Thanksgiving Advice

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rlown
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Re: Thanksgiving Advice

Post by rlown » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:30 am

Just for fun, post a picture of your rig..








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neil d
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Re: Thanksgiving Advice

Post by neil d » Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:52 pm

Another vote for Death Valley, we typically go for 4-5 days around Thanksgiving. As stated primitive camping is super easy, especially with a capable vehicle. And the established camping in DV sucks in a big way, so dispersed is the way to go. So many places to explore!

The only thing to keep in mind is elevation, due to colder temps up high. But anything under 2k feet is usually pretty comfortable.

There are hot springs in DV as well, rather famous ones accessed from Saline Valley (or from Eureka Dunes via Steel Pass). Will probably be a zoo at Thanksgiving, though. If going into Saline Valley over north or south pass definitely bring chains as a safety measure, even with 4WD, as people seem to get stuck out there rather frequently during early-season snow storms. Or simply monitor conditions and don't go there if it is questionable.

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Love the Sierra
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Re: Thanksgiving Advice

Post by Love the Sierra » Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:02 pm

There is a lovely forest EAST of the 395 right before the 120, before Lee Vining. You turn on the road that takes you to Mono Lake but pass Mono and continue until you see a bunch of dirt roads. Take one of those and pick out a camp site in the forest. There was a fire there a couple of years ago so I am not certain how bad the damage may have been. It is a lovely spot and the dirt roads are graded well enough for a 2 wheel vehicle. You can camp there and explore day hikes around Lee Vining.

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Re: Thanksgiving Advice

Post by eyemgh » Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:54 pm

Love the Sierra wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:02 pm
There is a lovely forest EAST of the 395 right before the 120, before Lee Vining. You turn on the road that takes you to Mono Lake but pass Mono and continue until you see a bunch of dirt roads. Take one of those and pick out a camp site in the forest. There was a fire there a couple of years ago so I am not certain how bad the damage may have been. It is a lovely spot and the dirt roads are graded well enough for a 2 wheel vehicle. You can camp there and explore day hikes around Lee Vining.
I’m trying to wrap my head around this: “EAST of the 395 right before the 120, before Lee Vining.” It doesn’t appear that there’s any forest out there until you get South of 120 and back into Inyo. Did you mean WEST or am I completely lost?

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Re: Thanksgiving Advice

Post by c9h13no3 » Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:59 pm

eyemgh wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:54 pm
Love the Sierra wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:02 pm
There is a lovely forest EAST of the 395 right before the 120, before Lee Vining. You turn on the road that takes you to Mono Lake but pass Mono and continue until you see a bunch of dirt roads. Take one of those and pick out a camp site in the forest. There was a fire there a couple of years ago so I am not certain how bad the damage may have been. It is a lovely spot and the dirt roads are graded well enough for a 2 wheel vehicle. You can camp there and explore day hikes around Lee Vining.
I’m trying to wrap my head around this: “EAST of the 395 right before the 120, before Lee Vining.” It doesn’t appear that there’s any forest out there until you get South of 120 and back into Inyo. Did you mean WEST or am I completely lost?
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Re: Thanksgiving Advice

Post by Love the Sierra » Fri Sep 25, 2020 8:23 am

Sorry to be confusing. It is not south of the 120, It IS the 120 heading east. (south of the 120 heading west is what I meant.) I mean the road that goes to Mono lake. 120 west off of 395, of course, goes to tioga pass and Yosemite and Tuolumne. You take the 120 east (towards mono lake) pass Mono Lake and about 10-15 minutes later, yes, there is a forest with a bunch of dirt roads. It is very little known and very few people go there but it is one of our favorite car camping spots. It is not scenic enough for hiking all day, but it makes a lovely base camp. Lots of bats to watch at night too! We used to get dinner at Whoa Nellie Deli and bring it back to camp after a day of hiking off of the Tioga pass. You are also close to the Dana Plateau TH, a great day hike, from there.
Last edited by Love the Sierra on Fri Sep 25, 2020 8:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Thanksgiving Advice

Post by eyemgh » Fri Sep 25, 2020 12:30 pm

Love the Sierra wrote:
Fri Sep 25, 2020 8:23 am
Sorry to be confusing. It is not south of the 120, It IS the 120 heading east. (south of the 120 heading west is what I meant.) I mean the road that goes to Mono lake. 120 west off of 395, of course, goes to tioga pass and Yosemite and Tuolumne. You take the 120 east (towards mono lake) pass Mono Lake and about 10-15 minutes later, yes, there is a forest with a bunch of dirt roads. It is very little known and very few people go there but it is one of our favorite car camping spots. It is not scenic enough for hiking all day, but it makes a lovely base camp. Lots of bats to watch at night too! We used to get dinner at Whoa Nellie Deli and bring it back to camp after a day of hiking off of the Tioga pass. You are also close to the Dana Plateau TH, a great day hike, from there.
Ah, yes, that's a section of the Inyo. Glad to know it's lightly traveled. Thank you both!!!
Last edited by eyemgh on Fri Sep 25, 2020 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Thanksgiving Advice

Post by eyemgh » Fri Sep 25, 2020 12:33 pm

For those of you that recommended Death Valley...thanks! We might just make a long drive the first day and spend two days in Death Valley, one North and one South, then exiting to JT. What is the northernmost way into Death Valley NP?

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Re: Thanksgiving Advice

Post by maverick » Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:06 pm

What is the northernmost way into Death Valley NP?
https://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/directions.htm

If you are looking for any further info on Death Valley, please start a new thread in the "Beyond The Nevada Sierra" section. :)
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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Re: Thanksgiving Advice

Post by neil d » Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:25 pm

eyemgh wrote:
Fri Sep 25, 2020 12:33 pm
For those of you that recommended Death Valley...thanks! We might just make a long drive the first day and spend two days in Death Valley, one North and one South, then exiting to JT. What is the northernmost way into Death Valley NP?
My favorite way in from 395 (coming south) is the DV-Big Pine Road out of Big Pine. Especially for any of the more northern features of the park (Saline Valley, Eureka Dunes, Ubehebe Crater, or Racetrack). This is a main access road so gets pretty good attention and maintenance. Some sections will be washboarded, but I don't remember any clearance issues.

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