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Old 07-16-2020, 02:22 PM   #11
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other than...

Hi,

Given the time of the year, Death Valley and points east are not on the list. I suggest Hat Creek Hereferfd Ranch Camp Ground located in Hat Creek, CA. 3.0 MSL so lots of wild life, hiking, spring fed creeks and rivers etc.. We've camped at there "ranch" for decades. The fishing is awesome and don't neglect buying some grass fed/finished Hat Creek beef!
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Old 07-16-2020, 04:23 PM   #12
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We were up there for 8 days around the 4th. Stopped at Lone Pine NFS campground above Alabama Hills bth coming and going. Unusual cool weather before but normal blazing hot after. The road up to Whitney Portal was still closed due to earthquake damage and the occasional falling 10 ton boulder.
the Eastside north of Bishop was heavily impacted through the 4th. Ive been going to that area for 55 years and ive never seen the amount of drive through traffic looking for open sites. Be ready to go self contained somewhere on the the east side of 395 if that situation still exists. Its a strange time out there, but a SMB type van gives you a great edge
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Old 07-16-2020, 06:40 PM   #13
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+1 to the 395 and Eastern Sierras. Campendium.com is a good site for researching campgrounds, you can limit it to just free spots or just public (National Forest/BLM) camping (as opposed to private RV parks.) Hot springs, massive Jeffrey pines, a handful of cute small towns to explore and you can get pretty far up into Yosemite as I recall (or at least to where you can see some big granite) before the entrance station...though I may be remembering incorrectly. From the 395 youíve got Mojave to the south and Tahoe to the north, the former having some great free boondocking and the latter having a big famous lake with mobsters at the bottom.
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Old 07-16-2020, 06:42 PM   #14
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Sequoia and Kings Canyon’s website days their roads are open, too. Higher elevation, and there is free camping in Sequoia National Forest. Higher elevation if you don’t want the heat of the 395.
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Old 07-16-2020, 07:57 PM   #15
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+1 for King's Canyon and Sequoia. Sad to hear Whitney Portal is closed. I love that place. Also, check out Princess CG at the top of King's Canyon. One of my favorite CG's in the nation. I hardly even stay at organized campgrounds anymore but I'll stay at those two again and again.

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Old 07-16-2020, 11:48 PM   #16
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Witney Portal is open, I was there a little over a week ago to drop two John Muir Trail hikers off, we spent the night at the Whitney Family Campground at 8,000 ft.
I will be back in the area tomorrow if anyone is there, planning to spend the night at Red’s Meadow Friday and Saturday and then hang out in the area for a few days before picking up our hikers in Yosemite Valley on Wednesday. We are going to rent a boat at the Fish Camp and go see the columns at Crowley Lake and beyond that we haven’t decided. Wonderful place to be, reach out if you are in the area!
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Old 07-17-2020, 01:36 PM   #17
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Outside of the park, many of the more remote forest service roads on the west side of the Sierra's have been closed off either due to downed trees cause by the bark beetles or areas that burned. But I haven't even been up the hill since last year so I don't really know what is open or not. I'd at least contact the local ranger district about access before planning a trip outside the park.
I really like areas on the west side of the Sierra's around Shaver Lake and Edison Lake. There are a lot of easy forest service roads to explore. Sonora Pass shouldn't be left out and Leavitt Lake has some camping with scenic views. I do have some info on my site that might be worth looking at. Also as mentioned, spots above Bass lake around the Minarets are some of my favorite areas to disperse camp. I've yet to update my blog lately but I highly recommend the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway. Shuteye Peak is amazing but somewhat difficult to run in a van. You can drive to a trailhead and walk or ride a trail bike to the Lookout. A drive down 5S88 around Jackass creek offer some scenic views.


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