View from the Lower Section of Mammoth Rock Trail

East Side Recreation Report – May 24th, 2021 – 12 Noon

Covering the Eastern Sierra from Big Pine to Mammoth Lakes to June Lake 


Right now we continue to be in the middle of some perfect spring weather. There was some snow last weekend but it’s gone now. 

Everyone can look forward to a great week and holiday weekend coming up to kick off Summer. 

One thing I want to stress is we are in the second year of drought, this was one of the lowest snow years in the last 50 years. Fire Danger in the area and over the entire Sierra Nevada is extreme and will remain that way until we get the first snows next Fall.

**FIRE RESTRICTIONS ARE NOW UP** No More Campfires or BBQs if you’re dispersed camping. No smoking in the woods, please.

The snowmelt is happening very fast and has moved into the highest reaches now. From my own observations and that of others, we have learned that the snow line has gone up to over 10,000+ feet. 

We have received reports from Gem Lake all the way down to Crystal Lake in the Mammoth Lakes Basin that the snow is gone.

South of Mammoth Lakes you can drive up Rock Creek Canyon all the way to Rock Creek Lake and the snow is all gone from this area as well. 

It’s the same on highway 168 up to South Lake the snow is gone and everyone is prepping for a big Memorial Day Weekend.

Time to take in some camping, hiking, mountain biking, scenic drives, and fishing action. 

Campgrounds Open: In the Mammoth Lakes area the Mammoth RV Park, Sherwin Creek, and the New Shady Rest Campgrounds are now open. 

Most if not all campgrounds in the Mammoth Lakes area should be open by Memorial Day.

For June Lake and North the campgrounds that are now open are Aspen, Lower Lee Vining, Oh Ridge, Silver Lake, June Lake, and Gull Lake.

For Southern Areas of the Eastern Sierra: Bitterbrush, Four Jeffrey, Cedar Flat Group, Grandview, Convict Lake, French Camp, McGee Creek, Tuff, Big Pine Creek, Big Trees, Bishop Park Group, Forks, Intake 2, Sage Flat, and Upper Sage Flat are all open.

Eastern Sierra Roads: First up, the road down to Reds Meadow will not be opening early as there is a large amount of road work and tree thinning to be done in that area this spring. 

What I am hearing is, at the latest, the road should be open by the July 4th holiday. And yes, the shuttle buses will be back this Summer, operating under some sort of reduced capacity.

Rock Creek Road is open to Rock Creek Lake, Hwy 168 is open to Lake Sabrina, and South Lake, Sonora Pass is open. Tioga Pass is closed at this time.

The Mammoth Lakes Basin is open via foot/bike traffic The snow line is now up to above 9,500-10,000 feet, you can hike all the way to Crystal Lake with just a few patches of snow.

Yes, the road is melted out, but road crews are still working to clean the area up before the road opens. It’s a perfect time to walk or ride your bike into the Lakes Basin before the road opens and the crowds hit the area. 

Expect the Mammoth Lake Basin Road to open later this week to cars and RVs.

Hiking:  The snow line has come WAY up now over 9500 feet, so lot’s of hiking trails opening up in the high country. Take advantage of the low snow year and get out for a spring hike, I am sure next year at this time we will be buried under feet of snow.

Mammoth Creek and Mammoth Meadow  The creek is running at moderate levels right now, spring buds and many leaves are out and everything is starting to green up. The meadow looks very green when I drove by several days ago.

Shady Rest Area & Park The park and all the forest roads in this area are in great shape. The playground is open as are all the ball fields. All the trails and forest service roads are open.

The Disk Golf Course at Shady Rest and Mill Pond are open and ready for a round of fun. Going to hit the Shady Rest course up next week, I love the sound of the wind in the trees above your head while you’re getting some disk fun in.

Mammoth Paved Trails are melted out and cleaned up. Take and walk, run, or bike ride today. (The Lakes Basin Trail still needs full clean up but it’s melted out.)


Karen Akiskalian Daves - Gem Lake 5-16-2021