Discover Tranquility: Your Guide to North Lake Campground in Inyo National Forest

North Lake Campground serves as a pristine haven for outdoor enthusiasts, beckoning adventurers to immerse themselves in the rugged beauty of the Southern Eastern Sierra. Situated at an elevation of 9,350 feet along the scenic North Lake Road, just 18 miles west of Bishop, California, this campground offers a tranquil retreat amidst the splendor of the Inyo National Forest.

Map & Reservations

Managed by Recreation Resource Management for Inyo National Forest, North Lake Campground provides access to 11 first-come, first-served campsites, each offering a unique opportunity to reconnect with nature. Surrounded by towering pines and the tranquil waters of the 13-acre North Lake, campers can escape the hustle and bustle of city life and embrace the serenity of the Sierra Nevada.

For first-time campers venturing into this pristine wilderness, our guide offers essential tips and strategies to ensure a seamless camping experience. From arriving early to secure prime spots to exploring nearby hiking trails leading to Lamarck Lake and Piute Lake, there are ample opportunities to make the most of your stay at North Lake Campground.

Choosing the optimal camping season is key to a successful outdoor adventure, with early June through September offering the best weather conditions and a wide range of available activities. Be sure to arrive in time for sunset to witness the breathtaking hues reflected on North Lake, creating lasting memories surrounded by the natural beauty of the Sierra Nevada.

Extend your exploration beyond North Lake with a day trip to nearby Lake Sabrina, where you can enjoy fishing, boating, and the amenities offered at Lake Sabrina Landing. For those seeking a unique wilderness experience, consider a trail ride or pack trip into the surrounding wilderness with Bishop Pack Outfitters.

When it comes to camping gear, be sure to pack essentials for campfires and adhere to regulations that allow fires only in provided fire rings. Utilize bear-proof food storage lockers provided at each campsite to safeguard your food and scented items, ensuring the safety of both campers and wildlife.

With our precise gear recommendations on camp cooking, sleeping systems, overlanding setups, backpacks, and clothing, you can rest assured that you’re well-equipped to maximize your camping experience in the Southern Eastern Sierra.

Immerse yourself in the tranquility of North Lake Campground, where the beauty of the Sierra Nevada awaits. Follow our guide to ensure a seamless camping experience, creating cherished moments amidst the pristine landscapes of Inyo National Forest.

Top Tips for First-Time Campers:

  • Arrive Early for Prime Spots: As the campsites are first-come, first-served, arriving early ensures a greater choice of picturesque spots. Aim to reach the campground well before 2:00 PM check-in time to secure your preferred site.
  • Exploration on Foot: Embrace the campground’s proximity to hiking trails leading to Lamarck Lake and Piute Lake. Some of the most charming campsites require a short walk from the parking area, offering a more immersive experience.
  • Optimal Camping Season: Plan your visit between early June and September, weather permitting. This timeframe allows you to make the most of the camping season, avoiding extreme weather conditions and ensuring a comfortable stay.
  • Mind the Parking Spaces: Be mindful of the small parking spaces available. Consider the size of your vehicle and gear when choosing a campsite to ensure a hassle-free parking experience.
  • Respect the Wildlife: Keep your pets on a leash and always attended. Adhering to leash regulations ensures the safety of your pets and the local wildlife. Enjoy the natural surroundings without disturbing the ecosystem.

Top Strategies and Tactics for an Optimal Camping Experience:

  • Seasonal Considerations: Opt for a visit in early June through September for the best weather conditions and a wider range of available activities. The Southern Eastern Sierra offers a spectacular backdrop during these months.
  • Sunset Serenity: Arrive in time for sunset, enhancing your camping experience with the breathtaking hues reflected on North Lake. Capture the magic of the evening, creating lasting memories surrounded by the Sierra Nevada’s natural beauty.
  • Day Trip to Lake Sabrina: Extend your exploration beyond North Lake by driving 3 miles to Lake Sabrina. Enjoy fishing and boating, or indulge in the amenities offered at Lake Sabrina Landing, including boat rentals, a free launch ramp, and a cafe.
  • Wilderness Trips: For a unique experience, consider a trail ride or pack trip into the wilderness with Bishop Pack Outfitters. Explore the stunning landscapes surrounding North Lake, immersing yourself in the pristine wilderness.
  • Explore Inyo National Forest: Venture beyond the campground to discover the wonders of the Inyo National Forest. Engage in various outdoor activities, from hiking and fishing to exploring nearby attractions such as the Sabrina Basin.

Recommendations on Camping Gear:

  • Campfire Essentials: Pack essentials for your campfires, adhering to regulations that allow fires only in provided fire rings. Enhance your camping evenings with the warmth and ambiance of a crackling fire.
  • Bear-Proof Storage: To avoid bear-related issues, use bear-proof food storage lockers provided at each campsite. Safeguard your food and scented items, contributing to the safety of both campers and wildlife.
  • Weather-Appropriate Clothing: Pack layers and weather-appropriate clothing to ensure comfort in varying temperatures. The Southern Eastern Sierra can experience temperature fluctuations, so be prepared for changing weather conditions.
  • Non-Motorized Boating Gear: Since North Lake prohibits motors on the lake, bring non-motorized boating gear such as float tubes or small hand-launched row boats. Explore the serene waters and enjoy the tranquility of North Lake.
  • Explore Our Gearlist: For precise gear recommendations on camp cooking, sleeping systems, overlanding setups, backpacks, and clothing, check out our gearlist account. Discover the exact gear we use to maximize our camping experience in the Southern Eastern Sierra.

Check out our Gearlist for the gear we use for trips like this

Our Gearlist account lists all of the gear we use. Discover our top picks, where to snag them, and stay informed with our regular updates.

North Lake Campground stands as a serene sanctuary amidst the majestic landscapes of the Inyo National Forest, offering campers a chance to reconnect with nature and create lasting memories in the heart of the Southern Eastern Sierra. As the sun sets behind the towering peaks and the tranquil waters of North Lake reflect the vibrant hues of dusk, campers are reminded of the unparalleled beauty that surrounds them.

With its 11 first-come, first-served campsites and its strategic location along North Lake Road, this campground serves as a gateway to adventure, beckoning outdoor enthusiasts to explore the pristine wilderness of the Sierra Nevada. Managed by Recreation Resource Management for Inyo National Forest, North Lake Campground provides a welcoming refuge for those seeking solace in nature’s embrace.

Our guide has equipped first-time campers with essential tips and strategies to ensure a seamless camping experience, from arriving early to secure prime spots to respecting wildlife and adhering to campground regulations. By choosing the optimal camping season and embracing the tranquility of North Lake at sunset, campers can fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the region.

Beyond the campground, a wealth of outdoor activities awaits, from hiking scenic trails to embarking on wilderness adventures into the surrounding wilderness. Whether it’s a day trip to nearby Lake Sabrina or a trail ride with Bishop Pack Outfitters, there’s no shortage of opportunities to explore the wonders of the Southern Eastern Sierra.

As campers prepare to depart from North Lake Campground, they carry with them cherished memories of starlit nights around the campfire and days filled with exploration and adventure. With our precise gear recommendations, campers can rest assured that they’re well-equipped to tackle the challenges of outdoor living and make the most of their camping experience.

North Lake Campground serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving our natural landscapes and embracing the beauty of the great outdoors. Whether it’s the tranquility of the campground itself or the rugged beauty of the surrounding wilderness, there’s something truly special about camping in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada.

As the sun rises over North Lake and campers bid farewell to this pristine wilderness, they carry with them a renewed sense of appreciation for the wonders of nature and a longing to return to its embrace. Until next time, North Lake Campground remains a beacon of serenity and a testament to the enduring allure of the great outdoors.