The Owens River Water Trail Project envisions a boater’s paradise along a six-mile stretch of the Lower Owens River outside of Lone Pine. With ADA-accessible put-in and take-out points where all people can float, fish, and swim, this scenic Water Trail will be the first of its kind in California.
Why It Needs Work:
Because the Owens River does not flood annually, islands of muck, tule reeds, and cottonwood logs build up in the channel and obstruct navigation. Clearing this debris each year is a key part of turning this stretch of river into a navigable Water Trail. Friends of the Inyo partners with Inyo County and the Owens Valley Committee to lead annual maintenance efforts, including fun stewardship events to tackle tule reed removal.
*We are urgently seeking short-term donations of wetsuits and PFDs to keep our volunteers safe during these events. If you can loan us your gear for these two weekends, let us know!
Long Term Plan
The project is in early stages of planning, and Inyo County is working on the CEQA process. Wounded Warriers is working on a grant to build all access docks at the northern (put-in) and southern (take-out) ends of the river. While the realization of full recreation access is a few years down the road, this is an exciting opportunity for a variety of stakeholders to work together on a project that everyone is happy about, and that provides additional recreational and economic opportunities in Southern Inyo County.
After three pleasant days floating the future Owens River Water Trail with volunteer groups this summer, we’ve opened up 3,070 feet of navigable river channel! It’s exciting to see this project take shape. Stay tuned for future opportunities to join us on the river.