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Car Camping Eastern Sierra in early May?

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Car Camping Eastern Sierra in early May?

Postby Gozerian138 » Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:06 am

Hello,
My sons want to go camping the first weekend of May and I have relatives who are going to be staying in the Mammoth Lakes area same weekend at a cabin. I would like to car camp relatively close to that area so that I can please everyone! Are there any good car camping options for the Eastern Sierra in early May? To avoid camping in the snow, would clearly need lower elevation outside of Mammoth Basin. (Would ideally like to camp somewhere fire pits) Maybe campgrounds outside of Bishop near the Owen’s River or near Tom’s Place? Any suggestions would be much appreciated!



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Re: Car Camping Eastern Sierra in early May?

Postby maverick » Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:47 am

HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination, and where the trail ends is where our adventures begin.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Car Camping Eastern Sierra in early May?

Postby SSSdave » Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:29 am

Some others could open early May but for now Holiday Campground is just a half mile off US395 and won't have snow.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/inyo/rec ... 8&actid=29
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Re: Car Camping Eastern Sierra in early May?

Postby markskor » Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:50 pm

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Just a FYI -
Mammoth Lakes Basin today - 4/20!
...9,000 ft.
Lake Mary - 9,000 ft.jpg
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Re: Car Camping Eastern Sierra in early May?

Postby rlown » Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:52 pm

Where's the puff of smoke to celebrate the day? :)
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Re: Car Camping Eastern Sierra in early May?

Postby snevill » Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:08 am

I stayed in the Big Pine Creek campground last year in April and it was probably my favorite campground that I've ever stayed at. Highly recommended and not too far from Mammoth.
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Re: Car Camping Eastern Sierra in early May?

Postby mkbgdns » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:04 pm

currently closed, unlikely open in two weeks. remember, last winter featured the lowest snowpack on record...last year first week of may, hiked out of mosquito flat to 11,000 ft before being turned back by snow. a different year, this.
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Re: Car Camping Eastern Sierra in early May?

Postby Troutdog 59 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:52 pm

!st of May is typically a tad early for car camping up near Mammoth. All of the nearby National Forest campgrounds (Shady Rest, Convict, French Camp on Rock Creek, etc) I believe are still closed, but you might want to call and ask if they know when they might open up as the web cams dont show much snow at the Village Gondola or any at all at the 395/204 intersection. If those are all closed, just outside (northwest) of Bishop is a private camp called Browns Mill Pond or something like that, and I would bet it would be open. I've never stayed there, but I know others that have and they said it was fine.
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Re: Car Camping Eastern Sierra in early May?

Postby SSSdave » Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:35 am

Troutdog 59 wrote:!st of May is typically a tad early for car camping up near Mammoth. All of the nearby National Forest campgrounds (Shady Rest, Convict, French Camp on Rock Creek, etc) I believe are still closed, but you might want to call and ask if they know when they might open up ...


The above link I provided to Holiday Campground is to the only campground open now and all winter closest to Mammoth.
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Re: Car Camping Eastern Sierra in early May?

Postby Gozerian138 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:26 pm

Great thanks for the great info guys! I called up to the Mammoth Visitors Center and the woman told me that Tuff and French Camp are opening this weekend. Looks like quite a bit of snow up in those mountains still! Great news, but not good outlook for early season camping!
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Re: Car Camping Eastern Sierra in early May?

Postby markskor » Sat Apr 23, 2016 6:36 am

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Took a walk around Convict lake yesterday (just before the snow hit...BTW, just got 6" in town)...3.1 mile trail around lake was 99% snow free.
Noticed two cars/tents in the campground...Thinking it could be open - getting ready for opening day?
convict.jpg
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Re: Car Camping Eastern Sierra in early May?

Postby hikerchick395 » Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:32 am

Yeah...I saw at least one host was set up at Convict Lake campground on April 17. Usually the campground opens for fishmas (fishing opener.)
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