Mt Whitney Historic Fish Hatchery on Highway 395

As you may know, I am a huge fan of driving Highway 395. Each and every time I make the trip I find something new to explore and this time was no different. While driving through the town of Independence, I saw a sign for the Mt Whitney Historic Fish Hatchery, so I decided to get off the highway and check it out. I can honestly say it is a fantastic stop and one I recommend, especially when it is open. Here is all the information.

fish hatchery-14

Details

  • Open Thurs – Mon but grounds open anytime
  • Location: Oak Creek Rd, Independence, CA 93526

Getting There

The Mt Whitney Fish Hatchery is located right off Highway 395 on Oak Creek Rd (just North of Independence). The one-mile road will take you all the way to the Hatchery.

History

fish hatchery-5

The building itself was built in 1917 with the help of the local community. The gardens were landscaped by a gardener brought in from Golden Gate Park. The first trout were hatched in 1917, and the eggs were transported by mule team to the surrounding mountain streams. It continues to this day with golden trout being brought in every year but they no longer use mule teams to transport the fish.

The Hatchery Grounds

fish hatchery-12

When you arrive in the large dirt parking lot, you will immediately be greeted by the beautiful facade of this historic building.

fish hatchery-11

The building looks like something you would see in a small Eastern European town. The fish hatchery is truly beautiful with its stone walls and accentuated third story.

fish hatchery-13

The hatchery building sits behind a large lake with lots of shade and picnic tables, making it a great stop for exploring on a family road trip, even if the interior isn’t open. You can walk all around the pond and see the fish swimming in it or buy a pack of fish food from the hatchery so you can feed them yourself.

The Interior

fish hatchery-10

If you go when the hatchery is open, then you are in for a treat. The hatchery building entrance has a small gift shop and fireplace with a few chairs.

fish hatchery-4

The main draw for the area is the actual hatchery though where they have lots of fish in different troughs. I was impressed as there was a lot more than I anticipated, and there was a lot of information about the fish and what they were doing here.

fish hatchery-3

This area also has plaques and information about other places you can see in the county as well such as the Eastern Sierra Museum.

fish hatchery-1

Along the back wall, there is an exhibit about how they restored the hatchery building to its original glory.

fish hatchery-7

There is one more room in the hatchery which houses a bunch of information about the animals in the area as well as a movie about the hatchery itself.

fish hatchery-9

All in all, this is a great stop for the whole family. When it isn’t open, you can walk the ground and have a picnic at the tables, and when it is open, you can learn all about the fish hatchery process. Be sure to check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

Interested in supporting this blog?

This blog is simply a hobby and labor of love for me. If you have enjoyed the posts consider sharing it with your friends. I want as many people as possible to explore this state and you can help by letting them know about all of the great spots!

Subscribe to the mailing list for a weekly posts recap!

About JoshMc

Thanks for checking out the blog, I am happy to be sharing my adventures with you! You can get to know me by reading my about me, which includes a video and additional information on the site, myself and my full disclosure. Also, follow along on Twitter here or read all of my posts on this blog here.

  • Ed Alexander

    Such a cool place and run by volunteers Please stop by visit the hatchery and pond there are fish food bending machines by pond outside. DFW decided to close this hatchery so the local volunteers took it over they could use any donations you could give… Amazing amount of history all along the 395

    • Awesome, thank you for the update!