern Sierra Land Trust. This property was originally part of Dutch Pete's Ranch, and is preserved as a conservation easement now, and a wonderful place to watch birds. You can walk from the house through the meadows to Black Lake. Please be mindful to keep any fencing and gates shut, as the cattle need to be kept outside of the Preserve. Don't forget your hat, water and binoculars!
The ghost town of Bodie is now a State Park, located north of the Mono Lake Basin, in the hills 13 miles east off Highway 395. This is a solid 1.5 hour drive from Dutch Pete's. It was left is a state of "arrested decay." In 1859 William (a.k.a. Waterman) S. Bodey discovered gold; by 1861 a mill was established, a town started with about 20 miners and grew to 10,000 people by 1880! By then, the town of Bodie bustled with families, robbers, miners, store owners, gunfighters, prostitutes, and people from every country in the world. Be sure to pack your picnic, plenty of water and sun protection, and your camera!
World class climbing and bouldering available within an hour of Dutch Pete's. Check out: www.57hours.com/review/sierra-nevada-rock-climbing. The Sierra Nevada is vast and part of the greater American Cordillera, a range of mountains that form a near-continuous spine from to northern reaches of North America down to Antarctica. From elevations as low as below sea level in Death Valley (technically not part of the Sierra) up to 14,505ft at the summit of Mt. Whitney — the tallest mountain in the contiguous US — this range sees a lot of terrain change. The Sierra Nevada consists of five main areas for climbing: the Southern Sierra, the High Sierra, the Eastern Sierra, Tuolumne Meadows, and Lake Tahoe.
About a 3.5 hour drive one way from Dutch Pete's, whether taking the eastern route (HWY6-HWY95) or southern route (HWY6-HWY395). A very long day, or plan to add on to your stay at Dutch Pete's. Death Valley National Park is all about extremes. Famous for the highest temperature ever recorded anywhere in the world (a sizzling 134 degrees in July 1936) and as the driest spot in North America, from autumn into spring Death Valley is inviting to explore. Come see such landmarks as Badwater Basin—at 282 feet below sea level, it’s the lowest point in North America. Zabriski Point, Eureka Sand Dunes, the oasis of Furnace Creek, and much more.Proceed with caution. Pack water, food, gas, know weather report to avoid extreme heat and flash flooding.
The Upper Owens River waters are teeming with large rainbow and brown trout that are very well fed, thanks to the River’s thriving aquatic insect population. The closest portion of the Owens river is about 30 minutes drive west of Dutch Pete's. Inquire with owner about private fishing guide service. There are many alpine lakes & streams as well. A California Sport Fishing license is required of anyone 16 years of age or over, fishing any waters in Mono County (Note: A California or Nevada Fishing License works on Topaz Lake). Purchase your license online now from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife or by calling CA DFW Telephone Sales (800) 565-1458, or in person at most regional tackle shops. At all other times of year, if you wish to fish in Mono County, there are several bodies of water where CATCH-AND-RELEASE ONLY is permitted year-round on public lands with barbless artificial flies and lures only.
There are many beautiful areas for hiking on and around Dutch Pete's Ranch, in the Benton Crags, on public lands in every direction. Along the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada from Sonora Pass south to Lone Pine, there are alpine trails lined with aspen trees. Some of our favorites are Lundy Canyon, Virginia Lakes Basin, Algeroen Creek Trail out of June Lake, short hikes off the Saddlebag Lake area, trails to the Dana Plateau near Tioga Pass to Yosemite National Park, Mammoth Lakes basin area, Convict Lake, McGee Creek area, Rock Creek Canyon, Owens Valley Gorge, South Lake and the Buttermilk Range west of Bishop, down to Mt.Whitney area outside of Lone Pine.
Just a half hour drive west on Benton Crossing Road, you can find wonderful hot springs on public lands! Beware of rough and muddy roads, and the likelihood of waiting your turn or sharing tubs. They are worth the wait! Or, call for hot springs reservation at Benton Hot Springs
Mono County has three main options for ice climbing in the area with hallowed routes on the June Lake Loop, in Lee Vining Canyon and in Lundy Canyon. All three are relatively easy to reach and offer consistent ice in some of the sweetest spots you can climb in the winter, and are within an hour's drive from Dutch Pete's.
Ice climbing is, of course, more dependent on ideal weather conditions than most sports, so it’s extremely important to do your research before going ice climbing. A variety of local pros always know the conditions best and can provide guides and the proper gear you need for a safe and fun day climbing the frozen waterfalls of the Eastern Sierra.
Manzanar (War) Relocation Center National Historic Site
One Camp, Ten Thousand Lives; One Camp, Ten Thousand Stories
In 1942, the United States government ordered more than 110,000 men, women, and children to leave their homes and detained them in remote, military-style camps. Manzanar War Relocation Center was one of ten camps where Japanese American citizens and resident Japanese aliens were incarcerated during World War II. This outing takes about 1.5 hours from Dutch Pete's, on Highway 6 and Highway 395 towards Lone Pine.
Mono Lake is an ancient saline lake located at the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada in California. Home to trillions of brine shrimp, millions of birds, and world-famous tufa towers. Mono Lake’s tributary streams supply water to Los Angeles, nearly 350 miles to the south. After a successful legal fight stopped excessive diversions, continuing advocacy has shown that with balanced solutions, there can be enough water for people and the environment. Since 1978 the non-profit Mono Lake Committee has worked with government agencies to protect Mono Lake and restore its tributary streams and surrounding lands, and educate the next generation about wise water use. Visit South Tufa at Navy Beach, the Boardwalk on North Shore's County Park. Easy access to Tioga Pass, Lee Vining, Lundy Canyon and Bodie from the Basin.
Otteson Brothers Turquoise Mine in Tonopah, Nevada
The Royston Turquoise Mine in Tonopah is a two hour drive from Dutch Pete's Ranch.
TOURS DEPART FROM GIGGLE SPRINGS GAS STATION (182 N. MAIN STREET), TONOPAH, NV (775) 482-4832
THE OTTESON FAMILY
After relocating their family to the Tonopah area in 1958, the Otteson family has been mining some of the most sought-after turquoise in the world. The Royston Turquoise Mine separates itself from other turquoise mines in Nevada with distinction, thanks to the wide range of blue hues the mine produces. In fact, story goes that the very specific shade of turquoise Tiffany and Co. selected as their signature brand color was inspired by the turquoise coming out of this mine. While deeper aquamarine hues are considered to be the most valuable, visitors can find just about every spectrum of blue greens at the Royston Turquoise Mine. From emerald greens to soft baby blues, the perfect turquoise nugget is truly in the eye of the behThe Otteson Family owns the Royston Turquoise Mine, which means they spend most of their days excavating this beautiful gemstone which is then processed, sorted and then sold to silversmiths around the world. Just like the Otteson’s, a tour to the Royston Turquoise Mine promises digging through turquoise-ladden tailings, comprised of large and small chunks of rock containing pure turquoise veins.
Spending as much or little time as you’d like, visitors on the Royston Turquoise Mine Tour will be provided one large bag for collection. Take your pick from a half day tour, or full day at the mine, but remember, reservations are required! Though each visitor will be required to bring their own vehicles to the mine site, the group will caravan out together, go through safety briefing, and start digging. Each tour concludes with a visit back to the cutting shop, where the Otteson’s will cut and polish a few of your best finds from the day.
Royston Turquoise Mine Tours are held Monday through Saturday year round, excluding national holidays.
Half Day, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. is $150 per person, or $250 per couple. Kids dig free.
All Day, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. is $300 per person or $500 per couple. Kids dig free.
Special private and group tours are available by appointment only with 2 weeks advance notice.
Digging is limited to 1 bag/bucket per adult.
Petroglyphs can be found throughout the Tablelands south of Dutch Pete's and north of Bishop. They are sacred places and visitors need to respect these ancient historic sites. Try to visit the Shoshone Indian Cultural Center in Bishop.
Autumn Leaves, alpenglows, and moonrises in the Eastern Sierra are spectacular! Most canyons from Lake Tahoe south past Lone Pine are lined with aspen groves. The unique scenic topography of where sage and pinon forest meet granite boulders and slopes, extending from 4,000 ' valley floors at the lowest points to 14,000' peaks at the highest. Not to mention Yosemite and Death Valley within hours, as well as ghost towns and wild horses and the ever changing Range of Light.
River Spring Lakes Ecological Preserve, Adobe Valley
The 638-acre River Spring Lakes Ecological Reserve includes a unique and natural spring system, surrounded by the arid environment of the Great Basin ecosystem. The purpose of the preserve is to maintain and enhance wetland habitat values, provide a potential refuge for endangered Owens pupfish, maintain quality habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds, and provide public access for hunting and nature study.Surrounded by BLM and USFS land, managed by California Department of Fish & Game. This area is about 10 miles north of Dutch Pete's on the east side of the Adobe Valley, close to the wild horse herds roam.
Epic alpine skiing can be found an hour away at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area or June Lake Ski Area, where the locals go. There are miles of groomed Nordic (cross-country) ski trails around Mammoth Lakes Basin, and plenty of backcountry ski opportunities. During a heavy winter, Dutch Pete's and the Adobe Valley may have enough snow for snowshoeing or cross country skiing around the property.
The high desert has amazing oases of warm and cool Artesian springs in the most unexpected places! Aside from the popular hot springs, the locals know these hidden gems. There's a special place within half an hour from Dutch Pete's, and most are an hour's drive. There are plenty of high country snowmelt filled lakes in the Sierra. We are happy to recommend places to our guests. Kindly remember to pack out what you bring in. And take the water, food, sun protection and a full tank of gas at all times!
Wild Horse Viewing
There have been several of herds of wild horses living just 10 miles north of Dutch Pete's Ranch, in the northeast corner of the Adobe Valley. They are beautiful to watch and wild creatures. Please respect their space and bring your telephoto lense. Don't forget to pack your hat, water, snacks and binoculars!
Yosemite National Park, California
First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys with monolithic granite cliffs, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more. Yosemite Valley is about a two hour drive from Lee Vining (Mono Lake), so about 3 hours from Dutch Pete's. However, Tioga Pass area with trails and lake,s and Tuolumne Meadows with gentle granite domes and river, are within reach for a day's outing, a scenic 1.5-2 hours from Dutch Pete's.