Forest Service Cabins in Mammoth Lakes
One of the very unique property uses in Mammoth Lakes are the cabins located in the lakes basin of the Inyo National Forest. These cabins represent the truly rustic lifestyle for those wanting a retreat. There are several tracts in the Lakes basin, each within relatively close proximity to either Lake Mary, Lake Maime, Lake George or Twin Lakes. The Lake Mary Tract is an assemblage of cabins each having its own parcel and each subject to a permit/lease by the U.S . Forest Service.
Most of the leases are 10 years in length, with an effective automatic 10 year extension. Most leases are renewed to their owners, but on rare occasion the Forest Service may not re-grant a lease or may ask that a cabin be removed from its respective parcel. While this is rare, it does take place. A current permit fee is $3,051 per year, which is substantial increase over previous years and is currently undergoing much controversy between the cabin owners and the U.S. government.
Cabins are located at the lake or just a short walk to the shores. Lake Mary has been a prime fishing destination for generations and the set for many movies needing a gorgeous mountain backdrop. Aside from the cabins, there are very limited uses in the Lakes Basin. The Lake Mary Store and Marina offers some essential needs during the summer and early fall months as does the Pokonobe Lodge at the west side of the lake.
The cabins were built during different periods of the 1900’s , but I have found many were built during, or near, WWII. Most have relatively modest plumbing and heating and reflect the characteristics of a true cabin. 30 Lake Mary Loop is one of such cabins with exterior plumbing, views of the surrounding woods, and heating generated by the kitchen stove; heated by wood. Propane is available, but not currently plumbed to this specific cabin. The cabin is a member of the Crystal Crag Water and Development Association which also oversees the trash, water and other development concerns. Dues for the association are currently $120 with infrequent assessments for general maintenance or reserves. Many cabins, including 30 Lake Mary Loop have been under the same family ownership for decades.
Cold Water Creek passes through the backyard of this property and provides a tranquil babbling of water running over the underlying rocks. Also, the cabin is located near the Cold Water trailhead, an ideal access point for hikes to Duck Lake, Barney Lake, and many others. Historic mining camps can be found just a 10 minutes walk from the cabin.
Cabin owners in this area can use the cabins for a maximum of 9 months out of the year, and they may rent their properties for a maximum of 14 days per year. The cabins are subject to Covenants Conditions and Restrictions (CCR’s) that help to maintain the rustic appeal of the subdivision. Winter use is very limited due to heavy snowfall, but not impossible for the ambitious owner, but keep in mind you need to have the winter water use turned on as most water usage is shut off by October. If you are considering a beautiful and peaceful setting then perhaps the Lake Mary Forest Service Cabins are for you. Here is a video link to a 2 bedroom cabin with a loft at Lake Mary cabin
For more information on Forest Service cabins in the Lakes Basin, please contact Matthew Lehman at 760-934-1110 or email me at Matthew@MatthewLehmanRealEstate.com.