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Old 10-13-2016, 07:44 PM   #15
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Bishop and Owens Valley

Highland RV Park in Bishop is a quality park. Nice shaded sites and clean facilities.

A unique place to visit (without the trailer) is the Bristlecone Pine Forest outside of Big Pine. I'm not sure of their winter hours. A good climb into the White Mountains east of Bishop. Beautiful views on a clear day.

Clyde
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:50 PM   #16
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I will second the recommendation for the Oh Ridge campground at June Lake. That is our favorite in the region and you can't beat the views. Convict is nice but the sites are narrow. The restaurant at the lake is fantastic. As for full hookups you can't beat boulder creek just south of Lone Pine. Be sure to stop for breakfast or lunch at the Ranch House cafe in Olancha.
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Old 10-14-2016, 12:32 AM   #17
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Boulder Creek in Lone Pine is one of our favorites for full hook ups. We were in the valley for a week last year. USFS campgrounds in the Alabama Hills are real scenic, but may be closing shortly. A don't miss is the Movie Museum in Lone Pine. June Lake is also nice and a bit further to the north.

Good luck!!
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Old 10-15-2016, 11:03 AM   #18
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Saw lots of CHP pulling cars over for (presumably) speeding
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Old 10-15-2016, 11:48 AM   #19
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A lot of of good suggestions hear so far. There is also free camping at Obsidian Dome, and a USGS camp area on the West side of US395 north of Tom's Place. Most good camping is on the West side of 395.
If you like good beer and excellent food, stop in Bishop at the Mountain Rambler Brewery. Yum!
After you find a place to park or camp, there are a lot of free hot springs on the East side of US395, North of bishop, e.g. turn off at the "Green Church" and take some of the dirt roads to find them. A high clearance vehicle is best and 4x4 in wet wintry conditions. There are websites and books to guide you.

-Dennis
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgilcrest View Post
Saw lots of CHP pulling cars over for (presumably) speeding

Some years ago, when I was into motorcycle touring, I had a new BMW I wanted to try out. Not knowing any better, I thought Hwy 395 would be a good open road to put it through its paces. I got 2 speeding tickets within 30 minutes! After the first one, and the CHP pulling off in the opposite direction I wanted to go, I figured I was in the clear for a while. Didn't reckon on his buddy being parked behind a manzanita tree a few miles in the direction I was heading....

Can't imagine why anyone would care about the CHP when towing an AS. I've always been well under the speed limit, not necessarily by choice, but because of the limits of the AS and my old age reaction time.
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Old 10-15-2016, 08:04 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgilcrest View Post
Saw lots of CHP pulling cars over for (presumably) speeding
395 is notorious for this. It's ironic that one the open highway in the middle of nowhere, I set my cruise control for the speed limit whereas I can cruise at 80 mph in LA.

I think it's especially important to observe the limits that slow quickly when approaching the towns along 395 (Olancha, Lone Pine, Big Pine, Independence, Bishop)
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Old 10-16-2016, 02:40 AM   #22
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Good Places To Airstream In The Owens Valley, CA

True the 395 can be a speed trap, but it's because of the fools that try to pass 30 cars downhill in the dark on Sunday night southbound in a Porsche with a ski rack on it. They tend to end up as a bumper ornament on a Peterbuilt big rig. Dodging them is not an option given the deep canyons.

Been there, dodged a few, watched the first responders clear up the mess.

Garlock road, however, is an interesting place to do a performance check. Did you know a Lincoln Continental rental car can do a lovely 4 wheel drift at about 85 around some of the curves? Don't ask how I know this--I will assert my fifth amendment rights😀😀😀😀


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Old 10-17-2016, 10:16 AM   #23
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Having started my law enforcement career on the south end of Hwy 395, I can tell you there is a reason for aggressive traffic enforcement. In 3 years, I personally handled 17 fatal collisions. Even after moving to another agency, I still witnessed a few more while driving up/down 395 on fishing trips, includinga family who was burned to death because an idiot snowboarder wanted to get home to LA faster than traffic flow.

Of course, towing an AS means you're probably not speeding. But it also means that there's an idiot who gets frustrated with your slow driving.
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Old 10-17-2016, 01:10 PM   #24
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Good Places To Airstream In The Owens Valley, CA

Yup. The combination of narrow road, deep canyons, and impatient people really requires heavy enforcement. Northbound after dark during ski season can be very scary on Sunday nights.

I've had too many close calls on the 395. There is a lot of work being done to improve it lately, but the crazy driving still remains an issue.


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Old 10-20-2016, 07:21 PM   #25
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Owens Valley is one of my favorite places

Our last trip to the Eastern Sierra was in 2010. We stayed at Brown's Town just outside of Bishop. It has electric & water, no sewer. There is a dump station. We enjoyed our stay there, as it is a lovely campground and was a good place to explore the surrounding area. Highlights were the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest (out of Big Pine), Laws Railroad Museum (just outside of Bishop, Bodie State Historical Park (northeast of Lee Vining), Mono Lake, Mammoth and, of course, Yosemite. In winter, Tioga Pass Road into Yosemite is closed. In the summer, avoid Yosemite Valley, as it is a zoo! The Tuolumne Meadows area is closer and not nearly so crowded. It's beautiful and there is lots to explore there.

You mentioned hot springs. We have not been yet, but would like to check out Benton Hot Springs northeast of Bishop. They have 10 tent/RV sites that have a private hot tub, picnic table and fire pit. No hookups. http://bentonhotsprings.org/hot_tubs.php

We are looking forward to visiting the area again next summer.
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Old 11-05-2016, 06:54 PM   #26
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Well, we’re back from our Owens Valley adventure after almost three weeks on the road. We started out staying at Keough’s Hot Springs, halfway between Big Pine and Bishop off of Highway 395. We really liked it. It’s almost a mile off the highway so there was minimal noise. It featured a pool and soaking tub and had a decent snack bar and a gift shop. The staff was very friendly and helpful. There were only water and electric hookups (or you could dry camp) but the bathroom/showers were never far away and were always accessible. The wifi was lightning fast and I could get crystal clear phone service by walking a hundred yards down the road towards the highway. Yes, it was somewhat rustic but it really had the feel of an old time tourist camp, like the one in High Sierra. We ended up staying there almost two weeks while we explored the neighboring towns and mountains and looked at other potential places to stay. We looked at Brown’s Millpond, Brownstown, and Highlands RV Parks but we like Keough’s better. We also saw a lot of other camping possibilities in the Inyo Forest, on BLM land, and those run by various local (eg., county) organizations. There are definitely a lot of good places to camp in the area! Two other Airstreams joined us during our stay at Keough’s, and we would definitely go back there. (The only complaint I would have about Keough’s was that we arrived without reservations and thus had to change our campsites for the first four nights! I mean, it wasn’t really their fault, and it was good practice hitching up and unhitching, but it did tie us down to the campground more than we wanted to be for several days.)

Various campsites at Keough’s Hot Springs
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Old 11-05-2016, 06:55 PM   #27
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After Keough’s we went down south of Lone Pine to the Boulder Creek RV Park and stayed there for four nights. It was definitely different than Keough’s. We’ve done most of our streaming in California state park campgrounds so we found the whole RV Park experience to be different. Not necessarily bad, but different. More closed up. This place had full hookups and a nice lounge where you could get free coffee and muffins and get caught up on the news. They had a decent store with a lot of RV stuff (naturally, I guess). Like up north we explored the surrounding region, the Alabama Hills (two Airstreams boondocking back up in there!), Whitney Portal, Owens Lake, and the Independence area. One morning we awoke with a 16 foot Bambi on one side, and by the time we left we were sandwiched between it and a 27 foot Classic.
Leaving the Owens Valley proper we headed down Highway 14 and spent our last two nights at the Red Rock Canyon State Park. It was a good stay but the fuse blew on the power jack (fully extended of course) so we had to spend a lot of our free day driving into Ridgecrest to get a replacement.
Finally it was time to come home, so we did. All in all it was another great Airstreaming trip. We can’t wait for our next one in a few weeks, taking the southern route from California to Dallas for Thanksgiving.

Our sites at Boulder Creek and Red Rock Canyon.
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Old 11-07-2016, 10:18 PM   #28
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Hey, StreaminGeo.

Thank you for the update with photo's, and the great reviews.

We have not stayed at Keough’s or Boulder Creek. They sound nice though.

We have stayed at Red Rock and love it. We like booney camping and enjoy hiking and exploring natural areas (like Red Rock).

Hope to see you "out there"

-Dennis
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