Haystack Mountain, Lone Pine, California | Camping

RV camping next to Haystack Mountain

Haystack Mountain is in a seldom visited area of the Eastern Sierra east of Lone Pine, California in Owens Valley. This camping area is at the base of the Inyo Mountains. The Inyo Mountains Wilderness Area lies directly east of Haystack Mountain. The rocks of Haystack Mountain are similar in shape to the Alabama Hills on the other side of the valley, only they are black, white, and cream colored (rather than a golden yellow like the Alabama Hills).

Owens Valley is virtually flat as a pancake here, with the Inyo Mountains rising abruptly from the valley floor, much like the Sierra Nevada Mountains do on the other side of the valley. The Inyo Mountains receive little precipitation, being in the rain shadow of the mighty Sierra. Except for nearby Owens River and Owens Lake Wildlife Refuge, this area is usually bone dry.

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Where in The World?

Below Haystack Mountain there are many patches of smooth dry lake bed. These areas make for excellent camping. Leveling the RV is a cinch.

Lone Pine is a 5 mile drive away. Owens River is 2 miles west as the crow flies and Owens Lake Wildlife Refuge is 6 miles south.

Camping Elevation: 3,683 feet

GPS Coordinates: N 36 35.926 W 117 59.677

Directions to Camping Area: From Lone Pine, California head north on Highway 395 and turn right on Lone Pine Narrow Gauge Road. Drive 3.3 miles on Lone Pine Narrow Gauge Road and turn right on Owenyo Lone Pine Road. Head southeast for 2.3 miles to the dry lake bed on the left, south of Haystack Mountain.

Haystack Mountain Camping Area Map

Haystack Mountain RV Camping Journal

June 4, 2013

Recreation: If you’re looking for adventure straight from camp without cranking an engine, this is not the place…however, there is some fun to be had here, but it pales in comparison to the high and mighty Sierra, or the out of this world Alabama Hills. What you will find is a good boulder hopping hike up the mountain wash to the saddle, which links Haystack Mountain to its parents, the Inyo Mountains. To get to the wash, go east on the dirt road, then take the left branch around Haystack Mountain. 

Mountain biking is easy on the flat and hard packed dirt roads.

Weather: For my stay between May 30th and June 4th it was hot. Highs were in the mid to upper 90s and lows ranged from the 60s to 72 degrees when I woke up at 5 am this morning. This is not the ideal time to be camped here. Early spring and late fall would probably be just perfect. I’ve had 99% sunshine, with only a few clouds today. There was a smoky haze yesterday from a fire in Southern California which dulled the sunshine a bit, but didn’t make it feel any cooler. The breeze has been picking up early in the morning, then again in the afternoons. Winds have never been very strong. The breeze has been out of the north or the south.

Wildlife: Zebra-tailed lizards (most likely; they are long legged and lightning fast), smaller lizards, one species of bird here that appears to catch insects while flying in a small area close to the ground, a couple rabbits, ravens, hawks, eagles, and bats.

Insects: I’ve seen small flies, which are a slight nuisance, but nothing compared to the ear piercing sound of gnats. Thankfully the breeze usually keeps the gnats at bay. The gnats don’t bite, they just enjoy swarming around you. They aren’t a problem when sitting near my camper, but seem to find me when I’m walking around slowly or standing out in the open.

Peacefulness: It’s extremely peaceful. I counted only 5 vehicles on Owenyo Lone Pine Road since I got here 6 days ago. There were a couple visitors on the weekend that came for target practice next to Haystack Mountain. They didn’t stay long, so it wasn’t very disturbing. The only other noise is from the occasional military jet.

RV Solar: 99% sun

Cell Signal: Excellent. I’m very close to the tower and passed it coming here from Lone Pine. I had 4g Verizon cell phone service, and super fast Verizon mobile broadband internet with my USB device.

RV Campsite Rating: 8 out of 10. Camping beside Haystack Mountain is very peaceful, views are excellent, it’s very close to town, and the cell signal is superb. It just isn’t as close to the fun filled Alabama Hills and Sierra Nevada Mountains. Summers are too hot to be here.

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