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#25007 - 06/12/12 06:05 PM Winnedumah Paiute Monument
Ken Offline

Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
I had an odd experience last week, as I drove up 395. As I was passing near Independance, I did something I don't know that I've ever done, which is to look EAST.

This is understandable, as to the west are a whole lot of things in the Sierra that are of great interest to me. I am fascinated by Mt. Williamson, having climbed up two of it's routes, and found them to be among the most isolated places I've ever been, as well as the N. Fork of Bair's Creek, which I've not, but which seems like an astonishingly imposing place. I find it hard to keep my eyes on the road, with all the wonder to the west.

But unmistakably, sitting on the ridge line where I had never noticed it before, was Winnedumah. Couldn't be clearer.

I had read with fascination some years ago when Moosetracks went up with Doug. I'd wondered, why are they trekking to a Independence Hotel???? Was that where John Muir stayed?

I'd never heard of the monument.

My quick look doesn't turn that TR up, but when you drive up the valley, don't forget to look EAST.

#25046 - 06/13/12 11:26 AM Re: Winnedumah Paiute Monument [Re: Ken]
KevinR Offline

Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 595
Loc: Manchester, NH
I've stayed at the Winnedumah a couple of times when I lived on the East Coast and would trek out to hike Whitney. It was/is a neat old hotel. At the time I stayed there it had been purchased by a retired grocer and his wife, and a daughter managed it. There's an interesting plaque on the hotel wall detailing the Paiute legend of how the spire came into existence. Like any good legend, it involves the struggle between two men over a woman.

I've also climbed to the spire twice - not quite via the route Doug, Moosetracks, and others, but not too different. The approach I used was off the Masurka (sp?) Canyon Road. I ran off a few copies of a map I created from my GPS track and left them with Doug at the Hostel as he occasionally gets requests from guests who are interested in hiking to the monument.

I may have an electronic version available, so if anyone is interested they can PM me.

#25082 - 06/13/12 10:50 PM Re: Winnedumah Paiute Monument [Re: KevinR]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7742
Loc: Fresno, CA
Does anyone have a picture of the monument?

#25089 - 06/14/12 07:03 AM Re: Winnedumah Paiute Monument [Re: Ken]
Jch Offline

Registered: 06/04/11
Posts: 8
Loc: SoCal
The Eastern California Museum in Independence has some info on the monument including a map and photos. It's worth a visit.


#25091 - 06/14/12 08:04 AM Re: Winnedumah Paiute Monument [Re: Steve C]
+ @ti2d Offline

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 832
Loc: Oh Cursed, USA
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Does anyone have a picture of the monument?

Steve, it's just another rock... whistle

Ggringringle it!
Have fun and enjoy the Gr8 Yd Opn.

#25094 - 06/14/12 08:48 AM Re: Winnedumah Paiute Monument [Re: + @ti2d]
tdtz Offline

Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 511
Loc: CA

#25104 - 06/15/12 04:02 AM Re: Winnedumah Paiute Monument [Re: Ken]
Wayne Offline

Registered: 11/01/09
Posts: 45
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Thanks, Ken, for sharing your experience. The next time I'm in Independence I need to look east!

The coordinates for Winnedumah Rock are 36d 51.809m North and 118d 2.082m West. It is marked on my USGS quad titled Yosemite.

#25113 - 06/15/12 11:06 AM Re: Winnedumah Paiute Monument [Re: Wayne]
Ken Offline

Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Wayne, I was flabbergasted. It was sitting there on the ridge, clear as day. I had no question as to what it was.

I really wonder if I've EVER looked east, to my embarrassment, other than to look at White Mountain.

#25142 - 06/16/12 06:18 AM Re: Winnedumah Paiute Monument [Re: Ken]
KevinR Offline

Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 595
Loc: Manchester, NH
The Inyo mountain range is a great area to hike and explore. They're often ignored for their taller neighbors, but Inyo and Keynot, both just north of Lone Pine, are fine dayhike objectives at 11,000'. If you're looking for a strenuous day, combine both of them. Most use the trailhead at about 4K'.

It's obvious that the Paiute Shoshone were also drawn to them. In scouting a route a for a group hike to Winnedumah, another fellow and I were ambling up and down several "folds" in the ridge as we worked our way towards the spire, and commented that various spots would make great places to camp. The native peoples must have been drawn to them as well, as we noticed pottery shards and obsidian flakes in the best spots.