We started going to Hot Creek, near Mammoth Lakes over 40 years ago. At that time we parked a VW camper at the top of the canyon and stayed there for several days. We walked down to the creek and stayed in the water, in and out all day long and night time too. There was nothing there, you had to take everything with you and you could use the two pit toilets in the parking area.
Along came Sunset Magazine revealing this hidden gem and all hell broke loose. Drunken people came, leaving empty gallon bottle from wine all over the place and it became a pig sty.
Then the forest service began a crackdown, not allowing camping on the rim. The nearest campground is at Convict Lake. Look it up on the internet if you want to camp or RV at the place.
Today Hot Creek is full of redwood catwalks and signs, passing over the creek and the hot pools. The water can be scalding and you can easily be hurt or burned going in to it. You can still go into the creek but have to pick your spot carefully and avoid alcohol consumption for your own safety. Its beautiful scenery there is no other place around in California like it. again, you must take everything with you if you are going to spend the day there. There are no stores or places to get water. Its a high desert plateau, so prepare accordingly. Of course you can go there on a short visit just off highway 395, and then rush to Mammoth in time for the cocktail hour if that suits you. Enjoy nature.
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