Valentine Lake Trail is a 9.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Mammoth Lakes, CA that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from June until November. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
This review begins at Sherwin Lake Trailhead. According to Mammoth Trails, the trailhead for Valentine Lake begins east of Sherwin Creek Campground near the Laurel ohv trails.
We began at the Sherwin Creek Campground and walked on the road until we got to the road intersection that leads to the trailhead. The Sherwin lakes trailhead has a bathroom but no running water. We began this hike at around 8am. Getting to Sherwin Lakes was a moderate hike. The first part will pass Sherwin Creek and start with the many switchbacks up the hill. It will provide you with amazing views of Mammoth Mountain and the town. Once you reach the top of the hill it will be flat and easy until you get to Sherwin Lake. Once you are done seeing this beautiful lake, continue on the trail. Valentine Lake is a little bit harder and about 5 miles further up. It will eventually unite itself with the Valentine Lake trail. Once we reached a heavily wooded forest, we found ourselves with leftover patches of snow and an incline. You will also find yourself with a beautiful rapids section of Sherwin Creek on your right. As you make your way up, you will find a small clear pond. Once you pass the pond, you reach the "final round" of the trail: about 7 to 8 switchbacks that become narrower and rocky as you reach the top (hiking stick, no prob).
Unfortunately, the last bit of trail at the top was covered in slippery snow next to the rapid Sherwin Creek. My girlfriend I, turned back and arrived at our campsite around 6-7pm. (Hiked on June 18th 2016).
Make sure for this hike to have more than 7 water bottles if you are a beginner. A big breakfast is also a must. Hydrate, eat snacks and take breaks when you need to. Sunscreen is a must. Snow shoes or hiking boots with good traction are a must.
Over all we were happy of our first 9k elevation hike. We will be back next year for sure to finish it.
We caught the Valentine lake trail from Sherwin lakes, caught a lot of snow getting closer to Valentine lake but absolutely amazing views!
This is a great hike, we stayed a couple of nights at the beginning of July and would have given it five stars for a combination of the short hike, fantastic views, seclusion, and dog friendly...disadvantage was mosquitos. Again could have been because of dry/warm winter but be prepared with plenty of bug spray if camping. Bring fishing poles if you're down with that.