The time has come and gone to secure being Camp Hosts again for the most spectacular place ever: Lake George in Mammoth Lakes California.
We will not be Hosting this year but our dear friend Mona WILL be!
Lake George is NOT the same as other campsites in Mammoth.
I wanted to give you a few pieces of advice to ensure you have a VERY FUN AND RELAXING STAY.
- First Come, First Serve.
- Don’t bring an RV. They don’t fit and the campground was not paved for RV’s. Sites are graded for one tent. Max occupancy is enforced.
- You will MOST LIKELY experience BEARS. Be smart: put EVERYTHING in your bear box. Putting it in your car is not a bear box and they WILL open the door to get the food. They can actually lift the handle and open the door OR they can bash out your window. Either way, your car will not be left in good condition.
- DO NOT LEAVE FIRES SMOLDERING. You SHOULD have a bucket of water next to your camp site before you even START a fire. If you leave a fire smoldering you will have the privilege (which is what it is) of staying there revoked. The Camp Host is NOT an enforcer, it will be the Authorities on your case and they don’t mess around with this risky behavior.
- There are winds and the best sites to avoid them are #16 and #15.
- You get ONE CAR per camp space. Additional cars can be parked in the lot, no problem. You just can’t occupy another spot without paying for it. You get a Car Pass when you pay for your site. Be sure you post it on your rear view mirror.
- I have no idea what the camp fees are going to be this year (2018). Check the Mammoth Welcome Center to find out if the camp is open (it was delayed in 2017 and did not open until July 17th.
- Be nice to your Camp Host, she can accommodate most needs but the reality is she can only do SO MUCH.
- The worst days to try to get a camp site are Thursday,Friday, Saturday. The best days are Sunday (when everyone is leaving) or Monday.
- Checkout is NOON, don’t bug occupants for make “side deals”. You can take your sweet time packing up and leaving! Relax and ask anyone that bothers you to speak to the Camp Host. You paid for your stay and we want you to get every ounce of the experience.
- Check In is 2pm. You must PAY for the site and OCCUPY IT. You are not allowed to pay for sites and not actually camp there. Don’t ask the Camp Host to break the rule for you. If your site isn’t occupied with YOUR GEAR then we are obligated to give it to the next person ready to move in. This is a big issue: people believe they can reserve/save spaces but you are not allowed to do that.
- We do not have a Credit Card machine. Cash only. I forget if you are allowed to write a check (I don’t think you can).
- You can stay in a site 7 days MAX. In 2017 the rule was you had to vacate your site before you could come back. That means there may not be a site after you leave so plan ahead. There are Walk-Up sites in Lake Mary and Twin Lakes. Be NICE to all Camp Hosts if you want help finding things.
- Clean up your campsite when you leave. We understand that in the night you drop things and it’s tough to navigate around BUT in the morning when you are packing up you can definitely see your trash, fishing line and greasy messes left on the tables and bear boxes. DO NOT LEAVE A MESS, we are Hosts not your maid. Be a respectful guest and try to leave the place NICER than when you arrived.
- Do NOT come to Lake George to get high, drunk, fight or play loud music. Seriously. The Mammoth PD patrol often (every day) and will remove you. PLUS people go to Lake George to get AWAY from this stuff. Want to “party”? There are plenty of other camp grounds you can find.
- There are no showers at Lake George, only bathrooms with toilets and sinks. No electricity either. Oh, and the visitors to Lake George use the restrooms too (and mostly they keep it clean but they are also mostly guilty of leaving trash all over the place including fish guts).
- You are not allowed to clean your fish at the water spigots. OR YOUR BODY.
- There isn’t cell signal at the campsites. YAY!
- Closest showers are Lake Mary or in town.
- There is a small store at Lake Mary that has essentials (most of the time).
- We usually had firewood for sale, $7 a bundle. Bringing exact change helps of course. I think the grocery store sold it for less.
- Grocery shopping in Mammoth? READ YOUR RECEIPT if you shop at the only grocery store in town (big box). They overcharged me REPEATEDLY and it wasn’t until I’d been in there a lot of times complaining that it seems this behavior changed. I personally suspect they know people are only there for a few days and won’t take the time to fix the mistake. So BEFORE YOU LEAVE scan over your ticket and make sure it is exactly what it should be. If you see an error just go to the front desk and they will refund your money INSTANTLY when you tell them you were charged for items you did not have on the belt. I was told that this grocery store is #1 in the country for $$$ sales. They also are in the Top 5 of Shoplifters being caught.
- Before you get to Lake George (or any site) grab a map of the area if you plan to hike because there are no maps provided up here. You can get maps at the Welcome Center.
- Be nice to your neighbors, they are probably amazing people that you’d like to stay in touch with years to come.
- Be nice to your Camp Host! The pay is terrible and the hours are SUPPOSED to be 3 a day (that’s all we are paid for). We get woken up in the middle of the night for LOTS of reasons (none of them great), we get yelled at, people are disrespectful of the rules, WE HAVE TO CLEAN THE SHITTER! Give us a little kindness because it makes a difference and just feels nice.
- If you would like to be a Camp Host, check out the company that we worked for: California Land Management. The pay is terrible but you do get to park your “house” on site for no charge. As a Host we did have “Full Hook Up”. The pooper was a mascerator (poop puree system) and had to be pumped UPHILL to the restroom.
I sure wish we were able to be there for the 2018 Season FOR SURE.
Being a Camp Host was one of my most favorite jobs ever for two reasons: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION (we feel so lucky to have been chosen to run Lake George as well as Oh Ridge in June Lake) AND the incredible people we met on our journey.
Let me know if you have questions! And if you are reading this and were part of our 2017 Camp Season PLEASE send me an email so we can keep in touch! SaritaShoemaker@g m a i l.com (spaces added on purpose).
Check out our photos of our stay at Lake George – it was tough looking at those memories and not being sad that we aren’t going to have them again this year.
Larry McGee gave me some amazing bear coverage photos that I’ve included.
Maybe 2019 (fingers crossed).