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Trip Advice: Non-Designated Car Camping

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Re: Trip Advice: Non-Designated Car Camping

Postby giantbrookie » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:42 pm

My wife and I have enjoyed 'primitive camping' for many years and have carried on the tradition with our kids. The posts above give good advice on the matter. One thing you have to watch is that the primitive camping restrictions change from season to season within each National Forest. I found this out the hard way when a ranger came up to my wife and I while we were in the middle of BBQ'ing some steaks and asked us to leave (on some backroads near Fallen Leaf Lake). It is good to call ahead for any special restrictions for general areas. The finest camping spots tend to be off of dirt roads, but a clever inspection of line-of-sight and small-scale topography can get you some fine spots off of well traveled roads at times (I have used just such a site off of 120 outside of Yosemite for many years).

Some nice areas for primitive camping are available in the Hope Valley area south of 88 (there are designated campgrounds too, but there is a lot of open territory with more secluded primitive camping possibilities). There are also some good spots along Hwy 4, too (won't give up my favorite spot, though, even via PM; similar to my "Magic site" along 120). The key is knowing where primitive camping is allowed and being creative about location. The region north of I80 has a number of fine spots off of dirt roads. A few of the areas off I80 are periodically plagued by drunken folks in jeeps firing AK's and other ordinance around, but there are plenty of areas that rarely have that factor, too. This was the number one primitive camping region for my wife and I for much of the 90's. There are too many possibilities to count.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: ... ayshi.html

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Re: Trip Advice: Non-Designated Car Camping

Postby huts » Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:40 am

TahoeJeff wrote:Hey Huts, I followed that old Dodge tow truck pulling the white Chevy Astro van down from Leavitt last Sunday. Man it got cold rainy and windy up there!

Ha ha!
Did I talk to you when we were backed up at the creek crossing? I was in the truck with the pop-up camper.

Re: Trip Advice: Non-Designated Car Camping

Postby desertdawg » Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:08 am

rlown wrote:
huts wrote:Leavitt Lake is a wonderful place but the road is real challenging. Do not even attempt it without high clearance. A member of our group punctured an oil pan last weekend and the tow out cost 300.00. It can be cold and windy and unfortunately often populated by at least one group with an AK47 :snipe: and/or other lovely "toys" but I still love the place......

AK47 guy might have been me. :cool: but, i digress. On the flipside of that argument, i don't think they require bear cans.


I was up there that weekend as well. I found the shooting to be VERY ANNOYING. Why do people have to shoot in an area where there were at least 30 people camping? USFS Regulations state that no shooting allowed within 450 feet of an area that is occupied. ... 261.10.pdf

I've been going to Leavitt for the past 10 years, that weekend was the first I heard the incessant gunfire. It sucked and was inappropriate in that area. Hopefully the shooter picked up their spent shells, there must of been over a hundred of them!!!

Last edited by desertdawg on Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Trip Advice: Non-Designated Car Camping

Postby rlown » Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:34 am

I would apologize if I was actually up at Leavitt that weekend, but that comment was made in jest. If you think someone was acting incorrectly, you should take down their license number, and report them to the nearest Sheriff.

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Re: Trip Advice: Non-Designated Car Camping

Postby huts » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:01 am

Yes, that was done. We also had photos of the idiots posing with the illegal weapon. I doubt anything will come of it.

Desertdawg, I have been going to Leavitt for more than 30 years. The gun thing is becoming more common. When I returned home I looked up the information you linked. I will start carrying copies. But - illegal weapon. Do ya think they give a hoot what the "rules" are? These are nothing but kids, likely have not ever been taught any safety like those of us who grew up shooting with an adult (my father was an instructor for the US Army) and clearly obtained the gun through unlawful means. It is pretty disturbing.
I did not have the time to check for shells but I will on my next trip. Perhaps a bag of them dumped on the counter in Bridgeport will have an impact.


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