Inyo County and Mono County Communities

Summary of Inyo County and Mono County, CA and the surrounding communities of Bishop, Owens Valley, Eastern Sierra, Big Pine, Lone Pine, Benton, Independence and Mammoth Lakes, CA

Inyo County Population  17,980
Mono County Population  12,853


With over half of Inyo County’s residents living in and around Bishop, we are the “Big City” of the Owens Valley. For a city this size, you will find that we have an amazing array of amenities. In order to serve the many tourists that visit Bishop, we have many restaurants for discerning palates and friendliness to strangers has been cultivated to a fine art in Bishop. Likewise, the shopping is remarkably good. JC Penney, K-Mart, Rite-Aid and Von’s are some the of the major retailers represented in Bishop, and many family-operated merchants cater to our needs from building supplies, furniture, home interiors, appliances and office machines to fashion, books and cars.

The fantastic quality of life we enjoy here has attracted very competent professionals to our area, and we think you will be impressed with the quality of our teachers and medical and business professionals. Arts and culture are well represented through our many art galleries, arts festivals, community theater groups, etc…Each Monday evening during the summer, a community volunteer band treats you to an old time band-concert under the stars at Bishop City Park. Our beautiful, 40-acre city park with its picnic areas, swimming pool, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, places for volleyball and skate park and its jogging path around the lake is one of our favorite gathering places. Another favorite is the Millpond recreational complex, which offers lake swimming, horseshoe pitching, picnicking, softball fields, tennis courts, a playground, an RV park and equestrian center. Each year in September, it is the home of the three-day Millpond Traditional Music Festival sponsored by the Inyo County Arts Council and featuring top-name performers of folk, bluegrass and country music.

Additional information about Bishop can be found at:




Lone Pine is a little town of about 2000 that has continued to be a little town for a long time. It is a safe quiet place with lots of things to do that are healthy, safe and fun.

The weather in Lone Pine is moderate with warm summers and falls and cooler but not blustery winters. Spring is short; either it stays cool longer than expected or the summer starts earlier. The scenery is beautiful year round and the air is clear so you can see the scenery. Lone Pine is like living on a post card.

Lone Pine has a lot of very interesting people in residence and these people are very involved in their community.  Therefore, if projects or events are of interest to you, you will have a lot of things to do with other people  However, if you are someone that likes solitary activities, you can be alone as much as you want; fishing or hunting or hiking or rock hunting.

Lone Pine has very low incidents of crime, lots of friendliness and only one stop light.  We have no elevators or escalators and one library. We call our sheriff Andy, our deputy Barney and their horses Bill and Jack. Very few people get an opportunity to live like the people in Lone Pine live, but if you were to ask most people they would tell you that their dream life is like living in Lone Pine.


In the deepest part of the Owens Valley, at the junction of three scenic byways is Big Pine, “the small town with the big backyard.”  With an abundance of scenic natural wonders, it is truly the hub for the perfect Eastern Sierra vacation or better yet for the perfect place to settle down and raise a family or retire

As tourism is the main staple of our local economy, Big Pine offers interested vacationers and travelers some of the finest camping, hiking and fishing in the Eastern Sierra. A short 26 mile drive east into the White Mountains will take you to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, home to the oldest living trees in the world, some of them older than the Great Egyptian Pyramids. On the Sierra side, you can take a quick 11 mile drive up Big Pine Canyon to the trailhead at Glacier Lodge. This trailhead to the backcountry will take hiking and backpacking enthusiasts to the Big Pine Lakes, Lon Chaney’s Cabin as well as the Palisade and Norman Clyde Glaciers.  While the backcountry lakes are no longer stocked with fish, the lakes are still abundant with rainbow, brook and golden trout.  A shorter 1/2 mile hike from the trailhead will take you to “First Falls” where you can stand on the old wooden bridge and watch the water cascade down in front of you as you look off into the distance into the Big Pine and John Muir wilderness.  Quite a site to behold

Though the population stands just shy of 1,500 residents, the town has plenty of amenities for residents and travelers alike. Some of our services include a volunteer fire department, country-style market, 3 gas stations (one with mechanics on duty), hardware store, laundry-mat, library, public school system (pre-school through high school), 2 hair salons, video store, 3 restaurants, 3 motels, 2 bars, a county park, a fish and tackle shop and our own Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.  For banking, medical and retail needs, Bishop is only 15 miles north up highway 395.


The little town of Benton Hot Springs, the oldest surviving town in Mono County, was once a thriving silver mining town with up to 5,000 inhabitants. Today, it is a peaceful and tranquil oasis where time stands still.Located 33 miles north of Bishop just west of Hwy 6. Many of the original town buildings and antiques remain in place and the Old House features one of the purest hot springs around. The town has 241 friendly people and its own elementary school.


Independence – a home town waiting for you. Known as the Small Town with a Big History, it has room for you to be part of real living and its history. No mall or discount store, no waiting in lines or pulling out reams of identification. It’s the friendly grocery store and meat market; restaurants, gas and diesel just down the street, along with the auto repair shop; the post office just around the corner; churches welcoming you for fellowship; and your new neighbors greeting you on the street. You are, of course, invited to join the 594 “old timers” in community activities; the rooting section of the local teams at the K-12 school, where every kid counts; and to bring your favorite dish to the potluck. It’s life as it’s meant to be lived.

The County Seat of Inyo County, Independence has easy access to the “other world”. It straddles US Highway 395 allowing for those infrequent trips out of the valley. On the north edge of town is a General Aviation Airport. If you are considering an off site office or want to shop without leaving your home town, available are fiber optics, high speed internet, cable and satellite TV. Improved cell phone access is imminent.

If you feel you need a bigger house and the “classic” older homes do not fit your needs, Independence has some great remodel examples to inspire you to make any house your home. As an added bonus, just out your back door your yard is expanded to hundreds of acres of wide-open spaces for you to explore. Can there be a better life?


Though not a part of either Inyo County or the Owens Valley, Mammoth Lakes is definitely considered a fun neighbor and an important contribution to the quality of life in the Owens Valley. Located at an altitude of 7,800 feet, and surrounded by towering mountains of over 12,000 feet, Mammoth Lakes is reached by a quick 43 mile uphill drive, mostly by freeway, from Bishop. Made famous by the likes of John Muir and Ansel Adams, it is home to just over 7,000 year-round residents and swells its ranks to about 35,000 during peak ski season. In addition to being one of the Nation’s premier winter playgrounds, it offers a cornucopia of engaging outdoor adventures from backpacking and climbing to fishing, canoeing and mountain biking in the warmer months. Area activities throughout the year include a famous Jazz festival, music and film festivals, fairs, chili cookoffs and motorcycle events, as well as nature excursions to discover and help teach about our varied and wonderful flora and fauna.

About the Schools

These communities have many positive demographic and socio-economic qualities that are tied to the development of a good school system.
> Learn more about the schools in Inyo County and Mono County.

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Jake Rasmuson

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Pat Olsen


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Bishop Real Estate Rasmuson & Associates
370 West Line St. Bishop, CA  93514

Phone: 760-873-4264

Fax: 760-873-4875