Tag Archives: Creeks

Kirch Flat Campground

Kirch Flat NFS
Camp Kings River

kirch flat

Low elevation Western Sierra: a big river at the beginning of Kings Canyon. Fishing, biking and hiking. The Kings Cyn National Park is directly east, upriver.

Oak woodlands, steep granite canyons, waterfall hikes, rock beaches, river fishing, mountain biking and wildflowers. Day time temperatures get triple-digit in summer months, so best time to visit is the rest of the year. Small RV accessible, paved road, river close – and best of all, open all year long!

flora west sierra

Kirch Flat Campground

Due EAST of Fresno, California in a large river canyon, Western Sierra Nevada
Located 18 miles up Trimmer Springs Road (paved), 5 miles above Pine Flat Lake. Sierra National Forest; River rafting take-out spot for Middle Kings River.

• Elevation: 1100′
• Number of Sites: 17
• Camp Fee: No
• Vehicle Accessibility: RV 22′ max
• Campsites Reservation: No
• Length of Stay: 14 Days
• Season: Open Year Round
• Trailheads: Kings River

lowerkings

see also Kings River Camping

nearby destinations –

Big Creek Rd #9
Blackrock Reservoir
Dinkey Creek
Dinkey Lakes Wilderness
Fresno, CA
Kings Canyon NP
Monarch Wilderness
Pine Flat Reservoir
Reedley, CA
Shaver Lake, CA
Sierra National Forest
Sequoia NP
Wishon Reservoir

Sierra NF – Road #9

sierra10S69

Sierra National Forest
Big Creek Road #9

aka. Rd #10S69

Connects Pine Flat Reservoir @ Lower Kings River, to upper elevation Sierra forests near Dinkey Creek Road. McKinley Grove of Sequoia

Sierra Road number 9 is a north turn off of Trimmer Springs Road. Marked as National Forest Rd #10S69, as well as just plain NINE. Big Crk. canyon is after the Maxson Road junction, and before the Balch Camp / Blackrock Reservoir turn off on #11S12. The area is known for abundant wildflowers in the early season.

dirt road climbs 25+ miles thru Sierra NF

sierra9

  • back road exploring
  • camping
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • kayaking
  • picnic areas
  • swimming
  • wildflowers
Tall White Lupine
Tall White Lupine

Big Creek Rd 9

A popular dirt road drive for the western Sierra – Pine Flat Lake region. A forested, south facing canyon in the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains. Big Creek, wide, graded, dirt road w/ primitive camp sites. 4×4 could be needed in wetter months.

The higher you go on this route, the more pine trees you will experience. Winter weather can close this route. A campfire permit is required to camp along this road.

The lower part of the canyon has rock features, small waterfalls, swimming holes, picnic spots and sometimes cattle grazing. Several prime unmarked, primitive camp sites along this road – but few and far between. High clearance or 4WD may be needed, depending on road conditions.

sierra hiker

Soaproot Saddle Road is a not-so-obvious left fork (dirt, without signs) that leads steeply up away from main road. Climbs a steep hillside, way up above and along Rush Creek; continues for many miles. Less people back this way, if you are seeking seclusion. Few primitive camp sites on right side of road, near where the creek breaks away from road. Good for stargazing way back here. 4×4 may be needed. Road may or may not connect through to desired destination.

The mid-route climbs into pine forest and the dirt road switchbacks, steeply, with a few more camp sites available; usually found on short side roads off the main road.

sierra creek camps

At Sierra #9, a major junction w/ dirt road #10S69, called Dinkey Trimmer Road. This leads way off through the rugged terrain, many miles, over to the pavement at Dinkey Creek Jct – Campground, Trailhead and Dinkey Lakes Wilderness.

Big Creek will turn left (north), and follows the large Big Creek Canyon. Several steep miles climb up into the dense pine forest, following the creek the whole way. Several prime creekside camp sites fill up fast in this stretch. Great views, steep dirt roads. GPS waypoint these camp driveways – so you can find it next time, (first, before everyone) on Friday, Thursday before midnight.

Peterson Mill Road is Rd #10S02, found on the left (west) side of Sierra #9. That westbound route becomes pavement half way back to Highway 168. This way is the quickest way from Fresno, out to the developed NFS Bretz Campground.

Sierra #9 Big Creek Road arrives in the densest of forests. Many camp sites and side routes to explore. Dark, upper elevations, snow lingers long in the shade. 4WD may be needed in wet areas. Mud is quite common MOST of the year in this spot, so know your vehicles capabilities before you get yourself stuck (or stranded). It’s a very long walk to any kinda civilization!

Hunters like to use these upper camps during hunting season. A camp fire permit is required, so bring your shovel and bucket; self-sufficient campers enjoy the back roads most often.

wild sierra flora

Bretz Campground NFS is up here on the main road, number nine. Clock it w/ dash trip meter; 15 miles from the road start @ Pine Flat Lake. Popular with OHV and 4×4 groups. Max RV or trailer length = 24′
Open all year long; No fee.

Sierra Forest Road #9 the far north end, enters Blue Canyon @ #10S18, but the Rd #9 route continues NE as Providence Creek Road. Eventually intersecting @ Dinkey Creek Rd w/ Rock Creek & Dinkey Dome closeby. Great granite 4×4 Trail @ Bald Mountain (elev. 7832′) overlooking Shaver Lake.

Jeepers on granite @ Bald Mtn, above Shaver Lake, CA

Kings River Camping

2 tone lupine

SIERRA MAP
sierra National Forest map

places nearby –
shaver lake map

Balch Camp (utility & NFS)
Black Rock Reservoir
Courtright Reservoir
Dinkey Creek
Huntington Lake
Lakeshore, CA
Pine Flat Lake
Shaver Lake, CA
Trimmer Springs
Wishon Reservoir

California Countryside Hikes

California Wine Country Hikes, Gold Country Hiking, Sierra Foothills, River Trails

DSCN1649

1N17 – Inyo NF

1N17

Road #1N17 – Inyo National Forest

Highway 158 @ Grant Lake, North June Lake Loop

Forest Road 1N17 is a major graded dirt road that connects June Lake Loop to the Lee Vining junction, the back way. West side of US 395; south of Hwy 120.

At north end of Grant Lake, slow down and look for the signed intersection. Sage brush hills and big drainage, with towering granite peaks above.

This well-traveled, wide dirt road leads along the base of the mountain range on BLM land, skirting the National Forest. Several side routes head up into numerous canyons, which are part of Inyo NF. Suitable for SUV, passenger cars, camper van and small RVs. Easy access off US Highway 395 and June Lake Loop #1S63

side routes off #1N17 –

Parker Lakes Road #1S25A
Sawmill Canyon #1S24
Bloody Canyon #1S23
Walker Lake Trailhead
Bohler Canyon #1S19
Gibbs Trailhead #1S106

walkertrail

Several hike-in only lakes, creek camping, some seclusion. Great picnic areas, trail head access, short or long hikes. National Forest lands. Backpacking, day hiking and primitive camps, some deep in the aspens. Autumn here can be gorgeous, and these are all prime summer time camp sites, for free. Make sure to get your campfire permit ahead of time, at ranger station in Mammoth. Wilderness permits may also be required for overnight camping in this canyon, so check with the NFS rangers on that issue.

towns nearby:
June Lake, CA
Lee Vining, CA
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Mono Lake, CA

Ansel Adams Wilderness
Inyo National Forest

Certain areas back here can be muddy in springtime, other major routes can even be over whelmed with water when creeks swell. Summer thunderstorms are common. One lane bridges should always be driven with caution, especially on dirt roads. Always be extra slow when driving thru water at creek crossings.

area maps:
Inyo National Forest USDA
Ansel Adams Wilderness Maps
Mammoth Lakes Map by NatGeo

summerstorm

Camp Clean

Minimal Impact Camping

Camping Tread Lightly

Leave No Trace Camping

Camp Cleaning

  • No Soap in Streams, Creeks or Lakes: Even Biodegradable Soap is not good for the poor fish downstream.
  • Bring a bucket or wash tub – Wash dishes, clothes & yourself 100′ from streams & lakes
  • Food put away & dishes washed up before bed time. Keeping a clean camp will lessen the chances of wildlife or a bear visit
  • Use existing campsite or rock campfire ring to prevent impacting new areas
  • Pitch tent in cleared camp spots only (when primitive camping). No need to trample new spots.
  • Do not set a tent up in a meadow, next to a creek or on a lake shore. It’s too fragile an environment.
  • Bring extra trash bags (heavy duty lawn type is best) for cleaning any litter you might find at your selected camp site.
  • Sometimes you’ll need to shovel out the whole fire pit (full of glass and trash)  to start a fresh new campfire. Building your fire on top of somebody else’s mess means you’ll be inhaling all their left-over garbage.
Always leave a clean camp
always leave a clean camp

leave no trace

Camp Kitchen Outdoors

Try to keep all food, drinks and cooking to one area of the camp. If you plan to cook over the campfire, this choice will make much more sense. Setting up kitchen area in between the tent and the campfire is usually an excellent spot. Having the vehicle close by for proper food storage is also advised, or use bear boxes if available. If you choose to hang your food in the tree, bring adequate ropes and bags.

The last person still up around the campfire at night should double check the cleanlness camp before retiring for bed. Chances are there is a half-eaten snack or left over beverage that could attract the animals. Oh no, the GARBAGE!! Don’t forgot to put your garbage bag away at night, or dispose of it in a proper trash container. Double bag your garbage if you are concerned with it leaking or smelling up the vehicle.

Food Preparation

Potty Breaks in the Outdoors

shovel

  • Bathroom break in the bushes? Don’t leave your toilet paper trash. Dispose of in your vehicle with a plastic bag or back at camp.
  • For human waste – Bring a shovel, dig holes 8″ deep & pack out all toilet paper. Do not bury paper as animals will just dig it up.
  • Certain areas are so sensitive or overused that all solid waste must be packed out, check for the local regulations.

Camp Hygiene in the Outdoors

Spicer Reservoir

spicer terrain


Spicer Meadow Reservoir

Spicer Meadows, Spicer Reservoir, Rd #7N01
Spicer Lake, Stanislaus National Forest

lake elevation 6418′
227 surface acres

public boat ramp
hiking trail around lake
more lakes nearby

Ebbetts Pass Sierra Hwy 4

Ancient volcanic peaks mix with Sierra Nevada granite rock, pine forests and fresh, clear, clean mountain water! California, of course.

Stanislaus Forest Road #7N01 leads down from Highway 4 to this popular series of alpine lakes and reservoirs. Camping, fishing, hiking and mountain biking. Sailing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, floating and fishing are also popular water activities.

Rules of the Reservoir:
10 mph speed limit on Western Arm.
No motorized boating in Eastern Arm.
Camp only in developed Campgrounds.

NFS
2 NFS Campgrounds at west end of lake:

  • Spicer Campground (60 sites)
  • Spicer Group Camp (75 people max)
  • Campgrounds only open June-September. Some campsites at the campground are wheelchair accessible.

    Additionally, Stanislaus River Campground w/ only 8 sites, is located just off the main access road #7N01, right near the river.

    spicer lake shore

    Spicer #7N01

    Numerous smaller lakes in the region make this a hot spot for summer vacations. Union and Utica Reservoirs (both with dirt road access) are good for kayaking and canoes, while power or sail boats prefer the larger Spicer Lake. Summit Lake and Elephant Rock Lake are perfect for quite picnics and day hikes. Trails (many unmarked) connect the lakes to each other. Area gets buried with snow in winter, so these roads are generally only open half the year.

    More reservoirs and lakes nearby:
    Highland Lakes
    Mosquito Lakes
    Lake Alpine, CA
    (all along Hwy 4)

    Stanislaus National Forest Map USDA
    Stanislaus National Forest Map USDA

    Nearby mountain towns:
    ARNOLD, CA
    BEAR VALLEY, CA
    Lake Alpine, CA

    Mammoth Fishing



    Stark Weather Lake

    Originally uploaded by danamight

    Mammoth Mountain Lakes / Eastern Sierra Fishing

    Sure splendor for fishing, most of the time. Lake fishing, stream fishing, river fishing. Fishing the Eastern Sierra area, near Mammoth Lakes, California can be very rewarding. You may have read about places like these in the sports magazines, seen them on a television program, or imagined them in a fishing vacation day dream. Summers can be crowded, so pick a lake and camp carefully. Weather can change quickly, so come prepared. Autumn fishing w/ the golden aspens and less crowds is preferred.

    fishing trip

    Most of these Eastern Sierra lakes listed below are accessible by car, others by foot. Look at the photos, pick a destination and get a good map of the area, so you can explore everything around too.

    CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS

    Mammoth Lakes Area

    Mammoth Area Lakes – Mammoth City

    Mammoth Area Creeks –

    Mammoth Area Rivers –

    • Owens River
    • San Joaquin River

    junelake

    June Lake Loop

    June Area Lakes –

    June Area Creeks –

    Mammoth Maps

    inyo maps
    Inyo National Forest Map

    Ansel Adams Wilderness Maps
    Devils Postpile Map
    Mammoth High Country Map
    Mono Divide Trail Map
    Mammoth Mono Map NatGeo

    other Eastern Sierra maps –

    Bishop Pass Trail Maps
    Hoover Wilderness Trail Map
    John Muir Wilderness Maps
    Mono Lake Map
    Palisades Trail Maps

    fishing trip

    horseback overnight trips
    Abundant Horse Packers in Eastern Sierra, California

    Eastern Sierra Hiking

    Eastern Sierra Hiking Trails – Mammoth Hikes

    Autumn Bliss Hike

    Desert ghost towns to Sierra meadows & waterfalls, Inyo National Forest offers plenty of diversity for scenery. To list all the hikes in the Eastern Sierra would be obsurd, cuz there are so many trails. This side of the Sierra Nevada is all about hiking, fishing & camping.Inyo forest map

    No matter where you hike you will probably get a great view over the Owens Valley, Long Valley Caldera or Mono Lake. So that means most of those trails are hiking up a canyon, or a ridge line. Thousands of trails over this region require a good map to make the best decision for your hiking interest.

    US HWY 395: The Eastern Sierra is one of the premier hiking destinations of California. Featuring the granite crags of the HIgh Sierra peaks. Mount Whitney, the tallest peak is closest to Lone Pine. Southern Californians love Eastern Sierra destinations, cuz they can avoid Los Angeles Basin and stay outta traffic.

    Lone Pine Lake – Whitney Portal is a great, but crowded place for hiking. DO NOT ATTEMPT to hike to Mount Whitney in one day! Leave it to the seasoned pros. The first good stop up the Whitney Trail is gorgeous Lone Pine Lake, a great moderate day hike from there.

    Alabama Hills – just below Mt. Whitney and has a totally different landscape than the backdrop granite Sierras behind. Try some boulder hopping & explore the dirt roads. Bring your mountain bike too.

    Cottonwood Lakes (Pacific Crest Trail) – day hikes to alpine lakes. US 395 @ Lone Pine, W on Whitney Portal Rd. Left on Horseshoe Meadow Rd & continue up 19 mi. to the Horseshoe Meadow campground. Mostly a trail head camp, way, way up there. Open May – November

    Kearsarge Pass – from 9000′ Onion Valley you can access the incredible High Sierra & numerous alpine lakes. The elevation gain makes this a full days hike; rated strenuous. Or continue on w/ backpack into Kings Canyon National Park.

    Devils Postpile – back behind Mammoth Mountain, creeks, forest & cool geology awaits. Plenty hiking trails.

    FALL COLORS: Autumn is the best time to enjoy the gorgeous aspen groves, as they change colors w/ the onset of winter.

    Eastern Sierra Peaks

    Topo maps, wilderness hiking maps
    Equestrian trails, OHV maps –


    Sierra High Country Hikes
    Originally uploaded by danamight

    Trailhead @ Onion Valley leads up to impressive alpine lakes, Kearsarge Pass & Kings Canyon High Country.

    Eastern Sierra communities include:

    Alabama Hills
    Alabama Hills @ Lone Pine, CA

    Secluded Lake

    Sierra Nevada lakes

    Often called fly fishing lakes, or backpacking lakes, these are usually located in the mountainous parts of California. Remote lakes that are ‘hard to reach’ come in 2 varieties:

    hike-in lakes

    Backpacking Lakes, found in the Sierra Nevada Wilderness or Northern California Wilderness Areas.

    Some of our absolute favorites include:

    drive to lakes

    These are often many miles down a dirt road or narrow paved route (neither which is recommended with a big trailer or large motorhome). Matter of fact, some of these lake destinations require 4 wheel drive to access them. You will need a good vehicle, maps, possibly more than one. You will need time to enjoy these. They require a fair amount of work to get to, but the rewards are immense.

    Sequoia Cabins

    Sierra Cabins near Sequoia Groves

    Sequoia trees naturally grow in the Sierra Nevada mountains, on the west side of the range. Several parks & forests make up what is known as “the Sequoias” – in the Southern Sierra, Sequoia National Forest; Giant Sequoia National Monument; Mountain Home State Forest; Central Sierra is home to Sequoia National Park & neighboring Kings Canyon NP; Sierra National Forest & Yosemite NP. Yep, all those areas have Sequoia groves!

    See all the Sequoia & Redwood Groves in California!

    California Cabin Rentals near to Sequoia groves –

    Sequoia cabin rentals

    TOPO MAPS of California Redwoods –

  • Sequoia Maps by NatGeo
  • Yosemite NP Maps
  • NorCal Redwoods Map
  • If you are searching for tallest species, the Coastal Redwoods located on the shores of Northern California, then you can find them over here – NorCal Redwoods

    Dinkey Creek

    Dinkey Creek, California

    dinky what?

    Dinkey Creek California
    Dinkey Creek really ain’t all that small is it?

    Dinkey Creek elevation 5700′

    Dinkey is a major feeder creek originating with high altitude lakes in the Wilderness above, flowing down to the Kings River. Dinkey Creek has a seasonal large campground and a general store that is open during the summer months. Campground Reservation are common since this is a well-known destination of the Western Sierra.

    in the mountains above Fresno

    Located deep in the Sierra National Forest, 15 miles south of Hwy 168 @ Shaver Lake, via a very long, winding, paved road. Not suitable for large motorhomes.

    Dinkey Creek Road becomes McKinley Grove Road @ intersection of historic, wooden Dinkey Creek Bridge. McKinley Grove Rd  leads further south, past Sequoia trees, numerous other NFS campgrounds and on to the 2 big reservoir lakes (Wishon & Courtright). The Dinkey Road is usually only open during warmer months (MAY-OCT), snow & weather permitting.

    Dinkey Creek Store

    A very popular place for summer vacations, fishing, hiking and picnicking. The day use area near the historic wooden bridge has numerous dirt parking lots, trails, picnic tables and pit toilets. Excellent place for exploring on foot with the family, or creek fishing from the boulders.

    mountains backroad horseback trails picnic fishing mountain bike camps hikesnight skiesNFS

    wooden bridge
    Historic Dinkey Creek Bridge

    Dinkey Creek Campground RV camping

    • Elevation: 5,700′
    • Number of Sites: 128
    • Water: piped
    • Toilets: flush
    • Amenities: showers, horse corrals
    • Vehicle Accessibility: 30′ max RV
    • Campsites Reservation: Yes
    • Length of Stay: 14 Days
    • Season: May – September
    • Trailheads: Dinkey Lakes Wilderness

    Mckinley Grove intersection

    hikesDinkey Lakes Wilderness 

    Dinkey Lakes Wildernesstopo mapsDinkey Lake Trail Map

     

     

    Back roads are abundant around Dinkey, leading higher up to large, granite reservoirs (with more camping options) and numerous forest dirt roads zig-zag across the mountain terrain wherever possible.

    Dusy Ershim Trail is a famous Sierra 4×4 route that connects Courtright Lake to the Kaiser Pass. Granite everywhere, slow-go rock crawling, skirting in between two Wilderness Areas.

    Sierra Forest Road #11S12, is a dirt road that leads downhill, past the North Fork of Kings River, from high elevations near Dinkey to the Black Rock Reservoir and meeting up with Kings River near Pine Flat. An excellent loop trip for those wanting to experience dispersed camping on the back roads, but a high-clearance vehicle is required. This road is gated and closed for winter, so call ahead to the rangers, to see if it is open before you make the journey.

    Wilderness Wishon California
    Wilderness Wishon

    This whole Western Sierra is home to major hydroelectric dams that create a water supply for farms and cities located in the Central Valley below.

    nearby lakes –


    Fishing Maps California

    owensfishing

    California Fishing Maps & Destinations

    California fishing recreation ranges from sport-fishing, an open sea adventure, to solo casting in deep river canyons. Big Sierra Reservoirs near Gold Rush Country to High Country Alpine Lakes, the golden state has the water – and the outdoor recreation you crave.

    Below is an alphabetical list of popular fishing destinations within California. Mountains to coastline, there are many maps to choose from.

     

    gonzagadusk

    Baja California Maps
    Surf, Camp, Fish, Kayak, Dive
    Sea of Cortez, Baja CA Mexico

    Big Bear Trail Map
    San Berdoo Mountains Map

    San Bernardino National Forest Map USDA
    San Bernardino National Forest
    Big Bear Lake, Arrowhead & Idyllwild
    SoCal Mountains

    but you do know that… all the good fishing is up north, right?

    Bishop Creek Eastern Sierra

    Bishop Pass Map
    North Lake, Sabrina, South Lake
    Bishop Creek, Eastern Sierra

    Bucks Lake Wilderness Map
    Bucks Lake Wilderness, Quincy CA
    Bucks Lake Campgrounds
    North Sierra Mountains

    Carson Pass, Sierra Highway 88
    Carson Iceberg Wilderness Map
    Central Sierra Nevada Lakes & Rivers

    Crystal Basin Sierra Nevada

    Crystal Basin / Silver Fork Map
    Central Sierra Nevada Mountains
    Eldorado National Forest

    El Dorado National Forest Map
    Mokelumne, American River

    Dinkey Lakes Wilderness Map
    Tom Harrison Map
    Sierra Hikes, Dinkey Creek

    Golden Trout Wilderness Map
    Upper Kern River, Southern Sierra

    Green Creek Road
    creek fishing, trailhead campgrounds
    Bridgeport, CA Eastern Sierra

    Hoover Wilderness Map
    Hoover Wilderness
    Bridgeport, CA Eastern Sierra

    Inyo National Forest Map
    Mount Whitney, Owens River, High Sierra Lakes
    Bishop, Crowley, Mammoth & June
    Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains

    Kearsarge Pass Topo

    Kearsarge Pass Trail Map
    Rae Lakes Loop, High Sierra
    Onion Valley, Eastern Sierra

    Kings Canyon High Country Map
    Kings Cyn National Park
    Trails, Peaks, hike-in only Lakes

    Klamath National Forest Map
    Klamath River, NorCal
    Hwy 96, Happy Camp, Hupa/Hoopa

    Lakes Basin Recreation Area
    Lakes Basin Map USDA
    over a dozen small lakes, w/ trails, fishing
    Gold Lake California
    Sierra Buttes, North of Gold Country

    Lake Tahoe Map

    Lake Tahoe Basin Map NatGeo

    Tahoe Eastshore

    Lassen Forest Map
    Lassen National Forest &
    Lassen National Park
    Feather River, Lassen Lakes

    Mammoth Map

    Mammoth Lakes Map NatGeo
    Mammoth Lakes CA
    Mono Divide, High Sierra
    June Lake, Eastern Sierra Recreation

    Rush Creek

     

    Merced River Recreation Map NatGeo
    Merced River & Tuolumne River
    Yosemite Camping & Fishing
    Gold Country, Western Sierra Rivers

    Mineral King Trail Map
    Southern Sequoia National Park
    day hike to wilderness lakes

    Plumas National Forest Map
    Lake Almanor, Lake Oroville
    Feather River (all 4 forks)

    Sequoia National Forest Map
    Kern River, Lake Isabella
    Kern Plateau, Kennedy Mdws

    Shasta National Forest Map
    Sacramento River, Lake Shasta
    NorCal fishing, Mount Shasta

    Sierra National Forest Map
    San Joaquin River, Dinkey Creek
    Dinkey Lakes Map
    Kings River, Pine Flat Reservoir
    Lake Edison, Florence
    Shaver Lake Map, Huntington Lake
    BlackRock, Courtright, Wishon

    Stanislaus National Forest Map
    Stanislaus National Forest
    Sonora Pass, Dardalelle
    Stanislaus River, Gold Country

     

    sierra buttes

    Tahoe National Forest:

    Tahoe Sierra Buttes Map NatGeo
    Sierra Buttes / Donner Pass
    Lakes Basin Recreation Area

    Tahoe Yuba Map NatGeo
    American River, Yuba River
    Gold Country California

    Toiyabe National Forest:
    Eastern Sierra Nevada Mts

    Toiyabe Carson Map
    Carson River, Markleeville
    Eastern Sierra, South of Tahoe

    Toiyabe Bridgeport Map
    Walker River, Twin Lakes
    Eastern Sierra, Yosemite East

    lakes

    let’s not forget the ever expanding

    California Lake List

    rocklakefishing

    Gold Lake California

    lilgoldlake
    Hike-in only Gold Lake, Bucks Lake Wilderness.

    California has more than one Gold Lake!

    goldsign

    Gold Lake, CA

    (Sierra Co)
    6409′ elev.

    The biggest Gold Lake, California is the well-known one, along the Gold Lake Highway in the Lakes Basin Recreation Area. Plumas meets Tahoe National Forest. North of Gold Country Hwy 49, Downieville & the Yuba River. Right where the Sierra Nevada granite meets the volcanic lava rock of NorCal.

    Packer Lake

    Lakes Wilderness Map

    Impressive jagged spires known as The Sierra Buttes (8591′) tower above the stunning lake scenery. This big Gold Lake is surrounded by a dozen smaller alpine lakes which make up the popular region called Lakes Basin. Easy access paved highway, which closes in winter for deep snow and winter recreation. The Gold Lake Highway is also referred to as Plumas County Road #S620

    sierra buttes
    the sierra buttes

    Sardine Peak Fire Lookout lodgeranger rentals
    NFS fire tower – overnight rental overlooking the Sierra Buttes and the serene Lakes Basin, Yuba River, Northern Gold Country CaliforniaUSFS

    LAKES BASIN RECREATION AREA:
    Cabins, camping, lake fishing, backpacking, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, off-roading, snow-mobiling.

    lakesbasinhikers

    California Lakes

    mini gold lake

     

    Mini Gold Lake

    (Plumas Co)
    6000′ elev.

    Another smaller Gold Lake exist on the granite slopes in Bucks Lake Wilderness – E of Oroville & W of Quincy, CA.

    gold lake trailheadThis hidden gem is a hike-in only lake – and well worth the effort. A somewhat short hike, great ridge line views to the east, although the last half mile of this route is a doozie (moderately strenuous).

    The main trailhead departs from Silver Lake and climbs a ridge line that heads over to the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail). An off-shoot trail goes another mile to the miniature Gold Lake, a granite bowl of sheer beauty. A great day hike for those wishing to see the backcountry. Pack your picnic lunch, camera, and make a whole darn day of it!

    Swimming & skinning dipping seem quite natural at this alpine lake, since it is a pretty remote location (without a lot of visitors) and there is absolutely no swimming allowed at neighboring Silver Lake.

    bucks trailhead

    The steep, overgrown, rocky shoreline leads one to bush whack through old trails, only to be met by a rock slide. Many dead ends and obstacles to climb around, or over. Some way… maybe, or maybe not!

    Boulder and rock scrambling is the key phrase to remember, once you reach this lake. Knees may be sore from climbing, up and over the boulder ledge surrounding the lake bowl.

    goldshore

    Bucks Lake Wilderness Map

    A few primitive camp sites are scattered about on the edge of the lake for those backpacking in, but be warned – they can be very difficult to reach. Much more suitable campsites can be found scattered throughout the area.

    Warning: there are no flat, lush meadows to lounge in up at the lake, so pick yourself a side route (on the walk in) to find real seclusion and privacy.

    view to Quincy

    This mile-long-ridge hiking trail to mini Gold Lake has some amazing views down to the east side – Jacks Meadow right below; then Meadow Valley & Quincy off in the distant hills. Plumas County from above.

    jacks meadow
    jacks meadow, way below

    Sierra Nevada Lakes

    High Sierra, California

    hike-in only lakes

    hike

    Golden Bear Lake
    (Tulare Co)
    12,000′ elev

    High Sierra – Kings Canyon National Park
    Center Basin / Center Peak 12,760′
    PCT – Pacific Crest Trail
    North of Mount Whitney
    Eastern Sierra, Independence, CA

    hike

    Golden Trout Lake
    (Inyo Co)
    11,500′ elev

    Trail #3306 from Onion Valley Campground
    North of Mount Whitney
    Eastern Sierra, Independence, CA

    goldentroutlakecanyon
    onion valley trail views

    Camping Near Yosemite

    Yosemite Lake View Camp Sites

    Camp Near Yosemite National Park

    Yosemite is a top destination, all year long. California masses converge on the sacred valley each summer, so expect more as the buses keep rolling in. Plan a Yosemite trip before Memorial Day weekend – or after Labor Day weekend, for less people.

    Camping close to Yosemite National Park without being inside the park boundaries. The scenery and wildness doesn’t stop in the back country. There are numerous National Forests surrounding the popular National Park, so much public land has been set aside for these recreation purposes. Granite-lined mountain meadows, dense forests, raging creeks, wildlife and real seclusion. Plenty of great paved back roads, dirt roads and camping options in the Sierra Nevada.

    CAMP OUTSIDE YOSEMITE NP, WHY?

    No campground reservations needed, cheap or free, less crowds, less noise. More freedom, more privacy, more nature.

    Hundreds of developed, small campgrounds can be found around Yosemite. A few private RV resorts, cabin rentals, lodging on the main highways. Primitive style camping is considered “camping outside of developed campgrounds”. USDA National Forests usually allows open-camping within the forest boundary – with a required camp fire permit. Sometimes wildfire danger is too extreme, so they often ban campfires in dry conditions.

    YOSEMITE: SOUTH HWY 41

    SIERRA NF @ Fish Camp, CA

    East side of Highway 41:

    West side of Highway 41:

    Lakes West of Yosemite NP:
    Stanislaus National Forest

    all Lakes near Yosemite

    Gold Country @ Mariposa, CA

    Gold Country Foothills – listed below are valley reservoirs. Oaks, dry hills, which can can be super hot in summer.

     

    camping

    YOSEMITE WEST Highway 120

    Camping near Highway 120

    • Sweetwater Campground
    • Lost Claim Campground
    • The Pines Campground

    North side of Highway:

    • Lumsden Campground
    • Lumsden Bridge Camp
    • Middle Fork Campground
    • Cherry Lake Campground
    • Hetch Hetchy Reservoir (NPS)

    camping

    highmeadows

    See all Lakes near Yosemite Park

    lakes near Yosemite hiking

    YOSEMITE: EAST Highway 120

    Tioga Pass on Hwy 120 (elevation 9410′) is only open during summer months. Generally June through October. Always check road conditions before your trip.

    Lakes @ Tioga Pass
    High elevation meadows, aspen groves, snowmelt lakes. Just east of Yosemite National Park border. Inyo National Forest

    leeviningcamps

    Lee Vining Canyon @ US 395
    Inyo National Forest

    • Cattleguard Campground
    • Moraine Campground
    • Boulder Campground
    • Aspen Grove Campground
    • Big Bend Campground

     

    Mono Maloy

    MONO LAKE, CALIFORNIA

    Eastern Sierra Camping

    tallpeaktower

    Inyo Forest Campgrounds – Eastern Sierra Campgrounds

    areas include: Lone Pine, Mount Whitney, Independence, Onion Valley, Ancient Bristlecone Pines, Big Pine, Bishop [Hwy 168], High Sierra, Owens River, Lake Crowley, Rock Creek, Mammoth Lakes [Hwy 203], June Lake Loop [Hwy 158], Lee Vining & East Yosemite National Park [Hwy 120]. Camping on Eastern Sierra Highway 395

    Eastern Sierra recreation – backpacking, horse packing, day hiking, creek fishing, mountain biking, mountaineering, rock climbing

    Listed below are all the Inyo National Forest campgrounds, County Parks, BLM public lands for outdoor recreation. Most campgrounds are closed for winter months. Blue links lead to camp reservations. Boldface links to more detailed information & photos on campground.

    campground elev spots veg toilet water notes
    Agnew Meadows 8400′ 21 pines chem piped Mammoth; Jun-Sept
    Big Bend Campground 7800′ 17 pines vault piped Lee Vining, April-Oct
    Big Meadow 8600′ 11 pines flush piped Rock Creek; May-Oct
    Big Pine Creek 9000′ 30 pines vault piped W of Big Pine; May-Oct
    Big Trees Campground 7500′ 9 pines flush piped W of Bishop ; April-Sept
    Bishop Park Group Camp 8400′ 20 pines flush piped No RVs;
    Bishop Creek
    Crowley Lake Camp 6800′ 47 sage vault piped BLM Camp; Apr-Oct
    East Fork Campground 9000′ 133 aspens flush piped fishing camp Rock Creek
    Ellery Lake Campground 9500′ 12 pines flush piped E Yosemite; June-Oct
    Forks Campground 7800′ 8 pines flush piped W of Bishop,; April-Oct
    Four Jefferey 8100′ 106 pines vault piped W of Bishop; April-Oct
    Goodale Creek 4000′ 43 cttnwd vault no BLM Camp; April-Nov
    Grandview Campground 8600′ 26 pinyon vault no Ancient Bristlecone Pines
    Grays Meadows 6000′ 52 pines flush piped W of Independence
    Gull Lake Campground 7600′ 11 aspens flush piped June Loop; April-Nov
    Hartley Springs 8400′ 20 pines vault no Glass Creek, June-Oct
    Horseshoe Meadow 10,000′ 10 pines vault piped 1 day limit; horses; More
    Horton Creek 4975′ 49 pines vault piped BLM Bishop; May-Oct
    Intake Campground 7500′ 8 pines flush piped W of Bishop; April-Oct
    Iris Meadow Campgr 8300′ 14 pines flush piped W of Bishop; May-Oct
    June Lake Campground 7600′ 22 pines flush piped fishing/hiking
    Junction Campground 9600′ 13 pines vault lake E Yosemite; June-Oct
    Lake George Campground 9000 16 pines flush piped fish, June-Sept
    Lone Pine Campground 5500′ 43 pinyon vault piped W of Hwy 395
    McGee Creek 7600′ 26 aspen flush piped Tom’s Place, Hwy 395
    New Shady Rest 7800′ 94 pines flush piped Mammoth, in town
    North Lake Campground 9500′ 11 pines vault piped W of Bishop; June-Oct
    Oh Ridge Campground 6000′ 148 pines flush piped June Lake
    Old Shady Rest Camp 7800′ 51 pines flush piped Hwy 203, Mammoth
    Onion Valley Campground 9000′ 15 aspen vault piped High Sierra access
    Palisade Campground 8600′ 5 aspen flush piped Rock Creek; May-Oct
    Pine City Campground 8900′ 10 pines flush piped Lake Mary, June-Sept
    Pine Grove Campgr 9300′ 11 pines flush piped May-Oct
    Pumice Flat Group Camp 7700′ 17 flush piped June-Sept
    Reversed Creek Campground 7600′ 17 aspen flush piped June Loop; May-Oct
    Rock Creek Lake 7600′ 25 aspen flush piped Tom’s Place; May-Oct
    Sabrina Campground 9000′ 18 pines vault piped W of Bishop; May-Oct
    Saddlebag Lake 10,000′ 20 pines vault piped highest camp; June-Oct
    Sherwin Creek Camp 7600′ 87 pines flush piped Mammoth Lakes
    Taboose Creek 3900′ 55 shade vault stream Big Pine;
    open all yr
    Tinemaha Creek 4400′ 55 shade vault stream Independence, Inyo Co Park
    Tioga Lake Campgr 9700′ 13 pines vault piped fish Yosemite, June-Oct
    Tuff Campground 7000′ 34 pines flush piped Rock Creek; RV 22′
    Tuttle Creek 5120′ 83 sage vault seasonal Lone Pine; open all yr
    Upper Pine Grove 9400′ 8 pines piped May-Oct
    Upper Sage Flat 7600′ 21 pines vault piped W Big Pine; April-Oct
    Whitney Portal Camp 9000′ 44 pines flush piped Trailhead; May-Oct
    Whitney Trailhead 9000′ 10 pines vault piped Trailhead; May-Oct

    sunsetgrandview

    see Group Campgrounds in Inyo National Forest, Eastern Sierra

    8

    Eastern Sierra Vacation, see also –

    Topo maps, wilderness hiking maps, fishing maps
    Equestrian trails, 4×4 routes, OHV maps –

    Twin LakesEastern Sierra communities include:

    Dogs in Lake

    Silver Lake @ June

    June Lake Loop

    Silver Lake @ June Lake Loop

    (Mono Co)

    7700′ elev. Hwy 158, Backside of June Lake Loop, north of Mammoth.

    Prime hiking and fishing destination of the Eastern Sierra, California. With impressive Carson Peak (10,909′) towering as a granite backdrop for the lake, every day out here is super scenic. Unless, of course, blizzard white-out conditions occur – which is possible during winter.

    October-November, Autumn colors – at this particular location – tend to be fantastic, with aspen groves encompassing the lake, nearby streams and steep canyons.

    fish: Reverse Creek, Rush Creek, Silver Lake, Grant Lake, Gem Lake, Gull Lake, June Lake

    golden glow june

    Winter weather & deep snow can close the paved highway loop, so know road conditions and weather forecast before you go. This beautiful Silver Lake is within walking distance of two lodges – Whispering Pines & Double Eagle Resort, so if rain or snow is predicted make your reservations.

    • aspen groves
    • autumn colors
    • backpacking
    • camping
    • canoeing
    • fishing lake
    • hiking trails
    • horseback trails
    • kayaking
    • mountaineering
    • picnic grounds
    • RV camp

    Rental Boats

    Ansel Adams Wilderness
    Inyo National Forest
    June Lake, CA

    This gorgeous, 80 acre alpine lake is a popular campground for fishing, summer and autumn camping. Accommodates tent camping and RVs. Boat ramp, grocery store, coin-op laundry – all nearby.

    Silver Lake Campground NFS campground

    • Elevation: 7600′
    • Number of Sites: 28
    • Vehicle Accessibility: RV 20′
    • Campsites Reservation: Yes
    • Camp Fee: Yes
    • Toilets: Flush
    • Water: Piped/Potable
    • Length of Stay: 14 Days
    • Season: April – October

    NFS
    Inyo National Forest
    Mono Lake Ranger Station
    North US Hwy 395
    Lee Vining, CA 93541
    760-647-3044

    lets go fishing

    See all Silver Lakes in California

    Wishon Reservoir

    Lake Wishon – Sierra NF

    Western Sierra Nevada Lake
    Central Sierra California

    lake wishon

    East of Fresno, CA
    East of Shaver Lake

    EB from Fresno, Hwy 168 up to Shaver, w/ another 30+ miles on paved backroads
    (Dinkey Creek Rd & then McKinley Grove Rd)
    Way, way back, beyond Dinkey

    You gotta really wanna BE at places like this. Magical High Sierra mountains – California’s finest. Sheer beauty surrounds this lake w/ granite domes, granite cliffs, granite trails, forests, peaks and plenty hiking, fishing, water and boating. It does take planning (way ahead) to make it out here, cuz the area is only accessible during summer months. Typical of high altitude lakes, snow buries them annually and the roads get closed off to the public (usually NOV-MAY is winter). Some backcountry routes become snowmobiling trails during winter, and the Sierra National Forest has plenty of great snomo action (if snow is deep).

    Wishon Lake, California
    elevation: 6600′

    High Sierra Granite Reservoir with pines trees and rocky, granite shoreline. Not nearly as amazing as its cousin w/ the domes to the north, Courtright, Wishon has less granite & less wind, but more accessible backroads to explore, plus more car camping options. Both lakes are part of the Helms Creek hydro-electric project (dams) that make up the PG&E water infrastructure out in these parts – The Kings River Drainage System.

    Backpacker trailheads, Woodchuck, Rancheria & Crown Valley all lead to dead end dirt roads – with nothing but solitude for miles & miles. Some might be passenger car accessible. Winter weather changes dirt road conditions (often).

    The Kings River Geological Area is nearby, as well as both the John Muir Wilderness & Dinkey Lakes Wilderness.

    Wishon Sierra Nevada

    Large Reservoir with 8,000-10,000′ high sierra mountain peaks surrounding. Pine forests, views, fishing, camping, hiking in every direction, secluded dirt roads. Perfect high elevation trailheads, next to John Muir Wilderness. Great for backpackers!

    All boating, but no waterski or jet ski.
    One public boat ramp. Fishing boat rentals available.

    WARNING: Water level changes daily.

    lake area recreation:


    Backpacking
    Boating
    Campground Camping
    Dinkey Lakes Wilderness
    Fishing
    Hiking
    Horse Pack Trips
    John Muir Wilderness
    Mountain Biking
    Primitive Camping
    Sierra National Forest
    Snowmobiling the Sierras
    Spanish Lake 4×4 Route

    bridgewishon

    Wishon is a summer vacation paradise for trout fishing, hiking, backpacking and back road exploring.

    CLOSED FOR WINTER: NOV-APRIL = Snow closes the road for winter. For all you hardcore campers and hikers, you must call ahead to see if roads are open. It is rural forest, well traveled, but snow storms will shut everything down out here (for many months). Although, in some mild winters you can drive as far as Dinkey Creek on pavement. Gates are locked beyond that.

    Central Sierra Wishon Lake Camping

    LilyPad Campground @ Wishon Lake

    Upper Kings Group Campground (by reservation only)

    helpful numbers:

    High Sierra Rangers Office: 559-855-5355
    Pineridge and Kings River Ranger Districts
    29688 Auberry Road, Prather, CA 93651

    Dinkey Creek Ranger Station
    (June thru September)
    559-841-3404

    Wishon Village RV
    66500 McKinley Grove Road, Shaver Lake, CA 93664
    559-865-5361

    Engineering

    Other places nearby


    Black Rock Lake
    Sierra Forest Road #11S12
    Courtright Lake
    Dusy Ershim 4×4 Trail

    Dinkey Creek Campground
    Dorabelle Campground
    Gigantea Campground
    McKinley Sequoia Grove
    Sawmill Campground (dirt road)

    Free, primitive or open camping abundant on the dirt backroads in Sierra National Forest. 4 wheel drive is not required for most routes, but a high clearance rig would help. Some gravel roads are graded annually and suitable for passenger cars – during summer months and only for about the first mile or two, off of the main road (pavement). Mud and snow are common on backroads!

    Aspens @ Wishon, Western Sierra
    nearby towns:
    Fresno, CA
    Huntington Lake
    Lakeshore
    Pine Flat
    Prather
    Shaver Lake

    Sierra National Forest Map
    Sierra National Forest Map
    Dinkey Lakes Map
    Dinkey Lakes Map
    John Muir Wilderness Trail Maps Sierra Nevada Topo Map

    Wilderness Wishon California

    wish on

    NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH: Wishon Sequoia
    There is another popular camp spot called Wishon, on the Western Divide Highway, much further south in the Sequoia. Wishon Campground on the Tule River in the Giant Sequoia National Monument. Just up from Springville, CA. And Bass Lake Wishon; there is another WISHON Campground at popular Bass Lake, South of Yosemite NP.

    California Yuba

    Yuba River

    Yuba California

    Yuba county, city and river are located in the upper Sierra Nevada, north Gold Country. Only a few small towns around here, but lotsa National Forest land and gorgeous granite rock. Yuba City is well known for its orchards, agriculture and diverse population. Yuba River is a recreation hot spot most of the year – spanning from the foothill canyons up to higher elevation alpine lakes. Camping, kayaking, fishing, camping, hiking, swimming holes & waterfalls.

    Yuba River Downieville

    California Yuba County
    Yuba City, California
    Nevada City, California
    Downieville, California
    Sierra City, California
    Truckee, California

    South Yuba River State Park
    Yuba River Camping BLM

    South Yuba River Map
    yuba river map

    Creek Recreation

    Most of the population wants to dunk themselves in a cool mountain stream when the temperatures get beyond 100 degrees, which is the summer months near the Sacramento area. This gold country region of the Sierras, is only about an hours drive up the hill; obviously, the further you drive the better it gets. Tons of one lane and dirt roads to explore. Fishing and camping almost everywhere.

    rainbowlodge

    California’s Yuba River headwaters go all the way up to the Donner Pass in the Truckee region, along Interstate 80. Rainbow Lodge is an impressive, historic, river rock inn located right on the river. Royal Gorge is the area near the ‘Big Bend’ of the old road – Historic Highway 40.

    NFSNational Forest Campgrounds are also located nearby. Many scenic, small lakes exist up in these higher altitudes. Lake Faucherie, Sawmill Lake and Bowman Lake are all part of this Yuba watershed, along with about a dozen other lakes.

    historicriver

    19S01 – Inyo NF

    south sierra ridges

    Walker Creek Road #19S01
    – Inyo National Forest

    Southern Slopes, Eastern Sierra Nevada

    Just south of Olancha, off US Hwy 395 is a dirt road that takes you 5 miles up to an oak canyon lined with rocks. There are several primitive camp sites along the Walker Creek. A high clearance vehicle may be needed in some sections, but 4×4 is not required. Small RVs might attempt this, but if the first mile frightens you, turn around while you’re ahead.

    Dirt Road near 395

    This private, shaded, creek area is perfect for those traveling Highway 395, looking for a quick and free camp spot near Olancha, CA

    nice shady spots
    Shady picnic or camp spots above 4000′ elevation.

    some granite
    Hiking trails at the end of the road lead deep into the mountains. One on the right takes you to waterfalls. The trail on the left will take you to meet up with the Sage Flat Trail, which leads up to Olancha Pass, Summit Meadows & a small lake, in the South Sierra Wilderness. The Pacific Crest Trail runs the ridges here, just west of Monache Meadows, which is at 8000′ elevation, way above here – up on top. 

    First Camp

    US 395 highway – the dirt road turn off is very close to a gas station, and it maybe be signed, or not. The gas stop may be in business, or perhaps not. This is rural California, wide open desert and things come and go quickly.

    On a good topo map, located Olancha Creek and Summit Creek to the south. Walker Creek is the canyon in between those two, just so know where you are going and can visualize. This one is an easy-to-miss dirt road turn off – especially if you are going over 50 mph.

    Dispersed Camping Sequoia

    bone creek

    Sequoia maps

    Open Camping in Sequoia National Forest – Forest Road Camping

    Seeking secluded campsites? This is one of the best areas to camp in pine forest w/ privacy, relatively close to Southern California. Plenty of primitive car camping on the dirt roads throughout this whole Sequoia & Kern River area.

    nfs primitive back roads mountain biking hiking mountains

    No facilities. No picnic tables, no toilet, no fees. Just a rock campfire ring & a clearing. Previously used sites have already been established usually near streams. Try to use these first, if at all possible. It takes a bit of exploring but you will find the perfect spot. Don’t even attempt to try to find these kinds of camp spots at night. They are often buried deep in the forest with no visible markers what-so-ever. But in trade, you will be lulled to sleep by your own private mini waterfall & no RV generators. Many of these back roads are closed & gated during winter months due to snow & rock slides.

    No amenities are available in this neck of the woods, but plenty of seclusion & wilderness. Check official Wilderness rules for proper knowledge of the area restrictions. You must get a free camp fire permit from the ranger station in order to build a fire outside of a developed campground. A large shovel, plus bucket w/ water are a bare minimum for the privilege of camping like this. Certain dry seasons (summers into autumn) have very strict camp fire restrictions. Check with the ranger to see the latest on building campfires on the back roads. camping

    A Sequoia Forest Service Map is highly advised for this area. There are so many dirt roads for dispersed primitive camping on the back roads. Due to weather & erosion, some roads may require 4×4 or high clearance, so come prepared with a plan B.

    Camping Checklist to make sure you’ll have what you need. The drive up from the Los Angeles area averages 3-4 hours and is well worth the trip. Once you’ve found that perfect spot, take detailed note of it, for the next time you visit the area. Then, you will be able to get there easily in the middle of the night, if need be.

    Backroad Camping Sequoia: Follow the forest road numbers with your Sequoia map to discover amazing back road camping options. Your own private stream or meadow. Secluded campsites with your own mini waterfall.

    overview

    see also –
    Sequoia Campground Camping

    monache mdw