Really nice place to backpack the lake is so nice and private. You’ll meet a lot of people hiking the pct or jmt our here. The lower vermillion camp has a full store with a bar and tv’s. Also a fair leaves from out to here
Bring water, solar showers or lots of baby wipes. There is no water or showers on site. Campfires are allowed. Relatively small campground, get there early, then go exploring. Bring insect repellent, lots of flies live here.
Very quiet site, well laid out , on the road to White Mountain Peak and the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. Definitely visit the Forest and hike the Methusala op Trail.
- We stayed here before hiking up White Mountain Peak, past the weather research station.
- Even at 8000 feet,asl, it was hot during the day and cooler at night. Beautiful scenery, but the flies were terrible. The restrooms were clean and well maintained, so that was not an issue. No showers, though.
- Mostly, it was quiet and relaxing. Well worth the drive up here.
This campground is clean and quiet. There are spaces for travel trailers and motor homes with or without electricity and water and there are spaces for tent camping as well. The restrooms are clean and have showers,a small stream runs through the campground and fires are allowed. The campground is near a county park with a small lake . This is a great home base to explore the area, Toms place,Rock creek,Convict Lake, Mammoth and the June Lake loop are within 45 min. Definitely worth checking out we stay two times a year and we love it.
Tent camping and some RV sites available. Went at the very end of the season so cold at night but beautiful during the day! Various homes nearby. Lake was beautiful and the leaves were changing in time for winter. Very clean. Flushable toilets and running water. Walking distance from town.
This camp ground is a great place to stay on your way to or from an adventure in the eastern Sierra. It’s easy to get to, has a small store, bathrooms/showers, and storage for your recreational vehicle if you want to leave it in a beautiful place during the off season :)
Stayed here during peak season for Yosemite. It wasn’t completely full. The spot that I had was tiny, but unfortunately one of the last available. There is a river that runs adjacent to it on the east side. The campground was well maintained even with the heavy traffic. The spots for RVs were apparent and a bit larger than those that weren’t. Not bathroom just out houses. I believe that the fee was $14. There were a good amount of trees for hammocks near the river. They had fire rigs for most of the sights, but not all.
Fantastic campground nestled along shores of Town Lakes and amid pine forest. Abundance of recreational activities. Fishing, kayaking, row boats, paddle boards. Hiking, Mountian Biking and when it snows - telemark skiing, snow showing. Well kept campground. Nice sites. Wonderful camp hosts.
This is a small, well kept campground. It’s within walking distance to Lake Sotcher as well as Reds Meadow Pack station and trailheads for Rainbow Falls and Devils Postpile. For now they have bathrooms with running water and flush toilets. There are also water faucets located throughoutcampground. Sites are well maintained and spaced well apart for privacy.
If you're camping here, you're going to see beautiful lakes and a giant waterfall that's just a short walk from any campsite. However, be prepared to be right on top of each other, without a lot of space.
The bathrooms have flushing toilets and running sinks, so they don't stink and aren't terrible to camp next to if you have to. (Site 11 was the only one left the second time I stayed here, but there was no bathroom smell).
This is a great campsite for backpackers getting to Mammoth lakes and acclimating to the altitude before setting off.
Lots of sites strung along the road to Lundy Lake. Look for spots to turn off onto a dirt road parellel to the main road (Left if you’re going uphill). Sites are pretty well spaced and tucked in among the aspens. There are bear boxes and pit toilets. No reservations but I have always found a spot.
One of the great rewards of backpacking longer distances is the fact that the further you get away from the trailhead, the less people you encounter, and the more unspoied your surroundings.
Such it is when you reach Lake Virginia. A fairly flat area, the lake sprawls out in an uneven pattern amidst rocks that protrude from the ground in clumps. The trail itself jumps across these if the water is high, it is a picturesque lake, very lush in it's surroundings.
This was stop three on a 50 mile backpacking trip, where we were able to refuel our water and renew our spirits in one of the greatest lakes in the area. We also renewed our energy for the rest of the hike.
V-mart location is an area for a dispersed campsite, but the whole idea of dispersed campsites is to let areas that are overused regrow. So if it looks overused spread out into other areas and allow re-growth. Keeping in mind to try to camp on durable surfaces, rather than on top of growing plants.
Lake Mary is a very nice campground. Large open sites with pines surrounding you. Some have tremendous views of the lake or even the mountains. Our site was directly next to the bathrooms, which we were initially worried about but it wasn't an issue for smell or noise and quite nice at 3 in the morning. There is a very nice divided paved path that meanders thru the campground. We saw lots of bikers, walkers and runners pass by. The lake has a plethora of activity options and we would have enjoyed them if we'd had the time. We were simply there to acclimate for our trip on the JMT. The trolley system in Mammoth is extensive and extremely useful, not to mention, free. Learn about it and use it. For those looking to hike/backpack Duck Pass Trail/The JMT this site isn't the closest campground but with all others full it worked out well. It was a couple miles to the trailhead but when you're walking for days whats a few more miles.
This was a second stop along a 50 mile backpacking trip with my son when he was 11.
This is a broad area along the Pacific Crest Trail at the Deer Creek crossing. Fresh water to filter (always filter stream water), so you can resupply.
Even in August there are occasional thunderstorms and sudden downpours in the Sierras, regardless of the weather forecast. Be prepared just in case.
Dispersed camping, spread out to minimize your impact on the area.
Beautiful and serene, this is the beginning of the deeper backcountry of the Sierras, so press on!
There are several ways to enter onto the John Muir Trail and one of the most scenic ways is via Duck Pass Trail our of Mammoth Lakes. It's about 6 miles up and over the pass to the JMT and a great way to work on acclimation. Since we were doing just that we did the short mileage and though we were travelling SOBO the closest camp spots were about 100 yards northbound. The signage when we entered onto the JMT was almost non existent. We actually started heading SOBO until we realized were had entered onto the trail and turned around for a quick switchback decent to the camp spots. They were not easily found as well so when you're heading down you'll see a meadow coming up on your right and Duck Creek in front of you and then heading to your left. The camp spots with fire ring are on the left up a small incline. Your view is of the meadow and though you can't really see the creek it's about 25 yards in front of you. The site is lacking in flat surface so it fits one person perfectly and then after that you start to spread out. We ended up with two by the fire ring and then three others went up a short trail to another semi sloped but clear surface (as seen in the pics). The site overall wasn't ideal but it had water and a bit of a view so it worked. If you didn't care to go quite as far I'd suggest stopping about a mile prior on the Duck Pass Trail and staying at the end of Duck Lake where there were abundant views and crystal clear lake to enjoy.
After starting the morning at Silver Pass Lake we descended SOBO into the land of giants for about 2000 feet. Finding Bear Creek and following it and it's gurgling cascades to about 8600 feet. It was another long day at around 11 miles and we weren't to picky on a campsite. The area is fairly clear along the stream so there are several places to camp. We found a spot for our group of 2 tents and 3 tarp tents and set up for the night. Pine needle floor was nice after you moved all the cones away from your site. Creek was great for cleaning off and refilling water. A nice sound to head to bed to. No views being so low, and frankly it was chillier then being higher up in the mountains because the sun took longer to appear. It's a nice rest from the higher altitude but it also means you'll be heading back up on your way to Selden Pass.
Silver Pass Lake, on mile 80.5 of the southbound trek of the John Muir Trail, sits at 10,350 feet. It is located about 1/2 a mile below Silver Pass which is at 10,900 feet. As you descend the pass you see two lakes, one on each side of the trail. The one to the left is closer but much smaller and not the one you want. Continue on down and to the right Silver Pass Lake will open up to you. The trail takes you closer to the first lake and honestly there's not a great way to just walk over to Silver Pass, you have to go off trail but it's over grassy, rocky meadow so it's not difficult and with no trees there's nothing blocking your view of were you need to go. You will find that once you're by the lake there are flat areas of gravely rock with which to pitch your tent, tarp, pad, etc. Most spots have several medium sized rocks lying around which make for great tent holders if you go ultralight with no stakes. These gravely sites are located all along the trail side of the lake and if you prefer privacy and there are others present just keep walking down the lake. The area is surrounded by mountains so the sun sets early and it is cooler at the higher elevation but if you're like us and hiking from Duck Pass that day you don't care. It's an exhausting trip up and over the pass. The lake is crystal clear, cold and filled with beautiful lake trout. There are no fires at this elevation so prepare to boil water, cook, etc with your backpacking stove. The water is drinkable with a filter. The area is open so you have to walk a bit to find privacy for digging your bathroom hole. We enjoyed this camp spot under clear skies and were rewarded with stunning starry skies and a bit of aurora.
RANGER REVIEW: Mountain House Spaghetti with Meat Sauce at Gladys Lake Backcountry Campsites, Ansel Adams Wilderness, CA
CAMPGROUND REVIEW: Gladys Lake Backcountry Campsite, Ansel Adams Wilderness
Backcountry camping often offers great hiking, epic scenery, serene solitude and otherwise missed sights. Depending on location, backcountry campsite locations can offer their own challenges, whether through the permitting process, preparation of gear and meals, logistics, or difficult terrain…but the trade offs can pay out big dividends.
Leaving behind the din of packed campgrounds…getting unplugged from electronic encumbrances…relaxing beside an untouched alpine lake where the only sound you hear is the whir of dragonfly wings as they dart about.
Only a set number of backcountry permits are issued daily, so crowds and impact remain minimal to nonexistent.
Permits are necessary for all backcountry overnight stays in the Inyo National Forest. https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/inyo/passes-permits
Whenever backcountry hiking/camping in California, do yourself a service and go online https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/passes-permits/?cid=stelprdb5139009 and take the California Campfire Permit test to acquire your certificate and possess it when in the backcountry.
Several ways to get to Gladys Lake exist…
1. John Muir Trail (JMT) thru-hike permits NOBO or SOBO
2. John Muir Trail section hike permits
3. Wilderness Permits Day hike permits
You could enter from Reds Meadows and follow the JMT north to Gladys Lake…or better from Agnew Meadows and follow the Shadow Creek Trail (https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/inyo/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=21272&actid=51 ) up and around Shadow Lake and then south on the JMT past Rosalie Lake to Gladys Lake. Each access trail has a daily quota…such as Shadow Creek, which has a daily quota of 30…18 secured through reservation and 12 walk-ups. So if you are choosing to walk-up, have some flexibility of starting days.
We had a JMT SOBO permit acquired six months in advance through the NPS permit lottery. But next visit, I will likely enter through Agnew Meadows via day permit.
Most hikers will stop and camp at Rosalie Lake, which is a wonderful option and a much larger lake. Some would suggest a more picturesque lake than Gladys Lake…but that is all in the eye of the beholder.
August of 2018 saw little precipitation and the winter snowfall was below expectations, so lake water levels were lower and surrounding shoreline not marshy or soggy. Which made for dry and mosquito free conditions.
The effects of local forest fires did cover surrounding mountain views during certain times of the day, and brought with it a bit of lung burning and eye stinging. Early morning and late evening hours brought clearer skies.
Be forewarned that seemingly every backcountry campsite brings with it a steep uphill slog, but worth it. Gladys Lake is at 9600 ft elevation.
I believe there was one other camper at Gladys Lake the night we stayed…but we neither heard nor saw them. It was a perfectly peaceful evening!
Amenities? Well, no showers…no toilets…no water spigots…no electricity…no picnic tables…one lonely stone fire ring but open fires are not permitted. No cell service or WiFi…no general store or local grocery store. However, Gladys Lake water was refreshing both to wade and drink (filtered). You are surrounded by fragrant conifers that buffer sound. A perfectly peaceful location to relax and dream.
PRODUCT REVIEW: Mountain House Spaghetti With Meat Sauce
As a frequent user of Mountain House freezes dried dinners, and being a creature of habit, I often settle into a couple favorite meals and don’t deviate to new offerings. Mundane and boring?…perhaps.
But…after winning $100 worth of Mountain House meals through an early season TheDyrt.com contest… and with my daughter as my hiking buddy, I selected several different meals to avoid mutiny.
One of these meal pouches was Mountain House’s Spaghetti with Meat Sauce.
I admit, I was a little suspect as to how freeze-dried spaghetti with meat sauce would taste, but we were both very pleased with the sauce flavors, seasoning and the amount of meat in the sauce. The only thing I would add is a couple slices of toasted garlic bread.
If the next rotation of Mountain House Spaghetti with Meat Sauce was easily located in our bear canisters, we would’ve likely had a second helping…but sadly, it was not.
In pairing down weight before our backcountry hike, I removed the contents from Mountain House’s original packaging and utilized a commercial vacuum sealer to make smaller, lighter meal packs as 11 days of food needed to fit in a bear canister. It worked, but the distinct drawback was not being able to prepare the meal in the resealable pouch. A pot was necessary to allow the freeze-dried contents to soak in the boiling water. So clean up was more extensive than it would’ve been by using the Mountain House resealable pouch. It was a trade off and we made it work.
If you are new to Mountain House freeze dried meals, directions are printed plain and simple on the pouch.
•Measure out the prescribed amount of water
•open meal pouch and remove moisture packet
•pour boiling water in pouch and stir contents thoroughly
•seal pouch for prescribed time
•open pouch and stir contents
•serve and enjoy
It doesn’t get any easier.
There's not a lot a Horseshoe Lake. It's a small 16 acre pond with a sordid history of leaking CO2 and smothering sleepers into eternal slumber. The trees are dead in a ring around the lake, where tragically a cross country skiier was killed when he encountered a nearly 70% concentration. Don't let that scare you though, he was in an ice cave in the winter. You'll be fine.
If you want solitude, you'll find it here. The lake is tranquil, kayakers like it, and the 1 mile loop around the lake is nice.
First come first serve on the campsites.
At just above 10,000 feet, 4th Recess Lake is quite a climb to get to. The rewards for tackling the ardous hike is the crisp mountain air, the icy cold water (even in the hottest summer), and the glorious night sky above.
This is a dispersed backpackers camping area, pack everything in and pack everything out.
One of the awesome sights is the 'Alpine Glow' on the mountains as the sun sets, a sheer orange bathing the rocky slopes.
Excellent campground and basically your best option if visiting the bristlecone pines and wanting to stay overnight. Grandview has about a dozen sites, spread about in a big circle. The whole campground is dry, so bring your water! You'll get a great view of the stars and could acclimate to the elevation.
We got a great spot early. In the middle of summer, I recommend setting up your spot before visiting the pines. There were lots of shrubs for shade, but even at about 9000 ft it was still hot. For some reason we also had a lot of flies. Everyone was quiet all night and the stars were gorgeous.
This is a small campground with a stream running by it. Camped here in June and the water was moving fast, and cold, put drinks in the stream to cool them. Each site has a table and fire ring, with trees for shade. It is walking distance from intake 2 lake fishing. Toilets and water are available this is a nice campground.
Ranger Review: Renogy Solar Backpack at Lake Mary …… Campground review Lake Mary is Located in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains roughly 2.5 miles south south-west from the village of mammoth lakes. The campground itself is very large with plenty of Amenities Including 2 small stores / Marinas pokonobè and Lake Mary. Both locations offer simple amenities and treats as well as fishing supplies and bait. Also available at both locations are kayak, paddle board, fishing and pontoon boat rentals by the hour or full day. We payed 15.00 to launch our own boat at the pokonobè marina marina and beached it next to a tree closer to where we were staying. This is very active bear country. We personally had a bear this trip with her two baby cubs rip the fish off the stringer connected to our boat as we unloaded our gear. So be cautious! The campground itself straddles the road with several loops, some offering access to the lake. All campsites included a fire ring, bear box and picnic tables. Restrooms, water and trash receptacles are located in each area throughout the campground. There is a wonderful bike path winds its way through the lodgepole pines up and around lake Mary, all the way up to horseshoe lake or down to the twin lakes basin all with breathtaking views along the path. There’s even a free trolly that runs during the summer that you can ride around the lake basins or all the way into the village or town of mammoth for some extra fun! The fishing at lake Mary is fantastic! Rainbow, brook and brown trout are stocked regularly attracting anglers of all ages. No Swimming is permitted in the lake. There are several hiking trails in the area offering a wide range and variety of terrain and fun for all ages. I would highly recommend this campground to anyone looking to explore the mammoth lakes area and beyond! …………
Product review- Renogy Multi-functional Solar Backpack
As a Ranger for the Dyrt.com sometimes I get to test amazing products. During our trip to lake Mary I had the opportunity to test out theRenogy Solar Backpack. Upon receiving the backpack my initial reaction was “wow” this thing is great! The pack itself is made of cationic dyed polyester and has several compartments and storage throughout, with a 20L capacity for a whooping 2.2lbs.
The panel itself is secured by a double layer Anti-theft zipper that is designed to protect your belongings. The double layer zipper also enables you to flip the panel making it reversible and protected while traveling (PRO). I tried charging various items such as cellphones, power banks, tablets and even my daughters little R/C car with success.. The recommendations from the company suggest using the panel to charge a power bank then use the bank to charge your devices. My phone died mid day so I hooked it up but panel would not charge a dead cell phone in direct sunlight even after 2 hours (CON). The pack itself is very comfortable to wear, having very papped shoulder pads with adjustable straps(PRO). The fact that the panel is detachable from the backpack is amazing and makes it super convenient to take backpacking or even on the road in the car(PRO). I do wish it had some kind of loop or hook attachments to use for the panel itself when not attached to the backpack. It would’ve been super convenient to hang it on a tree or even a tent pole in direct sun without the fear of it blowing away or falling off (CON)
Overall a truly wonderful product and campground! The Renogy Multi-function Backpack has moved its way up to the top of my packing list for all of our Adventures to come!
Twin lakes is Located in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains near the town of Mammoth Lakes, California. Upper and lower twin lakes are a fantasic place to set up base camp and explore the sierras. This Review is specific to the lower loop which is on the east side of the lake just past the tamarack lodge and store. The store (open 7-7) offered a variety of amenities from clothes to souvenirs. Also available at the store were showers ($6 per person and from 7am to 6pm) and boat rentals($20 per hour) . The restrooms had sinks and flushing toilets that were immaculate!We had an awful bear Problem during our visit with other campers not securing their food in the provided bear boxes but other than that we had a truly enjoyable time! The Campsites are very spacious and shaded. The amount of shade in the campground did keep things on the cooler side all day. There is Plenty to do in the area from a lengthy bike path that covers the entire lake basin to the numerous hiking trails that cover the mountain sides. You’ll want to make sure you check out the visitor center as you come into town for a fascinating history lesson and tips to make the most of your trip! Mammoth mountain itself offers a variety of entertainment during the summer from concert series in the village to zip lining across the mountain. You’ll want to head to Main Lodge for any ticket purchases for mammoth mountain activities. In my pictures you’ll find the transit schedule for the free trolly that runs up around the lake basin and throughout the town of Mammoth along with a map of the campground!
Lake Mary is Located in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains roughly 2.5 miles south south-west from the village of mammoth lakes. The campground itself is very large with plenty of Amenities Including 2 small stores / Marinas pokonobè and Lake Mary. Both locations offer simple amenities and treats as well as fishing supplies and bait. Also available at both locations are kayak, paddle board, fishing and pontoon boat rentals by the hour or full day. We payed 15.00 to launch our own boat at the pokonobè marina marina and beached it next to a tree closer to where we were staying. This is very active bear country. We personally had a bear this trip with her two baby cubs rip the fish off the stringer connected to our boat as we unloaded our gear. So be cautious! The campground itself straddles the road with several loops, some offering access to the lake. All campsites included a fire ring, bear box and picnic tables. Restrooms, water and trash receptacles are located in each area throughout the campground. There is a wonderful bike path winds its way through the lodgepole pines up and around lake Mary, all the way up to horseshoe lake or down to the twin lakes basin all with breathtaking views along the path. There’s even a free trolly that runs during the summer that you can ride around the lake basins or all the way into the village or town of mammoth for some extra fun! The fishing at lake Mary is fantastic! Rainbow, brook and brown trout are stocked regularly attracting anglers of all ages. No Swimming is permitted in the lake. There are several hiking trails in the area offering a wide range and variety of terrain and fun for all ages. I would highly recommend this campground to anyone looking to explore the mammoth lakes area and beyond!
Minaret Falls campground is located in the Devil's Postpile area of Mammoth Lakes, CA. It's a small campground, with more than a few campsites bordering the San Joaquin river, some with a view of Minaret Falls, and a trail along the river between this campground and the Devil's Postpile Monument. Nearby are trails for hiking, Sotcher and Starkweather lakes and the river for fishing, and a small store, restaurant and hot showers for a fee at Red's Meadow, at the end of the road.
Access to the campgrounds in this area is down a long, winding, mostly one-lane road. There is a mandatory shuttle bus for visitors, unless you're camping, and the shuttle will stop to pick up and let off passengers at every campground. All campgrounds in this area have vault toilets, and are only open during the summer season (usually June-October). Didn't take many pictures on this trip, because of smoke from the Ferguson wildfire on the Yosemite side of the mountains, so only the photo with the tarp over our table is from this trip. The other photos were from previous stays at this campground.