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Summit Lake is a small, swimmable lake with one campground on the north, and the other on the south. Technically I believe they are the same campground (with A and B loops in the North and C, D, and E in the south), but they're separate enough with different facilities and names that they really are two different experiences.
South side: Nice trees, nice camping spots. There's a whole loop (E I think) that is only for tents. South is $2 cheaper than the North side, most likely because the North has the flush toilets vs the pit toilets on the South. Which brings me to the two reasons I like the "other" (North) campground better:
First, the North side has flush toilets. Totally worth spending the extra $2 to go to the other spot if there's openings.
Secondly, the North side has a nice little beach/swimming area, whereas from the South side you run into a lot more swampy water weeds trying to get down to the swimmable parts of the water.
That said, if the North side is booked up or if you want something with perhaps a bit more room (depending on which site you find), the South side is nice, too. There's even a couple of very nice spots right on the lake. Either way, you'll do fine at either campground.
I like this campground a lot. Just the right size, maybe 40-50 camp sites total in two separate loops and it’s all very walkable. There’s a couple of pull-though spots for RVs and trailers and a decent mixture of small and medium RVs and tents.
Camp sites aren’t huge, but enough room not to be completely on top of each other and lots and lots of trees. Some have more room behind them depending on whether they are facing in or out on the loop. Each spot has a fire grate and picnic table. Nice camp host when we were there and an amphitheater nearby.
Totally awesome lake that’s safely swimmable for kiddos that’s also available for day-use. Flush toilets(always a plus). Enough to do either at the campground or nearby to keep kiddos busy for several days. And Lassen in general is a lovely park.
Pros: Best part is the awesome lake. Fairly shallow overall but plenty of fun.
Cons: Not many“extras” (like a store or playground), but I liked it just the way it is. Some spots better than others as far as privacy/space goes.
Camping around Yosemite can become a little overwhelming and pricey. With the park being one of the most popular for those in California to visit, reservations can be a must for many of the options within the park itself. But if you are willing to make a short drive out of the park on the eastern side toward Mono Lake you will find that options start to become more and more abundant such as this one at Mill Creek.
Mill Creek offers entirely primitive camping perfect for those who are able to be off grid and fully sustainable on their own. The campsites lining Mill Creek offer little more than established stone fire rings at various stops along the Mill Creek.
This area is maintained by the Forest Service but you will find that it is far less occupied than the neighboring Virginia Creek Campsites.
I pulled in late in the afternoon expecting to find it hard to secure a campsite considering these are free but found that in late fall this area was unoccupied. I second guessed staying a the first pull off which was just off the main road in and didn’t appear to have any seclusion whatsoever. Instead opting to stay at the second turn off which took me down a small 30 foot drive toward the creek itself.
My site was well placed in the shaded area nearest to the creek and recessed slightly. The road in was a bit uneven but still able to be driven on in my small car with some larger rocks along the way which had to be maneuvered around.
The area is at about 7000 feet so it does get pretty chilly when the winds are blowing in so the trees around me allowed me to be a little warmer than I would have been in the more exposed roadside camping stop.
At the rear of the camp I had access to my own small bridge which spanned the creek. This creek has a rich history in the area as one of the methods for which the electricity was generated from the flow for neighboring mining communities such as the now ghost town of Bodie. The creek provided a calm background on the evening as I relaxed and rested. No restrooms, no electricity, no water but well worth the stay!!
- Stop by the local community Lee Vining for gas and any supplies you will need. You will be paying a bit more here but this will also save you a lot of headache as this is the only stop available for many miles.
- If staying here check out Mono Lake and Bodie Ghost Town for a bit of the unique history of this area beyond Yosemite you will be very pleased to learn a bit more.
- Bring extra blankets during fall and winter if you stay here. The winds are very strong coming off the mountains.
Very nice and tucked away lookout tower facing the castle crags mountains. Lots of flying bugs and high vegetation area. Nice fire pit and picnic table. Bring all your gear. There is absolutely nothing around but what you bring in. Totally off the grid. Oh yeah there is a cell tower that gives you 5 BARS. Live streaming no problem.
Perfect pit stop halfway between LA and Portland. Love staying near Shasta Mtn at this well maintained campsite with showers firewood and views of Shasta and the crags! Worth the lil drive and hike up to the view point. $25 per night for basic with pit and table.
We camped in off season (Oct) so very few campers and many of the sites were open.
This was just a lay over/crash for the night site for us but it got the job done.
I do not recall what site we chose but we did have a fire ring and picnic table.
Flush toilets that were marginally clean.
Awesome place, amazingly helpful and kind owners, Critter creek campground is right on 36 and wildwood road. Went there for a week of hunting and the property backs up to nothing but days and days worth of b-zone land. It also was really nice to have hot showers after really long days. A+++