Catch up on the series!
On our second full day in Mammoth, we loaded up our camping gear and headed out to the forest for some camping!
We had all the gear for backpacking, but since some of it was borrowed and not that familiar, we decided that our first camping experience in mammoth (which turned out to be our only camping experience in Mammoth, but not because it was awful or anything) would be campsite-camping rather than "lets-hike-into-the-random-forest-and-carry-everything-on-our-backs-and-poop-in-the-woods" kind of camping. We wanted to ease ourselves into it, so to speak. Baby-steps camping.
We decided to camp in the National Forest campgrounds, since there was a lot we wanted to see in that area. Campsites are first-come-first-served (they let you know at the entrance to the park if there is anything available), and you pay $10 bucks to get into the park. I think that 10 bucks is good for two weeks, but it may last longer if you're there longer. Campsites pretty much everywhere within the park are 20 bucks a night.
We chose to set up camp in a place called Red's Meadow since it was pretty central to the places within the park we wanted to see. Our campsite was awesome in the fact that there was a creek running right behind the tent (so we could fill our water bottles right there with our handy-dandy filter pump we'd borrowed from a coworker of Tim's). It was also really secluded from other campers, which is just the kind of camping we enjoy: creature comforts without the hassle of loud and drunk people.
Our awesome little stream
After setting up camp, we did some general exploring of the area around us. First, we walked to Sotcher Lake, the trailhead of which was less than a mile from our campsite.