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

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Maybe I was having an "off" hike. I found this trail to be very difficult to follow. I got to a point of the trail where the only option to go would have been to scale a very sandy and steep hill, I would've taken that route had I not been with my 60 lb dog. If that was the true route to go, I would not call this trail a dog-safe trail. Unfortunately we had to turn around.

hiking
9 hours ago

Short, but steep hike to a very pleasant lake. I would rate this as hard due to the steep grade. The lake itself is wonderful - a lot of people were swimming in the lake during my visit.

hiking
13 hours ago

Beautiful hike! Easy+/Moderate. Views are stunning both ways. Hit a thunder and lightening storm, rain and sleet at Duck Lake. Saw horses and dogs on the trail, everyone friendly. Several lakes along the way to have a snack or cool your feet. Many places along the route to filter water. Mosquitos not too bad.

Amazing Views of Lake Mary, Lake George and at the end the lovely Lake Crystal.
This is a moderate hike with some great elevations, so if you are a beginner then consider this a hard hike ( not for distance , but only because of elevation and lots of curves )

Great views and very relaxing once at the lake

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful hike. Moderate but challenging because of the altitude. A little smokey at the beginning because of the fires, but cleared up before we got to Crystal Lake. Cool, clear water with a few people jumping off rocks into it. Saw a few people with fishing poles too and they all said they weren't having any luck. Seemed to take about an hour and 15 minutes to get up there. This was with many stops and a really slow pace.

One of the best day trail hikes in eastern Sierra

great day hike an easy-moderate trail, not too stip. Both lakes are amazing and so many different landscapes! great day

Very nice hike! This is our 2nd time and it was just as pretty as the first. There is a lot of smoke in the area due to the Lions fire but there was none on this hike, which was a real plus. The first mile is some work and the switchbacks leading to the top of the pass are challenging but doable. Go on this one, you won’t be disappointed!

hiking
13 days ago

Great hike, very beautiful.

Beautiful!!

We did this with a group of about 20 friends ranging from 50 to 5 years of age all of us in different levels of fitness. It’s not as easy as Devils Postpile but it’s beautiful. The trails are steep and if your not used to the elevation can make it that much more challenging. We packed up a few poles in hopes to get a golden trout and a few brought swim wear. It was amazing but for a 38 y.o. Who does light waking a few times a week I was winded but my camelbak was my best friend and Motrin was my best friend the next day. Enjoy!!

hiking
16 days ago

Awesome hike. Well marked and worth going to the top to see Valentine Lake. 10.2 miles with 1925 feet of elevation. Not crowded and no smoke today.

FIVE STARS FIVE STARS!! The lake is absolutely stunning and the hike was very easy/moderate. It is also dog friendly so I would pack your pup, a lunch, and maybe even a couple beers and soak in the view for a while when you get up there! Gorgeous!

hiking
16 days ago

Went on this hike this past weekend with a few friends and my dog, and the views were just breath taking. I must say this hike was a bit challenging at the beginning and the end, but it is totally worth it. You pass by quite a few lakes and creeks, which could be great for some fishing. We even got to see some deer on our hike up there as well as some beautiful trees and flowers. In total with all the turn-offs we did to see the lakes we hiked 10.6 miles. Make sure if you do go on this hike to start as early as possible and pack lots of water and food!

hiking
17 days ago

On our first afternoon camping at Lake Mary, we ventured up the trail to Crystal Lake. With hiking and meandering around the lake, we logged about five miles. The trail to the lake and back is shorter but a steep climb. The views of the Mammoth Lakes are increasingly rewarding the higher you go, especially at the crest when veering left before approaching the lake. Crystal Lake is pristine and worth the light hike around it, too. There was an abundance of wildflowers blooming, especially on the south end of the lake.

hiking
17 days ago

Great day hike. We walked to the trailhead while camping in Coldwater Creek Campground. Partially shaded for the first half of the hike. The switchbacks over the pass to get to Duck Lake is hard, but definitely worth it for the views of Pika and Duck lakes. Although those switchbacks are tough, I would highly recommend this day hike. Bring some snacks/food and be sure to have enough water.

hiking
18 days ago

Harder for less experienced hikers, elevation gain can be intense. Took our two year old up in a carry pack and it was well worth the views! Beautiful views of George, Mary and a glimpse of Horseshoe Lake along the way. We found a spot on the rocks and the water was ice cold- perfect after the hike! My toddler loved eating her lunch here and then wading in the water. Worth it.

hiking
18 days ago

Beautiful hike in mid July. Quite heavily trafficked but did not detract from the beautiful nature. Worth hiking down to water level of Duck Lake and taking a dip if you don’t mind the cold mountain water! A great moderate hike. Will do it again.

Hiked this today with two friends. Our total distance was 15.37 miles as we did a full circuit of Ediza lake, before retracing our steps to the trailhead. Beautiful area of lakes, rivers, waterfalls and all that hiking in the Sierras has to offer. Visibility was reduced a fair bit by smoke from a fire burning about 5 miles away.

hiking
20 days ago

Gorgeous trail, saw other hikers but not to busy. No mosquitoes when we were out on 7/27.

trail running
21 days ago

great trail! gets a little rocky closer to the end, but in all is a trail that can be worked. Finished in about 3.5 hours there and back.

Amazing trail!! Really worth it. First part, up to sherwin lake is ok, I would say it’s easy and some beautiful views.
From Sherwin to Valentines is awesome!! Beautiful and variate landscapes!
The last part is tough! All way up to the hill (after a few miles hiking), but the price when you reach valentines lake, absolutely worth it.
I really recommend this hike!!
We readed that there were a lot of mosquitos. Fortunately we only saw a few, anyway, I recommend using some Mosquito repellent.
* Our gps watch marked 10.2 miles

(we did the hike on 21/07/2018)

backpacking
22 days ago

Bring a fishing pole! Trail is a bit longer than what is listed on AllTrails.

Took my 2 daughters, 9 and 10, and they were troopers and hiked up to Crystal Lake. We started around 1, took some rests, ate a snack at the lake, heard some thunder and watched some lightning on the way down, and it took us about 2 hours. If you go on a summer afternoon be prepared for thunderstorms! But it was a pretty hike, nice lake views along the way, and a beautiful destination.

It’s not easy, but its also not too strenuous. Gorgeous views are worth it. I did it in about 5 hours, with brief stops for rests or photos. There was ample parking at the trailhead and bathrooms (with flushing toilets and TP!) The first part was nicely shaded and woodsy, but the back half you are pretty exposed as you climb up rocky switchbacks. On a Saturday you won’t be the only one on the trail, but it’s not very crowded — there were spans of time when I didn’t pass by or see anyone for 30 or 40 mins. If you’re into a shorter hike, Skelton Lake is gorgeous and a worthy destination, without as much climbing as you need to do to get to Duck Lake.

hiking
26 days ago

Great short hike with fantastic views. Lots of shaded areas to rest. Bring your swimsuit for the end!

This was our second hike in the Mammoth Lakes area (Duck Lake was our first) and we were very happy we chose this for our 2nd day and we were more a bit more acclimatized to the altitude.

Highlight:
- This hike is one of THE MOST BEAUTIFUL river-side hikes we’ve ever done. Really a STUNNING river all the way up with lots of changes in size, speed, falls, etc. I think this hike is all about the river - don’t get me wrong the lakes are beautiful too but the river is stunning!

Hike description:
- It starts flat and then downhill to Shadow Creek. Then the trail ascends up to Shadow Lake with beautiful switchbacks and little shade. Beautiful river and waterfalls. Shadow Lake is half-way point to Ediza and great spot for a stop and snack. Shadow Lake to Ediza includes beautiful river-side shaded trails and also another steep and exposed (but shorter) climb toward Ediza.
- Between the two switchback sections the trail meanders along-side the river in many covered areas with stunning wildflowers, green growth and shade. Beautiful hiking!
- At Ediza there are at least two options. The official bridge is washed out so 1) stay on the right side of Ediza and enjoy the lake from that side - you’ll need to stay on the trail on the right of the river - enjoy some light bouldering - and you’ll get there easily. We found a nice breeze (and few bugs) there so we really enjoyed it. Or 2) you can cross the river and hike to the left side of Ediza - we didn’t cross but looks like the most shallow crossing is about 0.25 down-river (backtrack) from the broken bridge along the river (which is off the main trail).
- We started at 8:30am and finished at 3:45pm (back to parking lot). About 13 miles in 7 hours at comfortable pace with many short stops and one longer lunch stop.

Other:
- The drive to the trailhead can be a bit confusing. Officially you can drive and park at the trailhead only before 7am (and after 7am you’re supposed to park at the Mammoth Adventure Center and take a shuttle to the trailhead). We drove in around 8am on a weekday and were able to find spots at the trailhead. It was a bit of a risk since the trailhead does fill up which would have meant driving back up to the Adventure Center and taking the shuttle (which would have cost us at least 30 extra minutes depending on the shuttle schedule). Obviously it was nice to have our car at the trailhead when we finished.
- We started at 8:30am and the mosquitoes were fierce all the way to Ediza. My partner wound up with 50+ bites. Highly recommend you wear LOOSE clothing (so bugs don’t bike through clothing) and lots of repellent.
- Due to the mosquitoes we didn’t find the hike as relaxing - we had to keep moving all the way to Ediza. Although that probably helped us keep a good pace, it would have been nice to be able to stop and enjoy here and there.

Overall a stunning hike! Highly recommended, especially if you get lucky with the season and don’t have to deal with the mosquitos.

hiking
26 days ago

This was our first hike in the Mammoth Lakes area and we couldn’t be happier we started here. Beautiful trail leading to multiple stunning lakes. Other reviews give a great description of the trail - here’s what we found:
- Mosquitos were not bad at all (we were expecting much worse given the recent reviews) but somewhat active at beginning of trail.
- Barney Lake is worth the trail if that’s all you get to (and it’s a fairly easy hike to get there). If you go, hike past Barney and up the switchbacks a bit to get a view back onto the lake and the mountains.
- We took a right at Duck Lake and walked out about .25 miles - it was enough for us to get a sense of the lake. Round trip about 8 miles which was a perfect first day in the mountains.
- The trail is popular and includes runners - some were a bit rude and passed us without saying a word. Yes, it’s their trail too but we still found this way of sharing the mountains rude.
- We returned via the Emerald Trail Lake and highly recommend it. Emerald Lake was beautiful and the trail was a smooth downhill back to the parking lot.

Fabulous hike and highly recommended!

Great hike ,was a bit challenging but worth it when we got to Duck Lake. Beautiful wildflowers and Thankfully no mosquitos !

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