Rock Creek Tent Camping
East Fork Campground, Inyo National Forest
July 12- 16, 2020
Located in the Eastern Sierra, about one hour north of Bishop, Rock Creek Canyon is famous for its glacially carved valley where more than 50 lakes are linked by hiking trails surrounded by 13,000-foot peaks. This is a gorgeous high-altitude trip (our East Fork Campground is at 9,000 ft) with many options to suit a variety of interests. We have two moderate hikes planned: Ruby Lake and Gem Lake. For our non-hikers, numerous options are available: fishing, boat rentals, horseback riding, car trips to Mammoth, Mono lake, Devil’s Postpile – these and other sites are within close proximity.
Tent Camping, East Fork Campground: We’ll stay in the East Fork Campground. Given the size restrictions of our sites, this will be a “tent-only” camping trip. RVs and/or vehicles with trailers, or any vehicle longer than 20 feet, cannot be brought on this trip. There are no electrical outlets at our sites and cell phone service at the campground may be difficult and/or nonexistent. The campground has drinking water and flush toilets. Each campsite also has a table, bear-proof food locker, and fire ring. Pay phones and hot showers are located at Rock Creek Lake Resort, about 5 minutes’ drive.
Pets: Pets will not be allowed on this trip, no exceptions
What you need to bring:
- Camping equipment, food: Tent, sleeping bag and pad, cooking stove and utensils, foldable camping chair (for the campfire), food for four days, four nights, and 1 bundle of firewood (to donate for our group campfires).
- Hiking gear and clothing: knapsack, water, the 10 essentials, sun protection, etc. Make sure to bring warm clothing in case the nights and mornings are cold. Although highly unlikely, frost can occur even in summer given our high altitude. Rain gear is also necessary, just in case. Make sure you bring sturdy hiking boots. Hiking poles are strongly recommended. We DO NOT recommend hiking in sneakers! For your safety, flip flops, water shoes or other open toe/sandal-type shoes will not be allowed on any of our group hikes.
- Personal items and medications. Aspirin can help with high altitude headaches – especially upon arrival and the next day, until our bodies acclimate.
- Food Storage: Extra stuff sacks to label and store your food in bear-proof lockers. This is active bear country (and coyote and raccoon country!). All participants will be required to store all their food and toiletries in bear-proof lockers provided on-site. These are shared food lockers so labeling your stuff is a good idea. For your safety and for the safety of others, you cannot store any food in your tent or in your car.
- Remember: Make sure you have completed all of your grocery shopping and have a full tank of gas before you leave Bishop
Sunday, 7/12 – Check in any time after 2PM – no exceptions. Starting around noon, as our sites become available, the leaders will be assigning the sites and parking spaces. This process takes time. Please do not arrive early and do not set up camp without leader approval. Thank you for your understanding!
We’ll be hosting a pre-dinner “meet and greet”/Tea around 4:30 with snacks and beverages. BYOB. After introductions we’ll review the hiking options and activities Group campfire after diner
Monday – Moderate Hike to Gem Lakes Our goal is to hike about 3 ½ miles on gradual terrain up to Gem Lakes, have lunch and return (7 miles roundtrip). Our tailhead at Mosquito Flat is at about 10,000 ft elevation and total gain is about 900 ft. Since this is day one at very high elevation, we may decide to turn around early, but we’ll still see an incredible string of lakes: Mark, Marsh, Heart and Long Lakes We’ll be hosting a pre-dinner Tea around 4:30 with snacks and beverages. BYOB. Group campfire after diner
Tuesday – Moderate Hike to Ruby Lake Taking the Mono Pass trail, this is a shorter and steeper hike (900 ft elevation gain, 4.2 miles roundtrip) up to pristine Ruby Lake. Along our route we’ll see stunning views of Mt Morgan and Rock Creek Canyon from above. Trailhead for this hike is also at 10,000 ft. Ruby Lake is situated in a remarkable glaciated cirque. We’ll explore the area and make a day of it
Wednesday – Options in Rock Creek Canyon and Beyond– We’ll divide up into groups, depending on who wants to do what:
- Afternoon Horseback Ride to Canyon Panorama – Assemble at Rock Creek Pack Station (about 5 minutes’ drive from our campground) for a trail ride up the Mono Pass trail, with fantastic views of Mt Morgan. This is a two-hour trip. Cost $65. All levels, beginners welcome!
- Boating on Rock Creek Lake – The Rock Creek Resort, next to our campground, rents rowboats by the hour. This is an angler’s paradise, known for Rainbow and Brown Trout
- Sight Seeing: Mammoth Hot Creek and Convict Lake – The famous Mammoth Hot Creek is just 45 minutes away by car. Close by is Convict Lake resort, marina and hiking paths. The upscale Convict Lake restaurant offers fine dining in an intimate and casual setting.
Weds night Farewell Dinner: Depending on the group’s response, we may organize a farewell dinner at Tom’s Place Resort – located about 15 minutes away at the bottom of the canyon, next to Hwy 395.
Thursday – Check out is at 10:30
Getting There : Rock Creek canyon is about 30 miles north of Bishop on Hwy 395. Take Rock Creek Lake exit at Tom’s Place, turn left and climb 10 miles up into the Canyon on a paved road. Travel time to the campsite is between 6 -7 hours from Palm Springs, depending on your route and assuming no traffic.
Remember, top off your tank in Bishop – don’t forget!
If you need to cancel and request a refund, your written request for a cancellation must be received no later than June 12, 2020; after that, refunds will only be made if a suitable replacement can be found in a timely manner.
Leader: Mike Seay 631 546 8951 firstname.lastname@example.org
Leader: John Ryan 562 228 2448 email@example.com
Topo Map https://www.amazon.com/Mono-Divide-High-Country-Harrison
Camping Equipment and Rentals : REI Rancho Cucamonga https://www.rei.com/stores/rancho-cucamonga.html
Available to members only. To purchase a membership, click here.
- Tent, 1st person: $85.00
- Tent, 2nd person: $75.00