Location: Near Crowley Lake, Ca.
Sites: 108 RV sites, 25 tent only sites
Nightly Fee: $25.00
Amenities: Flush toilets, drinking water, each site… picnic table, fire pit and bear box
Topography: Mountainous, sits along Rock Creek, nicely shaded by tall pines in many areas
Miles One-Way: 291
Directions: From So Cal area I-15 north US-395 north to Rock Creek Rd west approximately 7 miles to East Fork Campground entrance on the left
Website: East Fork Campground on Rock Creek
This year our trip up to one of our favorite Rock Creek campgrounds in California was a little bit different with so much excess snow runoff. As soon as one encounters Rock Creek flowing into French Camp Campground on your right as you start up the steep incline, it was obvious that there was much more water coming down from Rock Creek Lake than we had ever seen before.
By the time we located the site that we had reserved earlier in the year, we knew that fishing was going to be a bit different than all the years in the past… this year’s fishing was going to be a challenge!
But along with so much water comes incredible beauty in vibrant green foliage that normally is dried brush. The meadows were all green with thriving white flowers and lush grass.
Again this year, the bears were with us almost every night but we never saw them. This year it seems like they would wait until the last camper was fast asleep before they would make their rounds inspecting boxes and ice chests left outside for their curious inquiries.
Once in a while during the day we would hear a horn or two going off up the hill but could never catch sight of Mom or cub wondering through East Fork Campground.
One of the downsides this year was having quite a bit more rain than we normally do. Most days turned to cloudy skies by 1pm to 2pm and many of those day would produce precipitation, sometimes off and on into the early morning hours.
So we did wind up getting a movie in every day and once in a while would get creative and come up with another source of entertainment!
This would make it rough on guys like me that normally prepare the campfire several hours before the evening torch-off and I finally started putting a tarp over the firepit after building the firepit the way I liked.
This year’s eateries were a disappointment coupled with a few nice new discoveries. Last year we mentioned Holy Smoke BBQ. This year we were highly disappointed. The owner Patty wasn’t around and couldn’t be contacted but the young crew operating this restaurant were leaving the doors open and flies were everywhere inside and outside.
We couldn’t even sit down without flies landing in our food for their own little party. The Tri-Tip and Brisket were both very dry and flavorless to boot. But I do have to say that their Mac and Cheese was absolutely amazing!
Another restaurant that really disappointed us this year was the cafe at Tom’s Place Resort. The portions here are always awesome, especially their Country Fried Steak. But as with Holy Smoke BBQ, their food this year was dry and mundane.
However we did finally stop in at Rock Creek Lakes Resort for a couple of pieces of cobbler, one Mixed Berry and one Strawberry Rhubarb. They were both just out of this world which led us to come back a day or two later to pick up a pound of Brisket for dinner a few hours later.
This is one little grill that you absolutely have to check out next time you’re up on Rock Creek Rd looking for a Rock Creek resort in Bishop, Ca.
The other pleasant surprise in Bishop was Aaron Schat’s Roadhouse where all of the food that we ordered was vibrant in flavor and plentiful on the plate. Their beer-battered fries were just crazy good and their selection of food was well put together. They do have a bit of the sport’s bar feel with a lot of big screens up on the walls in the bar area. Their prices are definitely reasonable.
Like we previously mentioned, fishing this year was really tough. Even though you could see the trout occasionally, they just weren’t bitin’ and most of them were going deep under all the white water that started way up past Pine Grove Campground and ran most of the way down to French Camp Campground.
We did find a few spots of slower water but the trout simply were not biting and my puppy got to go swimming for the first time in her life.
Patty did catch one decent trout on the Buoyant T102 but most of hers were on salmon eggs where I had the best luck with salmon eggs and florescent orange Power Bait.
Even when the trout stock trucks came through and planted trout the trout would disperse as soon as they got over their shock, almost never to be seen again! We did see others with a few trout here and there but nothing much over 11″ or 12″.
All in all, the fishing this year was lousy but the relaxation was outstanding! We sure do hope to see ya’ up there next year! For more information please visit the website at East Fork Campground.
By R.C. Stude