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White Mountains (California)

For other ranges of this name, see White Mountains (New Hampshire) and White Mountains (Arizona).

The White Mountains of California are a small mountain range that runs along the eastern side of the upper Owens Valley, just across from the Sierra Nevada. It is about 100 km long and 15 km wide; the northern end of the range extends slightly into Nevada, and its southern end is near Big Pine, where Westgard Pass separates it from the Inyo Mountains.

The highest point is White Mountain Peak, which at 14,246 ft (4,342 m) is the third-highest in California. There is a four-wheel drive road that reaches the summit from the south, and services the "Summit Laboratory" of the White Mountain Research Station. The west face is a scramble.

Ecologically, the White Mountains are like the other ranges in the Basin and Range Province; they are dry, with relatively few trees, but there are bristlecone pines living on the upper slopes.

The entire range is within the Inyo National Forest.

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