Inyo Craters Trail is a 1.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Pinecrest, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
off road driving
cross country skiing
Short hike to two impressive craters filled with water in Inyo National Forest Mammoth Lakes Ranger district. The hike to the first two craters is a short scenic trail heavily shaded by a steady canopy of trees. The trail skirts the perimeter of the first crater, where you can step down to an observation area to take in the intense views of the turquoise water set against the backdrop of Mammoth Mountain. Continue following the trail as it makes a slight climb up to the second crater, which holds a smaller darker lake and is more obstructed by trees. Retrace your steps to return to the parking lot. These craters are the most recently active eruptive centers of the Long Valley Caldera, dating from about 500 to 600 years ago. There are three main craters-North, South, and the crater at the summit of Deer Mountain.
Hike this with 4 adults and 7 children ranging from 3 years old to 12 years old. Other than the three year old being in a Kelty kids backpack, everyone was able to hike this trail with ease. It's a short loop to the first and second craters. Recommended for all experience levels.
This was a fun time. Easy hike to the uppermost crater, until about 20 ft from the top. The ground is pumice and very slippery. Would be best with some climbing gear, alas, I'm a hiker only, not much of a climber! You can see for miles toward Mammoth and the White Mts.
Great day, last day of skiing on Mammoth Mountain, took this short hike to a couple of impressive turquoise water filled craters with some impressive views. Mammoth Lakes is a great area for hiking and exploring! Posting some pics.