Benton is a small town near the Nevada border, about
50 miles east of Mammoth, 32 miles north of Bishop and 200 miles
south of Reno on the east side of the Sierra. (see link to
map at bottom of this page.) It is nestled in a valley surrounded
by mountains, with Boundary Peak and Montgomery peak at the north
end of the White Mountains directly to the east shown in the picture.
Skiing at Mammoth is one hour away to the west; fishing in the
Owens River is only 3/4 hours away. 4wdriving, hiking and geologizing
in the White Mountains is at my doorstep. Saline Valley is a 4-hour
drive. This is an ideal location.
||I love this land and had my eye
out for some property there. Finally, in June, 2002, I purchased
a 10 acre piece of property. Benton Corners, at the intersection
of route 6 and 120 (Yosemite Highway)y is a mile away, with
store and post office. This
is the gathering and gossip place. Benton Hot Springs
is 6 miles down Route 120, with a b and b, hot springs and
In 2003-04, I contracted a septic system
and a well, and worked with local friends to dig trenches,
undergrounding all utilities 400 feet to the house. The
house was delivered March 28, 2004 and was livable within
I have been spending extended periods of time
out here, and have seen many seasonal changes. In the
summer it is hot during the day, it is a short drive
to 7000 feet where it is always cool. Forest service
and BLM have maps of roads, and the Benton Range USGS
map is a good topo.
General driving directions: the scenic route(s) include
any pass open leading to 395 on the east side of the sierra. Tioga pass
is the most direct route in summer through Yosemite.
prefer 88 through Carson pass, then through Gardnerville, Nevada
to 395. This has several high passes and is a nice route
if you have the time. South of Lee vining, turn left on 120 to
Benton. If that is closed (nov-april) go south of Mammoth
to left on Benton crossing road, just south of the airport.
The low-stress route is on 80 over Donner summit,
then to Fernley and Fallon Nevada, and down 95 through Hawthorn
to Mina, then cut west to
Highway 6 and south to Benton. This is an easier drive. And
there are supermarkets in Fernley and Fallon and Hawthorn. Watch speed
in small towns, especially Schurz.
Either way is an 8-9 hour drive, but totally
worth the experience. Cheep
hotels in Reno: the Golden Phoenix; on 395 Topaz Lake Lodge.