Recreation Report - What to Do - What's Open

June 6th, 2022 @ 12:29 PM – The Summer Season is here with all the activities you love starting to crank up now. For the most part, I would say 90% of the snow from winter is now gone from Bishop Creek to the Mammoth Lakes Basin.

With the big warm-up expected by late week into the weekend, days will really feel like Summer. That warm-up should also wipe out most of the snowpack that’s left from the 9500 to 11,000 feet levels.

The Mammoth Lakes Basin is wide open with all the campgrounds, marinas, and hiking trails open. You will also find the Lake Basin Paved Path cleaned up and opened to Horseshoe Lake.

The Mammoth Mountain Bike Park is open with the Bike Park Shuttle taking you to just above the chair 4 area. Lot’s of downhill action from there or try a cross-country loop out on Paper Route & Manzanita.

FYI: The USFS has put Fire Restrictions in place as of Monday, June 6th, so no campfires or BBQs outside of the hosted campgrounds even if you have a FIRE PERMIT. If you do have a fire expect to get ticketed by the Forest Service Patrol Units.

This Summer you can expect some of the highest fire danger we have seen yet, at some point we might even see a forest shut down is what we have been told by the Forest Service. So please be extra careful.

5-31-22 Fly FIshing on Rock Creek by French Camp - Photo by Snowman

Roads & Campgrounds Open / Closed

Mono Lake Ranger District

Roads OPEN:

  • Saddlebag Road
  • Tioga Pass (120 West). Reservation required. Visit the park’s website for more information.
  • 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: None

    Campgrounds OPEN: Tioga Lake, Junction, Emery Lake, Moraine, Aspen, Big Springs, Hartley Springs, Reversed Creek, Lundy Canyon (County), Silver Lake, Gull Lake, Oh! Ridge, June Lake, Aerie Crag, Glass Creek, Lower Lee Vining

    Campgrounds CLOSED: Big Bend, Saddlebag Lake Trailhead Group, Saddlebag Lake, Sawmill Walk-in, Obsidian Flat Group, Upper and Lower Deadman (slated to open mid-June)

    Visitor Centers:

• Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center: please call ahead to find out if passes and permit sales are possible

o New operating hours:Thursday-Sunday8:30AM–4:30PM Mammoth Ranger District

Roads OPEN:

  • Mammoth Scenic Loop
  • Old Mammoth Road to Lakes Basin Road
  • Lakes Basin Road

    Roads CLOSED:

• HWY 203 (continuing to the Reds Meadow Rd.) at Mammoth Mountain Inn

Campgrounds OPEN: Lake Mary, Lake George, Coldwater, Twin Lakes, Old Shady Rest, Pine Glen Group, Sherwin Creek, New Shady Rest, Mammoth Mtn. RV Park, Crowley (BLM)

Campgrounds CLOSED: Pine City, Reds Meadow, Agnew Meadows Family, Agnew Meadows Horse, Agnew Meadows Group Pumice Flat, Pumice Flat Group, Minaret Falls, Upper Soda Springs

Visitor Centers:

  • Devils Postpile Ranger Station (NPS): closed for the season.
  • Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center: Hours:everyday from 8:30 am to 4:30pm.

*** Please Note: Laurel Mountain Trail (28E201) south of Sherwin Creek Road near Mammoth Lakes has severe washouts. Please refrain from driving on the trail.***

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), Wyman Canyon Rd. (4×4-high clearance), Big Pine Canyon to the upper lot.
Roads CLOSED: none

Campgrounds OPEN:

Table Mountain Group, Mosquito Flat Backpacker, 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 (Upper area has no water), 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: none

Visitor Centers:

  • Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Visitor Center:

    o Hours:Thursday through Sunday10 am – 4:45 pm

  • White Mountain Public Lands Information Center: opened on May 24

    o TuesdaythroughSaturday(closedSun+Mon)Hours:8:30–4:30(closedforlunch12-1pm) Mt Whitney Ranger District

    Roads OPEN: Onion Valley Rd., Horseshoe Meadow, Whitney Portal Rd., Foothill Road, Division Creek Road CLOSED: none

    Campgrounds OPEN: Cottonwood Lakes, Cottonwood Pass, Horseshoe Meadow Equestrian, 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: none Visitor Centers:

    Eastern Sierra Visitor Center: open with limited services
    Inyo National Forest will be in Fire Restrictions Starting on June 6th 2022

What To Do Now Ideas

June 6th, 2022 Update

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: “Closed until June 17th” 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: All Trails are now open up to the 10,000-foot level. The is some snow in shady spots above 9500 feet. Locals Tips this week, Upper Rock Creek Canyon Trail that goes along the Creek from French Camp up to Rock Creek Lake. The Crystal Lake hike in the Mammoth Lakes basin is also a winner this week. Mc Gee Creek Pass Trail is open with some moderate water crossings.

Rock Creek Canyon: This is a four season wonderland with plenty of Camping, Hiking, Fishing, Mountain Biking and Boating during the Summer.

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.

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.

Fish Hatchery: You will find the Hot Creek Hatchery on the way to Hot Creek on Airport road about 5 mins south of Mammoth once you get on 395.

Hayden Cabin: Great photos and artifacts that tell the story of Mammoth. Here is the link to learn more.

Mammoth Consolidated Mine: Located just above the cold water campground this is an old mining camp or what’s left of it. Take 30 minutes and check it out when you’re in the Lake Basin.
Mammoth Creek - 5-23-2022
Mammoth Creek by Twin Lakes - May 2022