Excitement about the Owens River Water Trail Project

Inyo County has been working to finalize details on the Owens River Water Trail Project- a project that is still in the works, but would create new recreational opportunities outside Lone Pine. Friends of the Inyo is excited for the potential benefits- fun activities like fishing and floating, and economic benefits from more people recreating near town – that this project could bring in the future.

Friends of the Inyo is excited to partner with Inyo County to take the lead on long term river stewardship on this section of river. We worked with volunteers on 3 different days this past summer to clear log jams and overgrown tule reeds. It was different work than we’re used to. Instead of walking trail and moving dirt, we floated in the river to maintain a different kind of trail. Volunteers found it fun, challenging and rewarding. 

The long term plans for this project are still in the works, so check back in the spring. The project has a broad range of community support. We hope to see work begin in 2017. In the mean time, check out a map of the river, and pictures from our volunteer days working on the river.

Over the years, cottonwood logs have fallen in the river, and damned it up, trapping sediment, and allowing reeds to grow in, clogging the river. To open it up, we found the first step to be pushing our way through the obstruction, finding a path that follows the river channel.


The next step was to work from the bottom of the obstruction, working upriver, cutting reeds, and floating them down river to an open spot to remove them. Make sure to notice the last picture in this blog, which was taken at the same spot as this picture.


Longtime Lone Pine resident, the go to guy on all things Owens Lake, and Friends of the Inyo Board member Mike Prather getting in the middle of it all.

As we cut reeds, we began to discover the log jams, and winches helped pull the water logged cottonwoods to the shore.

After a morning’s worth of work, we had a free flowing river. This is looking upriver from the same spot as the second picture above.