*** UPDATE ***
In light of the anticipated weather, some people might change their mind about going, which is totally fine.
These camping trips are intended to be fun and enjoyable. We don't want anyone to have a bad, negative, or horrible experience.
We also don't want anyone to be misled, uninformed, unaware, or oblivious to the fact that it will be very cold.
Some might be experienced with cold weather...while some might not be.
Everyone has their own comfort level for what they are willing and able to endure and tolerate.
For those who already paid, PLEASE re-confirm with me if you still want to attend. If you change(d) your mind, please just let me know soon and a full refund will be issued. No problem.
If possible, please do not wait until the last minute to cancel. We honestly need to coordinate the campsite and carpooling logistics.
Totally understandable some need time to think about going or not. If I don't receive confirmation by Oct 1, I will assume you changed your mind, and a full refund will be issued.
For others who messaged me and expressed interest in going...same thing, right now, my conjecture is most are "maybe." My expectations are VERY low and I currently anticipate most will NOT go. A small group is fine with me.
It's best for everyone that the only people who go are those who truly want to.
We want to avoid anyone suffering or freezing to death (kidding, sort of). :)
Southern California should have beautiful weather during this weekend in October, so many of you have other options of things to do and places to visit.
Multiple links to websites and Facebook pages have been posted, so you can always see photos and videos of the fall colors from the comfort of your home with your phone or computer. There's no need to drive so far just to see some leaves "die."
Suffering in cold weather isn't worth it.
We'll have other trips in the future, in better and warmer weather, so please feel free to join us next time. Cheers. :)
Okay...for any who are crazy, adventurous, and who still want to go, let's try to make the best of the situation.
People who recently suffered from the storms and hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere—they are the ones who are justified and entitled to complain about the weather—people who have suffered significant damage, lost their homes and possessions, are without electricity, and are truly living in some cruel and difficult circumstances.
People can camp in cold conditions - Google Images (https://www.google.com/search?q=winter+camping&safe=off&source=lnms&tbm=isch)
So for those going, you should know yourself and your gear/equipment, and I trust you will be mentally and physically prepared and equipped.
Even though snow is not predicted, many tips/advice from winter camping should be applicable to us for staying warm.
Here are some examples:
I like this line "Fail to plan = plan to fail" from
If we plan accordingly and come prepared and equipped, I think we can survive a few days of cold and unpleasant weather. :)
btw, I called and someone from Mammoth said many people are still camping despite the cold conditions and that they are still enjoying their time there. If anyone wants to ask any questions, feel free to call them at (760)[masked]
She suggested bringing a good sleeping mat/pad because the ground is cold. She also recommended a sleeping bag with a good temperature rating.
For those who don't have an expensive sleeping bag, wearing warm clothes, beanie hat, gloves, and socks should help.
I'll add more in a Google Doc and send it later this week.
Would a few adventurous and outdoorsy nature-lovers want to visit the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains?
Everyone might have different schedules/availability, so this trip is flexible.
Friday - Sunday (Oct 6 - 8)
Saturday & Sunday (Oct 7 - 8)
Saturday - Monday (Oct 7 - 9)
For those planning on going, starting in late Sept and early Oct, if you have time, check the daily updates and photos at
The campsites have limited space for people and cars, so that's why I have to micro-manage participants & vehicles. People sometimes sign up, but later forget, are busy, change their mind, etc., so I don't want to assume.
If anybody wants to go, DM me to confirm.
Click https://secure.meetup.com/messages/?new_convo=true&member_id=69743242&name=wise|man (https://secure.meetup.com/messages/?new_convo=true&member_id=69743242&name=wise%7Cman)
and send your answers to the following questions.
(1) Do you understand it might get cold at night?
(2) Do you want to drive or ride with someone else? If you can drive others, how many passengers can you accommodate?
(3) Are you bringing a tent? If yes, are you willing/comfortable with sharing your tent with others? If your tent is small or you prefer sleeping alone, that's fine. Just asking.
(4) Do you have a sleeping bag AND something to sleep on (e.g. sleeping pad, air mattress, or something else)?
(5) When do want to arrive and leave? (For example: start on Saturday morning and return on Sunday night, or Friday afternoon until Sunday, or Saturday until Monday, etc.).
RSVPing on this meetup page does not guarantee a spot at our campsite. Those who confirm and pre-pay will be saved a spot.
Not all who signed up will attend. If you're new to Meetup, this group, or our camping trips—please keep in mind some people on the RSVP list will not go. Some people signed up months ago before the date was finalized, some might be busy/unavailable during this weekend, some might change their mind, etc. Plus, space is limited, but we'll try to accommodate as many people as possible.
A $25 payment will be collected to secure a spot and cover the campsite, firewood, and other miscellaneous items for the group.
Note: Planning these trips can be tricky. Sometimes my predictions are safe and we have enough people for the # of campsites reserved. For those who stay just 1 night (e.g. arrive Saturday & leave on Sunday), there's a good chance those who sleep just one night will be refunded around $10, so it'll come out to $15 per person for one night. For any who have never gone on one of our trips before, we try to make these trips fun and affordable, and we try to make the cost fair, while also try to raise a little $ to benefit some people who might be less fortunate.
Any extra money will be spent on socks and hygiene items for a few homeless individuals. If anyone wants to help distribute items, just lmk. (http://www.ocregister.com/articles/trail-360176-river-mile.html)
It'll look similar to this. (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1071207249655984)
Each person is responsible for the respective costs associated with camping gear/equipment, food, gas (if carpooling), and parking.
Carpooling & caravanning can be discussed as the date approaches. Itinerary is flexible and should be coordinated between driver & respective passenger(s).
More info on campsite & final details will be sent to those who confirmed & paid.
Campsites have been reserved in Mammoth Lakes during the weekend of October 6 - 8 (Friday & Saturday night).
Totally understandable not everybody will be available during that weekend. This is open to Friday to Sunday or just Saturday & Sunday.
If some people want to go Saturday and stay until Monday, just lmk and reserving a campsite for Sunday night should be possible.
If others want to go on another weekend (such as late September or mid October...that's totally fine). Feel free to communicate and coordinate with one another. Post a comment or lmk and I'll check with others who might prefer a different weekend, and you all can plan your own trip.
For any who are interested in going, the info below should explain things. It's pretty detailed and lengthy, so it's your choice to read or not.
If anyone is planning on driving and open to carpooling...or if anyone wants to go, but is looking for a ride:
- Post a comment and maybe others will respond
- Check the comments section if maybe someone else is offering a ride or needs a ride
- Let me (Wiseman) know because sometimes people message me (and they might not post a comment), so I can also try to connect people for carpooling.
- This trip is posted in multiple groups, so maybe check the comments section of:
OC - https://www.meetup.com/OC_Camping/events/239367060
LA - https://www.meetup.com/LA_Camping/events/239367069
Based on info online, leaves can change color from late September until mid-October or so.
Quick Intro - http://www.visitmammoth.com/blogs/5-frequently-asked-questions-about-fall-color-mammoth-lakes
Different areas in Eastern Sierra vary in elevation, so the color of leaves in one area might be yellow or orange while leaves of trees in another area might still be green.
The following sites should have frequent updates (sometimes daily):
So in late September and early October, we can learn more of which locations are peaking or near-peak.
Other sites to check for updates & photos are
The Eastern Sierra is pretty spacious. The map on this 2nd page is worth referring to and should be saved on your phone for easy reference:
The drive takes about 5.5 hours. (https://goo.gl/maps/m97M5hAL1ct)
Since time for exploring and hiking is limited, you all can discuss & decide how best to prioritize what to do/where to go.
Maybe some want to pick one region and go on a scenic hike.
Maybe some want to see as much as possible and instead of a long hike, drive around to different areas and make multiple stops.
Some other groups/organizers might plan trips where everybody does everything together (wake up, hike, eat, pee, poop, and go to sleep at the same time).
My camping trips are easy-going, laid-back, and flexible.
Not everybody may want to do the same things or go to the same places, so activities are open to discussion, especially among driver and respective passenger(s).
If carpooling with others, decide among yourselves if anybody has a preference on what to do/where to go on. If some want to stay together and can agree on doing the same things, that's fine too.
To reiterate, I'm not a tour guide, event planner, or baby-sitter. I don't expect nor force everybody to do the same things and go everywhere together. This is why who you carpool with is important.
Some people might prefer easy/simple hikes. Others might prefer hard/strenuous hikes. Not everybody may have the same fitness level or be in the same physical condition, so that's the main reason I prefer people have the freedom and choice to pick what they are comfortable with and what they want to do.
Those carpooling together (driver and respective passengers) can discuss among themselves what they want to do each day. Feel free to also use the comments section to share ideas/thoughts/recommendations with others. We also can talk more and decide when we all meet at the campsite if the entire group wants to do something together (e.g. same hiking trail) or do different things in smaller groups.
I don't anticipate that many people will actually go. Even though some people signed up, I've learned not to expect anything. Not everybody who signs up (RSVPs) actually attends.
Spots at the campsite will be saved for those who contact me to confirm and pay in advance.
Important: I tried to "scare" away people for the Joshua Tree trip because of the summer heat. Well, conversely, everybody needs to be aware and understand for this trip, evenings might get cold.
If anyone doesn't have a warm sleeping bag, then consider bringing extra blankets and wear warm clothes when sleeping (fleece sweater/sweatshirt, jacket, gloves, socks, beanie hat, etc.).
My previous trips have had first-time campers and inexperienced campers attend, so if anyone is new or nervous, rest assured, we'll help you have a good time. As long as everyone brings adequate clothes and a warm blanket/sleeping bag, and has a good attitude and open-mind, everybody should be fine and survive. :)
We can't control the weather or predict when exactly the leaves will change colors, so that's the main reason why we can't schedule specific hikes and destinations yet. As the date approaches, we can check updates at
In the meanwhile, the following are some general recommendations, and hopefully timing works out and the leaves will be peaking when we go.
Referring back to the map on the 2nd page of
In addition to exploring Mammoth Lakes (10), some other possible destinations to visit include:
Convict Lake (9)
This lake is worth going to and shouldn't take much time. It's easy to drive to. Ignore the first sign that says parking for day hikers. Try to find parking at the day use parking area first, and only if it's full, then go back to the parking area for hikers. It'll save you some time if you can park closer to the lake.
June Lake Loop (11)
This is a nice, scenic drive. If you see a lake you like, feel free to stop and walk around. If you have time, and if the colors are changing, consider hiking the Parker Lake trail.
Rock Creek Canyon (7)
If you have time, consider driving through this canyon. I went on a hike at the Little Lakes Valley in July and this area is pretty scenic.
McGee Creek Canyon (8)
See the photos from the links above and you can decide for yourself if McGee Creek Canyon is worth visiting (hiking).
Lundy Canyon (14) and Lee Vining Canyon (13)
I read/heard good things about Lundy Canyon and Lee Vining Canyon, so if you have time, consider driving to either/both.
Every year might differ slightly...but photos from previous years might indicate what to expect for early October of this year:
Photos: www.flickr.com/groups/easternsierrafallcolor/pool (https://www.flickr.com/groups/easternsierrafallcolor/pool/)
Photo Source/Credit: Jeff Simpson
Photo Source/Credit: Jeff Simpson
Photo Source/Credit: Los Angeles Times
Photo Source/Credit: Los Angeles Times
The campsite does NOT have heaters or electricity.
The campsite does have showers, potable water, restrooms with flush toilets, a campfire ring, and bear lockers.
The campground allows dogs.
Camping Checklist (http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/family-camping-checklist.html)
Each person should consider bringing:
Sleeping bag + pillow
Sleeping pad or air mattress
Tent (or share with someone who has one)
Appropriate clothes, socks, & shoes
Sweater, jacket, gloves, & beanie hat to stay warm at night
Toothbrush, toothpaste, & other hygiene items
Sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat or bandana
Earplugs in case someone nearby snores
Flashlight / Headlamp
Cell phone charger cable (car adapter) or portable charger
Water (or water filter)
Water bottles or hydration pack
Food (and cookware)
Towel, soap, & shampoo
I'll bring firewood, aluminum foil, and tongs in case others want to cook simple meals. I'll also bring plates, utensils, cups, hand sanitizer, paper towels, napkins, and a few other things for the group.
I don't know yet if I'll bring a portable gas stove and pots/pans for cooking.
If anyone wants to bring S'mores or any dessert for the group, or any games, please feel free to do so.
If anyone is new to camping, many ideas for simple, easy to prepare/heat up/clean meals are online: