Take the family to Upper Sage for a pleasant camping trip along the banks of Big Pine Creek. Here, visitors can experience the beauty of the creek that runs along the base of a narrow canyon. Visitors can swim or fish, in the creek that is stocked annually with trout, or head to a nearby lake for power boating. Natural Features: The campground is sprawled out along Big Pine Creek beneath shady Jeffrey pines and cottonwoods, just 9 miles west of the town of Big Pine. Inyo National Forest is home to many natural wonders, including Mt. Whitney, Mono Lake, Mammoth Lakes Basin, and the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest atop the White Mountains. Bristlecone pines rank as the oldest trees in the world and have achieved immense scientific and cultural importance. Recreation: Rainbow, brown, brook and alpers trout swim in the stream, enticing anglers. Hikers are fans of the Big Pine Creek Trail, a 1.5-mile footpath that provides access to the John Muir Wilderness trails. Facilities: Parking aprons are paved and most are 40 feet long. Amenities include flush toilets, drinking water, picnic tables and campfire rings. Nearby Attractions: Head to the neighboring John Muir Wilderness for incredible views of Palisades Glacier, the southern-most glacier in the country. Nearby Tinemaha Reservoir provides additional fishing opportunities. ACTIVITIES Fishing Hiking Horseback Riding Wildlife Viewing
There are two types of campsites at Upper Sage Flat. The first are lovely shaded sites with the rear of the site adjacent to Big Pine Creek. They have tree cover but are really open to the neighboring sites. Honestly, would have thought they were pretty great if we hadn't stayed at nearby Big Pine Creek Campground (check it out).
The second are the sites on the roadside and they are HOT AS BLAZES. There is almost no shade and they are basically just dirt/sand/rock pads. It's like being in an entirely different campground. Strongly recommend using Google Earth to check the site you're reserving (or first come, first serve if at (lower) Sage Flat campground.
If you're in the river side sites you'll love it. There is a bridge over the river that leads to a trail heading north to the Big Pine Creek Trailhead. You can also walk up the road but the trail is a more interesting option. Plus, it is the narrowest part of the trail you'll run for about 5 miles. That's a good thing because if you make it that first 1/2 mile you'll be fine the rest of the way when it opens up into some pretty incredible trail after passing through Big Pine Creek Campground and Glacier Lodge Cabins & RV park.
Decent pit bathrooms but right in the sun all day so much nicer in the mornings than evenings as far as flies and smell go. Bear boxes, fire pits and picnic tables. ***So basically a 4 if you have river side and a 2 if not. Maybe a 1. Location alone is worth 2. Yep. At least that. But really, try to stay by the river.