Explore Inyo National Forest, CA - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Inyo National Forest, CA Map

it was a great hike easy for the kiddos and very beautiful..

24 days ago

Nice and easy hike with our 2 small dogs (avoid summer as there is no shade especially for dogs )

Camped at Box Lake and it was the bomb.

scenic driving
1 month ago

Been to Laurel Lake 44 times! Always 4x4! (mine is a Jeep TJ standard) Talk to a Forest Ranger in Mammoth Lakes--Sometimes they have new updates on trail. Arrive at trail beginning "early" say sunrise up to 11:00 a.m. Then enjoy the drive and peninsula on lake. Peninsula is highest place to legally have a campfire! Wonderful fly fishing here! 7 wonderful hikes around & above lake. When driving back down never, ever leave till 2:00 p.m. ! ! WHY? Road is narrow...just a bit winder than your vehicle! No head on meeting! Very difficult to dive backwards with steep drop offs. Only 2 areas to pass each other and far apart. My Activity: 4x4, fishing, photography, hiking, walking.
Best months to go up: no snow. Saturday can be to crowded---new visitors unaware of narrow road!

nice and easy hike! too bad we came in November, otherwise the trees and the lake would be more beautiful in sight!

This place is breathtaking. Seems almost unreal. I will come back again and again - hiked in October of ‘17

Beautiful hike! Easy terrain in a breath taking location . Great place to take the family and spend a bit of quality time.

Truly a "gem" of a hike - the views are spectacular! Starting at 10K, but not a lot of elevation gain in the hike. Did this over the summer, but created my account in January, so we did NOT go in the winter!

Great hike! The road to the trailhead is closed due to snow 1.3 miles short of the trailhead. Luckily others had hiked before us so the snow was slightly packed out. When my gps said we were .8 away from gem lake the footprints stopped. The snow was now too deep, in my opinion, to posthole for another mile and it was getting late so we turned around. Still a beautiful hike!

We went up to Bishop for a night with our pup two weeks ago and decided to try our hand at this trail—glad we did. Every turn gave you a new breathtaking view of snow tipped mountains and several lakes. We even saw a few people playing ice hockey on a frozen lake! We aren’t experienced hikers, but the intensity of the trail was doable with a few breaks along the way. Due to a flare up of an old back injury, we turned around with a mile left before the turnaround, unfortunately. It took us about 4 hours for 5.5 miles and the views and experience were definitely worth putting in the miles!

Hike is so worth the constant switchbacks (which did seem like forever but it ends I swear!)

Beautiful easy hike! Highly recommend

4 months ago

Lovely views. We had a great time with our dog there.

This is a beautiful trail! It is very well maintained and our 5 year old and 9 year old hiked it fine.

Our only issue was initially finding the trail, as many websites hardly mention it.

“From Bishop go North on Highway 395 to Tom’s Place. Follow Rock Creek Road to Mosquito Flat to the end of the paved road where there is plenty of hiker parking.”

Those were the best direction I found. No distances listed.

Absolutely gorgeous trail. Probably my favorite lake trail in California. Not too hard either.

4 months ago

Very beautiful in fall, easy hike~

Trees were in full fall color. Great trail with plenty of lake access on the southwest (?) side.

Very scenic hike, slight incline the ap says it’s “easy” it’s a little harder then easy for beginners but the scenery is absolutely beautiful, the trees, rocks, lakes and mountains are just perfect. Worth your time.

5 months ago

Very nice hike thru woods, the incline is a little tough for beginners a lot of switchbacks but just keep going the views of the lakes are magnificent it’ll be well worth it.

Awesome especially in fall!

Awesome especially in fall!

Epic trail def want to start early

Backpacked this trail last weekend 9/28/17. Beautiful trail and amazing lakes .

This hike was spectacular. Lots of great views. Because of poor planning, we ended up going over Morgan Pass and kept hiking for 2 extra miles. The sign that was SUPPOSED to be directing people to Morgan Pass vs gem lakes was MIA. This caused quite the confusion within our party. We then made our way over to gem lakes and decided to climb the ridge next to the upper lake. (YOLO) overall, great hike, great views, would rate 10/10.

5 months ago

very cool to see snow in September. beautiful scenery all the way up to the gorgeous lake. go early for maximum tranquility.

off road driving
5 months ago

Did this trail on a 2005 KTM EXC 450 and had my brother in law with his built up Jeep LJ. For carbed bikes, I highly recomment adjusting your jet. I went down to a 168 but I feel i should have gone down to a 160 since i had the fuel screw turned in heavily. She was definitely gasping for air. For vehicles, I recommend pressuring down and having an air compressor ready. Make sure your tires have a good side wall, the rocks were pretty sharp and plentiful. Didn't catch anything here, but the lake was gorgeous with some snow in the distance.

7-28-17 Awesome trail. I went past the turnaround point on this map. I went about a 1/4 mile past the 2nd big water crossing (8.2 miles round trip) past the body of water on the map, starting at around 7800 feet finishing around 9184 ft, it gradually climbs with a few rest (flat) area's. Most of the trail is open (No shade), and you walk through some aspen groves. The snow melt is insane now and the water crossings are epic. The first 2 are easy and not to deep if you decide to forge the water, but easily kept dry by staying on the rocks. The big water crossing isn't bad, but the bridge is washed out, still passable with a small log at the end to get you across. A mile or so after that will get you to the big beaver dam. There is a 2nd big water crossing with half the bridge washed out (1 of 2 logs left). There is a small tree trunk someone has placed to help you get across. It is slippery but not impossible to cross. Water is cold, deep and flowing fast, so cross at your own risk.

The trail mostly consists of dirt, gravel, and rocks. BRING SOME TYPE OF BUG REPELLANT! The mosquitoes are insane! I was eaten alive! There are pack mules on this trail so be aware of "road apples". Bring lots of water and lunch and it's a great hike!

5 months ago

Great trail, beautiful in late September with light snow blanketing the mountain. It’s about 5 miles round trip so bring snacks and plenty of water!

Easy after lunch hike with amazing scenery. Trail goes on as far and high as you want.

Great easy hike, absolutely beautiful lake, bridge was washed out but made for a great reason to splash in the cool water on a summers day!

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