Southern Eastern Sierra Attractions and Activities
South of Mammoth Lakes are a number of wonderful camping areas along the Eastern Sierra. Among them are Convict Lake, Rock Creek, Sabrina Lake, South Lake, and Big Pine.
Those camped at Lone Pine Campground may enjoy visiting some of these places.
Find great fishing at Convict Lake, Rock Creek Lake, and Lake Crowley.
Enjoy wonderful hiking trails leading into the Sierra Nevada.
Spend days among the beautiful Mammoth Lakes.
Take a day hike up the trail into Little Lakes Valley at Rock Creek.
Enjoy a day at Rock Creek Lake's beach area, swimming and fishing.
Lone Pine Campground is tucked in a ravine along the Whitney Portal Road in the Inyo National Forest, 7 miles west of the town of Lone Pine. Many who visit the campground intend to hike to the top of 14,505-foot Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in California. The trailhead at Whitney Portal is another 5 miles up the road. Lone Pine Campground is at an elevation of 5,900 feet, a good start for acclimating to make the hike. The hike to the top of Mt. Whitney requires a permit and planning. See Hiking up Mt. Whitney below for more details and links to Forest Service information.
Others who stay at Lone Pine Campground do so because they find it a convenient base from which to visit Manzanar and other points of interest in the area. The campground offers wonderful panoramic views of Mt. Whitney and neighboring peaks.
Lone Pine Campground has 43 campsites along Lone Pine Creek. Most of the sites are exposed in fields of sage with only a few trees for shade. Three of the campsites are walk-in tent sites. The rest can accommodate RVs, trailers, and tents. About two-thirds of the campsites can be reserved ahead of time; the rest of the sites are available for first-come, first served campers.
Picnic table, fire ring, bear-proof food storage locker; no hook-ups
Vault toilets, tap water
5 miles away at Whitney Portal Store ($5)
Attractions near Lone Pine Campground
The Whitney Portal National Recreation Trails connects Lone Pine Campground with Whitney Portal. Drive five miles to Whitney Portal, trailhead for Mt. Whitney and John Muir Trail. Visit the Whitney Portal Store and restaurant, with a shower ($5). Enjoy mountaineering, cycling, and fishing. Tour Manzanar War Relocation Center and drive to Death Valley.
The 22-mile round-trip hike to the summit of Mt. Whitney from Whitney Portal is a major undertaking. The trail climbs over 6,000 feet. Just the uphill climb to the summit can take 7 or 8 hours. Many hikers set out well before sun-up and often don't return to their cars until dusk.
A permit to hike up Mt. Whitney is required. (See link below.)
Layered clothing. It can be hot on the ascent and windy and cold on the summit.
Water bottles and filter. Plan to refill bottles at the last water at Trail Camp.
Trekking poles - for safety on uneven terrain and to ease the strain on knees on descent.
A good map - people have wandered off the trail.
Emergency contingency plans - tell someone when you will be back, carry rain gear, consider carrying a Spot GPS Messenger, or similar rescue device.
Hiking up Mt. Whitney should not be a spur-of-the-moment decision. Train for the hike, read books and websites about the hike. Plan on spending a couple of nights at a nearby campground to acclimatize before your hike.
Lone Pine Group Campground is adjacent to the main campground. Reservations for a single, tents-only site for up to 15 people and 1 vehicle can be made. Check-in time is 3:00 PM and check-out is 2:00 PM. More attractive group sites can be found at nearby Whitney Portal Campground.
Fee: $63 per night
Reservations: Lone Pine Group Campground Reservations
Lower portion of trail to Mt. Whitney
General Camping Information
Not all campsites can accommodate trailers or RVs of all lengths. Check carefully on the reservation site when you make your reservation to be sure your vehicle will fit your campsite. Purchase firewood locally to avoid spreading pests.
Designated Accessible sites are usually reserved for people with disabilities who have a vehicle displaying an accessible parking placard or license plate.