Mono Hot Springs Campground sits above Kaiser Pass in the High Sierra, on the South Fork of the San Joaquin River in an area known for its hot mineral baths. The camp is divided into two sections that are separated by Mono Hot Springs Resort, and some sites are shaded by aspen and lodgepole pine.
The campground sits at an elevation of 6,700 feet with many cliffs in the area. It makes a great base for exploring the nearby Ansel Adams and John Muir Wilderness areas or for simply relaxing and enjoying the scenery.
The Mono Hot Springs area provides opportunities for fishing, birding, mountain biking, hiking and relaxing in the hot springs. Interpretive programs are offered at the campground on Friday nights during the summer.
Wading is permitted in the San Joaquin River, which is known for its excellent fly fishing.
Trailheads in the area include Devil's Table (5 miles) and Doris Lake (2 miles). The Mono Creek Trail connects Mono Hot Springs to Edison Lake, a hike of about 10 miles round-trip.
Each campsite has a picnic table, grill and bear-proof food storage locker. Vault toilets are provided. Drinking water is not available at the camp but can be acquired along with other supplies at the general store at Mono Hot Springs Resort.
The Sierra National Forest, located on the western slope of the central Sierra Nevada, is known for its spectacular mountain scenery and abundant natural resources.
The terrain includes rolling, oak-covered foothills, heavily forested middle elevation slopes and the starkly beautiful alpine landscape of the High Sierra.
Edison Lake is a popular recreation area nearby offering boating, fishing and horseback riding. From this area, hikers and horseback riders can access the John Muir Wilderness, and the Pacific Crest Trail, which extends from Mexico to Canada.
ADA Access: N
We’ll go back. Kaiser Pass was a bit of an adrenaline rush. It took 2 hours to drive 18 mikes on a one lane road that is not in good repair. But WORTH it! The campground is nice, walkable and level. The dispersed area is always open, though you need a 4WD to access. The s emery is great. Doris lake is pretty, with several cliffs to jump from ranging all sizes up to 60” feet. The hot springs and mud baths are great!
The road in was an adventure. The last 18 miles over Kaiser Pass took 1.5 hours. A sub-par road surface little bigger than one lane in many places made transit.. interesting. However, the views were incredible, and once we arrived, the campground was awesome. No hook ups (RV usage prohibited and likely not possible over Kaiser Pass), but 50-ish sites for reservations, a few cabins, and a very large dispersed area for free camping (4WD or hike in). There were a dozen hot springs and mud baths peppered around a couple acres on the south side of a very pretty, clear, cold stream. Plenty of people fishing. Several trails to a few alpine lakes, and great swimming and cliff jumping at Doris lake. We did take our Eurovan there, and saw a Vanagon. Mostly trucks and keeps. Though, there were a few small 2WD cars there too. Awesome trip, we will likely return.
My wife and I took a trip up for just the weekend. The drive is pretty interesting once you get to the single lane road. We didn’t stay in the campgrounds but we did get to experience the dispersed camping. If you go up to Mono Hot Spring and don’t have a reservation there are plenty of campgrounds both before and after the main mono hot spring campgrounds.
There’s a store and a burrito shop in Mono Springs. The store has a decent amount of supplies. Due to Covid-19 the burrito shop is closed but the store is still open.
Dog friend which is huge for my wife and I sense we take Teddy (our dog) everywhere with us. They have water bowls for the pups and an area outside the burrito shop to tether your pups at.
I agree the road out is pretty scary I don't advise trailers but I have seen them while driving in. It is one lane and you must pull out for opposing traffic. But definitely one of my most favorite places in the Sierras. The views are amazing, I recommend giving yourself extra time to stop and get out for the views a few times on the way in.
Once in the campground/resort area there are two separate loops to camp in as well as cabins to rent and a small dispersed camping area there is also a general store, bath house, and small Cafe that are all seasonal since the road is closed most of the year. So open and close dates vary depending on snow. You can get firewood, drinking water at the store but it can be a little pricey, so I recommend bringing your own. The baths/showers are usually included for anyone paying for a campsite, but this may have changed. It is very cheap for day use persons to use the showers though. The sites are all very nice and surprisingly private though some are pretty close together. All provide a firepit, table, bear box, and parking space. I love that there are bear boxes at such a remote place! There are vault tiolets and dumpsters for trash. The river runs along one side of the campsites so about half of the sites are on the river. Bring extra bugspray for these sites as you are close to the water.
Most important if you made it this far reading 😅😂 there are multiple NATURAL HOT SPRINGS!! There are several different pools located across the river from the campgrounds. They are all over the hillside and range in temperature from lukewarm to bath water to Hot. They also pump the natural mineral water to the bathhouse for the showers! The springs are the main reason to come out and camp. There are also tons of hiking trails and other lakes in the area including 2 thermal lakes and tons of breathtaking views. I highly recommend this place. 🏞🏕
Also: I have not personally stayed in the cabins or dispersed camping area only the paid sites along the river, but I have been here several times and have seen them. There is also a corral area for horses so I'm not sure if that qualifies it as an equestrian camp but there is a spot for the horses.
If you read a few of the other reviews there is mention of the road getting to Mono Hot Springs. You can't describe enough what a crazy road it is. Do not take the warnings lightly. Your first drive down this road will leave you white knuckled. But so worth it!
I was taking a fly fishing trip in the morning and figured I would camp the night. All campsites were taken. But there are tons of other sites that you can just set up camp. Basically pull off any area and set up camp.
I ended up sharing a campsite with a couple adventure riders for the first night and second night set up camp with the fly fishing guide just off to the side of the main campground.
In the campground each site had a fire ring, cooking area and bear box.
The camp host was amazing and so sweet! She even gave me some tips on where to fish.
Pit toilets but super clean and no stink at all. Again the camp host does an amazing job.
They also offer cabins, an amazing restaurant, a little country type store and a spa type area, or so I am told I did not check that out.
There are a couple hot springs you can walk to, again I did not check those out.
I was there for fishing.
The river runs right close to the campsites and it is amazing fishing, I was told that it gets stocked often.
But the real gem is taking a drive around the roads around the area and finding more hidden fishing spots.
Hiking, fishing, swimming, hot springs. All you could ask for. A week made for memories.
This place is amazing! My boyfriend and I recently camped at the mono hot springs campground, and absolutely loved it. As far as the campground, you get a fire pit, bear bin and tent area. There are bathrooms (outhouses, essentially) very close and running water via spiket up the hill. Our campground was right next to the river, and hiking trails to lakes, meadows and hot springs run directly off of the campground. The host was wonderful, it was all around perfect. Just remember to bring bug spray!
This is our go to place for our yearly camp out . It has a spot for everyone from tent camping to cabins.
Last minute decision to go here. Took a 1 lane road/path to get here. Warning drive slow as it is 2 way traffic. Gorgeous views. Crossed a log bridge to get to the hot springs. Prefevt weather for hiking to the higher hot springs. Theres fishing and lakes with rock jump offs. Camping is thru the park service so make sure to stop and get a pass before getting there. There is a restaurant and store. And cabins to rent run privately. Got some rain them it was snowing as I left the next morning which made it tricky to drive out. But great experience. Would definatly camp here again.
Tough drive, very narrow roads with steep drop offs. Scary drive in the dark. Its a thin road with 2 way traffic. Barely room to pass up on coming cars. Albeit a very scenic drive. This place is everything a wilderness seaker is looking for. Cozy village cabins, high uo in the mounatinous forest. Hiking trails leading to gorgeous lakes, hot springs tubs scattered around and across a clean chilly river. Secluded enough for bears to roam around likes its their hood.