Furnace Creek Campground

Furnace Creek Campground is located at -200 below sea level in Death Valley National Park, California. The campground is the most popular in the Death Valley and reservations are strongly recommended. The campground is located just off Highway 190 near Furnace Creek.

Borax Wagons near Furnace Creek Campground, Death Valley National Park, California
Borax Wagons near Furnace Creek Campground, Death Valley National Park, California

Furnace Creek Campground is the lowest in the park in terms of elevation, and located near the hottest measured temperature on the plant. Close to a lot of amenities , such as a store, borax museum & gas station, this campground offers a central location to scout out and explore Death Valley. All of the campsites feature tables, fire rings, water and flush toilets. This is a wonderful location for sky gazers who seek a clear night sky with little light pollution.

Death Valley frequently experiences temperatures over 120° F and in addition to holding the all time hottest temp (134° F – July 10, 1913) Death Valley routinely records some of the hottest days on the planet year after year. All to frequently, a visitor will die in this area due to the very extreme heat, plan your trip with care and mind the heat. One more that one occasion, I have been in the park with the temperature being north of 125° F.

Artist Drive, Badwater and Zabriskie Point and all located a short drive from this little oasis. The local gas station is always a quick stop for us when we drive by, so we can star in horror at the high price of fuel, which is typically $2 per gallon higher than outside of the National Park.

Campground Summary

NameFurnace Creek Campground
LocationFurnace Creek, Death Valley National Park, California
Latitude, Longitude36.463188,-116.8710673
Elevation-200 feet
Number of Sites136
Amenties

Furnace Creek Campground Map

References

Coldwater Campground

Coldwater Campground is a campground located in the Mammoth Lakes area of the High Sierra in Mono County, California. Lake Mary is the largest and the most developed of the eleven lakes in the Mammoth Area. The campground is located along Coldwater Creek, which feeds water into the scenic Lake Mary.

Lake Mary near Coldwater Campground, Mammoth Lakes, California - Photo by Paul Wight
Lake Mary, Mammoth Lakes, California – Photo by Paul Wight

The campground is quite popular due to its location on the mountain and proximity to Lake Mark. The lake offers tremendous fishing and opportunities for hiking and enjoying the picturesque scenery. The fishing at Lake Mary features Rainbow, Brown and Brook trout and on more than one trip, my evenings were spent watching sunsets while fly fishing. The peak season is from late May to early September each year.

The campground offers access to many nearby activities including Devils Postpile, Reds Meadow,, Rainbow falls and Hot Creek. Two boat ramps and marinas allow for boating however the 10 mph limit on the lake keeps the lake angler friendly. Campsites typically share parking and the sites are reasonably flat. Tall pine trees offer shade from the high altitude sun.

This campground is in bear country and typically bears activity is fairly high. All food and scented items must be stored in the lockers. All trash must be disposed of in the bear proof trash receptacles. Do not store food, trash or scented items in your vehicle.

Coldwater Campground Map

Campground Summary

NameColdwater Campground
LocationMammoth Lakes, Inyo County, California
Latitude, Longitude37.5980514,-118.9974829
Elevation9,000 feet
Number of Sites74
AmenitiesCampsites are organized into two loops, with sites fairly close together and near either creek. Pressurized water spigots and flush toilets are provided throughout the facility, and there are picnic tables, campfire rings and bear-proof food storage lockers at each campsite.

References

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.

Campground Summary

NameConvict Lake Campground
LocationConvict Lake, Mono County, California
Sites85
Elevation7600 feet
AmenitiesTables, Fire rings, Flush toilets, drinking water, hot showers and a dump station. Food storage lockers for safety from bears.
SpecialActive Black Bear Population

Convict Lake Campground Trail Map

References

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