Above: Photo taken in February 2019 on Aurora Canyon Road.
The Bodie Hills are a great place to recreate in the winter-time—perfect for a “tour” in the truest sense. For the adventurous, there are peak points (Potato Peak & Bodie Mountain to name two) to tackle, but the Bodie Hills beckon with their approachability. The dirt roads running through the area are not plowed in the winter, and with adequate snowfall, make a perfectly mellow on-ramp to a great winter experience. Whether on snowshoes, XC skis (I’d recommend the metal-edge variety), or full-on alpine touring skis or splitboard, there is truly something for everyone. Aurora Canyon Road is a great starting-off point, not far from downtown Bridgeport and highway 395. Up the road, you’ll find dense juniper and pinyon pine forests, shockingly huge sagebrush, and all sorts of remarkable fauna. My favorite part of winter travel is seeing the tracks the critters make as they scurry around. The snow preserves them perfectly; bring your favorite naturalist book and you can identify which of your animal-friends’ footsteps you may be walking in! The birding in the area is also top-notch with large flocks of laughing Pinyon Jays, the elusive Bi-state Sage Grouse, and other winter residents. So grab your gear and head on out for some peace, quiet, and wintertime majesty only the Bodie Hills can provide!