Hidden Gems of Highway 395

US Highway 395 makes a long, lonely sweep along the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada mountains: from Los Angeles to Reno and beyond. Towering peaks fall sharply here to meet the dusty desert floor in a dramatic, open landscape. Marvel at the oldest trees in the world, the tallest mountain in the continental U.S., the inspiring backdrop to many a movie set, and the unique, hospitable individuals who make their homes here. Slow down, take your time, and discover the hidden gems of Highway 395!

Mono Lake, California 93541, USA
The colors and incredible rocks at Mono Lake draw you in. It is like no place I have ever visited. The rock formations are called Tufa towers which form in a variety of ways at Mono Lake. The most visible formations are the towers on the lake’s shoreline. The largest concentration of the tufa towers is located at the South Tufa grove just off of Hwy 120 East, at the south end of Mono Lake which is exactly where we stopped. For a place that was kind of desolate and unfriendly, the colors were gorgeous.
3305 Main St, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546, USA
Paul Schat’s Bakery is a local favorite, so the lines are a bit nuts, but if you are looking for fresh baked pastries before heading out to hike or ski (or any other outdoor activity in Mammoth Lakes) then you want to stop at Schat’s. Dutch by heritage, the bread is “softer” than say, a traditional French bakery, but tasty none-the-less. Cookies, pastries, bagels, and a must-try jalapeño bread, you can’t go wrong no matter what you choose.
703 Airport Road
Hidden in the local airport of the small town of Bishop, California, is one of the best Thai restaurants in the state. Owner Weng-Cheong of Malaysia hooked-up with his Thai friend and cook, and as he explained, was “fated” to open this restaurant after years of living in Washington for several decades. There’s pretty much nothing worth eating along a 150+ mile stretch of Highway 395, so the two mile detour off the main drag for delish pad thai and spicy cashew chicken is a no brainer. Closed everyday from 2:30-5pm and all Mondays, 703 Airport Road, Bishop, 760-872-2595.
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