BLM Campground Review – Tuttle Creek, Lone Pine, CA
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 Nov 2014
- 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.
- 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 installed as of 2012.
- 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.
- 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. 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 including the amazing Alabama Hills. 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) LTE Verizon and 4G ATT signal. Sites cost $5/night no hookups, all first-come-first-serve. 85 total sites. Potable water and on-site dump station.
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.