Coyote Flats is at about 10,000 feet of elevation. At that elevation, even when the valley below (itself at about 4,000 feet) is baking hot, Coyote Flats is generally fairly cool and refreshing and nights are quite cold. Due to the cold, we all went to bed fairly early, which meant I woke up pretty early the next day.

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Our campsite in the clear morning air was quite spectacular. Not enough for you? I’ll zoom out.

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Clouds, mountains, fresh air, a stream, a cabin, and a beautiful meadow. Honestly, is there really anything else you would want in a destination?

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We wanted to stay longer. And we really should stay longer considering the places to explore. However, as this was scheduled to be only a weekend trip, we had to say good bye to the cabin. We made a mental note to come back next year, and stay longer than just this one night.

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I mean it’s understandable why we didn’t want to leave right? Glaciers at the end of summer, fresh air, and still very green. I could explore this place for days.

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We knew of only one way out: back the way we came from. So, unlike every other trip I’ve taken, it was time to backtrack.

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Back through the grasslands in the “flat” portion of Coyote Flats we go. No panoramic picture could capture the beauty and big sky-ness of this place.

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My girlfriend even drove a bit. This picture was taken from the passenger seat.

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We swapped back before the crazy descent. That portion was also rockier, so it wasn’t quite as appropriate of a training ground.

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Seriously it was incredibly steep. Low 1st was a great advantage here as, without it, I probably would’ve needed to stop every few minutes just to prevent brake fluid from boiling.

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Bishop coming into view. And yes, the GX still has dealer plates.

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We detoured slightly to check out a nice alternative campsite I had noted as part of my Google Earth scouting. A very easy climb up onto some rocks rewarded us with a stunning view of the Owens Valley area.

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Back on the trail, we were close to the bottom now. Despite now knowing the trail and being more familiar with it, the trip back still took approximately four hours to cover 20 miles.

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But I broke in the GX for overlanding without breaking anything on the two cars. And we found one of the most amazing destinations out there in California. That’s a win. We’ll be back.

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