Snow Camping Spots

General discussion on winter camping.
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Ben
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:23 am
Location: Fontana, CA

Snow Camping Spots

Post by Ben » Thu Aug 14, 2008 4:12 pm

Does anybody know good snow camping spots in Southern California? I am interested in the San Bernardino Mountains near Running Springs or Big Bear.

Ben
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:23 am
Location: Fontana, CA

Re: Snow Camping Spots

Post by Ben » Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:12 pm

Here are a few notes on the Southern California spots I have winter camped. They are mostly in the Wrightwood area. Like I said in a post before, I would like to learn more about the Running Springs and Big Bear areas.

Table Mountain: beautiful, above 7,000', campground bathrooms usually left unlocked in winter. Have winter camped here many times in years past. Problem - since the forest service leased the old Ski Sunrise resort to Mountain High Ski, they think they own the place. Where Ski Sunrise had 2/3 the parking lot and the public could use 1/3, now Mtn High gets the whole lot. They harass everyone who goes up there. I spoke with a ranger this winter and he said he has no problem with people camping in the Table Mountain camp ground, but we need to park somewhere on the road.

AppleTree Campground on Big Pines Hwy: I hate this place! This is where they will always tell you to camp if you call the rangers. It is right off the hwy and sounds like you are camping next to a freeway when the skiiers head to the resorts by the thousands. Then the campground gets overrun by sledders. Yea, everyone will be walking right through your camp and sleds will be crashing into your stuff. The trees are too dense so some sledder always hits one and gets seriously injured. And the camp is only at 6,000' which is just low enough to get rained on in some storms making the snow bad. For good conditions in SoCal you seem to have to stay above 7K.

Grassy Hollow Picnic Area: My new favorite, but it is day use only. No crowds, no traffic, above 7K, restrooms open, beautiful. Great for taking family for day play, but cannot camp here.

Jackson Flats: Never camped here, but ranger said good spot. Must hike 2 miles from Grassy Hollow on gated road – mostly level. Supposedly all the benefits of Grassy Hollow with even more seclusion, but must hike or ski in.

Mt Baldy - Manker Flats Campground: Spoty. at only 5K good if get cold storm, but usually not deep enough for igloos. Crowded. Good alternative if willing to hike 2 miles up to Baldy Notch area.

Here is a link to a map with these areas on it:
http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/angeles/maps/br ... _pines.pdf

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Igloo Ed
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Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:44 pm
Location: Lyons, Colorado
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Re: Snow Camping Spots

Post by Igloo Ed » Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:46 pm

I'm not familiar with the area but love cruising Google Earth, they seem to like to use winter, or at least some snow, pictures in mountainous areas.
The biggest problem I have is knowing what roads are open and what the regulations are.
But, if Hwy #2 is open. there's a spot that might work for you on a ridge that is half way between Mount Baden Powell and Mount Burnham. The spot is strait north of Mount Burnham. Here's a google picture of it:
Hwy2.jpg
I'd think the hollow right behind the #2 on the highway.
But then, I bet that road ain't open and I just wasted my time. Ah well, GE is fun.

Ben
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:23 am
Location: Fontana, CA

Re: Snow Camping Spots

Post by Ben » Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:34 am

Ed, you are right about the road being closed, but by no means wasted your time. That image is impressive. I had better get up on Google Earth so I can do that kind of research.

They closed hwy 2 two years ago probably forever - year round! The road washed out during heavy rains and no $$$ to fix. It is closed at Vincent Gap near the base of Mt Baden Powell (I love the name of that mountain). Of course, this could play to our advantage if I snow shoed or skied in. Most of my igloo camping in SoCal has been with scouts or family so I have looked for car-accessible places.

With that Google Earth I know I can find more good spots. There are so many mountain areas I have not explored.

Ben

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Igloo Ed
Posts: 335
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:44 pm
Location: Lyons, Colorado
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Re: Snow Camping Spots

Post by Igloo Ed » Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:42 pm

Ben wrote:Ed, you are right about the road being closed, but by no means wasted your time. That image is impressive. I had better get up on Google Earth so I can do that kind of research.

They closed hwy 2 two years ago probably forever - year round! The road washed out during heavy rains and no $$$ to fix. It is closed at Vincent Gap near the base of Mt Baden Powell (I love the name of that mountain). Of course, this could play to our advantage if I snow shoed or skied in. Most of my igloo camping in SoCal has been with scouts or family so I have looked for car-accessible places.

With that Google Earth I know I can find more good spots. There are so many mountain areas I have not explored.

Ben
When I want to do a trip someplace I've never been, I first get out the national road map and look for the National Forests and Wilderness areas. I then go to Goggle Earth and look the different areas over and pick one I want to go to. I then figure out just what part of the area I will go to and then buy the USGS topographical maps. I then use the maps in conjunction with GE to finish studying the area.
For me, I like going to places no one else goes to resulting in guide books and web pages not having any information for me.
It makes it more fun for me that way.

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