Where Can I Camp when I Come to Mammoth Lakes?

Mammoth Lakes is a beautiful place all year round, but it’s even more so in late summer and early fall, when temperatures are fairly mild. This is when a lot of people pack up their camping gear and make their way to Mammoth Lakes, which brings us to the topic of whether or not you can actually camp anywhere in Mammoth Lakes. The helpful team from ASO Mammoth, your one-stop shop for high-quality hiking, fishing, and mountain biking gear as well as premier Mammoth snowboard rental, explore this topic below.

Start with the Designated Spots

The Mammoth Lakes region is home to somewhere close to a thousand campsites. Many of these locations can be found by alpine lakes, although you’ll also find some great spots nestled in forested areas if you prefer a somewhat more rustic camping experience. Designated camping areas like these are typically easily accessible, although you’ll want to check first before you go.

Consider Dispersed Camping

If you prefer to be a bit more rustic with your camping, you can always opt for dispersed camping. This refers to locations that are lacking the full range of amenities you’d get at the designated areas mentioned above. This doesn’t necessarily mean you can set yourself up anywhere to camp in such locations. Take a quick look at the Mammoth Lakes website’s camping page to see what’s available with regard to dispersed camping locales. When it comes to amenities, these sites are lacking such things as:

• On-site restroom facilities
• Trash cans
• On-site running water
• Campfire rings

Despite the lack of these amenities, the dispersed camping experience can still be a great one. Plus, it gives you a wider range of options among the many camping possibilities in the Mammoth Lakes area for your consideration.

Know the Difference between Publicly Owned Land & Managed Land

It’s important to note Mammoth Lakes is home to both open lands and managed areas. Generally speaking, the publicly owned lands are a bit more accessible, since they’re managed by the United States Forest Service. Visit the Eastern Sierra Sustainable Recreation Partnership’s website for a listing of available publicly accessible camping spots in the Mammoth area.

You’ll also find some managed lands in the Mammoth Lakes area as well. These are areas managed by private agencies, facilities, or various authorities. The caveat here is you’ll need to check in with whoever’s managing the lands, since there tends to be a wider range of rules and guidelines to follow. Plus, it’s entirely up to whoever’s managing the property as to whether or not you can camp in certain areas and when you can make your plans to do so.

Plan before You Go

Have a more productive and enjoyable camping experience by doing some pre-trip planning before you come to Mammoth Lakes. Incidentally, it’s usually possible to camp in the area well into the early or even mid-fall season due to the nature of the weather in the region. Just be aware it could get a bit chilly, so make sure to bring some warmer clothing with you. As far as accessories and gear to bring, the essentials include:

• A sleeping bag and/or portable tent
• Reusable water bottles
• Food storage containers
• A portable cooker, stove top, or grill
• Trash bags or cans to pick up after yourself when you’re done*

*This applies even to campsites with trash facilities, since receptacles can get full during busier times of the year.

When you’re ready to enjoy an amazing camping experience at Mammoth, stop in and say hello to the mountain sports experts at ASO Mammoth. We can make sure you have everything you need for a fantastic experience while you’re here. We’re your top choice for local trail information and top-quality mountain sports equipment as well as ski rental in Mammoth, so drop by on your way to the lakes or give us a call at 760-965-3444.