MONO BASIN south to CRESTVIEW
Welcome to the Inyo National Forest. In general, the area from Mono Lake south towards the Crestview area and east of Highway 395 is open to dispersed camping. Be aware, however, that forest service roads wind throughout Bureau of Land Management, National Forest, and privately-owned lands and that the latter are off limits to camping. Areas open to dispersed camping have a 28-day stay limit per six-month period and are free of charge. Some sites—such as Sagehen
Info from Inyo NF:
Meadows, Crooked Meadows, Taylor Canyon, Sawmill Meadows, and Bald Mountain Springs—are equipped with pit toilets and picnic tables. Campers intending to build a campfire or to operate a cook stove that is not contained within an RV or camper must obtain a free California State Campfire Permit – available at any of the Inyo National Forest Visitor Centers. When fire restrictions are in effect, campfires are not permitted but the use of gas-operated cook stoves is allowable; when fire closures are in effect, campfires, gas-operated cook stoves, barbecues, or any other kind of open flame are not allowed.
Within the Lee Vining and Lundy Canyon areas as well as the June Lake Loop, dispersed camping is illegal and campers must stay within developed campgrounds. Check with the staff at the Mono Basin Visitor Center for more information about where you can and cannot camp.
Camping around Mono Lake and its shore is allowed but you must select a site that is above the 1941 shoreline (roughly where the brushy vegetation begins). In addition, you must obtain a free Mono Lake Camping Permit from the Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center. For those individuals wanting to camp at the eastern shore of the lake, be advised that the 4-wheel drive route that circumvents the lake is primitive at best and incredibly sandy; only experienced 4-wheel drivers with high clearance vehicles should attempt it. At the South Tufa Reserve, Navy Beach, Mono Mills, Mono County Park, Old Marina, and Panum Crater parking lot, camping is prohibited. In addition, private property is also off-limits to dispersed camping. Check with the staff at the Mono Basin Visitor Center for more information about where you can and cannot camp.
Should you decide to have a campfire, barbecue, or to use a stove, you must possess a valid California State Campfire Permit. You can obtain these free of charge at any Forest Service, BLM, or California Department of Forestry office. Since fire regulations and restrictions can change at any time, it is best to contact the Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center for current conditions at (760) 873-2408.
When collecting wood for a campfire, chainsaws are permissible for cutting dead and down wood. When shut down days are in effect, the use of chainsaws is prohibited. Please call (760) 873-2555 daily before operating a chainsaw to make sure that there are no closures in effect for the use of chainsaws. In addition, wood collection is limited to a small amount (just enough to build a small campfire).
Because bears and rodents may be a problem in any camping area, federal law requires that food be properly stored. Any item with an odor (cosmetics, soap, sunscreen, toothpaste, bug spray, etc.) should be stored in a bear canister or at the very least, hidden and contained in your vehicle. Unfortunately, bear lockers are not available in dispersed camping areas.
Rodents such as ground squirrels and chipmunks should not be handled or fed as they are known to carry diseases. Offering food handouts doesn’t do them any favors: Remember, a fed animal is a dead animal! Federal law prohibits the feeding of wild animals.
Please do your part to protect our fragile resources by utilizing the following practices:
▪ Select a campsite at least 100ft. (40 paces) from
all water sources
▪ Keep your vehicle on established roads
▪ Purify all drinking water with a filter or iodine tablets
▪ All washing must be done away from water sources
▪ Deposit waste water at least 100ft. from a water
source (R.V.s must utilize dump stations)
▪ Bury human waste at least 6 inches deep and
more than 200ft. from a water source
▪ Use existing fire rings
▪ Keep campfires small
▪ Make sure your campfire is completely out
▪ Pack out all of your trash
▪ Do not feed the wildlife
▪ Leave only footprints, take only memories
Inyo National Forest Map, 1993, Rev. 2010
INYO National Forestwww.fs.fed.us/r5/inyo/https://thedyrt.com/camping/california/inyo-national-forest-dispersed-camping