Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Crystal Lake Hike and Boondockers Welcome



Although we made a few trips to Mammoth Lakes for shopping while we were staying near Mono Lake, we hadn’t really explored the area. So what better way than to take a hike on one of the many trails. I had selected Crystal Lake, as it was short (a little over 3 miles), scenic, and didn’t sound too difficult.

We drove through town and onto Lake Mary Rd. This is a beautiful area, and Mammoth Lakes is a very tastefully done tourist town, with miles of paved bike trails and shuttle buses that stop at all of the Forest Service campgrounds and trail heads. We passed Lake Mary and came to Lake George, the start of the trail. On Labor Day there were lots of people around, but not as many on the trail as we were afraid of.

The trail starts at 9,000’ and gains over 600’ of elevation, which felt like more to us as we huffed and puffed our way up the steep switchbacks.

Sights on the way up: Crystal Crag at 10,403’.

Crystal Lake Trail

Views of Lake George and Lake Mary.


Our only wildlife, again.


And there’s Crystal Lake.


Guess this is why so many hikers had their dogs along. Nothing better than a dip in a cool alpine lake.



There is a trail that goes off from the lake trail which takes you to the Mammoth Crest, just another couple miles and a thousand more feet of climbing. We think it’s the ridge on the other side of the lake. Perhaps some other day…



Many of you may have heard about or already belong to Boondockers Welcome. This is an online organization that gives you the opportunity to boondock for a night or two on another members property. I remember reading about it last year on another blog (The Good Luck Duck, I think) but didn’t consider membership at the time as we were getting ready to spend 5 months workamping in Texas and I knew we wouldn’t be traveling.

I had completely forgotten about it until a few days ago when we received a special invitation from Marianne Edwards. Some of you may also know her from her blog frugal-rv-travel.com, and from the Frugal Shunpikers RV Boondocking Guides, of which she is the author. I have looked at her blog and also considered purchasing the guides, but that’s another one of those things I never got around to. Since she made us an offer we couldn’t refuse (a free years membership in Boondockers Welcome), I am posting this in case any readers would also be interested in joining.

I searched blogs for any mention of it and found several posts where people had either stayed on someone’s lot or had other RVers stay on their property. Everyone I read about praised the idea and said they met the nicest people by doing so.

It is something we are looking forward to trying out in our future travels, since we prefer not to stay at WalMart parking lots or truck stops. And it sounds like a good way to meet new RV friends on the road.

If anyone out there is already a member and has taken advantage of this, please leave a comment about your experience. We would like to hear about it.

And for anyone interested, if you use this coupon code: FORFOLLOWINGME , it will give you a 10% discount off the cost of a membership. Happy boondocking, and thanks, Marianne!



  1. The view of Lake George and Lake Mary is gorgeous.

    Your photos today are outstanding. What a gorgeous area!

  2. Beautiful lakes! Very nice hike!

    Thanks for sharing the Boondocking site. Always good information!