View Full Version : Camping in the Mammoth area

Guest Who
06-09-2008, 09:09 PM
I've planned a trip to Mammoth for the weekend of June 28th. In the past I've always rented a motel room but this time to save money I am tent camping (2 people total, one vehicle).

Not knowing anything about the campsites, I found this web page:

I would prefer to camp somewhere close to town with fishable waters, but otherwise just close to town is good. However, I went on the reservation site and everything is booked or walks in only. Am I playing Russian roulette by driving up there hoping to find a camping spot?

Hopefully someone here can enlighten me.

06-10-2008, 09:51 AM
I'm kind of in the same boat as you. I'm planning a trip for Aug/Sept with a few friends. One of the guys who is planning the trip with me has been up there about 4 or 5 times to camp at the lakes. He said that he has never made a reservation and has never not found a spot. He has always gone in the summer/fall and has tried campgrounds near Lake George/Twin Lakes and the June Loop but he did say that he usually arrives fairly early in the morning (like 8 or 9am).

Anyways, good luck with the trip.

06-10-2008, 01:57 PM
Try the Lake George, Lake Mary, or Twin Lakes area. They will have plenty of spots open in the late August/early September period. The busiest times for the area besides winter recreation are the weekend of the of July, Memorial Day weekend, Labor day weekend, and opening day for the fishing season. Labor day is the last big push. August is the start of some of the best fishing possible in the Eastern Sierras. The Mammoth Lakes campgrounds are close to town, well maintained, and I guarantee you won't need a reservation in that time period.

06-10-2008, 02:57 PM
Lake Mary and Twin Lakes campgrounds are on a first-come first serve basis - so in order to get a campsite, you really need to arrive on a Wednesday or by Thursday afternoon by the latest, or else the campsites are all taken. I just looked at your link - Twin lakes has 26 sites available by reservations GET A SITE QUICK if you can.

The other bummer about Mammoth Lakes is there are a lot of bears the past 4 years I have been there, so you need to be super careful putting anything inside of your tent or truck, that looks like food, or smells like food.

I would seriously invest in bear spray and sleep with it...

You're going to need to have a backup plan just in case Mammoth Lakes campgrounds are full - which I anticipate they will be if you roll in late on a friday evening after work.(Or Friday morning for that matter.)

From your link here's where I would recommend staying int the following order:

Lake Mary - Mammoth Lakes
Twin Lakes - Mammoth Lakes
June Lakes - Oh Ridge Campground
Silver Lake
Gull Lake has a few campsite but it gets pretty crowded.

Then Convict.

There's primative campsites along the road on the way to rock creek lake next to a river, which
would be good fly fishing spots - but there were lymes tick warnings, and bunoic plague found on ticks on dead squirels posted in that area when I was there two summers ago. You sure don't want to bring your dog, if there's still a problem.

pescado abajo
06-10-2008, 06:29 PM
My family and I are camping in Mammoth the week of the 23rd. I have a spot at New Shady Rest campgrounds in Mammoth Lakes. Here's a link to the site where I reserved my spot:

I checked for the weekend you were planning on going up, and there were still 4 spots available to reserve, along w/ some first come, first serve spots. I personally haven't camped at this site before, but it was recommended to me by a buddy.

Good luck!

Guest Who
06-10-2008, 06:44 PM
Thanks guys, I did a search function and got a campsite called "OLD SHADY REST CAMPGROUND" that's walking distance to town. Not as good as on a lake, but all those were reserved already or group campsites ($55 a night).

Now I need to start planning out where I want to fish. I'd like to try some of the hike in lakes since I've never fished them before.

06-18-2008, 07:54 PM
I have been camping up in Mammoth for several years now and have never not been able to find a spot. A couple of times the campgrounds have been full, but you just have to drive around and look at the dates posted at each campsite and ask when someone might be leaving and come back an hour or two later after the have packed up and gone. Another thing is that you have to get up there no later than early Thursday morning on any given weekend during the summer, Friday is just too late.

06-20-2008, 08:08 PM
This happens to be my favorite area to camp in the Sierras. I suggest Big Springs. It is free, you can drink the water straight from the springs that pour into the river. the upper Owens River runs right through campIt has pit toilets and no trash cans, but is beautiful and quiet. Tall pines, nice breeze, sound of the river, cant be beat. Some OHV folks but they are always respectable. The camp host that is up there now, cant remember his name, is hilarious. Campground is right between Mammoth and June Lakes Loop.
From Bishop: 395 North. 6 Mi. past Mammoth Turnoff (HWY 203) go east on Owens River Rd. Campground is about two miles in on the right. I swear it is the best. Usually not full. Plenty of deadfall wood in the area for a nice campfire.

Alternates: Deadmans Creek, Hartley Springs, FREE and a great one near Mammoth with great fishing... Sherwin Creek $18.00 per night. Hope this helps. PM me if u have questions Have a great trip.

06-20-2008, 08:12 PM
oh, and with no trash cans... no bear problems! You can dump your trash at Deadman Summit rest area on 395. Remember to separate your recyclables cuz there is a guy there that collects them. PM me for fishing spots.

06-20-2008, 08:21 PM
2 miles in on the left. Follow the directions on this page for Big Springs area