Lovely Tuttle Creek Campground

A primitive, but simply lovely $5/night BLM campground with sweeping mountain views just west of Lone Pine in central-west CA.

NOTE/ Review updated as of last visit Oct 2012

Link to campground here: Tuttle Creek BLM, CA
Link to map location here: Tuttle Creek BLM, CA

  1. Site Quality = 3/5
    Very simple sites here, but with lovely “sitting areas” and simply stunning views. All sites are basically just cleared firm dirt, mostly back-in with a few select pull-throughs. Quite a bit of variation in levelness (be prepared to use levellers!), but overall good selection of large flattish sizes for just about any sized rig esp. towards middle/bottom of each loop. Each site has picnic table, deep fire-pit/grill and a light-hanging pole. Very good site separation and sweeping views from just about every angle with the Sierra Nevada mountains to the west and Owens Valley to the east. North and South loops are very similar although we found the valley views more appealing in the South loop.
  2.  Facilities = 3/5
    Very simple facilities here. Pit toilets at several spots, kept nicely clean. Brand new on-site potable water spigot and dump station ($5 fee) installed as of 2012.
  3. Location = 5/5
    This is a fabulous location. You’re only ~5 miles off Hwy 395 from Lone Pine, yet you feel like you’re way out in nature. The campground is located just perfectly on a long, sweeping escarpment with the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains in the west and Owens Valley visible down below in the east. You are also right next to the lovely and wacky Alabama Hills. Lots to do and see in the surrounding area incl. Lone Pine, the Film Museum, miles of hiking and Manzanar.
  4. Pet Friendliness = 5/5
    Another great pooch park. Plenty of space to hang out in camp plus oceans of back-desert country around camp to explore and hike. Lots of nearby hiking in both the Alabama Hills and the mountains.

Overall Rating = 4
BONUS ALERT =
 Camp with sweeping views of Mt.Whitney and the Owens Valley!

Summary: This is the kind of peaceful, out-there campground that we truly enjoy. Tuttle Creek is located wonderfully on a long, sweeping escarpment that runs from the Sierra Nevada mountains to Owens Valley, giving simply gorgeous 360-degree views from just about every site including stunning Mt.Whitney right outside your RV window. Sites are basic dirt clearings with no hookups and quite a bit of variation in levelness, but there’s a good selection of large sites, lots of separation between campers and very nice “sitting areas”. There are 2 major loops (North and South) separated by the creek which was chock-full of fish while we were there. The area has pit toilets, potable water and dump station ($5 fee). Access is good on a paved road from Lone Pine. The only negative is 4-5 rather annoying (large) slanted speed-bumps installed on the road into the campground. Within the campground dirt roads are dusty and a bit bumpy, but wide and firm enough for any sized rig. Lots and lots to see and do in the surrounding area. Overall the views were fabulous, the location perfect, the price right and the experience most relaxing. We would definitely stay here again!

Extra Info:  Full (excellent) 3G Verizon signal. Sites cost $5/night no hookups, all first-come-first-serve. 85 total sites. Potable water and on-site dump station ($5 fee).

Extra, Extra Info – BOONDOCKING? There is actually lots of really easy and accessible free boondocking within the Alabama Hills just west of town before you get to Tuttle Creek Campground. Simply take the Whitney Portal Road out of town until you hit the paved “Movie Flats” road on the right. Boondocking is allowed anywhere on the dirt roads around this area. You can just pull-off Movie Flats for an easy site or take one of the roads further in for a more adventurous site within the rocks. Check out my review of the area for more info.

Typical back-in site (#80 near bottom of South Loop)

Another site view. This was rather more uneven #23 at the very top of the North loop.

Another site view (#32 in middle-top of South Loop)

View of our site in middle-bottom of South loop (#63)

View of our sites from the back. Alex and Ellen are in site #62 on left. We’re in site #63 on right.

View from bottom of South Loop looking towards the mountains. Site #64 on left with our rig in #63 behind it. Facilities on right.

View of very bottom of South loop (pull-through site #72 in front, RV in site #73 behind)

View down the road towards the entrance of North loop (RV in site #9 on right with #8 visible behind it)

View in opposite direction along the same road (RV in site# 9 on left)

The view from our rig into the owens valley (site #63)

Typical “sitting area”

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19 Responses to BLM Campground Review – Tuttle Creek, Lone Pine, CA

  1. We spent nearly a week at the Tuttle campground last March. Totally loved the whole area. I did look up about half a dozen of the movie sites there…….IN SEARCH OF RANDOLPH SCOTT’S CAMPFIRE http://thebayfieldbunch.com/2011/03/in-search-of-randolph-scotts-campfire54.html Also did the Cowboy Museum you guys did as well plus the Manzanar Japenese WW2 Internmant Camp. Just a super great area for sure:))

    • libertatemamo says:

      THANKS so much for reminding me of that blog post! What a great way to explore the hills and record some of that history!
      I’ve updated my Lone Pine blog post to include a link to your photo essay on it!
      Nina

  2. Laurie says:

    Aren’t the views from there fantastic? Especially down to the Owens Valley just before sunrise. I was surprised and glad to read about the Verizon signal – they must have a new tower around there somewhere.

    Last time we pulled into Tuttle (a couple of years ago, I think), the entire campground was full, absolutely jammed. A marathon – Lone Pine’s Wild, Wild West Run. Tents and people everywhere. Lone Pine can be a lively little place. We love it.

    And thanks for the link to our site in the Alabama Hills!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yeah, the views are glorious. Some of the best we’ve seen so far this year.
      Hard to imagine that campground full (it was practically empty while we were there), but it must have been a blast to be there during the Run event!
      Nina

  3. That looks so great my chest hurts.

  4. gumo says:

    Thanks for your wonderful reviews and photos. You are building a great data base for future RV travelers, and that hopefully includes ME! Thanks.

  5. […] Tuttle Creek, Lone Pine, CA -> Sweeping 360-degree views of the Mt.Whitney and the Owens Valley, all for only $5/night. Wow! […]

  6. gina says:

    the host was aggressive and mean for no reason, wont go back

    • libertatemamo says:

      Sorry to hear that. Sometimes a bad campground host can ruin an otherwise great experience. We loved this campground (location, view, everything), but didn’t have to deal with a bad host.
      Nina

  7. Debby & Bill says:

    First off, thanks so much for all of your fabulous reviews! We just stopped for the night but now we have to come back for a couple of weeks. Just beautiful area and appreciate the info about the sites (we picked a good one in the south area) and the verizon signal. They now have a nice dump station and potable water!

    • libertatemamo says:

      So happy the review was helpful and thanks so much for the update on the water and dump situation. That’s a big upgrade for the place.
      Nina

  8. Thank you so much for the great review. I live in California and hope to stay at is campground someday. :)

  9. […] the most filmed areas in the US. We scoped out this area last year while we were staying at nearby Tuttle Creek and immediately decided to stay here if we came back. With its fascinating clusters of rocks and […]

  10. […] about the area on other people’s blogs and scoped it out last year while staying at nearby Tuttle Creek. Nearest Dump/Water: Nearest dump/water at Tuttle Creek BLM just ~1 mile away. $5 […]

  11. Kit says:

    Hi Nina, were you at the Alabama hills in November? What is your fav time of year to explore that area. I love the view of Mt. Whitney and the access to Whitney Portal area nearby. I’m looking to travel to California via some of your suggested boon docking. Thanks so much for all you write and travel. Fondly, Kit

  12. […] lovely little $5/night BLM campground is one of our all-time favs in the area. It sits on a long escarpment bounded by magnificent […]

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