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Ellery/ Tioga Lakes camping backside?

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Ellery/ Tioga Lakes camping backside?

Postby markskor » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:15 am

I know about the 4 Mile Rule inside of the park.
Since these lakes are outside of the park boundary, what are the specific rules for wilderness camping (thinking on the south side) on these two Tioga Pass lakes? Legal/ with permit/ or no?
I know there is that small campground visible from the road on the North side, but?
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Re: Ellery/ Tioga Lakes camping backside?

Postby 87TT » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:20 am

There is another campground across the road from Ellery Lake too. I have parked my RV there while we went into Twenty Lakes. There is also a walkin CG up the road to Saddlebag too. I don't know if it's open or under the snow. The Mono Lake vistor center might have info. (760) 647-3044.
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Re: Ellery/ Tioga Lakes camping backside?

Postby maverick » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:01 am

Hi Markskor

This should help, if not then call them.
http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsint ... EBYSUBJECT
Click on "expend text".
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Re: Ellery/ Tioga Lakes camping backside?

Postby SSSdave » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:34 pm

Off the INF Mono Lake District page:

"Dispersed camping is not allowed in Lee Vining Canyon west of Hwy 395 and in the June Lake Loop. You should check with the Ranger Station in the area you plan to disperse camp to locate an appropriate area to camp."

Go to this page and download the North link upper right to get a map:


The level areas behind either of those reservoirs is not wilderness but rather INF. The Ansel Adam W boundary starts well up Glacier Canyon or above the base of talus on west end of the Mount Dana ridge. The back of the purple line on the INF map was made on the 10,000 foot topo line. To compare that map to the topo:


Note generally dispersed camping not only means one cannot roadside camp along paved or dirt roads but also cannot "backpack" off modest distances into a landscape within no dispersed camping zones. One will often see people overnighting in their vehicles at the scenic viewpoint above Tioga Lake probably because of lack of manpower. The sign there of course says "NO CAMPING".

A more traditional low key spot for those unable to fit in nearby Yosemite has always been about the Warren Fork crossing at the 9k bend. A few years ago the NF blocked most of that parking area off with boulders and put up some no overnight parking signs but have since relented unofficially at least for those overnighting in the remaining area. Likely they may become ornery if issues arise like litter or daytime tent camping. When places like that become too publicly known, such can bring in RV users who decide to set up home with their piles of camping furniture and clueless urban abusers. We sometimes use the old campground on the north side of the road that requires walking in couple hundred yards. There are picnic tables for each spot and it is a lovely quiet area with beautiful wildflowers about in season. In other situations I tend to always abide by policy even if it requires wasting time and gas to drive off several miles. When I have plans for nearby Yosemite ie Tuolumne Meadows, it would be trivial to stealth camp along SR120 inside the park, but being the good citizen I absolutely never do so and instead waste time and gas to drive out of the park. Use at the Warren Fork curve is however a special situation that goes back decades including generations of mountain folk including many in TM climbing community. As long as the status quo quietly continues, I'll use that one
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