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Old 09-16-2013, 09:50 PM   #1
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Mono Lake Vacinity

I will be stopping on my way to the Death Valley meetup somewhere off 395 south of Lee Vining. I have spent a little time east of Lookout Mtn but would appreciate any suggestions for a good overnight stop that can be accessed from 395 or 120 and doesn't require a lengthy drive off road.
Thanks in advance.
Chris
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:08 PM   #2
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Re: Mono Lake Vacinity

Crooked meadow off 120 s/o 395 is a good camp. Has a vaulted head.
a couple miles east is:
Taylor Canyon is lower in birch trees also has a head.
A few miles east is:
Sawmill Meadow is the nicest also has a head. I'd check when hunting season opens on that area. That would be my only concern but was there in early October 2011 and never saw a soul at any of them.











This is what Sawmill camp and the meadows look like in the above pics

If any of those interest you I can give you better directions.
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Sawmill CG overview.jpg   Sawmill Trail.jpg   Sawmill CG closeup.jpg   solar eclipse 001.jpg   solar eclipse 003.jpg  

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Old 09-16-2013, 11:30 PM   #3
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Re: Mono Lake Vacinity

Opps, that's if you were going in through Beatty. Those camps are about 15+ miles s/o 395. Why not stop up at Saddlebag lake off Tioga or are you doing 108?
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:14 AM   #4
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Re: Mono Lake Vacinity

There is a large county campground just off of 120 before you get to 395 which always has plenty of space, even in the summer. Further south on 395, turn left/east on Owens River Road just before you reach the Rest Stop and there is a FS campground a couple of miles up the paved road. However, on weekends it tends to attract the ATV and motorcycle crowd. However, you can also boondock anywhere along this road...however, the closer you are to 395, the more highway noise you get. Where we prefer to boondock along this road is to continue east over the ridge (beyond the FS campground) and turn right (hard right) about 3 miles from 395 on the first FS road on the right once over the ridge. A quarter mile on this dirt road will lead to a lot of flat places to pull off and spend the night.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:54 AM   #5
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Re: Mono Lake Vacinity

Plenty of options. Lee Vining Canyon has campspots just off the beginning of 120. And you're close to the Whoa Nellie Deli at the Mobil Station there. Best food for miles. South Tufa is a good spot at the edge of the lake. At the north end is Lundy Canyon with a few excellent sites at the end of the road beyond the lake. There are some dirt roads off the north end of June Lake Loop worth finding, and nice camping there. And there are numerous turnoffs into the forest along 395 as you approach Mammoth. Beyond that is Tom's Place and the road up the mountain. I'm sure I've left out dozens of spots I've been to around there over the years.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:41 AM   #6
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Re: Mono Lake Vacinity

Another option is to go a little further south and boondock at one of the hot-springs off Benton Crossing Road. Let me know if you need some coordinates.
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:06 PM   #7
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Re: Mono Lake Vacinity

Thanks to all. Now I have too many options!!! Charlie are these springs south of Benton on 6? Daveb are there spots on the Owens river to be had?
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Old 09-17-2013, 04:56 PM   #8
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Re: Mono Lake Vacinity

Rather than left off 395 just before the Mammoth rest stop try right at the Crestview maintenance station; free USFS campground a quarter mi off the road with nearby fishing. Glass Creek. Pretty quiet; lotsa full timers.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:22 PM   #9
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Re: Mono Lake Vacinity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Thwaites
Thanks to all. Now I have too many options!!! Charlie are these springs south of Benton on 6? Daveb are there spots on the Owens river to be had?
Both mine and Charlie's spots are on 120 e/o 395. Its slightly out of your way but not real far.
You can camp and hit 6 back to Bishop to make the loop or even zig zag your way along Benton Crossing
Road to above Crowley Lake and 395. Seem to remember some nice camping on the shore of Crowley.
The other passage is 6 to 95 and down to Beatty. It's all down hill into DV from Beatty but out of the way
if your destination is Stovepipe.
You can also drop down 264 to 266 and over to 6 to Beatty.

But being 395 is mainly a downhill ride to DV, some of the other spots closer to 395 members posted
about might be a quicker choice and less fuel spent.

All the areas (other than where I posted) around 120 s/o 395 are nice but you just need to know
where to go. Most of the spots around the Mobile Station at 395/120 are a bit bleak to me. YMMV.

Saddlebag up on 120 is beautiful but the small closely packed camps are an issue and being you have to pay
might run you off. It also might be packed...just don't count on it. Plus you have to go through the park.

Personally my choice (for a journey) would be 108, stop at Leavitt (5 miles in and bumpy) to camp for
a nite or two and enjoy the beauty then out and do the long drive to DV. Just me...I like unique
places not pit stops.

There is another spot off 108 that is quite the spot and only minutes from the highway. Wolf Creek
offers some above tree line spots at 10,000 feet. PM me if you consider this area. You can see it on
my web site. Here is a pic

Windy though at times.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:36 PM   #10
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Re: Mono Lake Vacinity

BTW Chris, if you do want to do something on 108 I'd love to meet up with you guys.
I just don't think I can make it over the Mtn much less DV at this time of year.

Thankfully the fire has been dealt with
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