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The Inyo National Forest is partially open: What can I do?

October 5th, 2020 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

The Inyo National Forest partially reopened this past weekend, which means visitors and locals can now access many more areas than last month, when the Forest was completely closed. But it’s still confusing and difficult to know what sort of recreation is possible, and where.

Hiking to Bennettville is now possible again, with the Inyo National Forest partially reopened. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

See below for a list of places where hiking, fishing, sightseeing, and camping are allowed. See this post for a fall color update.

Hiking:

  • Around Saddlebag Lake (hiking is not permitted in the rest of the Twenty Lakes Basin, nor to Gardisky Lake)
  • Bennettville
  • Panum Crater
  • Reversed Peak
  • Inyo Craters
  • Deadman Pass/San Joaquin Ridge
  • McLeod Lake, not Mammoth Pass
  • Crystal Lake (hiking not permitted past the Crest)
  • TJ & Barrett Lakes
  • Panorama Dome
  • Mammoth Rock trail
  • Sherwin Lakes (hiking not permitted to Valentine Lake)
  • Laurel Lakes
  • Around Convict Lake (hiking not permitted into Convict Canyon)
  • East Fork trail to Rock Creek Lake
  • Lower Rock Creek Trail

Fishing: All roadside lakes and streams are open for fishing.

Sightseeing:

  • Mono Lake’s tufa formations at County Park or Old Marina
  • Mono Mills
  • June Lake Beach
  • Obsidian Dome
  • Earthquake Fault
  • Minaret Vista
  • Mammoth Consolidated Mine
  • Hayden Cabin
  • Hot Creek Geological Site
  • Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

Mono Basin camping:

  • Open campgrounds: Aspen, Lower Lee Vining, Silver Lake, Oh Ridge.
  • Closed campgrounds: Tioga Lake, Junction, Saddlebag Lake, Saddlebag Lake Group, Sawmill Walk-in, Ellery Lake, Big Bend, Moraine, Aerie Crag, Reversed Creek, Gull Lake, June Lake.
  • Dispersed camping is allowed; emergency fire restrictions are in effect.

Other areas that are open:

  • Bureau of Land Management land
  • LA Department of Water & Power land
  • Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
  • Bodie State Historic Park
  • Yosemite National Park

Closed areas of the Inyo National Forest include:

  • South Tufa and Navy Beach under Forest order 05-04-54-20-15 due to the Beach Fire
  • Wilderness Areas accessed from the Inyo remain closed through December 1, 2020: portions of the Hoover, Owens River Headwaters, Ansel Adams, John Muir, Golden Trout, and South Sierra Wilderness Areas
  • Inyo land within Madera County—Reds Meadow Valley and the Devils Postpile National Monument
  • Monache Meadows under Forest order 05-04-51-20-17 due to the SQF Complex (Castle Fire)

Because of fires burning around the state, especially the Creek Fire, visitors should expect smoky air. Please take every precaution to prevent fires when you visit—do not park a hot vehicle over flammable vegetation, do not build campfires, and no smoking. Overall, please leave this place better than you found it.

Call us with any questions: (760) 647-6595.