Saturday, April 20, 2013

Bass Lake Camping

Bass Lake is a very popular outdoor recreation area in Gold Country California. Lake Camping, due mainly to the fact that it is next to Yosemite National Park's south entrance, Hwy 41. Bass Lake has good fishing, boating, plenty campgrounds & this pine forested lake is close to the Central Valley, north of Fresno, CA.

aka - Crane Valley Reservoir 
Crane Valley Dam

Bass Lake offers outdoor recreation: marinas, fishing, permits, public boat launches, boat rentals, kayak rentals, jet ski rentals, horseback rides, horseback and hiking trails. Residential cabins, homes and condo neighborhoods surround the lake on all sides.

There are numerous Sequoia Groves tucked way back near Yosemite, behind Bass Lake in Sierra National Forest. Miles and miles of forest roads to explore will lead to secluded, primitive camp sites (free), small campgrounds, creek fishing, lake fishing and recreation, higher elevations, backpacker trailheads, hiking trails, kayaking creeks and rock climbing.

Scenic and secluded Nelder Grove is a great gem of a small camp ground, dirt road access of course.  Further back in the dense forest and deep in the mountains is a wonderful loop route - when it's not closed for winter conditions. Beasore Road #7 connecting to Minarets Road #81 make an excellent weekend of adventure for those who like winding one lanes roads. RVs and motorhomes are not permitted on certain portions on the road, so check w/ rangers before venturing too far back with a large vehicle. Boats and trailers, big dualie trucks, and smaller RVs are quite  common on the paved route between Mammoth Poole and the small community of North Fork, CA. Certain sections of this back-behind-bass-lake region is closed off to through traffic annually in Spring for fawning season, so deer can do there thing in peace and quiet. Make sure to contact local rangers at North Fork for up-to-date road conditions and forest restrictions currently in place.

Primitive camp sites can be found on flowing creeks, scenic meadows, hiking trails and fresh air. On this backcountry route is the small ranger town of North Fork, Mammoth Pool Reservoir,  Beasore Creek, Chiquito Creek, Clover Meadows, Granite Creek Campground, Jackass Lakes trailhead, Jackass Meadows and Ansel Adams Wilderness.

Sierra National Forest is the land surrounding Bass Lake & these hidden areas found on Total Escape, are perfect for camping for free outside Yosemite NP. Mountain bike trails, creeks, meadows and numerous reservoirs. Several hiking and backpacking trailheads lead to Yosemite Park or into higher elevations in Ansel Adams Wilderness.

None of campgrounds at Bass Lake are lakeside, but located close to the lake within walking distance. Large, developed National Forest campgrounds w/ fees, or private RV parks & cabin rentals. The free camp sites are found on the dirt back roads, so take a few good maps so you can cross reference your perfect, secluded, primitive camp site. Real maps, hard copies for backup!

USDA Sierra National Forest Map
Tom Harrison Sierra Forest Map

BASS LAKE Campgrounds

Redinger Lake, South of Yosemite NP
Chilkoot Campground
Kelty Meadow
Lupine Campground
Nelder Grove
Soquel Campground
Spring Cove
Wishon Campground

nearby towns:

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