Mammoth Mountain Hikes

Mammoth Mountain Hikes

Hiking in Mammoth is endless and offers a vast variety of trails from easy to strenuous. Listed below are trails with descriptions, altitudes and mileage one way only.

When hiking know the rules of the wilderness.

  1. Be wildlife savvy. Especially bears and mountain lions, you are in their backyard after all. Take precautions, respect the wildlife and then enjoy the beauty that nature has to offer. Here are some pointers when hiking in the mountains.
    1. Hike with a friend
    2. Keep pets leashed
    3. Keep small children nearby
    4. Minimize recreation during dawn and dusk
    5. Carry a deterrent device that you are able to reach quickly
  2. Take plenty of fluid. At high altitudes dehydration occurs more quickly than at sea level.
  3. Keep warm. The weather can change quickly in Mammoth. Layering clothing is wise in all seasons.
  4. Avoid Sunburn. At high altitudes like mammoth the atmosphere is thinner and less protective from the sun’s UV rays. Adequate sunscreen protection is a must.
  5. Protect your eyes. Wear sunglasses or goggles with UV protection for your eyes.
  6. Listen to your body. Headaches, Insomnia and fatigue could be signs of "attitude sickness". Seek medical attention is your symptoms persist.
  7. Know the conditions. Check snow and trail conditions before setting out skiing, boarding, hiking and biking. Mammoth Visitor’s center and Ranger station has trail maps, informative books, permits and much more,
  8. Respect warning sign. They are there for a reason

Mammoth Mountain Hikes

Mammoth Lakes region encompasses the John Muir and Ansel Adams wilderness. There are miles of well-maintained hiking trails along crystal clear streams, lush meadows and flowering mountains. Lose your self in the silence, beauty and serenity of  the Mammoth Lakes Region.

Experience the colors of Mammoth.

Spring and early summer abound with brilliant reds, yellows, purples, oranges and blues as the wildflowers perform as spectacular concert of color. Natures color pallet of wildflowers explodes with variations, abundance and brilliance. Fall brings rich shades of golden yellows, reds and, oranges, transforming the cottonwoods, willows and aspen groves into nature’s brush on the soaring mountains, canyons, basins, meadows and ravines. These brilliant colors are contrasted against the rich tone of pine trees and the deep blue sky intermingled with the pure white clouds. It’s a sensory overload of colors. In addition to the color parade that nature displays there is the more. The relaxing and soothing sounds of the aspen trees as they rustle and shimmer in the days leading up to winter accompanied by the bird song. Nature does not stop there, Mammoth Lakes and Mono Lakes provide a migratory pathway for birds each fall. There are over 300 species of birds that make their home in the Eastern Sierra Nevada. The species include swallows, pelicans, herons, flycatchers, grebes, loons and seagulls. Fall is a symphony of colors, sounds and sights all in perfect harmony and balance as Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern Sierras are transformed in preparation for winter. This display of vivid hues and colors has inspired photographers and artists in capturing  Nature’s artistry.

The Wildlife of the Sierra Nevada is abundant and beautiful. California Black Bears, Big Horn Sheep ,Birds, Coyotes, Chickarees, Mountain Lions, Mule Deer, Pine Marten, Marmots, Tule Elk and Wild Mustangs. As with all wildlife, hikers, bikers and visitors should use caution when exploring the trails, lakes, streams and surrounding areas.

Hiking and wilderness information and permits contact:

Mammoth Mountain Hikes

Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center and Ranger Station


Elevation 9,682ft to


A beautiful hike with much of the trail following a rushing creek. The trailmeanders through canyons and meadows. Pristine Aspens and Willowsthroughout the hike. Late June there is an abundance of wildflowers ranging on colorfrom yellow, purple, red and orange

Kenneth Lake(10,350ft) Intermediate Hike, 3 Miles

Tamarack Lake (11,580 ft) Strenuous Hike, 6 miles

Trailhead for Tamarack Lakes starts at the eastern shore of Rock Creek Lake.The trail is steep on the onset then levels out before the last climb to Buck and Tamarack Lake. For fishing in the area Dorothy Lake holds Brookies and LahontonCutthroat while in Tamarack  lake you will find Golden Trout.  


Elevation 10,250ft to

Long Lake (10, 543ft) Easy Hike, 2 miles

Mono Pass (12,000ft) Strenuous Hike, 3 miles

Mono Pass Trailhead leads to Rudy Lake, a secluded and picturesque lake, on the way Mono Pass. Rudy Lake is a stunning contrast of color. The towering granite gray and black walls contract the emerald blue waters below. From atop the pass the views are spectacular encompassing Pioneer Basin and the Mono Recesses. Continuing down the trail you will meet up with Mono Creek that joins the Pacific Crest Trail. The Mono Pass trail continues west over the Sierra Crest andthen down to the Mono Pass Recesses and Pioneer Basin. At the head waters of  Mono Creek is Golden Lake and at the top of Mono Pass is Summit Lake.

Trail Lakes (11,240ft) Strenuous Hike, 5 miles


Elevation 9,840ft to

Mammoth Mountain Hikes

Hilton Lakes #2 ( 9,900ft) Intermediate Hike 3.5 Miles

Trailhead parking for the Hilton Lakes is located below the Rock Creek PackStation, on the road towards Mosquito Flats. (9,600'). The trail takes hikers through a forest of Whitebark and Lodgepole Pines, before it enters the basin of Hilton and Davis Lakes. The upper Hilton Lakes contain Brook and Rainbow trout.


Elevation 7,200ft to

The trailhead for the Hilton Lakes is about 1/2 mile beyond Rock Creek Lakes Resort on the right, or about 1/4 mile below the Rock Creek Pack Station. 

Davis Lake (9,801 ft) Strenuous Hike, 5 miles

The trail leading to the Hilton Lakes is dusty and dry, and is used heavily by pack animals.  There is very little water on the trail and the hike is roughly 5 miles to Hilton Lake #2 and Davis Lake.  The lakes themselves are beautiful.  Trees thickly line the shore and slopes at both Hilton #2 and Davis Lake, and the entire basin that holds these lakes is very wet.  As a result, mosquitoes are a constant nuisance in the Hilton Lakes area during the early-mid summer months.  Hikers should come prepared for the worst possible mosquito conditions.  The upper Hiltons are less-wooded and drier than Davis Lake and Hilton #2, and fewer people travel to these lakes.  For more serenity and fewer mosquitoes these lakes are a great alternative.

Fishing in the Hilton Lakes is excellent.  Brook, rainbow, and brown trout thrive in the lower lakes, and Goldens can be found in the upper Hilton Lakes.  Fly and lure fishing are the most productive form of fishing, although live bait will also work well in these lakes.

Lake #2  (9,900ft)   Strenuous Hike,  6 miles

Lake #4    (10,400 ft) Strenuous Hike, 7.5 miles

Mammoth Mountain Hikes


Elevation ( 8,100 ft) to

The trail head is 8 miles south of the Mammoth turnoff on US 395, turn west at the McGee Creek exit. Follow this road 4 miles, past the McGee Creek Pack Station to the road end parking.

The trip to McGee Lake begins as the trip to Steelhead Lake, until the junction with Steelhead lateral. Continue on the main trail here, taking the right branch of the fork. The trail will lead south over a forested and rocky slope, then through meadows and under White Bark Pine, Lodgepole and Mountain Hemlock to the slopes below McGee Lake (10,480'). Nearby, at Little McGee Lake, Crocker Lake and Golden Lake there is good fishing. Continuing on the trail past McGee Lake will lead you to McGee Pass (11,900'), and from there to Fish Creek, and Lake Edison.

Beaver Dam(9,900ft)  Strenuous Hike, 2.5 miles

Mammoth Mountain Hikes

Big McGee Lake   (10, 480ft) Strenuous Hike, 6.5miles

Golden Lake (10,400ft)  Strenuous Hike, 6 miles

Grass Lake (9,800ft) Strenuous Hike 4.5 miles

Steel Head Lake(10,400ft)    Strenuous Hike, 6 miles

From the parking area, the trail begins as an old jeep trail. The canyon is mostly sage and rabbit brush covered there are also Black Cottonwood, Water Birch, Copper Birch and Quaking Aspen. The trail follows along McGee Creek, and then turns west through a Lodgepole forest. Along here the trail crosses many fords of McGee Creek, and during the early season high water levels are something to watch for. Soon after, the trail leaves the jeep road at a signed junction and continues to a junction with the Steelhead Lake lateral. (This junction is farther than indicated on the maps. It is where the trail finally returns to creek side.) The route to Steelhead Lake branches left (east). The trail switchbacks steeply from here up to Grass Lake, then switchbacks up another steep slope to finally reach the north end of Steelhead Lake (10,350').

Mammoth Mountain Hikes


Elevation  (7,580 ft) to

Lake Mildred (9,760 ft)  Strenuous Hike, 5 miles

Lake Dorothy (10,250ft) Strenuous Hike, 6 miles


Elevation (9,770ft) to

Lake Genevieve    (10,150ft)   Strenuous Hike, 3 miles

Take Old Mammoth Road to Sherwin Creek Road East  past YMCA camp  turn right on 4S86 go 3.5 miles until you see a narrow turnout with a path running up the side of the mountain (on the left hand side). The trail is steep at times with many switchbacks.

The trail to the Lake ends before you reach the lake. The trail pickups again in the northeast corner of the lake edge.

Sherwin Creek

Elevation (7,800ft) to

Starts on Old Mammoth Road by the Mammoth Museum and Sierra Meadows Ranch on 4S08. There are beautiful meadows and lots of aspen trees by the creek, providing plenty of places to picnic. You'll find great views of Laurel Mountain and the fall colors here are amazing. Also good wildlife viewing. Route ends back on Hwy. 395. Well-maintained dirt road.

Sherwin Lakes (8,620ft)  Intermediate Hike 2.5 miles

Sherwin Lakes consist of five lakes nestled in the Sherwin Range on the east edge of the town of Mammoth Lakes. Except for crossing Sherwin Creek close to the start of the trail, the uphill hike is very dry until you reach the lakes.

Valentine Lake (9,650ft)    Strenuous Hike 5 miles

To get to the Valentine Lake trailhead from Mammoth Lakes, proceed south on Old Mammoth Road and turn left on Sherwin Creek Road. Drive about a mile and turn right where a signpost reads Sherwin Lakes trailhead. Turn left at a second trailhead sign. A separate trail starts another mile or so down the road, past Sherman Creek Campground, and though the route is shorter, it's markedly steeper, more open and hotter. Both trailheads are also accessible from the Sherwin Lake Road exit west off Highway 395.
Hikers, dogs and horses are allowed; mountain bikers are not.
Overnight trekkers must have a wilderness permit, which can be picked up at the Mammoth Ranger Station on the day of or day before their hike.The area is lightly used.

Mammoth Mountain Hikes

Coldwater Canyon

(9,050ft) to

Heart Lake (9,590ft.) Easy Hike, 1 mile

Easy to Moderate 1 mile hike to the lake Trailhead: follow directions to the end of the Coldwater Campground road, then follow signs to the Mammoth Consolidated Mine/Heart Lake on the left side of the parking lot. This is a great hike for history, flowers and views. Hike through the Mammoth Consolidated Mine, and then head up the Heart Lake trail, yes, it really does look like a heart. Along the way you'll see old miner's cabins and wildflowers in bloom in June and July, plus spectacular views of Mammoth Mountain, the Minarets and more.

Arrowhead Lake   (9,660ft.)   Easy Hike, 1.2 miles

This short hike leads from the famous road- and campground-encircled Mammoth Lakes into the glacier-carved valley of upper Mammoth Creek in the John Muir Wilderness. Six timberline tarns lie beneath the Mammoth Crest, and this trail leads to the first in that chain of scenic lakes. The trailhead for Arrowhead lake is at the southwest edge of the Coldwater Creek parking lot. This lot is at the top of Coldwater Creek campground at the far end of Lake Mary.

Barney Lake (10, 200ft.) Intermediate Hike 2.5miles

The trailhead for these destinations is at the southwest edge of the Coldwater Creek parking lot. This lot is at the top of Coldwater Creek campground at the far southeast end of Lake Mary. Duck Lake lies beyond and below Duck Pass but continuing south to Barney Lake.

Duck Lake (10,427ft.) Strenuous Hike, 5 miles

 Trailhead is at the very end of Coldwater Campground Road. Duck Lake has an intense, deep-blue color, and is reached by ascending the steep switchbacks of Duck Pass. Along the way are Arrowhead, Skeleton and Barney lakes. Just after Skelton an neglected trail leads West to Emerald lake. This is a nice option to the usual Duck Pass trail that gets overused from pack animals. Just past Emerald, take another trail West to Barrett Lake, and then back to George.

Purple Lake (9,900ft,) Strenuous Hike, 8 Miles

Trailhead for Purple lake is Duck Pass Trailhead which is located at the top of Coldwater Campground in Mammoth Lakes Basin. Leaving Coldwater trailhead, you have a gradual climb passing a series of lakes then small meadows ending at Barney Lake. Hiking over the pass and up the switchbacks you are surrounded by metamorphic rock and newer granite rock. After crossing the pass, you travel along the side of Duck Lake. The hike to Purple Lake is a moderate to difficult and about a 3 to 4 day trip.

Emerald Lake (9,440ft) Easy Hike .75 Miles

The trailhead is at the southwest edge of the Coldwater Creek parking lot. The lot is at the top of Coldwater Creek campground at the far southeast end of Lake Mary. Hiking to Emerald Lake is an easy family friendly hike. From the trailhead to the lake is about 1 mile in distance one way. The best time for fishing at the lake is early and late in the day. Emerald Lake is stacked with Brook Trout. Emerald lake is a favorite with the locals.

Sky Meadow (9,700ft) Intermediate Hike 2 miles

Mammoth Mountain Hikes

This hike starts at the trailhead above Coldwater Campground. This is beautiful hike with wildflowers that border the creek all the way to Emerald Lake and Sky Meadows. The trail ascended gently through the open forest. After about .9 miles, we came to Emerald Lake. The trail continues around the left side of Emerald lake passing a junction with a trail over to join Duck Pass trail. It crosses over the Coldwater creek and continues along the stream filled with wildflowers; monkey flower, lupine, swamp onion, phantom bog orchids, and paintbrush. Across the meadow is a wonderful view of Blue Crag. The meadow was filled with elephant head, spirea, lupine, paintbrush, corn lily. Continuing on and up through the open forest, you come to a water fall. At the top is Sky Meadow.

Lake George (9,008ft) to

Dramatic, far-reaching views unfold as you climb toward Deer Lakes—across startling terrain. You begin on light-colored, coarse granite sand that abruptly ends at dark red cinders near the ridgetop, where a well-formed cone rises from a bowl of red cinders into the mountain sky. While this is the Sierra, it’s a landscape distinctly reminiscent of Maui’s famed Haleakala Crater.

From Highway 395 outside of Mammoth Lakes take Highway 203 to the town of Mammoth Lakes. Continue up Hwy 203, now called Main Street, past the eastern end of Old Mammoth Road  continue straight when Hwy 203 turns right and then becomes Minaret Summit Road. Going straight through the stoplight, you are now on Lake Mary Road.

The paved road climbs to the southwest, crossing a bridge near the outlet of the three lakes that are called Twin Lakes. The parking lot below this bridge is the winter parking lot for Lake Mary Road, below Tamarack Lake Campground and about 6 miles from Hwy 395. In the summer, drive on up the road past the western end of Old Mammoth Road until you reach the junction where the road splits to make a loop around Lake Mary. All of the trailhead descriptions below start from this junction), which is 7.3 miles from Hwy 395.

Barrett Lake (9,210ft)  Easy Hike .25 miles

Camp, hike and fish at idyllic Barrett Lake at end of trail. Makes a great weekend trip. Forest Service closes trail without notice when it gets too wet. Call ahead for status. A wilderness permit is needed to hike beyond Barrett Lake. Relatively short but a very difficult trail. Large boulders shift sometimes increasing possibility of injury.

T.J Lake (9,260ft)Easy Hike .50miles

An out-and-back, partial day hike to a beautiful lake at the base of the Mammoth Crest. The view across Lake George to Crystal Crag is a stunning foretaste of TJ Lake’s grandeur. What George lacks, however, is TJ’s serene isolation from cars and cabins, and its superb vista of the Mammoth Crest. Abundant wildflowers can be found in the meadow area at the upper end of T.J. Lake.

Mammoth Mountain Hikes

Crystal Lake (9,640ft)Intermediate Hike 1.25miles

An out-and-back day hike to a pretty lake in a high, deep mountain basin. Cupped in a bowl between the Mammoth Crest and the 10,364-foot monolith of Crystal Crag, Crystal Lake refreshes hikers who tackle its well-worn trail with a bracing splash of alpine grandeur. A short climb out of Lake George brings you to this sublime "crystal" lake perched below the iconic symbol of Mammoth Lake's...Crystal Crag. 

The trail head is at the Lake George parking lot. The trail splits to the right for the Mammoth Crest, heading for the crest about one mile along the trail. You’ll be amazed with the expansive views of the Minarets, Mammoth Mountain and the Mammoth Lakes, Basin.

Mammoth Crest (10,640ft) Strenuous Hike 3 miles

The hike climbs from Lake George to the top of the Sierra Divide, which separates the Mammoth Lakes Basin from the drainage of the San Joaquin River. Crystal Lake makes a nice stopover halfway up, and is the end destination for many hikers. Immense views, volcanic cinder cones and soaring cliffs are all easily seen on this short hike from Lake George.

Deer Lakes (10,660ft)   Strenuous Hike 5.5miles

Mammoth Mountain Hikes

The Deer Lakes Loop makes an ideal weekend trip or an ambitious, strenuous day hike. In the journey from Lake George down Duck Pass, hikers encounter both stark alpine and dense forest terrains. The lightly traveled route to Deer Lakes follows the spine of the Mammoth Crest, with expansive views in every direction.

Horseshoe Lake (8,959ft) to 

The hike from Juniper Lake to Horseshoe Lake is short and pleasant. The track is wide and impossible to lose, the climbing is moderate, the view of Lassen Peak from the saddle is lovely, and there is a restful lake at either end of the trail. It is the perfect choice for a day hike with the family. Park at the parking area.. Follow the trail around the lake. Look for the easy rock climbing area at the far end of the lake. This is a local's favorite hike. The Trail head is the Mammoth Pass parking lot.

Mc Leod Lake (9,250ft) Easy Hike .5miles

It’s a short and relatively easy hike to one of the most pristine and lightly frequented settings in the Eastern Sierra. It is so pretty and beautiful you wonder how it is possible to get to such a colorful lake setting from a parking lot. The trailhead is Horseshoe Lake parking area. Look for signs to Mammoth Pass as this is where the trail begins at the "Mammoth Pass" sign at Horseshoe Lake. At one-half mile, the left fork leads south to McLeod Lake.

Crater Meadows (8,800ft)    Intermediate Hike 3.5 miles

Nestled beneath the steep walls of Monument Ridge and Crater Crest is a rocky basin carpeted with high alpine meadows and highlighted with hardy trees. In that basin lies Tamarack Lake, a true subalpine masterpiece. This is a peaceful place, receiving only a fraction of the number of hikers that throng Barney Lake

Mammoth Pass (9,290ft)   Easy Hike 1 mile

Reds Meadow (7,600ft)to

Rainbow Falls (7,369ft)   Easy Hike 1.25miles

Catch the shuttle to hike through Devils Postpile National Monument and onto one of the Sierra’s most magnificent waterfalls. It’s a short hike to majestic Rainbow Falls. Best photographed in the afternoon to capture the rainbow. The trailhead parking area is one-half mile past the entrance to Red's Meadow campground, or you can access the trail just past Devils Postpile.

Fish Creek (6,320ft) Strenuous Hike 8 miles

Mammoth Mountain Hikes

Devils Post Pile (7,559ft) to

Established in 1911 by presidential proclamation. Devils Postpile formation is a rare sight in the geologic world and ranks as one of the world’s finest examples of columnar basalt. Its columns tower 60 feet high and display an unusual symmetry. Both the John Muir and the Pacific Crest Trails pass through the Monument. The Monument's campground is near the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin river and has 21 first-come, first-served sites.

The Post Pile was created by a lava flow sometime between less than 100,000 years ago The source of the lava is thought to have been somewhere near Upper Soda Springs campground the north end of Pumice Flat on the floor of the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River from where it flowed to the site of the Post Pile, was impounded by a moraine and reached a thickness of 400 feet to 600 feet. The lava that now makes up the Postpile was near the bottom of this mass. Much of the great thickness of pooled lava cooled slowly and evenly, which is why the columns are so long and so symmetrical. Columnar jointing occurs when certain types of lava cool and the joints develop when the lava contracts during the cooling process. The glacier removed much of this mass of rock and left a polished surface on top of the Postpile with very noticeable glacial striations and glacial polish.

The Postpile's columns average 2 feet in diameter, the largest being 3.5 feet and many are up to 60 feet long. They look like tall posts stacked in a pile. If the lava had cooled evenly all of the columns would be expected to be hexagonal but some of the columns have different polygonal cross-sections because of variations in cooling.

This is definitely worth the visit.

King Creek (7,607ft)Intermediate Hike 3 miles

King Creek Loop is less traveled and boasts a half-dozen lakes, polished granite, and great camping. This is a low-mileage trip with excellent subalpine scenery. Start this loop on the trail to Superior Lake for the shade on the uphill and you can reverse the trip and spend the first night at Fern Lake

Fern Lake (8,100ft) Strenuous Hike 6 miles

This hike is a strenuous ascent but short and rewarding enough to be worth the workout. You’ll be awed by the views and  will love the shallow, cool wading waters of Fern Lake, not to mention the most perfect picnic rock on the breezy edge of the lake.

Johnston Lake (8,100ft)  Intermediate Hike 2 miles

Mammoth Mountain Hikes

Minaret Lake( 9,800ft)Strenuous Hike 8 miles

Minaret Lake is a great choice for backpackers and climbers  who want to get up close to some of the most dramatic scenery in the Sierra. What this hike have in grand views, it makes up for with pine-shaded route between the backside of the western Sierra slopes and the prominent Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River. The trail leads you to the base of the Minaret Falls and the opportunity to hike along one of the country’s most famous trails, the Pacific Crest.The trailhead is at the Devils Postpile Ranger Station.. Walk south from the ranger station on the trail towards Devils Postpile. Then about 0.3 mile keep to the right on the signed trail, cross the river on the bridge, and continue upstream.

Minaret Falls about1.5 miles, one way). Follow the route upstream from the bridge. Turn right at a junction to reach the falls.

Minaret Lake is about 6 miles, one way. Follow the route upstream from the bridge. At the junction at keep right if going to Minaret Falls, otherwise you continue straight ahead. The trail follows Minaret Creek to the west and reaches Minaret Lake.

Mammoth Mountain Hikes

Agnew Meadows (8,335ft) to

With moderate effort this trail places you among peaks of the spectacular Ritter Range—capped by Mt. Ritter, Banner Peak, and the Minarets—in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Located a few miles west of the bustling ski/vacation resort of Mammoth Lakes, the Agnew Meadows trailhead offers peace and quiet, quick access to some of the most beautiful scenery in the Sierra.

The trailhead is most easily reached in the summer months .Minaret Summit Road is closed from the middle of October until spring, usually about late May or early June depending on the  snowfall. During these months, it is necessary to park at Mammoth Mountain ski resort and hike in about 4 miles to the usual summer trailhead.

Minaret Road is closed to passenger vehicles beyond Minaret Summit from 7am to 7.30pm every day. During those times, visitors need to ride a shuttle bus ($7/person) from the Mammoth Mountain Inn into Devils Postpile National Monument. For an early start it is possible to drive in prior to theses times are the gates are unmanned. The shuttle bus runs throughout the valley.

Mammoth Mountain Hikes

Shadow Lake ( 8,750ft) Intermediate Hike 3 miles

Shadow Lake trailhead is at Agnew Meadows Campground. Take the turnoff to Agnew Meadows campground. From the trailhead parking lot, follow the signs for "Shadow Lake/River Trail."

This trail descends westbound into and crosses the canyon of the San Joaquin River before going into the Ritter Range. The trail follows an exposed face and climbs steep switchbacks.

Visiting Shadow Lake is wonderful and always rewarding. The Central Sierra Nevada. San Joaquin River - Middle Fork offers a whitewater paddling spot nearby. Not far is June Mountain for a great day of skiing. Shadow Lake is one of many lakes in the Central Sierra Nevada. Shadow Lake is right by the Sherwin Lakes Trail, and the John Muir Trail of unforgettable and memorable hiking.

Mammoth Mountain Hikes

Lake Ediza (9,300ft)  Strenuous Hike 6 miles

Take the turnoff to Agnew Meadows campground. From the parking trailhead lot follow the signs for "Shadow Lake/River Trail." The switchbacks are steep and exposed so start early to in the day to avoid intense midday sun and be sure to take plenty of water

Your hikes in Mammoth Lakes area canl take you by many lakes such as Garnet Lake, Shadow Lake, Lake Ediza, plus others. One destination you could arrive at is Thousand Island Lake. Named because of the 1000’s of tiny islands that dot the lake.

Hiking from the  Devils Postpile  area to Shadow Lake then to Lake Ediza, continuing onto Iceberg Lake, Cecile Lake, Minaret Lake another destination you could end up at is the  Minaret Falls Campground.( The section from Lake Ediza and Minaret Lakes is considered cross country(Class II)).

Thousand Island Lake (9,834ft) Strenuous Hike 9 miles

The name of this lake is intriguing. The lake is about 9 miles from the trailhead at Agnew Meadows. The trailhead is off the road down from the Minaret Summit. You have to take a shuttle bus during certain hours unless you get an early start. There are two main trails - the River trail and the High trail , which is the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The Pacific Crest Trail is very scenic and beautiful, with some great vista points over the upper Middle fork of the San Joaquin, the Minarets, the Banner and Ritter range . The stunningly scenic Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River Valley is an excellent hiking area. There are three trails up the Middle Fork Valley that merge near Thousand Island Lake.

Agnes Pass (9,900ft)  Strenuous Hike 5.5miles

A short hike beneath Agnew Pass is Clark Lake. The trail is steep and simple and gets lost in places.
The trail moves on towards Thousand Island Lake which is a much different  trail(see above description). As you approach Thousand Island Lake the trail becomes steep and then levels out. From this point you have a beautiful view of Agnew Pass and the High Trail.

Mammoth Mountain Hikes

Fern Creek (7,350ft)

Fern Lake( 8,900ft) Strenuous Hike 1.5 miles

The Fern Lake hike is a short but grueling ascent. The reward is well worth it. The views are stunning, the lake is serene, cool and inviting.

Yost Lake (9,100ft)Strenuous Hike 3 miles

This hike is for the skilled hiker as it is strenuous and offers a single track that is faint. Like the Fern Lake hike the reward is worth the workout. The scenic views are of towering mountain peaks and an alpine mountain lake. The contrast of colors, shapes and forms is truly dramatic one that only nature can provide.

Silver Lake (7,212ft) to

Silver Lake is considered a jewel of the Eastern Sierras for fishing.

Agnew Lake(8,506ft)    Intermediate Hike 2.5 miles

This trail leads you among peaks of Ritter Range, Banner Peak, and the Minarets all part of the Ansel Adams Wilderness.

Gem Lake (9,052ft)    Strenuous Hike 3.5 miles

Mammoth Mountain Hikes

Clark Lake (9,850ft) Strenuous Hike 5.5miles

Alger lake (10,640ft)    Strenuous Hike 9 miles

Parker Lake (7,950ft)

Parker Lake (8,400ft) Intermediate Hike 2miles

The trail head is at the end of Parker Lake dirt road between Mono Lake and June Lake. For a hike that will deliver diversity in all areas from flowers, ferns and geological formations this is the hike to take. The hike is difficult at first as it is uphill but then it opens up into a sandy trail which is typical for an Eastern Sierra Trail. The trail becomes after the initial ascent.

Sawmill Canyon (8,100ft) to

Sawmill Canyon road leads to the eastern trailhead for the Mono Pass Trail.

Mammoth Mountain Hikes

Walker Lake (7,935ft)Intermediate Hike 1 mile

Walker Lake is one of the last remnants of an ancient inland sea which covered much of western Nevada nearly 10,000 years ago. Walker Lake State Recreation Area is located 11 miles north of Hawthorne on U.S. 95. The park is open all year.

Mono Pass (10,600ft) Strenuous Hike 5 miles

    The trailhead for this hike is just 1.5 miles from the Tioga Pass gate. This is a beautiful hike, loaded with big, wide vistas across Dana Meadows to the Kuna Crest. This is very high country. In fact the best time to access this incredible high-country trail is in Autumn. It is particularly beautiful because the grasses ,aspens and alpine meadows ready for the upcoming winter by turning rich shades of gold and russet. The temperatures are perfect this time of year for the hike.

 Bottomless Pit

This is a moderate hike about ¾ of a mile. It is a short yet steep hike that delivers you to a beautiful viewpoint. The ascent is up Mammoth Mountain from the back of Twin Lakes campground.. From the Tamarack lodge walk through the campground over the bridge and follow the road until you see the sign for the trail head.

Mammoth Mountain Hikes

Lundy Lake Hike (8,100ft) Intermediate

From Lee Vining, drive north on Hwy 395 for 6.9 miles to the Lundy Lake turnoff. Drive west on Lundy Lake Rd. for 6.5 miles to the end of the road at the signed trailhead for Lundy Canyon. The last 1.3 miles (from Lundy Lake resort) is a dirt road.  

Mammoth Mountain Hikes

For families this is a jewel of a hike. Kids will see beaver lodges, waterfalls, pristine lakes, walk over fall logs and varieties of hiking conditions. There are a few challenging parts for very young hikes but overall a fun hike with a variety of things for the kids to experience.

Lundy Lake is located in Lee Vining, Hoover Wilderness, Inyo National Forest, Mono County

Trail head parking locations

    • Kennedy Meadows PCT access
    • Sage Flat @ Olancha CA
    • Cottonwood @ Horseshoe Meadows Road

Mammoth Mountain Hikes

  • Whitney Portal@ Lone Pine CA
  • Shepard Pass @ Independence CA
  • Onion Valley / Kearsarge Pass @ Independence CA
  • Baxter Pass via Oak Creek @ Independence CA
  • South Lake via Hwy 168, W of Bishop CA
  • Lake Sabrina via Hwy 168, W of Bishop CA
  • Pine Creek @ Rovana CA
  • Hilton Lakes @ Rock Creek Rd
  • Mosquito Flat @ Rock Creek Rd
  • Hilton Creek @ Lake Crowley
  • McGee Creek @ Lake Crowley
  • Convict Lake Trailhead
  • Rainbow Falls @ Mammoth CA
  • Minaret Vista Trailhead @ Mammoth CA
  • Agnew Meadows @ Mammoth CA
  • Fern Lake @ June Lake Loop
  • Silver Lake @ June Lake Loop
  • Walker Lake via June Lake Loop
  • Tioga Pass @ Yosemite Park (east boundary)
  • Saddlebag Lake @ Tioga Pass
  • Lundy Trailhead @ Lundy Lake
  • Virginia Lakes Trailhead


Mammoth Mountain Hikes

Inyo Ranger Stations

Forest Headquaters Bishop 

Mammoth District Mammoth Lakes

White Mountains District Bishop

Mount Whitney District    Lone Pine

Mono Lake District Lee Vining

Inyo National Forest government site

Alabama HillsLone Pine CA

Mount Whitney Lone Pine CA