The Plaza Trailhead’s most noticeable feature is the Plover Wing Plaza, inspired by the Snowy Plover, a bird that appears in the Owens Lake area during spring and summer. The curved columns of the structure are patterned after the bird’s curved wing while in flight. The eye-catching plaza serves as a gathering place for visitors and a starting point for hikers and explorers.
Because the Snowy Plover is known to nest in gravel on the ground, the Plaza’s designers placed a large boulder in the center of smaller rocks in the middle of the plaza to resemble a nest.
The designers also created 14 mound-like structures to resemble whitecaps, rolling white water formations on the surface of a big active lake. These small structures help in dust control by keeping particles from being gathered up by wind. The rocks used for the whitecaps also help to provide habitat for reptiles, insects, and mammals.
Around the plaza are gravel paths and roads that lead visitors to marshes, habitat islands, reflecting ponds, and local fauna. The entire project creates public access opportunities for bird watchers, artists, scientists, and researchers as well as casual observers and visitors.
There are three visitor overlook areas along with two trash receptacles and three parking areas. Access to the plaza route, which measures 3.06 miles, can be gained off of Highway 136, where an Information Kiosk is available.
Map location of the Plaza Trailhead