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Seeking Eastern Sierra Fall Camping Spots

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Seeking Eastern Sierra Fall Camping Spots

Postby KrazyKay » Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:20 pm

HI All! I spent a lot of time this summer in the Sierra, including hiking the JMT. I typically do my fall and winter hiking in SoCal where I live, but I've got a Sierra Jones going and want to take a road trip to show off the mountains to some friends. Yes, car camping. Since I spend most of my time in the backcountry, I am not all that familiar with frontcountry campsites other than those at trailheads. I've learned that most of the campgrounds are closed for the season. I just spent all morning trying to put together a road trip/car camp trip for next weekend and I'm at a loss. I came up with a nice route to view the fall colors from June Lake to Bridgeport. I'd love input on good camping sites. My friends are tenderfeet, so I prefer developed--pit toilets are OK--but I'm also interested in dispersed sites that might offer some sort of "comfort" (so as not to scare them into making me drive them back home!). I am aware that this may not exist, so I'll gladly take any information about any good campsites that are still open this late in the season. Looking for any locations on either side of the 395 between June Lake and Bridgeport. Thanks in advance!



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Re: Seeking Eastern Sierra Fall Camping Spots

Postby maverick » Sat Oct 08, 2016 4:49 pm

Hi KarzyKay,

Welcome to HST! This website has links to other sites especially the first few, they will give up to date Fall leaf conditions in those areas.
https://naturalhistorywanderings.com/fa ... locations/
You also have some weather moving in starting next Thursday, and another system during the weekend, which will bring breezy and wet conditions, keep an eye on the forecast.

Campgrounds:
http://www.allstays.com/Campgrounds/Cal ... l-year.htm
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/prog/recrea ... mping.html
http://www.forestcamping.com/dow/pacficsw/inyo.htm
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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: Seeking Eastern Sierra Fall Camping Spots

Postby SSSdave » Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:34 pm

Most of us that disperse camp do so because public camps require not so trivial fees and also dispersed camping allows privacy as it is easy to find places one could yell loudly and no others would hear. For instance everywhere on dirt roads junctioning along SR120 east of the South Tufa junction. Buy the large Inyo National Forest map because it is the only way to know where dispersed camping is legal as it is otherwise not signed along roads.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsint ... EBYSUBJECT

Then simply explore the large numbers of dirt roads in the legal areas. You will then come across other parked vehicles with people doing so. Most dispersed camping sites do not conveniently have streams nearby. However some do but you will need to find them by exploring dirt roads. There are far more dirt roads than the Inyo NF map shows. Topo maps for those areas show many more dirt roads and there are many more primitive 4wd paths that are not on any maps.
Last edited by SSSdave on Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Seeking Eastern Sierra Fall Camping Spots

Postby psykokid » Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:07 pm

I'll also tack onto Dave's post. There are a lot of two track dirt roads that are open that you can explore to your heart's content. There are also a lot of those roads that have been closed for one reason or another. Some are marked as closed, others are not. I like to use the USFS topo maps in conjunction with the MVUMs (Motor Vehicle Use Map). Basically, if the road isn't on the MVUM then it is out of bounds to vehicular traffic.

Here's the link to the MVUMs for Inyo NF: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/maps ... rdb5441969 Every USFS National Forest unit will have MVUMs for their area. Inyo, Sequoia, Eldorado, Stanislaus, and Humbolt-Toiyabe seem to be pretty good about keeping them updated and usually have them on hand to distribute. I went into the Angeles NF office in Arcadia to ask for the MVUMs and got greeted with blank stares..
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Re: Seeking Eastern Sierra Fall Camping Spots

Postby oleander » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:30 pm

I was going to go to the Eastern Sierra this weekend, and before deciding to bail on that, studied several weather forecasts. Here's one of my favorites, very informative:

http://mammothweather.com/

The consistent finding of the weather forecasts is that rain and winds are going to be much heavier the further north you go. The storm coming through on Sunday - Typhoon Songda - may be its heaviest around Sonora Pass, which is WNW of Bridgeport. Further south - basically, from Bishop south - there is no rain predicted or maybe an isolated sprinkle here or there, but generally sunny and pretty weather. So, if I was going to the Eastern Sierra as planned, I would have made my destination no further north than Bishop.

The whole 395 may enjoy a bit of a rain shadow, but it's hard to count on.
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Re: Seeking Eastern Sierra Fall Camping Spots

Postby Tom_H » Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:20 am

There is good dispersed camping in the Alabama Hills, east of 395. While not in the Sierra, there are majestic views of Whitney. It is wilderness and has a lot of its own desert beauty. It should be a nice temperature this time of year. Lots of people in Jeeps, Sportsmobiles, EarthRoamers, Tigers and other off-road capable vehicles go there, but you don't actually have to have an off-road capable vehicle. The unpaved roads are graded.

http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/bishop/s ... bamas.html

Google "Alabama Hills" for numerous links. Do the same term on an image search.
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Re: Seeking Eastern Sierra Fall Camping Spots

Postby rlown » Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:35 am

A great recommendation. for other background on the area:
http://the-great-silence.blogspot.com/2 ... ation.html
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Re: Seeking Eastern Sierra Fall Camping Spots

Postby maverick » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:32 am

With the high wind warnings in effect starting Thur, ahead of the storm, there may not be a whole lot of leaves left after this weekend, in effect the fall colors show will be over for the season.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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: Seeking Eastern Sierra Fall Camping Spots

Postby KrazyKay » Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:38 pm

Thanks to all of you who commented on my inquiry. I've used HST for years and this was my first post. You blew me away. Happy trails!
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