Hat Creek Rim Viewpoint
North of Lassen National Park, on California Highway 44, there is a viewpoint where you can see Hat Creek and Highway 89 far below to the west, Mount Lassen to the south, and many other mountains. (Possibly Mount Shasta to the northwest.) The Pacific Crest Trail runs through. There are picnic tables, vault toilets, information posters, trashcans, and binoculars. The parking area has seven reasonably level large vehicle spaces and about a dozen car spaces. Since the trees near the parking area have been removed after the fire, there is no shade. Overnight parking does not appear to be prohibited, dispersed camping can be done nearby. Highway noise is muted by the trees. Verizon signal is good, no TV signals were found.
Crowley Lake Campground
Crowley Lake Campground (BLM) is about two miles from the Lake, which is Los Angeles DWP. (LADWP owns lots of land and water rights in the Owens Valley and Mono Lake area -- before they lost some court cases they were close to making both Owens and Mono Lakes dry lakes by taking the water before it got to them.) This campground was refurbished in 2012, and each site has a picnic table, fire ring, and a "lantern holder" which the only use I saw of was holding plastic bags. Several of the sites are pull-though. There are vault toilets, trash dumpsters, and potable water spigots that you need to park in the road to fill your RV tank at. It is $5/night, monthly and summer-season LTVA passes (good at several campgrounds) are available. (Different rules than the winter LTVAs near the Colorado River.) There is a dump station with non-potable water, $5 whether or not you stay there. The site I chose was not very level, and my leveling jacks sunk into the soft ground so I was not level. (If I was staying more than one night I would have used plywood to spread the load.) It is at about 7000 feet altitude, so cooler than Bishop.
With some cooler weather predicted, I decided to hang around the Bishop area before heading further north and higher altitude. Looking at my BLM map, I noticed some BLM land past the Laws-RR Museum on the same road, which then goes into the Inyo National Forest. (The forest also allows dispersed camping, with different rules than BLM.) The border of the BLM land is not marked, and there are a forest service signs but no actual border marker near where I spent over a week. A small stream flows by Silver Canyon Road (which fords the stream at least once) in the national forest, and veers north near the border between BLM and the national forest. The stream is difficult to see through the vegetation and trees that grows near and in it, but it can be heard. While the flow was good in mid-april, it would not surprise me if the stream drys up in the fall. The BLM land has some unmarked dirt roads, one OHV map I have designates one as a long through route. A stone-walled shed is on the far side of the stream from where I camped, the wooden roof, floor and internal baffle wall are still present but with gaps and broken boards. The baffle wall makes me suspect this may have been used for storing explosives. Verizon signal is good, a few TV stations (including CBS but no other network) can be received. There is an OHV area directly east of Bishop that may be another place to look for camping.
Laws Railroad Museum
For about almost 80 years there was a narrow gauge railroad running near Bishop, California. After it was shut down in 1960, the buildings, property, and one engine and some rolling stock was donated to Inyo County and the city of Bishop. This has been developed into a museum, with many other buildings added. (Some moved from elsewhere, some built with recycled material, and some movie sets.) There are many displays that are not related to the railroad including mining, farm equipment and local history. The museum is open every day, with a $5 suggested donation. On summer holiday weekends there are train rides on the self-propelled death-valley railroad car. The Laws station building is on the historic register.
West of the town of Lone Pine are some hills that have been popular with movie-makers for almost 100 years. There is a pull-out on Whitney Portal Road with a map of many of the sites, more than the on-line brochure I found. There are many interesting rock formations, and a few trees in the washes. Along Movie Road there are many places to camp. Poor Verizon signal, with my antenna and amp I was getting less that dial-up speed. No TV signals detected. A BLM ranger stopped and warned me that his volunteer group would be using the pullout I camped in for parking.
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