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Old 07-27-2018, 07:45 PM   #1
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Advice Regarding Remote 4WD High Sierra Nevada Lake Camping Info

Hi Sportsmobilers,

I'm looking for any info or advice/suggestions regarding taking a last minute trip to the High Sierra. We had some issues during my hubs allotted vacation time and couldn't get away and now have 6 days available starting tomorrow and want to try to get away to a lake somewhere that is not supercrowded and not too hot. We are looking for as much peace and quiet as possible, and have a lake or river-side preference, where it's not too hot, because our 13 year old has some heat related health issues. We are based in SoCal, so I'm thinking that time-wise the Sierra Nevada would be our best option. I have a bunch of SUV & 4WD trail books & maps, but would love input from other 4WD Sportsmobilers. Any suggestions? All information is greatly appreciated!! Thanks.

-Maggie
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Old 07-27-2018, 08:11 PM   #2
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I see you are in Ventura County, it might help if we knew how far into Northern CA you are willing to go.
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Old 07-27-2018, 08:18 PM   #3
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Hi, Fitz. We have almost a week, so we were even considering driving all the way to Ft. Bragg and the cool remote-ish Dept of Forestry Demonstration Forest campsites up there, but we'd rather stick a bit closer to home. I'm thinking south of Bridgeport preferably, unless there are some really great suggestions further out. Thanks.
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Old 07-27-2018, 11:20 PM   #4
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How about Coyote Flat near Bishop? You will need 4wd to get there and we camped at 9,800’ up on top.

BTW, we really like the campground you are referring to by Ft. Bragg, but you better be prepared for mosquitoes in the forest if you end up going there!
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Old 07-28-2018, 07:09 AM   #5
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Further north of Bishop is Leavitt Lake up Sonora Pass, wonderful place, 4wd in. Lots of dispersed camping spaces, water, fishing, hiking. Check to see if road is open, pretty sure it is.

Last trip thread:
http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...pen-12588.html
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Old 07-28-2018, 08:58 AM   #6
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That looks fun Ray. Going to have to put it on the list.
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Old 07-28-2018, 01:44 PM   #7
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Good luck out there. This summer is on fire, and everyone wants to be near water. It's the busiest vacation time of the year and likely all reservations are had. You can't drive to the High Sierra because you can only hike into it. You can try the area west of Bishop up rt 168 to north lake (a campsite if you are lucky) or the many campgrounds along the north and south forks of Bishop Creek on the way to Sabrina or South Lakes. There was a rockslide keeping everyone out of the Sabrina/North Lake area this past week, but I heard the road is open again. Lundy canyon is closed beyond the beaver dams from another huge rockslide and won't be cleared for a while. Rock Creek is going be a zoo. Coyote Flat was mentioned and there is a creek towards the end of the road. You might find a spot along Big Pine Creek (west out of Big Pine). Anything north like Convict, Twin Lakes, Virginia lakes are all going to be zoos as well. Summers are tough in popular areas. Thats why I leave the state. I'm heading to Utah, Idaho and Montana for a couple of weeks or more starting this Tuesday. If you want to try something different and very nice, without crowds, head up to the White Mtns. It's cooler, but no water recreation there. A few 4x4 ops there too.
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Old 07-28-2018, 02:31 PM   #8
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With the Fergusean fire near Yosemite the Central Sierra’s have been vary smokey and will continue to be until the fire settles down. You might consider staying south or further north.
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:26 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the info, guys! We've been dragging our feet with getting ready and so we're leaving tomorrow. We're going to try Coyote Flat, with Leavitt as a back up option. We've spent a considerable amount of time camping and backpacking in the Bishop area, and even got married up there, in Aspendell, but have never checked out Coyote Flat, believe it or not. I've also spent a lot of time in the White Mountains, during my undergrad field work (in geology), so we want to check out something new. Thanks for all the great suggestions and the informative link for Leavitt trip thread!
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Old 07-29-2018, 04:34 PM   #10
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For the most part the smoke from the Ferguson fire seems to be headed in a northern direction but I'm about 70 miles west and the last few days it looked like fog down here. I'd want to check with Bridgeport Ranger District prior to committing to Leavitt and make sure what the air quality actually is there. If not clouded in smoke, Eagle Meadows road off highway 108 (miles below Leavitt) crosses Long Meadow creek which has dispersed camping close to water. It gets medium use though. Along highway 108 there are several CG's along the Stanislaus river but are usually packed like a sardine can during this time of the season. You'd be lucky grabbing a site along the river at Baker or Deadman CG's.

The area around Edison may or may not have issues with smoke. Lots of places to camp but there aren't too many close by water. Dispersed camps along a lake or river are getting difficult to grab these days. One that might work out is the Bear Diversion Dam OHV trail . The road keeps most out but isn't an issue for a 4x4/high clearance vehicle. Unfortunately there's only one camp site near water & is at the end of the road. There are a lot of campgrounds in the Edison Lake area though (like Sample Meadow) but they're probably in heavy use this time of year.

There is a small PG&E campground above Pine Flat Reservoir at Black Rock Reservoir. Some people don't like the drive in so the CG might have open spots. There is dispersed camping near the lake close to the campground if you want to be clear of others but it might be a little warm at that altitude in July.

Take into consideration of the fire status. Most open fires in dispersed camping sites are not allowed this time of year even if you have a permit. Most campgrounds allow fires if there is a ring.



Good luck on your trip. Too bad the Ferguson Fire is messing up places around the Sierra's.
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