Basin Map (110k)
Pass Trail Area Map (91k)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.