Convict Lake Campground

Convict Lake Campground is a wonderful location to camp in the amazing High Sierra Mountain near Convict Lake in Mono County, California. The campground is located about 100 yards from Convict Lake and some of the sites will have views of the lake. Those sites which do not have a view of the lake must simply take in the wonderful rugged High Sierra Mountains as their back drop.

A deer walking the road into Convict Lake Campground
A deer walking the road into Convict Lake Campground

The campground is situated so that Convict Creek runs down its length on one side. The small creek offers a wonderful sound track to some of the campsites. It’s easy access allows you to walk from the campsite to the creek in about 10 seconds. This is a nice place to fish, or just take a nap in the afternoon. I can speak from first hand experience that bear will also use paths near to creek to enter and egress the campground.

I can speak from first hand experience that bear will also use paths near Convict Creek to enter and egress the campground.

J. Rathbun
Convict Creek offers fishing and a few spots to take a nap.
Convict Creek offers fishing and a few spots to take a nap.

Overall, I have enjoyed every stay at this campsite, and each visit is memorable. The campground offers great access to all of the activities at Convist Lake and a good place to jump off when exploring the Eastern Sierra.

Depending upon the time of year, you may need to make reservations. My past few trips were hunting for Fall Colors and in October the camp ground typically has some good first come first serve camp sites. The campground is typically serene, quiet and a wonderful place to be.

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Alabama Hills

Located near Lone Pine, CA the Alabama Hills are an awesome spot to visit and explore in Inyo County.  Large boulder formations erupt from the ground and create a maze of canyons, trails and roads. This feature in itself, is more than enough fun to justify a trip to this area, however add to the equation that the Alabama Hills has appeared in more Hollywood movies than one person can name and you have the perfect combination of terrain and nostalgic history.

Alabama Hills outside of Lone Pine, California
Alabama Hills outside of Lone Pine, California

The location are featured in many “Western” movies and is the birth place of the Lone Ranger, Star Trek and Iron Man. A final punctuation mark is the area is located in the foothills of Mount Whitney (14,505 ft), the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states.

Access to the locations is extremely easy, just follow Whitney Portal Road west out of Lone Pine, and take a right turn on  Movie Road. From here the possibilities are almost endless. The BLM publishes the “Movie Road Touring Brochure” which gives directions on how to find the film locations of some of your favorite movies.

Looking down on the Alabama Hills and Owens Valley from Whitney Portal
Looking down on the Alabama Hills and Owens Valley from Whitney Portal

There is an over-abundance of camping locations within this location.  I would love to camp in this site, with the only draw back being the number of tourists driving the trails. This is actually a big draw back for me.  Most of the trails are easily accessible by almost any vehicle on the market. My last trip, we saw a brand new Porsche driving movie road.  

Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, California
Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, California

The routes are short and easy traisl, however, there are a labyrinth of roads and canyons to explore and get lost. The fun can be search for and finding the filming locations of some of your favorite movies or televisions shows..

The area is managed by BLM. Camping is allowed by the BLM, however camping should follow all rules, regulations and the leave no trace principles in order to protect this resource and camping destination. Personally, my preference is to camp at the nearby Tuttle Creek, Lone Pine, or Mt. Whitney campgrounds.

Take your time and enjoy.

Alabama Hills Trail Map

Resources

Hole in the Wall Campground

Hole in the Wall campground is found deep in the Mojave National Preserve in San Bernardino County, California. The Campground is a popular location for hikers, star gazers and explorers of the Old Mojave Road.

The Ring Trail is a short fun little hike in the Mojave National Preserve.
The Ring Trail is a short fun little hike near Hole in the Wall Campground

The campground is nestled up against a small hillside and offers access to the Ring Trail which is a short and very fun hike around a mesa of sharp sculpted volcanic rock. The Hole-in-the-Wall Information Center is located nearby and offers a book store, bathrooms and ranger programs. The campsites are suitable for RV’s, trailer and tent camping and does have 2 sites dedicated for walk in camping.

The campground is at a reasonable higher elevation, which offers mild weather in the spring and falls months. Winter will be cold and obviously the summer months will allow a visitor to experience the harsh, hot, arid Mojave.

Directions


From I-40: Exit Essex Road and drive north 10 miles to the junction with Black Canyon Road. Hole-in-the-Wall is 10 miles north on Black Canyon Road.

Campground Summary

Campground NameHole in the Wall Campground
Latitude, Longitude35.0484172,-115.3963526
Sites35
Elevation4,400 ft
AmenitiesPit toilets, trash receptacles, fire rings, picnic tables; no utility hookups. Firewood is not available in the park.

Hole in the Wall Campground Map

Resources

Afton Canyon Campground

The Afton Canyon Campground offer amazing access and camping for the Old Mojave Road, surroundings areas of the Mojave. The dry, desert campground is found in the heart of the Mojave desert at 1640 feet in elevation and  is a great place for birding and wildlife due to close proximity to the Mojave River which is briefly above ground in this area.

Afton Canyon Campground, Mojave, CA
Afton Canyon Campground, Mojave, CA

Afton Canyon Campgrounds features 22 large sites which all include tables with sun shades, BBQ and fire pits.  The campground does offer pit toilets and no RV Facilities. The camp sites are dispersed nicely, so you are not going to be too crowded when staying here.

Afton Canyon is commonly referred to as the “The Grand Canyon of the Mojave” due to its diverse geology and impressive rock formations. There are a view slot canyons to explore and even a buried rail road car. Afton Canyon is one of the few places in the Mojave where surface water can be found. Like many deserts, this water offers an oasis which supports the local wild life and plant populations.

Due to the location severe weather, poisonous snakes and flash floods are all possible here.  

This campsite is an nice spot for astronomers to view the dark night skys.

Campsites are provided first come first serve.

Afton Canyon is managed by the BLM.

Campground Summary

Campground NameAfton Canyon Campground
Latitude, Longitude35.038306, -116.383813
AddressAfton Rd, Baker, CA 92309
Number of Sites19
Elevation3800
ReservationsNo
AmenitiesCampsite Tables, Drinking Water, Fire Pit, Fire Rings
Grills, Group Camping, Pets OK, Picnic Tables, Vault Toilets
Webistehttps://www.blm.gov/visit/afton-canyon

Afton Canyon Campground Trail Map

Lone Pine Campground

Lone Pine Campground is a wonderful campground in the eastern foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in Inyo County, California. The campground is located between Line Pine Creek and Inyo Creek just a few miles west of Lone Pine. The campground is located the site of the old Rock Creek sawmill. This sawmill once operated at this location from the 1930s thru the 1950s.

Mt Whitney looms large over the High Sierra, outside of Lone Pine, California
Mt Whitney looms large over the High Sierra, outside of Lone Pine, California

Lone Pine Campground is a great place to stay. It is very scenic located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The sites are reasonably large and suitable for trailers. The Whitney Portal National Recreation Trail begins at west end of the campground. There is fishing in the nearby Lone Pine Creek and lots of outdoor activities.

The creek is of special significance to me personally. My grandfather taught me how to fish is the cool waters of the stream just about 50 feet away from our campsite. I was about five years old and remember placing my line in the waters in a nearby pool. My memory is that within 15 minutes I caught my limit of 10 fish, at that time. My dad to this day maintains that they recently stocked the stream, however I continue to maintain that this was early skill on may part.

This campground is a known bear active area, so safe food handling and trash disposal should be observed to protect yourself and the bears.

Campground Summary

NameLone Pine Campground
LocationLone Pine, Inyo County, California
Latitude, Longitude36.5974524,-118.1870643
Elevation5885 feet
Sites42
AmenitiesVault Toilet, Bear Boxes, Tables

Directions

Located on Whitney Portal Road, six miles west of the town of Lone Pine, California.

Lone Pine Campground Map

References