California, Camper Trips

Stanislaus National Forest

April 5-7, 2019

We took planning our inaugural pop up camper trip very seriously and wanted to ensure it was perfect. And Lumsden campground was a phenomenal find! We were able to pull up right next to the Toulumne River which provided soothing ambient noise for sleeping. The weather was perfect, albeit a bit chilly a night, but it was early April. Plus there were plenty of squirrels around for Henri to chase.

On the first night, there were maybe 3 other campsites that were occupied, one of which was our neighbor with a rooftop tent. He was camping solo so we invited him to have dinner with us, which was great cause he had the firewood and we had brats! We chatted the night away exchanging camping adventures. The next day, we were on our own as our neighbor had left for Yosemite early that morning. We took a nice walk over the check out South Fork Campground that accessible by crossing a concrete bridge (we found that campground empty).

Here is a video tour of the campsite (sorry for the vertical video, I have learned my lesson 🤦‍♀️):

Trip Logistics:

Once you turn onto Ferretti Road and then Forest Rt 1N10, be prepared for a bumpy 45 minute ride to the bottom of the ravine where Lumdsen Campground (and South Fork Campground is nearby crossing the bridge, also nice but not as close to the river). The drive is virtually impossible without 4WD, we do not recommend even trying it with 2 WD.

The campgrounds are small, each with about 10-12 campsites, that have a picnic table, a fire ring, and large metal bear box. Lumdsen and South Fork Campgrounds are free sites, so amenities are limited. There are vault toilets and that is it, they are not even lighted so bring a headlamp/flashlight to use them once the sun goes down. They were at least stocked with toilet paper when we went and nice and clean. There are not water spouts (but there is the river) or trash disposal on site. Strictly pack in and pack out. [And if you do use the river, like we did, for washing dishes, brushing your teeth, etc., please be sure that all the products you are using are biodegradable and earth-friendly.]

Hiking nearby include the Tuolumne River Canyon Trail and the Andresen Mine Trail. The trailhead for Touloumne River Canyon Trail is hard to miss, its about 3/4 of a mile up the road from the campground (see below). The trail was very overgrown, making it difficult to navigate, so after about a mile we turned back around. We did not check out Andresen Mine Trail.

We hope you get to enjoy Lumsden one day! It was a great find!

Until next time!

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