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Full Version: Mammoth Lakes Dispersed Camping locations
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In the near future we are headed towards Mammoth Lakes to do some hiking. Was wondering if anyone knows of any good boondocking locations to spend a few days?

Are the hot springs out in the valley still accessable? I haven't been out to those in 30 years, so I have no idea what to expect. Any other nice locations would be interesting too.

Anyone been out to Saline Valley? It's too far for us to drive this time, but that place is awesome, but last time we went, the road was washboard for 50 miles.
Hot springs still accessible. Plenty of good stuff right there, between Owens River Road and 395 surrounding Lookout mountain.
do you have coordinations to any specific locales that you like? Township/Range/Section of previous spots you like?
Check out The owners are vandwellers and good friends of mine. I know they spent a summer in the Mammoth Lakes area and have all their many campsites listed.

Mammoth Lakes is at high elevation and winter can come early and hard. Keep an eye on the weather.

The whole drive up and down 395 is spectacular and if it gets too cold there are many great areas to camp at lower/warmer elevations.
depends how close to town you want to be. there are thousand of areas to boondock around mammoth. do you want to camp close to water? in the pines or out in the desert. you can no longer camp by the hot springs, it's day use only sunrise to sunset. I used to camp at hot creek all the time right on the rim where they put the paved parking lot in, BS. you know that's where the John Wayne movie North to Alaska was filmed. the bridge across the creek was part of the movie set. there a couple of smaller hot springs in the area but you can't camp next to them either. however you can camp close by them all. highdesertranger
It sounds like the wife wants to go to Lundy Canyon or Virginia Lakes, so I guess I will scan google earth a little further north. Fall colors ought to be awesome.
I haven't been there for awhile, but distressed trees don't have good fall colors. With their extreme drought I would expect very poor fall colors. 

I'd go to Colorado for that, although they may already be into it. Highway 550 from Durango to Ridgeway is by far my favorite. My second is Kebler Pass to Crested Butte.
Lundy Canyon is pretty bleak. lots of big rocks not many trees, I have never camped there because of this. now Virginia lakes is a whole different story. very beautiful area. I have never camped at the actual lakes, to many people with the resort and developed camp grounds there. however the are many good to excellent boondocking sites close by. I have always been hesitant to post exact locations on the internet. let me know and I can PM you some spots. did you know there is an open prospecting area close by, "Dog Town" never found a lot of gold there but never been skunked either. highdesertranger
BLM and Forest Service offices in these areas are very helpful in pointing out dispersed camping sites and will mark them on their free road maps.
Had to check out some of the recommended site on freecampsites. Man oh man - that is one beautiful area - hurry September
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