What makes the water blue? Melt water that carries silt and rock flour from Palisade Glacier feeds the lake. The silt is created when rocks underneath the surface of the glacier are grinding from its movement. The rock flour created is very light and stays suspended in the lake water for a long time. The sunlight that reflects off this rock flour is what gives the lakes their spectacular turquoise blue or green color. (NFS)

R.W. Ayres wrote in 1940 that the origin and meaning of Inyo may be attributed to the Paiute, and translate to “the dwelling place of a great spirit." This is a perfect description for a land encompassing the highest peak in the continental USA, Mount Whitney, one of the world’s deepest valleys, Owens Valley, the world's oldest living tree, a Bristlecone Pine named Methuselah, the second oldest lake in North America, Mono Lake, and the world’s largest Jeffrey Pine Forest. Inyo is also home to the Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep and the California Golden Trout. The park has and continues to establish itself as a leader in conservation and protection of our natural world, earning the title “Gem of California.”

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