ray on beulah
Ray DeLea
(aka: the Pigmy Packer circa 1969)

new ovh logo

All items on this website have been catagorized as fair use and are being displayed strictly for non-commercial and nonprofit educational purposes. No items on this website are in anyway sold or used in publications of any sort by the website owner. Wherever possible, permission to use each item has been obtained from the author (if still alive) or from the collector of such material, and an agreed upon credit has been given.

What is this site all about?

1. The telling in words and pictures of one of the Eastern Sierra's most incredible mule packing outfits - Mt. Whitney Pack Trains which operated out of Lone Pine, CA from the 1940s through the early 1970s.

2. The history of Owens Valley towns, pioneering families, and individual people who made Owens Valley what it is today.

3. Stories of mining camps and surrounding areas affecting mining in the mountains surrounding Owens Valley.

4. Stories and photos about the Sierra Nevada Mountains (The Range of Light that is like none other), the personalities who enjoyed them in the past and who are part of the lore we relish to hear about today.


mt whitney from thunder mtn
Mt. Whitney and the Eastern Sierra crest as seen from Thunder Mountain.
(Photograph by Mike Porter - 1977)


This site is graciously being hosted by the owner's of Shocking.Com - Stop by and pay them a visit and express you thanks for their generosity. Without their generosity, this site would not be possible.


Owens Lake and Vacinity
1939 USGS Topographical Map


noah becker
A 7-shot vertical pano stack of the Sierra Nevada west of Lone Pine as seen under a full moon from the Alabama Hills.
(Photograph by Noah Becker - Thanksgiving 2018)



Entries since 13 January 2018 - Pearsonville
Entries since 27 January 2018 - Little Lake Area Stories by Jane Thomann
Entries since 03 February 2018 - Little Lake Area Photos and Stories by Jane Thomann
Entries since 04 February 2018 - The Dunmovin Express
Entries since 04 February 2018 - Owens Valley Desert News
Entries since 26 September 2018 - Life in Owens Valley
Entries since 05 October 2018 - Bob White and Tunnel Airfield
Entries since 13 October 2018 - Another page of Early Big Pine
Entries since 13 October 2018 - Added a new page on Laws and Laws RR Museum
Entries since 15 October 2018 - Added new page on Andrew Alexander Forbes of Bishop
Entries since 08 February 2019 - Dear Carrie: Letters from the Eastern Sierra 1878-1899 by Linda Haun
Entries since 11 February 2019 - Mountains, Mules and Memories by Bill Carteret
Entries since 10 March 2019 - Jordan Hot Springs & The John Jordan Trail
Entries since 02 May 2019 - The Saga of Inyo County
Entries since 17 May 2019 - Map of Owens Valley - circa 1910
Entries since 20 May 2019 - Completely revamped and reorganized LA aqueduct pages
Entries since 15 June 2019 - Added articles about the Lone Pine earthquake of 1872
Entries since 19 June 2019 - Add a page of J.D. Blacks photos documenting the abandonment of farms and ranches in Big Pine and Bishop due to Los Angeles absconding with all of Owens Valley's water
Entries since 17 July 2019 - Manzanar High School pages revamped
Entries since 16 September 2019 - Added 13 photographs of the town of Freeman
Entries since 17 September 2019 - Added a brochure about the Inyo Good Road Club
Entries since 20 September 2019 - Added a new page on mines in the Bishop Area along with various Bishop related tokens
Entries since 23 September 2019 - Completely revamped, reorganized and consolidated all of the 20 Mule Team items
Entries since 03 October 2019 - Completely revamped, reorganized and consolidate all of the Manzanar Interment camp related pages



Entries since 14 November 2018 - Added 54 new photographs to Early Bishop 1
Entries since 14 November 2018 - Added 70 new photographs to Early Bishop 2
Entries since 14 November 2018 - Added 54 new photographs and matchbook covers to Early Bishop 3
Entries since 14 November 2018 - Added 19 new photographs to Early Bishop 4
Entries since 15 November 2018 - Added story about death of S&P engineer near Cartago
Entries since 22 November 2018 - Added Frank Chrysler's obituary
Entries since 06 May 2019 - Added a map of the route of the Los Angeles aqueduct and a map of the aqueduct profile from Owens Valley to Los Angeles
Entries since 07 May 2019 - Added photos of Lona Burkhart
Entries since 17 June 2019 - Added 14 new photo graphs to the early Bishop pioneers
Entries since 24 June 2019 - Added a Hazard red fish decal and some information about Lemoyne Hazard
Entries since 12 July 2019 - Consolidated Sierra Nevada Wildflower pages
Entries since 12 July 2019 - Consolidated Willie Chalfant pages
Entries since 12 July 2019 - Consolidated Vintage Sierra Nevada panorama pages
Entries since 13 September 2019 - Added 10 new photos to Little Lake
Entries since 13 September 2019 - Added 15 new photocards / photographs to Benton / Benton Hot Springs / Thompson Ranch
Entries since 13 September 2019 - Added 4 new photographs to Darwin
Entries since 13 September 2019 - Added 7 new photocards to early Bishop
Entries since 14 September 2019 - Added 5 new photographs to the Whitney Portal Road page
Entries since 14 September 2019 - Added 5 new items to Tunnel Airfield
Entries since 14 September 2019 - Added a new photograph to Saline Valley page
Entries since 14 September 2019 - Added 5 new photographs to Keeler
Entries since 14 September 2019 - Added 13 new photographs to Lone Pine
Entries since 15 September 2019 - Added a new photograph of Tom's Place
Entries since 15 September 2019 - Added 17 new photographs to the Carson & Colorado RR page
Entries since 15 September 2019 - Added 11 new photographs to Andrew A. Forbes webpage
Entries since 17 September 2019 - Consolidated all of Fr. Crowley's webpages into one page
Entries since 17 September 2019 - Added 9 new photographs to the Southern Pacific Jawbone Branch webpage
Entries since 17 September 2019 - Added 18 photographs to the Olancha webpage
Entries since 17 September 2019 - Added 2 new photographs to the Coso Hot Springs webpage
Entries since 18 September 2019 - Added 12 new photographs to Independence
Entries since 19 September 2019 - Added 3 new photographs to the L.A. Aqueduct Rose Valley webpage
Entries since 19 September 2019 - Added 13 new photographs to the L.A. Aqueduct Olancha webpage
Entries since 19 September 2019 - Added one new photo to June Lake
Entries since 20 September 2019 - Added 3 tokens to Keeler
Entries since 20 September 2019 - Added a California Alkali Co. token to the Cartago page
Entries since 20 September 2019 - Added 4 new items to Laws


Site navigation: You may navigate through this web site by returning to home and clicking on one of the buttons below or by using the arrows at the bottom of each page. The arrows will point you to the next three or prevous three pages of site information. New additions to the site are always featured above.


Owens Valley History Index

Mt. Whitney Pack Trains (MWPT)
Owens Valley History
button 1950s MWPT Brochure

button Bill Smart / Paul Lamos Archives

button Bob Swandt

button Bruce Morgan Memories

button Bruce Morgan's 20-Mule Team

button Chrysler and Cook Brochure

button Chrysler & Cook Days

button Duane Rossi: Cowboy Poet

button Ed Brown - Packer & Cowboy Poet

button Irene Kritz - Cook, Packer, Author

button Jayne and Bob Douglas Archives

button Kathy Jefferson-Bancroft Archives

button Reif Kipp Archives

button Mary Jefferson Archives

button Monache Meadows Cowboys

button Morgans, The

button MWPT - 1930s & 1940s

button MWPT Packers - 1940s - 1972

button MWPT Reunions

button MWPT Roster of Packers

button Nancy Droubay Archives

button One Packer's Sierra Experience

button Packer's Books / Publications

button Packing, 50 Years Ago

button Rena Beth Moore-Smith Archives

button Robert House - GTC Packer

button Sierra Club "High Trips" - 1946 - 1972

button Stephanie Morgan Archives 01

button Stephanie Morgan Archives 02

button Stephanie Morgan Archives 03

button To Top of Mt. Whitney" by Rena Moore

button Tommy Jefferson

button Aberdeen

button Bartlett

button Benton, Benton Crossing

button Big Pine

button Bishop

button Cartago

button Casa Diablo & Hot Creek

button Casa Vieja & Surrounding Areas

button Cerro Gordo

button Champion Sparkplug Mine

button Coso Hot Springs

button Darwin

button Dunmovin

button El Camino Sierra

button Glacier Lodge & Palisades

button Golden Trout Camp

button Independence

button Jordan Hot Springs

button June Lake Area

button Keeler

button Keough's Hot Springs

button Laws & Laws RR Museum

button Lee Vining

button Little Lake

button Lone Pine

button Mammoth Lakes Area

button Manzanar Internment Camp

button Manzanar American Memory Project

button Manzanar High School

button Manzanar Journal

button Manzanar Free Press

button Manzanar - Owens River Valley

button Mono Lake Area

button Mt. Whitney Trail & Portal Road

button Near Owens Valley

button North of Bishop

button Olancha

button Owens Valley & Owens Lake

button Pearsonville & Freeman

button Rex Montis Mine

button Saline Valley Salt Tram Photo Album

button Sherman Stevens' Sawmill

button Swansea

button Tunnel Airfield

button U.S. Vanadium (Tungsten) Mine

button Alfred R. Giraud

button Allie Robinson (Pack Trains)

button Andrew Alexander Forbes

button Bill DeCarteret - Mountains, Mules and Memories

button Bob Swandt

button Bob White & Tunnel Airfield

button Burton Frasher

button Colonel Sherman Stevens' Sawmill

button Dave & Gayle Woodruff

button Desert Padre (Fr. John J. Crowley)

button Duane Rossi - Squawbuck Joe

button Ed Brown - Rhyme Doesn't Pay

button Franklin Merrill-Wolff

button George Brown, Native American

button Hiroshi Honda

button Irene Kritz - Campfire and Smoke

button Jim Thorpe, Native American

button John & J.D. Black of Bishop & Big Pine

button John H. Lubken

button Kathleen Haun - Dear Carrie

button Lona Burkhart

button Mary Austin

button Matlicks

button Norman Clyde

button Olds Family of Keeler

button Rena More-Smith: Life in Owens Valley

button Roni McFadden

button Sam Lewis

button Sierra Lady Pack Station

button Slim Randles - Sun Dog Days

button Squawbuck Joe

button Willie Chalfant


button Wonacotts

button 1872 Lone Pine Earthquake

button 1903 Sierra Club High Trip

button 1916 Sierra Club High Trip Photo Album

button 20 Mule Team History

button Allie Robinson Pack Trains

button Aparejo Packing in the Sierras

button Bessie Brady Steamer

button Big Pine Citizen [articles]

button Bishop Mule Days

button Black Jed - B24 Bomber

button Carson & Colorado Railroad

button CG Portal

button Death Valley Sketches

button Ghosts of Past - Sherman Stevens Sawmill

button Heritage and Humble Pie

button High Sierra Pack Stations

button High sierra Panoramas

button J. D. Black L.A. Aqueduct Files

button Lone Pine-to-Porterville High Sierra Road

button Lone Pine Stampede

button Los Angeles - Owens Valley Aqueduct

button Movie Production in Owens Valley

button Night Ride

button Owens Valley Desert News

button Owens Valley Brochures

button Owens Valley Progress-Citizen Newspaper

button Packing Equipment

button Saga of Inyo County

button Saline-to-Owens Valley Tram

button Sawdust Magazine

button Sierra Club High Trips

button Sierra Nevada Crossing

button Sierra Nevada Place Names

button Sierra Nevada Wildflowers

button Stories: High Sierra, Owens Valley, Packing

button Southern Pacific Jawbone Branch

button Tales Along El Camino Sierra

button The Album: Times & Tales of Inyo - Mono

button Tuttle Creek Ashram

button Whitney Portal Road Construction


owens valley
Owens Valley - looking southwest from the Inyo Mountains near Harkless Flat. Tinemaha Reservor in the foreground.


Mt. Whitney Pack Trains, Vintage Photo Request



Attention ... you must see this!

Flight over Owens Valley and the High Sierra
Flight over Mammoth Lakes Area

Flight over the California Basin and Range Province
Other flights
by Dr. William A. Bowen
steam locomotive




northern nevada
Click to see locomotive in action


mt. whitney pack trains


Owens Valley History readers, it's time to put on your thinking cap, we all need your help. Many vistors have left me with unsolved questions, mysteries, etc. regarding people, places, and events that have occurred in Owens Valley. Please take the time to look at this new page on the website and see if you might have the answer to some of the readers questions. If you have any information at all please e-mail the individual with your comments.

The Internet Wayback Machine

East and Drive U.S. 395
east and drive 395


Index to USGS Topo Maps
Early 1900s USGS Topo Maps from University of Texas Library
university of texas


Eastern California Museum - Independence, CA
eastern california museum


In search of Owens Valley Ancestory? The following Inyo County website might be your answer.
Courtesy of Pam in Bishop, CA

  Inyo County Gen Web

Hey all of you desert lovers!
All of the issues of Desert Magazine, starting with 1937, are now online for you viewing pleasure.
Many thanks to Rocko for making this wonderful magazine available to all of us desert rats once again.

Many thanks to the Backcountry Horsemen of California for their continuing efforts over the decades to help preserve the Sierra Nevada and keep it open to livestock. They strive to promote conservation and the awareness of the benefit of livestock in the backcountry. In addition I, in particular, am thankful that they strive to keep everyone appraised of those, who through misguided legislation or self interests, would try to ban livestock from the mountain range packers not only opened to the public, but who also made us aware of the importance of preserving that same country. It is indeed ironic that it has been those on two feet with easy road-end access to the Sierra, and not four, who have contaminated nearly every stream and lake in the Sierra with giardia.


Many heartfelt thanks to all of the packers, Owens Valley pioneers, and friends who have so generously contributed to this site in pictures and words so that others might share in the experiences that God has so graciously granted to them!


Share the experiences you have had:

If you have pictures of people/places which you would like posted on this site please e-mail me for posting instructions. Please try to include the following information with each picture or story (if you can recall):

  • The date the picture was taken (month/year)
  • The place the picture was taken
  • The names of any people in the picture
  • The type of trip you were on (Sierra Club, Trail Riders, private party, hunting, trail crew etc.)
  • The trip leader and cook's name

In addition to pictures, if you have a particular trail story, humorous or serious, which you would like to share with everyone please e-mail it directly to me. If you e-mail the file, please send the file in either Microsoft Word, if possible, or as a pure text file.

Remember - there are a host of folks out there waiting to blessed by your High Sierra or Owens Valley story. Don't disapoint them, or yourself, by failing to share your experience.

Thank you, from everyone, for obeying that still small voice within you and sharing your heart and experiences with everyone.

Owens Lake in 1911 before it was drained dry by Los Angeles
owens lake

Owens Lake and Vacinity
1939 USGS Topographical Map

Free Guestbook
Sign Guestbook

View Old Guest Book Entries
Oct 1999 - Feb 2015 (MS Word)

 Pigmy Packer & Guests
The Pigmy Packer (1970), with his horse - Quarter Boy, and two guest from New York on New Army Pass. Mules were Nigger, Bart, and Dan.

Free Guestbook
View Guestbook

View Old Guest Book Entries
Oct 1999 - Feb 2015 (PDF)

The Pigmy Packer (1997)

CONTACT the Pigmy Packer

The Pigmy Packer (2001)

My Favorite Sierra Nevada Fish - Volcano Creek Golden Trout
golden trout

Website Navigation
Use the navigation bars at the bottom of each page or return to the HomePage Index.


Golden Trout Camp in the High Sierra


 Mt. Whitney Pack Train's Chrysler & Cook Brochure


 1930s & 1940s Mt. Whitney Pack Trains


Sierra Crossing


 Panoramas of the High Sierra

This page was last updated on 17 September 2019


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