Local off road enthusiasts are working on a plan that would help visitors enjoy the Owens Valley and surrounding areas by quad, rhino, or jeep.
The plan is to map out routes that visitors can use to link campgrounds to dirt roads and trails into popular areas like Coyote Flat and the Alabama Hills. With a mapped out, interconnected system of routes, visitors could drive their quads from the south end of the Owens Valley to the Bishop area, taking a few days to camp, fish, and enjoy the scenery along the way.
The idea is also to find a way to allow people on quads and rhinos to legally drive into the Owens Valley towns to get gas and food. The problem with this part of the plan is that its not currently legal to drive vehicles like quads and rhinos into towns.
Local wheeled access advocate and mastermind behind this plan, Dick Noles, reports that he is currently at work to get legislation that will allow these types of vehicles on some roads in Inyo County that are currently off limits to quads and Rhinos. Noles says that hes not looking to make it legal to drive quads on all streets, but he is trying to find a way to allow off-roaders to drive to places like the Wye in Bishop, where food and gas are available.
Noles says that other areas in Utah and in West Virginia have already created trail networks like the one he is proposing for Inyo County. The system in Utah allows ATV riders to drive into 16 towns allowing for off road trips up to two weeks long.
Right now ATV use is illegal on some prominent county roads technically designated as highways, Noles explained. He says legislation to remove some of the restrictions has already passed the state assembly, with help from Assembly woman Connie Conway. Senator Roy Ashburn has supported the legislation in the state Senate.