Recreational Uses of LADWP Eastern Sierra Land

Two men fishing at a stream

The Eastern Sierra is truly a recreation paradise, from the tall mountain peaks laced with lakes and streams, to the valley floors. Visitors and residents of this beautiful area will find much to enjoy. Most of the land is owned and administered by the United States Forest Service and the United States Bureau of Land Management.

The City of Los Angeles owns approximately 250,000 acres in Inyo County and 60,000 acres in Mono County. Much of the Owens Valley floor is comprised of LADWP land. About 75% of LADWP-owned land in Inyo and Mono Counties is open to the public for such uses as fishing, hiking, hunting, nature studies, photography, painting, and other daytime recreational uses.

    Campgrounds on LADWP Land

    two men on a skiff boat on a lake

    If you like camping, you’re sure to enjoy the many campgrounds on LADWP land in the Eastern Sierra. These campgrounds provide hundreds of spaces for Eastern Sierra visitors and all are located on or near streams and lakes, offering fantastic fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing, and many other recreational opportunities. LADWP leases the campgrounds sites to Inyo County or Mono County for a nominal administrative fee. The counties develop, maintain, and operate the campgrounds, except where noted.

    Baker Creek Campground

    A half mile north of Big Pine and west on Baker Creek Rd. is Baker Creek Campground, with 70 spaces, rest rooms, drinking water, tables, and grills. Baker Creek tumbles through the campground.

    Brown’s Owens River Campground

    Located on the Upper Owens River just north of Crowley Lake, this campground features hot showers, a snack bar and store, and excellent fishing! 25 miles north of Bishop, turn north from Highway 395 onto Benton Crossing Road It's five miles to Benton Crossing and the campground. For reservations and information, call 760-872-0216.

    Brown’s Schober Lane Campground

    A museum, playground, restaurant, store, water, and showers highlight Brown’s Schober Lane Campground, one mile south of Bishop on Hwy 395. Located next to the Bishop Golf Course, shade trees beautify each of the campground’s 100 spaces. Call 760-873-8522 for reservations.

    Camp High Sierra

    Owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, Camp High Sierra offers 40 public camping spaces and hot showers. The camp is nestled in the tall pines off Lake Mary Road in the Town of Mammoth Lakes, on the way up to the Mammoth Lakes Basin. For information, call 760-934-2368 during the summer.

    Crowley Lake South Landing Campground

    Man fishing at lakes edge

    Crowley Lake Fish Camp, lessees of Crowley Lake from the LADWP, operates a campground at South Landing. Launch your boat, or rent one, and set up camp just steps away. For reservations, call 760-648-1189.

    Diaz Lake Campground

    Located on the west shore of Diaz Lake at the base of the Alabama Hills one mile south of Lone Pine, Diaz Lake Campground hosts visitors with 200 tree-covered sites with grills, tables, drinking water, picnic and rest room facilities. Fishing, water-skiing, and swimming in Diaz Lake make the visit even more enjoyable. There is also a boat launch ramp and concession stand. Camping reservations are recommended and can be made two weeks in advance by calling 760-876-5656.

    Glacier View Campground

    Just north of Big Pine at the intersection of Highway 395 and Highway 168, which leads to the bristlecone pines, is Glacier View Campground, with 40 spaces, rest rooms, fresh drinking water, tables, and grills.

    Independence Creek Campground

    West of the Inyo County seat of Independence, located two miles out of Market Street, which turns into Onion Valley Road, is Independence Creek Campground with 25 spaces. The fishing on Independence Creek, which winds through the campground, is outstanding.

    Millpond Recreation Area and Campground

    Millpond is a great family camping and recreation area. It features a 100-space campground with water and restrooms, set among trees and a meandering creek, picnic areas, softball fields, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, archery area, and a pond. Take Highway 395 six miles north of Bishop, turn south on Ed Powers Road., then west on Sawmill Road. 760-872-6911.

    Pleasant Valley Campground

    Straddling the Wild Trout Fishing Area of Middle Owens River just below Pleasant Valley Reservoir, this 200-space campground offers some of the best trout fishing in the state! Trout fishing on Pleasant Valley Reservoir and the Owens River is open all year long. Turn north on Pleasant Valley Road seven miles northwest of Bishop on Highway 395.

    Portuguese Joe Campground

    View of wetlands with Eastern Sierra's in the background

    A half-mile drive up Whitney Portal Road from Lone Pine leads to Portuguese Joe Campground. This 15-space facility has water, and is just minutes from many of the striking Alabama Hills locations where more than 200 movies have been made. A small creek meanders through the tree-lined camp spaces.

    Taboose Creek Campground

    14 miles north of Independence and west on Taboose Creek Road is Taboose Creek Campground with 55 spaces. Taboose Creek flows through the campground.

    Tinemaha Campground

    19 miles north of Independence and west on Fish Springs Road is Tinemaha Campground with 55 spaces. Some of the best fishing in the area can be found on Tinemaha Creek, which winds through the campground.

    Image of Golf course, Golfer standing next to golf cart, and another golfer preparing for a swing, water edge in foreground

    Golf Courses and Parks on LADWP Land

    LADWP provides land at nominal lease fees for two public golf courses in the Eastern Sierra. Both courses offer spectacular outdoor scenery and challenging play.

    Bishop Golf Course

    Rated by players as one of the finest and most beautiful 18-hole championship courses anywhere, Bishop Golf Course tests golfers of all levels with water on all but two holes. Lush, green, tree-lined fairways and generous greens, coupled with spectacular mountain scenery, make a round on Bishop Golf Course a memorable outing. Located one mile south of Bishop on the west side of Highway 395. 760-873-5828.

    Mt. Whitney Golf Course

    Located in beautiful Lone Pine, Mt. Whitney Golf Course players enjoy breathtaking views of the highest peak in the continental United States for which the course in named. Mt. Whitney’s nine holes boast tree-lined fairways and quick greens that call for precision ball placement and putting. Located two miles south of the town of Lone Pine on the west side of Highway 395. 760-876-5795.


    Image of entrance to Whitney Golf Club

    LADWP provides land at nominal lease fees for several parks in the Owens Valley. These include Lone Pine Park, Dehy Park in Independence, Mendenhall Park in Big Pine, Bishop City Park and Izaak Walton Park in Bishop, and Mono County Park at Mono Lake. LADWP also provided the land and assisted with the construction of the Lone Pine Sports Complex.

    Museums and Visitor Centers on LADWP Land

    Eastern California Museum

    Four museum patrons standing next to and looking at a wooden stage wagon

    The Eastern California Museum is located on LADWP land in Independence that is provided at a nominal lease fee. This unique museum features exhibits on Owens Valley pioneer days, the railroad, 19th-century mining operations, construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, Manzanar Relocation Camp, and one of the finest collection of Paiute and Shoshone artifacts in the west. Also displayed are antique wagons, tractors, mining tools, a Paiute dwelling and a pioneer town. 760-878-2258.

    Interagency Visitor Center

    Located on LADWP land one mile south of Lone Pine, the Interagency Visitor Center is a cooperative venture between the LADWP, United States Forest Service, United States Bureau of Land Management, United Sates National Park Service, California Department of Fish and Game, Caltrans, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and Inyo and Mono Counties. The center features exhibits, maps, brochures, books about the Eastern Sierra, and knowledgeable staff members, all to help visitors learn about the area. 760-876-6222.

    LADWP Land Use Regulations

    Overnight Camping

    Image of river flowing, with mountain in the background

    To protect against wildfires, and for sanitation purposes, overnight camping is allowed only in designated campgrounds where fire rings or barbecues, trash disposal facilities, and rest rooms are provided. There are 13 campgrounds located on LADWP land in the Eastern Sierra. There are also many other campgrounds located on non-LADWP lands in both counties.


    Wild fires, often the result of careless campfires, are a major concern due to the possible damage to the environment and the threat to local communities. Consequently, campfires are allowed in designated campgrounds only, and only in fire rings or barbecues provided. As in any location, campfires should never be left unattended and should be extinguished before leaving the campsite.

    Off-Road Vehicles

    Use of LADWP land for off-road vehicles is limited to existing roads and trails, and away from residential areas. Extra caution should be taken when using off-road vehicles in areas where there is livestock.


    The Eastern Sierra is known as an angler’s paradise. Annually, thousands of people fish the many lakes and streams in the area. Fishing on LADWP property is open to the public except where posted. Some favorite areas are Crowley Lake Reservoir, Pleasant Valley Reservoir, the Owens River, Bishop Creek, Lone Pine Creek, and Diaz Lake. All fishing is subject to the regulations of the State of California, Department of Fish and Game. Care should be taken to protect the lakes, creeks, and streams.


    Photo of Man with dog standing left of a calm river

    Hunting on LADWP land is allowed except where posted. The various hunting seasons (deer, game birds, etc.) and applicable regulations come under the jurisdiction of the State of California, Department of Fish and Game. Firearms must not be discharged within 150 yards of occupied buildings, farm structures, livestock, public roads, or highways.

    Water Sports

    Several reservoirs and lakes along LADWP’s water system provide summer water sports activities such as swimming, boating, and water skiing. Grant Lake Reservoir, Crowley Lake, Klondike Lake, and Diaz Lake are some favorite spots. Camping is permitted at the designated campgrounds at Diaz Lake, Pleasant Valley, Crowley Lake at South Landing, and Benton Crossing. As in any area, safety precautions should be taken with any water sports.

    Recreation Additional Information

    Please Respect LADWP Leased Land

    Most of the land owned by the LADWP in the Eastern Sierra is leased to private individuals or organizations for agricultural and livestock purposes. To maintain public access, at least 75% of the LADWP’s leased land remains open for recreational uses. The public is requested to please respect lessees. Gates should be left as found (either open or closed) when entering ranch and range lands, and care taken not to impact operations. Some irrigated and cultivated lands may be closed to public use at the request of the lessee. All areas not open to the public are so posted.

    Camping Information Contacts

    Photo of person with their horse on the side of a stream with snow capped mountains in the background

    Inyo County: 760-873-5577
    Mono County: 760-932-7911

    Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management Contacts

    White Mountain Ranger Station: 760-873-2500
    Mammoth Ranger Station: 760-924-5500
    Mt. Whitney Ranger Station: 760-876-6200
    Mono Lake Ranger Station: 760-647-3000
    Bureau of Land Management: 760-872-4881

    Additional Contacts

    Big Pine Chamber of Commerce: 760-938-2114
    Bishop Chamber of Commerce: 760-873-8405
    Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce: 760-876-4444
    Mammoth Lakes Visitors Bureau: 760-934-2712
    Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Bishop Office: 760-872-1104