Re: 4th July Weekend Spots ???
Hi Bill, I know the eastern california region as well as anyone. Even in the craziness of a holiday weekend, there are still some sweet spots to be had.
Reward Mine, at the base of the Inyo Mountains east of independence. You'll see The Reward Mine Road off 395, a right turn between Lone Pine and Indy.
Up the road to Cerro Gordo, out of Keeler on the 'other' side of Owens Lake. All kinds of fun stuff up there. Turn is just a coupla hundred yards south of Keeler, and there's a histerical marker there. Even if you don't get to the townsite, there are nice Joshua trees and old mining orebins and places to camp alone off the road.
Mazourka Canyon Road, starts right at the south end of Independence. Santa Rita Flat is a good spot to camp. Hike up to the east ridge to get stunning views of the Sierra crest.
Turn east on the Narrow Gage Road just north of Lone Pine, and continue past the ranch towards the Inyos to find the dirt road that follows the old SP Narrow Gauge railroad right of way. The old townsite of Owenyo is barely findable these days. You'll see some trees and some old junk and footings for water tanks, etc.
Turn onto rt. 6 at the north end of Bishop and take the Silver Canyon Road. This is absolutely my fav. I've seen lotsa desert bighorn sheep among the canyons there. A few creek crossings (easy) take you up the canyon and explore turnouts to camp. If you go all the way to the gate, put the rig in low range and climb that road to the top of the White Mountains. Almost Heaven!
I know a lot more, but this will get you going.