Recreation Report - What to Do - What's Open
May 24th, 2022 @ 11 AM – It’s a gorgeous day up here in the Eastern Sierra.
The Mammoth Lakes Basin will be opening up later this week. As of now you can park at the gate and walk or ride your bike in. Everything is about cleaned up and ready to go.
There is an issue with the upper basin campground water system so you have to bring in your own water if your camping this Memorial Day weekend.
Roads & Campgrounds Open / Closed
Mono Lake Ranger District
Roads open: Ebbetts Pass (HWY 4), Sonora Pass (HWY 108), Monitor Pass, Lundy Lake Rd, HWY 120 E (Benton),
HWY 158 June Lake Loop, Bodie Road (SR 270), HWY 120 W 11 miles west of Hwy 395. Roads closed: Tioga Pass (120 W, 11 mi west of Hwy395), Saddlebag Rd.
Campgrounds open: Hartley Springs, Reversed Creek, Glass Creek, Lower Lee Vining, Lundy Canyon (county), Silver Lake, Gull Lake, Oh Ridge, June Lake, Aerie Crag.
Campgrounds closed: Tioga Lake, Junction, Ellery Lake, Big Bend, Saddlebag Lake Trailhead, Saddlebag Lake, Sawmill Walk-in, Moraine, Aspen, Obsidian Flat Group, Upper Deadman, Lower Deadman, Big Springs.
• Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center: opened as of May 17, 2022. Link
Mammoth Ranger District
Roads closed: Hwy. 203 (continuing to the Reds Meadow Rd.) at Mammoth Mountain Inn, Old Mammoth Rd. to Lake Basin Rd., Lakes Basin Rd.
Campgrounds open: Sherwin Creek, New Shady Rest, Mammoth Mtn. RV Park, Crowley (BLM)
Campgrounds closed: Old Shady Rest, Pine Glen, Twin Lakes, Pine City, Lake Mary, Lake George, Coldwater, Reds Meadow, Agnew Meadows Family, Agnew Meadows Horse, Agnew Meadows Group Pumice Flat, Pumice Flat Group, Minaret Falls, Upper Soda.
Devils Postpile Ranger Station (NPS): closed for the season.
Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center: open every day, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Roads open: Mammoth Scenic Loop.
White Mountain Ranger District
Roads open: Rock Creek, Hwy 168, North Lake Rd., Sabrina Rd., South Lake Rd., Glacier Rd. (Big Pine Creek), McGee Creek Rd., Pine Creek, Buttermilk Rd., White Mountain Rd. (not maintained in winter, travel at own risk), Silver Canyon Rd. (4×4-high clearance, snow), Wyman Canyon Rd. (4×4-high clearance, snow), Big Pine Canyon to upper lot (not maintained in winter, travel at own risk).
Roads closed: none
Campgrounds open: Rock Creek, Rock Creek Group, Upper Pine Grove, Pine Grove, East Fork, Palisade Group, North Lake (no water), Sabrina (no water), Willow, Bishop Park Group, Mountain Glen, Clyde Glacier Group, Palisade Glacier Group, Intake 2, Big Meadow, Iris Meadow, Aspen Group, Holiday, McGee Creek, Tuff, French Camp, Convict Lake, Big Pine Creek, Big Trees, Four Jeffrey, Forks, Bishop Park, Upper Sage Flat, Lower Sage Flat, Pleasant Valley (County), Horton (BLM), Pleasant Valley Pit (BLM, no water), Grandview (winter ops, no services, no fees), Bitterbrush, Baker Creek (County), Taboose Creek (County), Tinnemaha Creek (County), Goodale (BLM, no water), Cedar Flat Group.
Campgrounds closed: Table Mountain Group, Mosquito Flat Backpacker
Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest: open as of May 19. Hours: Thursday through Sunday 10am – 5 pm
White Mountain Public Lands Information Center: closed, projected open on May 24th
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday (closed Sun + Mon) Hours: 8:30 – 4:30 (closed for lunch 12 -1pm)
Mt Whitney Ranger District
Roads open: Onion Valley Rd., Horseshoe Meadow, Whitney Portal Rd., Foothill Road, Division Creek
Road closed: none
Campgrounds open: Onion Valley, Whitney Portal, Whitney Portal Trailhead Campground, Whitney Portal Group, Lower Grays Meadow (no potable water), Upper Grays Meadow (no potable water), Independence Creek (county), Tuttle Creek, Portuguese Joe (county), Diaz Lake (County), Lone Pine
Campgrounds closed: Cottonwood Lakes, Cottonwood Pass and Horseshoe Meadows Equestrian (scheduled to open May 23rd)
Eastern Sierra Visitor Center: open with limited services
The Inyo National Forest is not currently in fire restrictions! Yes you need a permit to have fire outside of organized camp grounds. Put camp fires out when the winds pick up.
What To Do Now
What you see below are some of the fun things that our Family has been doing over the last 30 years of living in the Eastern Sierra.
Our goal here is to help you have a great adventure the next time your up in the Eastern Sierra. Snowman…
East Side Mountain Biking: From the Mammoth Mountain Bike Park to the Inyo National Forest to Ride on BLM land there is something for everyone to ride.
To learn more about where to ride right now check out the East Side Mountain Bike Report Page.
Scenic Gondola Rides: Taking a ride to the top of Mammoth Mountain is an amazing experience. The views are breathtaking as you ride up and beyond compare once you’re standing at the top.
Once you reach the top station you will have a 360 degrees view of the Eastern Sierra and the Sierra Nevada. Here is the link to learn more and get your ticket for your ride up.
Mammoth Earthquake Fault: A 2-mile drive up highway 203 from the Village at Mammoth. This is a great little side adventure to see a deep fault line up close. During big snowfall years, there will be snow in the fault into September.
Fishing: There is so much to fish in this region you can spend several years and still not cover it all. We find the best fishing is out on Crowley Lake fly fishing with midges.
You can learn more about some of our favorite areas to fish at this link.
Mammoth Lakes Paved Trail System: One of the best improvements ever done in Mammoth Lakes is these fantastic paved Trails. My family and I have used them almost daily for years. You will find great views and some forested sections on these trails.
Try the Mammoth Lakes Basin Path that starts at the Mammoth Brewing Company in town and finishes at Horseshoe Lake. In the Summer months, there is a shuttle that will take you to the top of this path and then you can walk or ride your bike the 4 miles back to town.
Mammoth Meadow: Just off of old Mammoth Road on Minaret Road is the entrance to this walk-only Meadow. You will find this is a great chance to walk through a wetland area. During the late spring into the Summer months, you will find tons of wildflowers in this area. Do watch your step this is a wetland area so there is mud at times along the trails.
Hiking: Time for a hike here are some ideas for the next week. The snow line is up to 9000 feet and above in many areas now. The Sherwin Lakes Trail is wide open now and so is the Mammoth Rock Trail and the network of trails in that area. The Inyo Craters is a great place to go this week as well.
MC Gee Creek is melted out but watch for high water crossings right now. I also have reports of people hiking into the Little Lakes Valley in Rock Creek Canyon.
June Lake Loop if you’re coming up to the Eastern Sierra, make sure you plan a day on the June Lake Loop. We like to start our day with a morning on June Lake Beach. During the am hours winds are calm and there are not a lot of people around until around noon.
At noon you can head down the loop and fish Rush Creek. There are lots of places to pull off the road so you can access and fish the creek.
After some time fishing if you head north on the loop you will get some great views of the Canyon and eventually Grant Lake.
Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area Visitor Center: This is a must see on any Summer trip up to the Eastern Sierra.
There is a museum along with some great views of Mono Lake. Here is the link to learn more.
Shady Rest Disc Golf Course: A full 18-hole disc golf course right in a Jeffery Pine Forest next to the Shady Rest Campground and Park.
This is a great course and takes about 2 – 1/2 hours to play the entire course out. It does get hot mid-day during the summer so bring a hat, and lots of water.
Mill Pond Disc Golf & Picnic Area: Has a great disk golf course and picnic area. There is also a nice Browns Town Camp Ground located on the property. Mill Pond is located about 4 miles from the bottom of the Sherwin Grade.
Here is the link to more information on the Mill Pond Recreation area.
Pleasant Valley Reservoir & Camp Ground:
Laws Rail Road Museum: I recommend everyone who comes up to the Eastern Sierra to experience this unique museum setting. You’ll find 11 acres of indoor and outdoor exhibits including the original depot and steam locomotive the Slim Princess. Experience what life was like over 100 years ago in the Owens Valley. Here is the link to the Laws Rail Road Museum
Bishop City Park: Over the years we have spent many hours down at Bishop City Park enjoying the warmer climate and being out of the snow. This is a great place to have lunch and let the kids out to play without all the snow in Mammoth Lakes. You will see many Mammoth locals down here during the winter months trying to get a taste of winter below the snowline.
Shady Rest Park:
Hayden Cabin: Great photos and artifacts that tell the story of Mammoth. Here is the link to learn more.