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#37341 - 06/11/14 11:46 AM Mosquito Flat Backpacker Campground
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
"This is a special one night only campground designed for backpackers on the night before embarking on their backpack trip. "

Do you need an overnight pass for Mono Pass Trail or Little Lakes Valley Trail?
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#37347 - 06/11/14 02:15 PM Re: Mosquito Flat Backpacker Campground [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Yes, you need a wilderness use permit for overnight travel in those areas. Go to the White Mountain Ranger station on Main Street in Bishop.

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#37348 - 06/11/14 02:55 PM Re: Mosquito Flat Backpacker Campground [Re: Bob West]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Originally Posted By: Bob West
Yes, you need a wilderness use permit for overnight travel in those areas. Go to the White Mountain Ranger station on Main Street in Bishop.


Can people with either of those passes stay at the campground?
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#37358 - 06/11/14 07:51 PM Re: Mosquito Flat Backpacker Campground [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Yes, they both start from the same trailhead (at Mosquito Flat).

P.S. You know how much I like to share pictures. Here is one of last weekend from the (reservable) campground at Rock Creek Lake, which is just down the road from Mosquito Flat trailhead.



Edited by Akichow (06/11/14 07:55 PM)
Edit Reason: Picture

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#37378 - 06/12/14 08:17 AM Re: Mosquito Flat Backpacker Campground [Re: Akichow]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Nice campsite- we were able to grab a walk in site across the street from the camp host last year.

I'd like to go back again for the Whitney trip I'm planning for September, but trying to cut down on the driving. I've decided that we'll stay at Onion Valley instead, since none of us have been there.
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#37414 - 06/12/14 07:30 PM Re: Mosquito Flat Backpacker Campground [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Great choice. I did Kearsarge Pass as a warm up the day before I climbed Whitney for the first time, and stayed at Onion Valley before heading to Lone Pine and the Portal to start our trek. Worked out perfectly.

The campground in OV is nice enough, though you may hear the campground host banging pots around during the middle of the night in an effort to scare off bears. You can also climb up a bit and camp at one of the lakes..... Good fishing sometimes.....

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#39916 - 08/24/14 01:51 PM Re: Mosquito Flat Backpacker Campground [Re: Akichow]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Originally Posted By: 63ChevyII.com
I've decided that we'll stay at Onion Valley instead, since none of us have been there.




Originally Posted By: Akichow
Great choice. I did Kearsarge Pass as a warm up the day before I climbed Whitney for the first time, and stayed at Onion Valley before heading to Lone Pine and the Portal to start our trek. Worked out perfectly.



How big are the campsites at OV? Do you think we can get a 3 person and a small two person on one campsite?
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#39917 - 08/24/14 02:05 PM Re: Mosquito Flat Backpacker Campground [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Really depends on the site. Site no 2 is huge, so yes! The walk in sites are small, so no. The rest vary.

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#39920 - 08/24/14 04:56 PM Re: Mosquito Flat Backpacker Campground [Re: Akichow]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
We have sites 19 & 21. Is there a map that one can use to see how large the sites are?


Edited by 63ChevyII.com (08/24/14 05:00 PM)
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#39921 - 08/24/14 05:14 PM Re: Mosquito Flat Backpacker Campground [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Three tents, two campsites? Should be fine!

Ah, I see they are both walk in campsites. They are smaller. Well, we got two small tents into one walk in campsite. Probably okay with two sites.


Edited by Akichow (08/24/14 05:17 PM)
Edit Reason: Checked website

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#39924 - 08/24/14 07:50 PM Re: Mosquito Flat Backpacker Campground [Re: Akichow]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Right now we have 2 sites for 6 people that are doing Whitney.

We have 2 people that want to join us for just the Onion Valley portion of the trip - trying to figure out if there is room for them.

If they end up joining us, I think we would have:

(2) 2 person tents
(1) 4 person or maybe maybe a person and a solo

Is there a designated tent pad or can you set anywhere on your site?
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#39926 - 08/24/14 07:54 PM Re: Mosquito Flat Backpacker Campground [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Generally the sites have a lot of brush with between one and three flat sandy places to pitch your tent -- you are really limited to the sandy places. In the drive-in sites, there is a lot of variation, with some having multiple flat areas, and some having one seriously large flat area. The hike-in ones, as noted, tend to be much smaller.

I suspect you can fit your two smaller tents tightly in one pad, and your larger tent on the other.

I also suspect that, if need be, you can pick up another site on a walk in basis. They don't allow all the sites to be reserved. This late in the season, you'll probably be able to grab another site if you want it. When I was there a couple weeks ago (arriving on a Friday night) in high season, there was at least one site that went vacant. I've often seen that.

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#39930 - 08/24/14 09:19 PM Re: Mosquito Flat Backpacker Campground [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
eje67 Offline


Registered: 07/09/14
Posts: 73
Loc: Los Angeles County
I camped at Onion Valley campsite 19 last month, and while more spacious than some of the other walk-in sites there is not a lot of level ground. There is no designated tent pad but there is a pretty obvious flat spot to pitch a tent. I had a 2 person tent and it was just about the optimal size. While there is room for a bigger tent, the floor might not be perfectly level. It looked like the people camping at space 21 had a 3 or 4 person tent and while it fit it took up whatever space was left on the campsite after the bear locker and picnic table. I really liked Onion Valley and the warmup hike I did on the Kearsarge Pass trail. Hope this helps.

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#39936 - 08/25/14 08:46 AM Re: Mosquito Flat Backpacker Campground [Re: eje67]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
So I just looked at my reservations. We actually have site 22 instead on 21.

Looking at the website, it appears that they have 13 sites open for 9/6 - 9/7, but they are not available for online reservations. I assume these are the first-come, first-serve campsites.
"Non-Site-Specific Reservation: Park staff will assign you a site during check-in."

http://www.reserveamerica.com/camping/On...mp;parkId=70303

Site, Loop:004, DRV is open for 9/6. Does anyone know if that is an RV site only (no place for a tent)?





Originally Posted By: eje67
I really liked Onion Valley and the warmup hike I did on the Kearsarge Pass trail. Hope this helps.


What did you do for your warmup? I was thinking of going all the way to Kearsarge Pass, but am worried that it may be too strenuous to do 36 hrs before I start my Whitney hike.
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#39938 - 08/25/14 09:52 AM Re: Mosquito Flat Backpacker Campground [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
eje67 Offline


Registered: 07/09/14
Posts: 73
Loc: Los Angeles County
Here's a pic of space 4:

http://www.campsitephotos.com/campground/Onion-Valley/photos/Onion-Valley-004

The warm-up hike I did was to Heart Lake (where I stopped at an overlook above the lake, it was about 11,000 feet elevation) and back, about a 6 mile round trip. I think the pass is about a mile and a half beyond Heart Lake; it was later in the p.m. and starting to rain so I didn't go all the way to the pass.

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#39939 - 08/25/14 10:17 AM Re: Mosquito Flat Backpacker Campground [Re: eje67]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Awesome - THANKS! Doesn't look like there's any room for a tent.

I am tempted to reserve campsite 4 and just sleep in the back of my Tahoe, while the others share a tent or two.

I was thinking that everyone would hike up to Heart Lake. Those that had summited Whitney previously or that weren't planning on summiting could continue to Kearsarge Pass. Here are the stats I have for the hike:


Acclimation hike
Hike towards Kearsarge Pass
  • Little Pothole Lake Overlook
    2.7 miles RT || 1000′ climbing
  • Gilbert Lake
    4.0 miles RT || 1355′ climbing
  • Flower Lake
    4.5 miles RT || 1525′ climbing
  • Heart Lake
    6.0 miles RT || 2085′ climbing
    I recommend that Whitney first-timers turn around here. Exertion should be minimal in the days leading up to the hike. The trail gets steeper at this point.
  • Big Pothole Lake Overlook
    7.2 miles RT || 26755′ climbing
  • Kearsarge Pass
    8.0 miles RT || 3015′ climbing || 11760 peak elevation
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#39943 - 08/25/14 01:32 PM Re: Mosquito Flat Backpacker Campground [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
I would be surprised if there was no room for a tent. I am not aware of RV- only sites at OV. My recollection is that the RV sites have a driveway big enoug for an RV, plus one or more tent-suitable flats tucked away in the bushes. That is how site 2 worked. But of course I cannot be certain.

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#39945 - 08/25/14 04:39 PM Re: Mosquito Flat Backpacker Campground [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
eje67 Offline


Registered: 07/09/14
Posts: 73
Loc: Los Angeles County
Originally Posted By: 63ChevyII.com
Awesome - THANKS! Doesn't look like there's any room for a tent.

I am tempted to reserve campsite 4 and just sleep in the back of my Tahoe, while the others share a tent or two.


I'd say reserve # 4...I bet there's room for a tent in the space next to the picnic table and bear locker (when you look at the linked pic consider that the picnic table is pretty wide) but also unless there's some rule against it I don't see why you couldn't also put a tent in the driveway part of the site, either in front of a parked car or park your car in the main lot. You'll want to hang out/lounge at the walk-in sites, they're just more scenic, and you could use # 4 as functional space.


Edited by eje67 (08/25/14 04:43 PM)

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#39953 - 08/25/14 06:58 PM Re: Mosquito Flat Backpacker Campground [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Campsite 4 is right next to 2, where I stayed last time. Site 2 would accommodate ALL your needs, were it available.

Tracie explored that campsite (no. 4) earlier this month while she was waiting for me to arrive, but I forget what she told me about it -- she'd have concrete information for you. I think she spends more time on WPSMB, so you might ask her there.

I see that the website says: "CLOSE TO WALK IN SITE 6, ROOM FOR TRUCK WITH CAMPER ONLY." That's unusual, but may mean that there are no tent sites in the shrubs for No. 4.

http://www.reserveamerica.com/campsiteDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&siteId=4713&parkId=70303

Oh, and I have pitched a tent on the drive-in portion of a site at OV, just in front of my car. Indeed, that is what I did at site 2, even though there were three very nice places to pitch in the bushes, with flat sandy areas and more privacy (I got in late and elected to pitch right next to the bear locker). Worked okay. May depend on the site.

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#39958 - 08/26/14 07:52 AM Re: Mosquito Flat Backpacker Campground [Re: Akichow]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Thanks Akichow! I will send a PM to Tracy.

So right now we have 4 people in 22 and 2 (a couple) in 19.

We have 1 person that wants to come along, but doesn't want us to spend the money on an extra site. He says he'll just sleep in the Tahoe in the parking lot. Is this ok? May the camphost have a problem with it?
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