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Old 07-26-2008, 10:32 AM   #1
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Mammoth suggestions?

I will be up in Mammoth, CA for three days and wanted your suggestions on where to go, camp, etc.

Having looked at DaveB's photos of Laurel Lakes I plan to camp there one night, though I was told by a few people that the road is tough for an SMB due to a couple of very tight switchbacks. Any thoughts?

Also I would like to do some fishing and camp right at a nice lake. I was thinking Silver Lake, Gull Lake or Convict Lake. Any suggestions?

What else is worth seeing with the little time I have there? Any particular trails or places to camp or areas I should see?

All help is appreciated.

steve
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:00 AM   #2
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Convict Lake is one of our favorite campgrounds but it can be very noisy (i.e., lots of generators and boom boxes) during the summer months. It may also be full now...you can check on-line at:

http://www.recreation.gov/

The campgrounds near Silver and Gull lake are pretty open and unattractive.

We haven't been to Laurel Lake yet...it is on the list. Although we tend to go to Mammoth after Labor Day, we typically boondock outside of town rather than stay in one of the campgrounds. There is a lot of public land around Mammoth and dirt roads to get to it, especially about 5 miles or so north of Mammoth.

Although you need to take the bus shuttle in, Devil's Postpile is nice with some nice hikes.

It sounds like the fishing is good, depending on where you fish:

http://www.thetroutfly.com/fishreport.html
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Old 07-27-2008, 09:02 AM   #3
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I tend to agree about the merits of boondock camping around Mammoth. We're up there probably once a month and there is a nice quasi-legal campground on the south side of 395 about 4-5 miles south of town that we enjoy. I can send you GPS coordinates if you like as there is no signage. There are also nice places to camp off of Benton Crossing road which heads northeast about 5-7 miles south of 203 turnoff from hwy 395.

My favorite USFS camping is in the rock creek area. The turnoff for rock creek is at Tom's place, about 15 miles south of Mammoth on 395. Big meadow and Iris meadow campgrounds have creekside campgrounds and are relatively small with a nice secluded feel. The scenery in the area is excellent. Avoid the bigger campsites down the the rock creek valley for the same reasons noted above regarding Convict lake. Lots of big RVs and noise.

Laurel lakes is very scenic and the road up it a challenge. I've done it many times on the dirtbike, but not yet in the SMB. Jeff (canyonclan) has driven his SMB up and assures me it is no problem!

And finally, on a visit in June we camped for a night at the coldwater or coldcreek campground near Lake Mary. It was a very pleasant surprise. Many of the campsites are creekside and it is a short walk down to Lake Mary (wife caught a 3.5lb Alpers so she was very happy). It is a large campground and I was concerned about crowds, big RVs and noise. Not so. Per the nice and helpful campground hosts, occupancy rates are down a lot recently so the campground was pretty empty, I'd guess about 30%-40% full. No doubt a function of fuel prices. That may change in the later summer months so check it out first.

Enjoy the trip. We're heading up in a couple weeks and I'm counting the days.
Rob
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:37 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. I will definitely attempt Laurel Lakes and will report back to you. I will camp there the first night.

EMRider can you post or PM me the GPS coordinates to that camping area please?

I am bringing my boat so will likely go to Convict Lake only this time but will check our Lake Mary too. Thanks for letting me know about the campsites there.

Anything else to see in Mammoth while I am there?

Thanks again!

steve
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:35 PM   #5
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There are a handful of hot springs to soak in off of Whitmore Tubs Road that Y's off of Benton Crossing Road off of 395. If you do a web search on Whitmore Tubs Road hot springs you should find descriptions of them and where they are. I've also spent the night out near them in my van without any hassles. It was nice for a morning soak in the cold February weather.

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Old 07-30-2008, 12:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjpvi
There are a handful of hot springs to soak in off of Whitmore Tubs Road that Y's off of Benton Crossing Road off of 395. If you do a web search on Whitmore Tubs Road hot springs you should find descriptions of them and where they are. I've also spent the night out near them in my van without any hassles. It was nice for a morning soak in the cold February weather.
Thanks for the tip on the hotsprings. I found an older post saying that the Whitmore Tubs Road hot springs were closed. I will likely check at the ranger station in Mammoth to find out.
sounds like i have to check it out.

steve
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cellularSTEVE
Thanks guys. I will definitely attempt Laurel Lakes and will report back to you. I will camp there the first night.



Steve, Laurel is very nice. It's a little bumpy at first. Be aware it turns to sharp rock whan you get in a ways, but I haven't had any problems. There are some tight turns that requires or at least helps to have a spotter. (I have an EB). There are several pics in my album I took (9th page) and I can post others if you wish to see the area. Good luck fishin.

Have Fun.
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:24 AM   #8
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Great trip. I went to Laurel Lakes and proud to say I did the last switchback with only a 3 point turn! I can write a trip report and upload photos if anyone is interested.



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Old 08-05-2008, 09:10 AM   #9
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Steve,

Of course we are interested. You do great write-ups and photos.

Those of us who simply sit around our computer can live through your travels!

Thanks,

Mike
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cellularSTEVE
Great trip. I went to Laurel Lakes and proud to say I did the last switchback with only a 3 point turn!
You could have used "the trick"!
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