White Mtns. (CA)?

Discussion in 'Campground / Trip Planning & Suggestions ?' started by Dingit, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone dragged their popup up to the campground in the White Mountains (Inyo NF)? Is it an okay haul with a trailer?

    I haven't been up there in years and I wasn't driving. :) The Forest Service describes the road as single lane, narrow, and steep but doesn't outright forbid RVs because of it like Mineral King.

    I wonder if we should just go without the trailer. Popup plus pickup makes for a very long and not very nimble rig. I'm a terrible backer upper.

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/inyo/recreation/camping-cabins/recarea/?recid=20268&actid=29

    (I love how this campground never closes. I'm sure the road is entirely unpassable right now because of the elevation but if you can get there, it's open!)
     
  2. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    I think if you want some firsthand info, your best best is to check on some hiking forums that deal with White Mountain Peak or surrounding areas. Most of the info that I have seen says White Mountain road is pretty decent for the first 5 or so miles (up to campground) and gets more challenging after that. I think if you were towing with a good pickup truck, it would be completely doable (when weather is nicer).
     
  3. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    The road sounds like the issue is mostly finding places to pull over when someone comes the other direction.

    At this time of year, I would suspect only hard core campers will visit. They are more likely to be better at backing up than the average summer camper and more likely to have been to this one before.

    With that, you could probably do it and find that anyone you come across on the road will be able to work with you with backing up and pulling over. Knowing the other driver will most likely have a lot more experience will lessen the burden on you. Just remember to wave them a thanks afterwards.

    On the way up, you generally have the right of way (you're not expected to stop and pull over because you might not be able to get moving again). So, while you drive up, make note of good spots to pull over on the way down. You can always pull over whenever an opportunity arises on the way down and then look to see if anyone is coming before continuing to the next spot. That way you won't pass a good spot and then have to back up to it.

    I got to spend a couple nights at Bodie a few years ago and the night sky at that elevation is SO worth it.
     
  4. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Personally I would go without the camper first until you know more about what you will be facing ahead. Or have more experience with towing.
    Especially if you are unsure about backing up. It would really stink if you find your self in a bad situation and have to back up. I went on a one way dirt road once and discovered the road was blocked by a fallen tree. I ended up having to back my camper all the way back down the road. Thank goodness it was only about 7 min in and was fairly straight. Although that slight cliff to the left made for it to be the longest 7 min white knuckle trip I ever had. Never ever went off road with my camper again. Too many unknowns in my opinion. Then again I don't have a lot of friends who could help me if I get stuck.
     
    shuang2 likes this.
  5. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the advice, y'all!

    Good ideas on how to handle the passing. I'll see what the hikers--or even better, astronomers--have to say about the road. The road is probably not even that bad. The truck should be good at altitude. I've never towed with it over 6500 ft but have had it through Tioga and Cedar Brakes with a 3000+ lb camper in the bed and I think those are close to 10k ft.

    Even so, it might just be better to instead take the slide-in camper and pitch a tent for those who complain that it is too small (it is totally too small). It's not like we'd be there for more than a night or two.

    And no, we wouldn't go this time of year. [:>(] Just thinking about it makes me cold. And I want to make the kids sit outside after dark so it's definitely not a winter trip. Maybe that's another reason to not take the popup trailer--it's too comfy inside!
     
  6. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    I you have the option to take a TC rather than trailer, I'd do that. It will be easier for sure.

    I took my 1975 clipper to Bodie. He did great at that altitude for an old carb engine. I suspect your truck will be fine.

    And yes, sleeping in a tent for 1 or 2 nights is worth it for the view.
     
  7. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    It seems cowardly, but the TC probably is better for this trip. We can squeeze inside it if the weather takes a bad turn and it's a lot warmer than the popup trailer (even though it's a popup too).

    And I won't be the one in the tent. :p
     
  8. Arruba

    Arruba Active Member

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    If you’re really curious as to the feasibility, give the Inyo National Forest a call. IIRC, Bishop is the correct office:

    760-873-2400

    They should be open 8:00 to 4:30 Pacific.
    Good luck....
     
  9. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    Ha! That's cheating!!:)
     
  10. Arruba

    Arruba Active Member

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    True, effective, but true:)...
     
  11. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    Like asking for directions!
     

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