what's still open pic

A small tent is dwarfed by the trees and peaks of the Silver Divide in the John Muir Wilderness in early August. The almost total closure of all of the National Forests in California on Aug. 31 means the backcountry is now closed, along with campgrounds, fishing lakes and creeks and most trails, forcing visitors and locals to find other alternatives to recreating on the vast forests which surround the Eastern Sierra. 

Here's where to start 

Much of the U.S. Forest Service public land in the Mammoth Lakes area and in much of Mono County is closed to recreation through at least Sept. 17 due to extreme fire danger. But there are many exceptions, most notably for much of the land north of Conway Summit. The National Forest there, called the Bridgeport Ranger District of the Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest, is not covered by the closure because it is actually managed from Nevada, not from California – but the HT Forest has implemented some new restrictions on overnight use, put a ban on dispersed camping and more (see below).

In brief, all of the Inyo National Forest is closed, which includes most of the FORESTED AND HIGHER ELEVATION lands between Lone Pine and the Conway Summit area.

North of Conway Summit, however, most of the forested lands are still open for day use hiking and fishing, but not to overnight stays. That said, developed campgrounds on that forest are still open.

Here is a list of what was still open in Mammoth and Mono County, compiled by Visit Mammoth and the Mono County Tourism office, as of Sept. 1, 2021 when the Times went to press:

Mammoth Adventure Center: Open until Labor Day, Sept. 6

Death Valley National Park

Multi-use paved path in town (excludes the Lakes Basin Path)

Whitmore Pool (lap swim only)

Yosemite National Park (reservations still required) 

Bodie State Historic Park 

Mono Lake Old Marina (South Tufa and Navy Beach access Points are closed) 

Mono County Parks 

All privately owned and operated businesses 

OPEN FISHING LOCATIONS

Crowley Lake (Only locations on LADWP Land) 

Upper Owens River (Only locations on LADWP Land) 

Grant Lake (Only locations on LADWP Land) 

Virginia Lakes (Upper, Lower and Trumbull Lakes) 

Virginia Creek 

Green Creek 

Bridgeport Reservoir 

Upper and Lower Twin Lakes - Bridgeport 

Robinson Creek 

Little Walker River 

West Walker River 

Topaz Lake 

OPEN HIKING LOCATIONS (Open for day use only, no overnight backpacking) 

Leavitt Meadows Trailhead

Kirman Lake Trailhead 

Emma Lake Trailhead 

Burt Canyon Trailhead 

Molybdenite Trailhead 

Horse Creek Trailhead 

Robinson Creek Trailhead 

Cattle Creek Trailhead 

Tamarack Lake (Bridgeport) Trailhead 

Green Creek Trailhead 

Virginia Lakes Trailhead 

Buckeye Trailhead 

Mill Canyon Trailhead 

OPEN CAMPGROUNDS, RV PARKS, CABINS, ETC.

All campgrounds on the Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest Bridgeport Ranger District are still open. 

Many events in Mono County are still scheduled through Sept. 17. For a full event list go to: https://www.monocounty.org/things-to-do/events/

WHAT IS CLOSED THROUGH AT LEAST SEPT. 17

All Inyo National Forest Lands including campgrounds, trailheads, fishing locations, dispersed camping, etc. 

Dispersed or overnight camping outside of a designated campground located in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest 

Mono Lake South Tufa 

Devils Postpile National Monument 

Mammoth Mountain and Bike Park 

June Mountain 

Mammoth Lakes Basin 

Hot Creek Geological Site

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