Bishop, in Inyo county, prides itself to be the "Mule Capital of the World". It is on US Highway 395, the main North-south road, immediately east of the Sierra Nevada. We drove Highway 395 several times through Bishop. Bishop is 65 miles south ro Lee Vining and Mono Lake, 85 miles south to the fork to Bodie.
For more, look at my Bishop page.
Bodie is one of the well preserved ghost towns of the west. It is in Mono county, 120 km south to Lake Tahoe, at an elevation of 2,550 m (8,400 feet). To reach Bodie, you must drive a dusty 8 km (13 miles) long road, off of state highway 395. The fork on Highway 395 is 20 miles north to Lee Vining and Mono Lake
The town was abandoned around WWII and became Bodie State Historic Park in 1962. Since then, it is ruled by the California State Park System and kept “in a state of arrested decay”.
Be sure to check out Tioga Lodge, three miles north of Lee Vining. It is the only accomodations available on Mono Lake. They offer a resturant, wine bar, lake access for launching boats as well as wonderful affordable rooms. They also offer a tour guide who is exclusivly the only tour boat on Mono Lake. Don't drive by this place! It is hard to see but worth stopping for.
Between larger and more famous National Parks, like Yosemity and Death Valley, Mono Lake is often left besides the route from A to B. This while a stop with a walk could leave so many more impressions and breaks long cartravels.