Horton Creek Campground, Bishop, California | Camping

Cool and refreshing Horton Creek

Horton Creek Campground is situated on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Bishop, California. The campground has a gorgeous view of Mount Tom and the Eastern Sierra, and of Round Valley with its trees and green meadows. Beyond you’ll see Owens Canyon, the Volcanic Tableland, and the White Mountains to the east. The views are breathtaking.

The campsites at Horton Creek Campground are well orientated for keeping your rig a bit cooler, as many sites are orientated east-west. When things really heat up (as they often do in this high desert) the clear waters of Horton Creek are always cool and refreshing.

Camping at Horton Creek Campground isn’t free; however, it’s quite a bargain. The rates are $10 a day, $120 for a 30-day permit, or $320 for a 90-day permit. In return you will have potable water, trash bins, and an amazing view! Campsites are furnished with a picnic table and fire pit. The RV dump station fee is $10. The campground is open from May 1 through October 31.

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Where in The World?

Camping Elevation: 5,000 feet

GPS Coordinates: N 37.37770 W 118.58015

Horton Creek Campground Map

Horton Creek Campground RV Camping Journal

July 10, 2013

Recreation: There is soooooo much to see in this area! The clear cool waters of Horton Creek are quite inviting on hot summer days. The creek is small and finding water deeper than a couple feet is a challenge, but it’s great for wading. Like Tuttle Creek near Lone Pine, the vegetation is thick, so reaching the water isn’t always easy, especially once you stray from the camping area. There are many wildflowers along this beautiful creek.

The quickest way to reach the high country is to take Pine Creek Road up the canyon to the trailhead and pack station. Here, Pine Creek Pass Trail takes you up and up into John Muir Wilderness, which is quite a water world, with the sound of creeks this way and that, and clear blue lakes reflecting the heavens.

I hiked Pine Creek Pass Trail to Pine Lake, Upper Pine Lake, and Honeymoon Lake, then a bit further west toward Italy Pass. Honeymoon Lake is grand and glorious, with granite peaks rising above, and a sandy beach on its north shore…perfect for wading on a warm day, or for a swim if it’s real nice out. I took a short dip in the water, which wasn’t as cold as I expected – at 10,400 feet I expected ice cold water. The two heat waves we had this summer must’ve really warmed the water. Above Honeymoon Lake is a lush green mountain meadow bordering the creek. It’s a beautiful spot.

Round Valley is fun to explore by bicycle. I saw a handful of cyclists the two times I went out for a ride. The roads are smooth and virtually free of traffic, and the views are awesome. I took a nice ride east to Mill Pond Recreation Area, then south to Highway 168. I saw about 7 cyclists, and fewer cars.

For wildlife viewing, Fish Slough is to the northeast, north of Bishop.

Weather: It’s early July and it’s been hot! The Western US had a heat wave and temps were in the low 100s for about a week. On cooler days it was in the 90s. At night it dropped to the mid 60s and lower 70s. There is usually a breeze. Gusty winds can come suddenly, without warning, but are short-lived. These gusts usually occur when clouds have built up in the afternoon and it looks like thunderstorms could appear.

Wildlife: Hummingbirds, turkey vultures, ravens, variety of small birds, mourning doves, eagles, jackrabbits, cottontail rabbits, ground squirrels, lizards (some tiny baby lizards), a few small trout…though not as many as I saw at Tuttle Creek.

On my hike to Honeymoon Lake I saw trout in the lakes, tadpoles in the small ponds, lizards, hummingbirds (one getting a drink from a small spring on the mountainside), tree squirrel, ground squirrels, swifts, smaller fast flying birds, and I heard a few woodpeckers pecking away.

Insects: No problems. No gnats or mosquitoes.

Peacefulness: Very peaceful. The campground receives light use. It’s far enough from road noise and there isn’t much air traffic. It’s just the sound of the breeze and the creek.

RV Solar: 90% sun. On a number of days, clouds built up in the afternoon and it became partly sunny. There is virtually no shade from trees.

Cell Signal: Very fast internet – no external antenna needed. Excellent 3G cell signal.

Horton Creek Campground Rating: 10 out of 10. Summers can be hot, like Tuttle Creek Campground, but there’s plenty to explore here and in the Bishop area. Bishop is only 10 miles away for supplies and it’s the best shopping you’ll find for many miles in the remote Eastern Sierra. The views are grand, and so is the solitude.

For more information, visit the BLM Horton Creek webpage.

For information on long-term camping, visit the BLM page Long-Term Camping Opportunities Available in the Eastern Sierra.

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