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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

 > Camping - US 395 Tahoe-Death Valley

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dave14117

Lacey, Wa

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Posted: 09/29/09 10:30am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We're travelling the east side of the Sierras on US 395 for the first half of October. Really looking forward to the scenery and some fall color.

But we have not done this trip before. Does anyone have any experience with campsites and parks along that route? We have a Cameo F35SB3 5'er that won't fit into many (maybe any) of the state parks.

Boondocking would be something we'd really like to try if there are nice places to stop. We are carrying a generator.

Thanks!

David and Karen Mueller

Chris

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Posted: 09/29/09 10:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I will be watch this with interest also. Campground in that part of the country can be hard to find. Coming out of Vegas North is another area without much for campgrounds also.

Chris


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wild bill

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Posted: 09/29/09 10:57am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are many nice places to camp along 395....I like Glass Creek for dry camping as it is just a few hundere yards off 395 just above Mammouth there are no signs on 395 showing where it is.....If interested pm me and I will give you detailed directions.....Most of the samll towns have RV parks along the route....Some close either sometime in October or early Novemvber.[emoticon]


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June Lake Fan

High Desert

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Posted: 09/29/09 11:02am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From your post, looks like your travelling North to South on 395. I would recommend that when you pass Lee Vinning, you take the June Lake Loop turn off. Lots of great colors, four nice lakes along the loops drive. A good campground is Lake Silver CG, on the lake side. Water available no hook ups, nice and flat. Should fit your rig. There is a nice CG across the road with full hook ups (unkn if they'll still be open).
There is a nice campground (Boulder Creek) just South of Lone Pine. And in Death Valley there is Furnace Creek Resort with pool,golf horses etc. Also a Nat. Park RV next door.
Have a great trip! maybee see you in June Lake.

sirdrakejr

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Posted: 09/29/09 11:05am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Moved from 5th wheels to RV Parks, Nat'l Parks, State CGs and more.
Frank


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fireman93514

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Posted: 09/29/09 12:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have always liked nort lake above Bishop as a great spot for fall colors. June lake loop is also nice. We like oh ridge campground in june lake about the best of all but there are many nice places along 395. My son says the colors are really good right now. I hope you enjoy your trip. We have been on the road since july and I do miss the sierras.


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borntotravel

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Posted: 09/29/09 04:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another place you just might like to try is Red Rock State Park just off Hwy 395 to the west. There is an open area where you should be able to boondock overnight there. You'll have to look it up on the map as I can't remember how to get there, sorry[emoticon]
Enjoy your trip.

dave14117

Lacey, Wa

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Posted: 09/29/09 05:20pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great tips. Thanks everyone!


Thanks,

Dave

DesertHawk

Las Cruces, New Mexico

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Posted: 09/29/09 06:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Many, many MOONS ago when we were out that way, the campgrounds around Lake Tahoe were full when got there (in June), we stayed on US Forest Service land on the way to Truckee. It was Dispersed Camping, near a small lake or dirt tank. It wasn't a great distance from the Lake Tahoe area, but we did have to drive some. But it may have been 14/15 years ago. Looking at a map, I believe it was on SR 89 but it could have been on SR 267. It seems the highway was the one which went by Squaw Valley. We took a lift ride up to a top section of the ski area and my son & daughter ice skated. Almost possitive we were camping off SR 89. It seems to have been dispersed camping, but it could have been a limited campground. I can not remember, pic nic tables. It was away from most people, quite. But who knows what it is now 15 yrs later. I remember several U.S. Forest Service and California State Park Campgrounds around the shore of Lake Tahoe. We stayed at the dispearse site even after seeing open sites. Didn't have to break camp and move. Sugar Pine Point SP is one. We visited the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion and the Vikingscholm Castle, very neat.

We had bikes and a canoe as well, my son & rode the tandum I remember from around Meeks Bay to Squaw Valley (or to the turn off to it?).

The visit to Donner Pass was worth the drive, nice displays, museum (the Emigrant Trail Museum). Rail Roading, as well as the Donner Party. There was a State Park there as well. Donner
We also did a loop drive from our camp site to Reno, Virginia City, Carson City, Nevada side of Lake Tahoe and back to the camp site in California. A long day, but very interesting. Enjoyed it.

We drove out by Mono Lake on the way to Yosmite. I have wanted to camp by the lake someday, but not yet. Mona Lake
June Lake Campground and Oh Ridge Campground and Silver Lake Campground are in the area as well. I have read some nice things about them. I do not think you must have reservations. I plan on going someday, LW.

* This post was last edited 03/19/10 12:22pm by DesertHawk *   View edit history


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lanerd

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Posted: 09/29/09 06:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dave, assuming your coming down 395 all the way, there's not much between Lakeview and Reno. Susanville has a nice rv park, but other than that, the pickin's are pretty scarce.

Reno/Sparks has one rv resort (Sparks Marina) and several others that are good places to stay. Suggest several days/nights in Reno and explore the place.

South of Reno is Carson City and the turn off to Lake Tahoe. If no snow on the pass (Hwy 50) suggest going over and check it out for a day or two. If pass has snow, continue south on 395 through Minden and Gardnerville.

Once in California, Topaz Lake is nice and I believe there is a small rv park there (not positive) and then on to Bridgeport and Lee Vining. Lee Vining has a small rv park just as you come into town that can handle your rig. Good place to overnight and explore Lee Vining and Mono Lake. Leaving Lee Vining the Tioga Pass turn off to Yosemite (Hwy 120, I think) is right outside of town. There is a Chevron gas station on your immediate left and if you stop there, inside is one of the best places to eat along the entire eastern sierras. Inside the gas station is "Whoa Nellie Deli" and the food is to die for. Don't pass it by.

June Lake loop is a nice drive and June Lake townsite also has some nice places to eat. Silver Lake campground might be a little small for your rig, but probably doable. The rv park across the road can handle you easily. "Oh" ridge campground is a nice place to stop also.

Going south, between June Lake and Mammoth is Glass Creek. Ya gotta know where to turn, or you'll miss it. It is BLM land and free boondocking. A couple of miles before Mammoth and coming down a grade, you'll see a Forestry Service station on your left and directly across is the "dirt" road to Glass Creek (you will turn right off the highway).

Mammoth has a state campground but again probably too small for your rig. Mammoth Lake rv park is across the street from the campground and just before you come into town. Expensive, but full hookups. Mammoth is a great place to explore and can ride the tram up to the top of the mountain. Good fishing and camping in upper lakes, but all too small for your rig. Good Life cafe is a great place for breakfast.

More south is Convict Lake (campground with a couple of spots your size), Rock Creek Lake (long steep climb with campgrounds along the road) but wouldn't recommend it. Tom's place is at the Rock Creek Lake turn off and it has a really nice tavern that serves up a great Burger.

Bishop with a couple of rv parks and has a train museum (Law's) if you are a train buff. Recommend Eric Schat's Bakery for great sandwiches and pastries in the middle of Bishop....hard to find a spot to park an rv though, but if you can, Schat's is the place to eat.

South of Bishop is Big Pine, Independence and Lone Pine. As mentioned, just south of Lone Pine is Boulder Creek RV park. Good place to spend the night and you can eye-ball Mt. Whitney (tallest peak in the lower 48).

Now, going to Death Vally you have two choices from 395 after Lone Pine. First taking hwy 136 just out of Lone Pine to connect with hwy 190 and going over a very steep pass (down grade) into Panamint Springs. I typically don't recommend this route, but it is the shortest. The other option is to go through Ridgecrest/Trona via hwy 178. This will probably be 100 miles out of your way, but a much better road. The first option will be your best bet but you'll really need to have good brakes and take it slow and easy going down the grade. Other entrances to DV is either skipping 395 south of Bishop and head east over to Nevada 95 to Beatty and go in the east entrance... or going all the way around to the south entrance (Baker, CA) off of I-15.

In any case, that's about all I can help you with. Hope it helps

Ron


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