Whether you’re a seasoned camper, or you’re a camping rookie, we believe the Sierra Nevada mountain range is a must-visit destination. While there are plenty of hotels for you to stay, our editors highly suggest setting up camp at one of the beautiful campsites in Sierras! We’ll make it easy for you and give you the entire breakdown for picture perfect camping in the Eastern Sierras, as well as some other fun things in the area!

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Basecamp: Oh Ridge Campground in June Lake

For camping anywhere, you can use the this recreation website to search and book different campsites. If you are a beginner camper, Oh Ridge Campground at June Lake is the place for you. It is inviting to both the newbies and the pros, which makes for the perfect experience. Oh Ridge is nestled at the edge of June Lake’s azure blue waters. It has running water, a firepit, grill, flush toilets and showers!

The little town of June Lake is far enough away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, however, it has just enough in town to where you don’t feel completely isolated. The campsites range around $30/night. During our visit, we had plenty of camping neighbors, which made us feel very safe being surrounded by a small community of campers.

One of our favorite parts about this campsite is that the lake and marinas are easily accessible. There are a few different places where you can rent boats, kayaks and paddle boards. You can also bring your beach chairs out, take a dip and enjoy the lake on your own!

What to Pack

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Packing lists, especially for camping, can look different from person to person! It all depends on what you have and what you want to invest in after you plan your trip. Let’s breakdown some general categories that you’ll want to keep in mind for this camping in the Eastern Sierras trip.

Shelter and Bedding

  • Tents, pillows sleeping bags, air mattress or pad, air pump, blankets

Site Extras

  • Camping stove, propane, JetBoil, Coffee set up (aeropress or french press set ups work great), 1-2 pots and pans, disposable utensils, trashbags, HAND SOAP for bathrooms, cooler, cooking oil, dish soap

Personal Gear

  • Backpack or fanny pack, flashlight, headlamp, first aid kit, bug spray, beach towel, camera, allergy medicine, portable charger


  • Cards, small board games, bluetooth speaker, hammock, camping chair (to sit around the fire pit) books, journal

Personal Items

  • Clothes to fit the weather, warm pajamas, sunglasses, bathing suit, baseball hat, water friendly shoes (tevas are my favorite), closed-toe shoes for walking and hiking & necessary toiletries!

Where to Explore

In addition to enjoying June Lake, there are many other places nearby to explore to be immersed in nature’s beauty. Below are a few of our favorite beginner friendly adventures in the surrounding areas. This is sure to round out your trip while camping in the Eastern Sierras.

Parker Lake Trail

About a 25 minute drive from June Lake is the Parker Lake trailhead. This hike is a 3.6 mile out and back trail, leading to spectacular views of the secluded Parker Lake. All Trails has rated this trail as “moderately challenging”, taking an average of 1 hour and 42 minutes to complete. As an unashamed new camper and hiker, it really wasn’t too bad! Plus, the views made every step absolutely worth it.

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Lake Mary

25 minutes in the opposite direction will bring you toward Mammoth Mountain, the land of many lakes! It is so hard to just pick one to explore, so we get it if you want to do them all! Lake Mary is a relatively small lake which is ideal for paddle boarding, row-boating and kayaking! The Lake Mary Marina offers a variety of rentals for anyone who doesn’t have their own gear for the water.

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Rainbow Falls

At the center of Mammoth you will find the Adventure Center, the central hub for all things, well – adventure! Here, you will be able to take the ski lift to the top of Mammoth Mountain. You can also purchase bus tickets to the various bus stops in Mammoth. Each of these bus stops can transport campers, backpackers and hikers to different destinations. One of them being Rainbow Falls!

There are two ways to reach Rainbow Falls while taking the bus from the Adventure Center. Our group took the easier route (ha!) – it was only a 300 foot elevation gain, 5 miles out and back! The 2.5 mile walk in takes you straight to a stunning 101 foot waterfall. And yes, you can hike all the way down and take a dip!

This beautiful waterfall gets its name from the rainbow that can be seen reflecting off the water from above.

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Wild Willy’s Hot Springs

Nature’s gift to us- au naturale hot tubs. Wild Willy’s Hot Springs is sure to sweep you off your feet. When you plug this location into maps, it will take you down the highway with a little bit of gravel driving into a secluded group of natural hot springs. With the Sierra Nevada mountain range as your background, literally nothing could be better.

Eric Schats

Whether it’s on your way out or on your way in, another must is stopping at Eric Schat’s bakery in Bishop. This bakery is notorious for it’s amazing baked goods, including bread and sweet treats! Sometimes the line wraps all the way around the building, therefore, we recommend getting there early! Everyone in the area knows it’s just THAT good!

And there you have it! Your ultimate guide to camping in the Eastern Sierras is complete. In between all the adventuring, we, of course, did a lot of relaxing and unwinding which is easy to do in a place like this. We played card games around the table, had conversations around the fire and cooked delicious meals. We’ve found that the older you get, the harder it is to find time that aligns on everyone’s schedules. We hope this guide encourages you to gather your friends and make time to relax and enjoy each other’s company. If you are looking for another getaway destination, we also recommend you check out this article!

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