Convict Lake Campground #41 Photos by Patrick Wilkes

If you’re like me, you like camping in sites either surrounded by vegetation or far enough away from your neighbors that you can’t hear them snoring at night.  You may laugh, but when I camped at Death Valley several years ago I could hear the guy next to me producing a nocturnal sawmill all night long.

To stop this from happening again, my husband and I looked at virtually every campsite in National Forest Service campgrounds in the Mammoth Lakes area (not to mention every campsite in the Eastern Sierra).for our Eastern Sierra And Death Valley Camping With Privacy book.  So we know all the Mammoth Lakes camping hot spots. In this blog post, I’ll show you which campgrounds in the Mammoth Lakes area have the largest selection of campsites with the most privacy. And I’ll describe one idyllic campsite in each campground.

Twin Lakes Campground

Twin Lakes

View from Twin Lakes Campground

Not to be confused with the Twin Lakes area near Bridgeport, California, Twin Lakes Campground at Mammoth Lakes is divided into two sections. The upper section closest to the entrance is in a grove of lodgepole pines with no understory. It lacks privacy, with spaces jammed together. To reach the really good spaces in the lower section of the campground, drive across a bridge that crosses a stream between the two peaceful, grassy lakes. Impressive cliffs tower over one of the lakes. The spaces in the lower section of the campground are under the lodgepole pines (less private) or in the willows (more private). Although there is a lot of commotion in some parts of the lower campground,  you can carve out your slice of serenity here, in one of the more private spots.

One Of Our Favorite Campsites at Twin Lakes

Twin Lakes Space #64 #64 Privacy Rating: A+ Reservable? Yes. Visit for reservations. A beautiful spot, completely surrounded by willows, pines, and greenery. The only neighbor in sight is across the road, but thanks to the abundant vegetation surrounding #64 and the fact your neighbor across the street is far away, it feels like you’re in a world all your own here. As a bonus, you have a view of a mountain ablaze with rust-colored rock.

Which Other Campsites In Twin Lakes Campground Have The Most Privacy? Read Our Book Eastern Sierra And Death Valley Camping With Privacy To Find Out.

Sherwin Creek Campground

A large campground spread out under the Jeffrey pines and aspens with Sherwin Creek running alongside it, Sherwin Creek Campground is a combination of quiet camp spaces and sites that are in the middle of a hub of activity. A lot of the campsites here are really close together.  However, in certain parts of the campground there is more understory intervening between campsites. In other parts, the understory is lacking. You can find a campsite with privacy here, but you have to really look for them.

One Of Our Favorite Campsites at Sherwin Creek Campground

#22 Privacy Rating: A+ Reservable? Yes. Visit for reservations. A spacious site on a forested cul de sac, #22 sits by itself with no neighbors visible on any side. The site is sandwiched between two hills. Behind, pine trees are visible as far as you can see. The spot also boasts plenty of shade. Definitely one of the best campsites in the campground.

Which Other Campsites In Sherwin Creek Campground Have The Most Privacy? Read Our Book Eastern Sierra And Death Valley Camping With Privacy To Find Out.

Coldwater Creek Campground

Squeezed between Mammoth Creek and Coldwater Creek in a lodgepole pine forest, this campground has only a smattering of understory. There are a lot of sites here that are closer to the campground road than we like to see. Even so, many of the campsites are well-spaced from each other. We found some campsites here we really liked.

One Of Our Favorite Campsites at Coldwater Creek Campground

Coldwater Creek Campground #29 #29 Privacy Rating: A+ Reservable? Yes. Visit for reservations To reach this shady site under the conifers, you’ll trek up a small hill, where the picnic table and fire pit are perched above the campground road. There are no neighbors to the immediate left or behind and the neighbor to the right is completely out of view behind a hill. #30 is right across the street, but both #29 and #30 are back from the road, so your across-the-street neighbor isn’t breathing down your neck. You also have a filtered view of mountains through the trees.

Which Other Campsites In Coldwater Creek Campground Are The Most Peaceful And Private? Read Our Book To Find Out.

Convict Lake Campground

Convict Lake

Convict Lake

Convict Lake Campground is a ten-minute drive from Mammoth Lakes. If you have a lot of activities planned in the Mammoth Lakes Basin it’s not as convenient as actually staying in one of the campgrounds in the basin itself. But it has a huge selection of campsites with privacy. This really is Mammoth Lakes camping at its best. Sunken down below Convict Lake Road, Convict Lake Campground has a large selection of private spaces nudged in between the willows and aspens. Convict Creek meanders  past some of the campsites. Other spaces sit out in the sagebrush. Although you can’t see Convict Lake from the campground, many campsites have views of 11,812-foot Laurel Mountain, with its swirls of multicolored rock, and 12,268-foot Mount Morrison, with its ancient dolomite and marble slopes. From Convict Lake Road, looking down into the campground, I would never have guessed there would be so many spaces with privacy here.

One Of Our Favorite Campsites at Convict Lake Campground

Convict Lake Campground #16 #16 Privacy Rating: A- Reservable? No. First-come, first-served. Aspens gather around the picnic table, tent pad, and fire pit, shading the site and making it feel as if you’re sitting in an outdoor room. The space to the right is close to #16’s driveway, but a thick forest of willows hides about 80 or 90 percent of the view. Plus, your parked vehicle will help obscure your neighbor from sight. You can also see site #14 to the left, but the aspen forest in between does a good job of cancelling out much of the view. Behind the campsite, aspens merge with the meadow. You can see the picnic table from the campground road, but the table’s location in the aspens means you won’t feel overly exposed.

Which Other Campsites In Convict Lake Campground Have The Most Elbowroom? Read Our Book Eastern Sierra And Death Valley Camping With Privacy To Find Out.

The Best Mammoth Lakes Camping

These four campgrounds have the largest selection of private campsites in the Mammoth Lakes area. Lake George Campground does have one site with privacy. So does Old Shady Rest. But Lower Twin Lakes, Sherwin Creek, Coldwater Creek, and Convict Lake Campgrounds all boast the greatest number of Mammoth Lakes camping sites that don’t bump right up against their neighbor. Or sites that are surrounded by vegetation. There are also some sweet sites in some of the campgrounds near Devil’s Postpile National Monument, near Mammoth Lakes. We show you exactly which campsites in these campgrounds are the most private in Eastern Sierra And Death Valley Camping With Privacy: Your Guide To The Most Private Campsites Near Mammoth Lakes, Tuolumne Meadows, Death Valley, And Beyond.

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