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Yosemite National Park - USA Travel Destinations

Inyo National Forest

USA Holiday Destinations

The Inyo National Forest is a place of breathtaking beauty and undisturbed solitude where every canyon is unique, every trail displays a different character and every day brings with it a new adventure. The forest takes its name from Inyo County in which much of the forest resides. The name "Inyo" comes from a Native American word meaning "dwelling place of the great spirit" and was used by local Native Americans to describe the local mountains now known as the White and Inyo Mountain Range.

Inyo National Forest is located on the border between California and Nevada. It stretches from the eastern side of RV rental friendly Yosemite National Park and stretches south to the popular RV rental destination Sequoia National Park. It has traditionally been overlooked as a holiday destination in favor of the more popular and widely known neighboring national parks of Death Valley and Yosemite. However people are starting to discover that Inyo National Forest is also a fantastic place to stay and seek adventure.

There are numerous campgrounds that accommodate RV rentals and camper hire vehicles which also provide easy access to the recreational hotspots inside the forest. Most of these are only open between the end of April and the end of October each year. Most of the family campgrounds operate on a first come first served basis but some sites do accept reservations. It is recommended that campers arrive by Friday afternoon to ensure they secure a campsite. Group campsites are available but only with advance reservations. As with many of the national parks the campgrounds have a maximum stay limit of 14 days but this can vary.

The forest is divided into a North and South zone. Each of these zones is further divided into two Ranger Districts. In the North these districts are Mono Lake and Mammoth Lakes and in the South they are White Mountain and Mount Whitney.

South Zone: Mt Whitney

This district is comprised largely of wilderness areas. You will find a wide range of recreational opportunities, including many trails into the John Muir Wilderness and adjacent Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park for day hiking or backpacking. Within this district you will find the incredibly popular Mt. Whitney which is the highest peak in the Continental United States and is a mecca for mountaineering and hiking enthusiasts. This district is also home to the California state fish, the Golden Trout.

South Zone: White Mountain

The White Mountain District contains many access routes into the nearby John Muir Wilderness and Kings Canyon National Park which are popular destinations for backpacking or day hiking. Within this district you can visit the ancient bristlecone pine forest of the White Mountains. The numerous lakes and streams provide ideal trout fishing conditions. Nothing quite compares to the satisfaction and enjoyment gained from catching, preparing and cooking a fish you caught off your own fishing line. Most of our RV rentals come with a fully equipped kitchen with hot and cold running water which means you can enjoy all the comforts and convenience of a home style meal.

North Zone: Mammoth Lakes

At the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center you can not only learn about the recreational opportunities of the National Forest, but you can also get information about lodging, restaurants and local services in the Town of Mammoth Lakes. The Mammoth Mountain RV Campground is specifically designed to cater for RV rental vehicles and offers 144 sites with trailer space, drinking water, dump station and showers. While the campground is not on forest land it is situated close by and provides easy access to the forest.

North Zone: Mono Basin

This district is located to the immediate east of Yosemite National Park and contains the eerie looking Mono Lake. This lake is saltier than the ocean, contains no fish and is as alkaline as house hold ammonia. The lake is of great importance to the migratory birds who feed on the brine shrimp which live in the lake. It is only a 50 minute drive from Mammoth Lakes and is a highlight for anyone interested in geology or ecology. Some of the more famous spots around the lake include the Mono Basin Visitor center, the Old Marina, and the South Tufa Reserve. The visitor center is well worth a visit as it offers a variety of activities and exhibits which introduce the natural and human history of the Mono Basin. Enjoy a twenty-minute film, an interactive exhibit hall, two art galleries and a Book Store.

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