I'm going on an 8-day trip into Ansel Adams Wilderness. I'm arriving in Reno mid-aft the day before. Was wondering if anyone had an idea of a great campground between Reno and Mammoth lakes to stay that has some hiking? Also, the night before I fly back home, I need a campground by mammoth lakes or Lee Vining that has a SHOWER! : ) Thanks! (the people on the plane thank you too!)
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Above Mammoth toward the Mary Lakes area (Duck Pass) there are a number of CG's. I assume you have wheels to get around with. Up out of Bridgeport, which is half an hour north of Lee Vining, Twin Lakes area, never been there though, may have showers as there is at least one resort up there, assume they would rent showers. On your way south on your trip, you can stop at the gas stations and ask about facilities in Bridgeport. Great burgers in Bridgeport or the Whoa Nellie Deli (Mobil station) up the Tioga Pass road a quarter mile, just south of Lee Vining. You may be able to get showers at Silver Lake in the June Lake area. There are spots to camp across the road from the TH, they have water and toliets, may have to hit up the resorts for a shower, not sure. Enjoy all the snow. You did read Wandering Daisies report, right?
thanks for the heads up - looks like I'll have to bring my WARM clothes! SO MUCH SNOW???? IT'S SUMMER!!! And I heard about how awesome the Woah Nelli Deli is - Can't wait!! Also, have you been to Mono Lake? Do you know if there's a campsite around there? THANKS!
I would not camp on Mono Lake. Swarms of gnats hang around the lake. I have camped there once and never again. There are nice campgrounds on the road between Lee Vining and Tioga Pass. Given conditions this year, they will have mosquitoes. There are several free campgrounds near Deadman Summit (between Lee Vining and Mammoth) -check the Inyo Forest website. These sites are more high desert so maybe less buggy.
Showers at Twin Lakes used to cost $5. Seriously, have you thought of bringing a large-sized solar shower bag and put it on the hood of your car while you are out. You could rig up a shower curtain with an old sheet if worried about privacy. Public showers in the Lee Vining area are scarce. If you were to drive to Bishop, there are several places to shower and a public swimming pool. I bet there also is a public swim pool in Reno.
Oh, by the way, there is snow in the mountains, but this does not mean that it is going to be cold. It has been in the high 80's in Lee Vining. It just has been a late snow-melt this year. You probably will not need warmer clothes - just take at least one or two extra pair of socks because no matter where you hike, you will likely have wet feet every day. And be sure to bring wading shoes - there are tons of creeks that you will have to wade until the water comes down a bit. And mosquitoes will likely be bad - bring the head net and DEET.
Yes, I should have been more clear! What I meant to say is that snow on the ground does not necessarily mean that the temperatures are going to be colder than you would normally expect. And what you should normally expect at 10,000 feet in early July the Sierra is a possiblity of occasional freezing temperatures at night. I in no way meant that temps in the mountains would be the same as temps in Lee Vining. But you do start off at that elevation, so be sure to have flexible clothing to handle temps from low 90's to freezing. I camped at nearly 11,000 feet last week and it was well above freezing. Each day is different. The best bet is to check the NWS weather reports - you can now click on different elevations and get fairly reliable predictions of temperatures for a 5 day forecast.
I don't know if you have left or not but like others have said, campgrounds are everywhere around the area. There is showers in Lee Vining at the RV park across from the Mono Cone drive-in (great food and ice cream)on the north end of town. You buy tokens for hot water at the desk. A favorite stop after a back country stay.