Mt Whitney Webcam
Mt Williamson Webcam
Feature Topics
Who's Online
0 registered (), 9 Guests and 51 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
3694 Members
10 Forums
5549 Topics
50844 Posts

Max Online: 382 @ 11/07/12 05:45 AM
Topic Options
#52886 - 04/13/18 01:46 PM Dispersed Camping Restricted Use Areas
Joe the Hiker Offline

Registered: 05/26/14
Posts: 32
Loc: SC
I'm looking into a trip this year to Mammoth and the Tioga Road area. I like ditching the crowds and saving a lot of money so I am hoping to dispersed camp.

The Inyo NF site says "Restricted Use Areas: Certain high-use recreation zones, including those along paved roads leading into the mountains, are not open to dispersed camping (see Inyo National Forest map)... ...The map also shows “restricted use areas” where dispersed camping is not allowed."

Does anyone know where I can find this map online that will show the restricted use boundaries? I don't want to dump $35 on a map I only need once (and it's out of stock anyway).

Many thanks.

#52887 - 04/13/18 02:15 PM Re: Dispersed Camping Restricted Use Areas [Re: Joe the Hiker]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7672
Loc: Fresno, CA
I did a little googling, and found an image of the North Half of the Inyo N.F. area, which covers the are you are going to. It shows "unimproved campgrounds" which I would imagine are just one step above "dispersed camping". The map doesn't identify anything representing dispersed camping in its key.

From: Gentry Off Road -- link to Inyo North Half Map.

Edit: Inyo staff contacted me and pointed out that the areas outlined in pink are areas where dispersed camping is prohibited.
For example: Near Crowley Lake, see the McGee Creek and Convict Lake roads. Also, a large area surrounding Mammoth Lakes is enclosed in the pink lines.

Also, the current map shown on the above link is currently being updated by Inyo, and is not yet available.

Edited by Steve C (04/29/18 11:03 PM)

#52892 - 04/14/18 09:30 AM Re: Dispersed Camping Restricted Use Areas [Re: Joe the Hiker]
Bob West Offline

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA

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
Revised 9/10
INYO National Forest

#52964 - 04/25/18 07:14 AM Re: Dispersed Camping Restricted Use Areas [Re: Joe the Hiker]
SierraNevada Offline

Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1139
Loc: NorCal
Hey Joe, check out the forests just north of Mammoth on either side of 395 as you climb up the local summit. There are dirt roads on both sides with great choices for dispersed camping, some leading to seasonal creeks. 4WD recommended for best options. Can be heavy OHV use in the general area, but not a bad trade off.

Tioga Road, I would avoid that specific road for dispersed camping due to Yosemite traffic, but there are plenty of other roads to explore in the general vicinity. The east side of 395 has lots of FS and BLM land south of Mono Lake, and you can get into forest if you climb up into the hills.

For acclimation purposes, we often spend a night at a spot off Virginia Lakes Rd (~10K ft). There's dispersed camping, some primitive official spots, and a campground that might have a spot open. Also check out Lundy canyon campground and similar trailhead roads heading up into the mountains, just not Tioga Rd.

#52987 - 04/29/18 11:04 PM Re: Dispersed Camping Restricted Use Areas [Re: SierraNevada]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7672
Loc: Fresno, CA
I edited my post above to point out that the areas enclosed in pink lines is where dispersed camping is prohibited.