jenn July 22nd, 2012
We haven’t really moved in over a month. Well, we have moved campsites about 5 times but all of them have been within 15 miles of the town of Mammoth Lakes. We are really enjoying this area. The weather is just right. While the rest of the country has been dealing with 100F+ temps, ours have been between 70 and 80. However the nights are a bit chilly at 40ish. We are in an alpine, pine, aspen, volcanic wonderland. In the winter, the town is a major ski resort hot spot. In the summer, it is a cool reprieve from southern California.
The camping is free. There are four established free campgrounds nearby. They are Glass Creek, Hartley Springs, Deadman Campground, and Big Springs. There are seven (that I know of) defunct campgrounds that are still available for free camping. Not to mention the unlimited dispersed camping in the the area. When it comes to dispersed camping, the rules are pretty much this: No camping on the west or south side of Mammoth Lakes. No camping to the east between Mammoth lakes and HWY 395 with only a couple of exceptions. Dispersed camping is allowed 1.5 miles or more miles north or Hwy 203.
Hot springs are everywhere. Hot creek is off limits right now, but there are plenty of other places to soak.