Hiking

Lakes Basin Map (110k)
Duck Pass Trail Area Map (91k)
Devils Postpile Area Map (144k)

There are a LOT of places to day hike and walk in the Mammoth area. Below are a few of the good ones. There are a lot more. Pick up one of the many good guide books for a complete rundown.

Hiking Mammoth
All hiking around here is done at high altitudes over 7500 feet or so. Take it easy if you aren't fit or altitude adjusted. Drink lots of water before the hike and take lots of water along. Be prepared for changeable weather. Summers are relatively dry here, but don't rule out the chance of a thundershower. More likely is the chance for wind or rapidly lowering temperatures — very uncomfortable to the unprepared and possibly even dangerous. Wear good hiking shoes and bring bug juice just in case.

Permits
Wilderness permits are not required for day use hiking. However, if you are traveling alone, it is always wise to let someone know where you are going.

Panorama Dome
An easy one-mile hike round trip. Head up Lake Mary Road just past the Twin Lakes turn off on the left. Park in the wide turn out space. The trail starts just past the art gallery building. Great view of the valley towards Crowley Lake. Good hike for kids.

Mammoth Mountain
Yes, you can walk up Mammoth. The back side. Start at Twin Lakes on the back side of the lake at the campgrounds. Look for the marked trail. You can also walk DOWN the trail. Take the gondola to the top and hike down Dragon's Back past the Hole-in-the-Wall to the Lakes Basin. Arrange to be picked up. Going up is strenuous, going down isn't much better. This is a great hike, though.

Crystal Lake and Mammoth Crest
Crystal Lake is a moderate three-mile round trip. 650' elevation gain. Very picturesque lunch spot. This is one of the more popular trails. Trail starts at the parking lot at Lake George on the left. Look for the marker. Near Crystal Lake is a fork in the trail that takes you on to the more strenuous Mammoth Crest Trail. About six miles round trip from the parking lot with 1600' elevation gain. Great views from the crest. Very nice classic Mammoth hike.

Please take a photo hike to Crystal Lake.

Emerald Lake and Sky Meadows
Easy 1.5 mile round trip to Emerald Lake and 4 miles round trip to Sky Meadows with a 900' elevation gain. Very scenic popular trail. Not as steep as some, but still uphill. Lots of vegetation along the way, following a small creek. Trail starts at the Coldwater trailhead up Lake Mary Road, left turn before Lake Mary to Coldwater campground. Park at the upper end of the camp in the day use parking area. Be sure to take the right trail, as the Duck Pass trail also starts here.

Rock Creek Lake
A great hike for the younger kids, and one of the most scenic around. Easy 4 miles to Long Lake, and about 8 miles to Morgan pass. At 10,275' elevation, the trailhead/parking lot is the highest around. But that means you have less uphill ahead of you. Very moderate grade trail passing some of the nicest meadows, lakes, and rugged peaks in the area. This is a very popular hike and you will probably always find lots of people here.

Please take a photo hike to Rock Creek Lake.

Duck Pass
Several nice lakes along this moderate 12 mile round trip adventure. A good destination is Duck Pass. Trailhead at Coldwater campground.

T.J. and Barrett Lakes
Easy 2 mile round trip. Good hike for kids. Trailhead starts at Lake George at the southernmost loop of the campground.

San Joaquin Ridge
Moderate 4 mile round trip. One of the most scenic around, but windy at times. Take HWY 203 past Mammoth Mountain to Minaret Summit. Park and start walking to the north up the ridge. In a hundred yards or so you will find a dirt road. The route follows this road along the ridge for about 2.5 miles. Then a trail goes all the way to the summit. This is a great hike — you feel like you are on the top of the world, with dramatic views all around towards Mammoth, Ritter and Banner, the Minarets, Mono Lake, and back towards Bishop. Yes, you can drive up the dirt road if you have a 4WD, but that wouldn't be as much fun.

Inyo Craters
Easy one mile round trip from the parking area. Take the scenic loop road to the Inyo Crater turn-off, drive the dirt road to the parking area. Nice hike to see one of nature's calling cards.

Thousand Island Lake
Longer, harder 20 mile round trip adventure. Start in Agnew meadows and take either the River trail or the high trail. A little long for a day hike, but great if you want a challenge.

Shadow and Ediza Lakes
Moderate 6 mile round trip to Shadow and 12 mile round trip to Ediza. Start at Agnew Meadows and take the river trail. The first 2 miles are flat and easy, a great way to warm up. Trail crosses the San Jaoquin River via a bridge then starts up for a mile to Shadow Lake. Pass Shadow and go up to Ediza, at the base of Ritter and Banner. Ediza is one of the most picturesque high Sierra lakes around.

Valentine Lake
Moderate to strenuous 10 mile round trip. Good hike early in summer season when snow might still be on the higher trails. Drive out old Mammoth Road and turn on the dirt road at Sierra Meadow ranch, go past the ranch by about 1.5 miles to the Mammoth Motocross turnoff on the left. Follow sign to the parking area. Easy flat beginning going up to Sherwin Lakes, then on to beautiful Valentine lake.

 
 
 
 
 
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