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

Mammoth Lakes Map
VIEW FULL MAP
hiking
17 hours ago

I hiked this trail for the second time and enjoyed it as much as I did the first time I hiked it a year earlier. As noted in other reviews, the trail doesn't offer a lot of shade, which isn't great when hiking in August. As long as you avoid hiking in the heat of the day, though, it isn't too bad.
Once you reach Sherwin Lakes, it makes the hike worthwhile. While there was a lot more traffic this year than last, and more hikers encountered along the trail, it was still enjoyable. I believe we hiked this trail on a weekday last year, but this year it was on the weekend.
Once we arrived at the largest of the lakes, the spots where we could access the water had other people nearby. It wasn't a problem for us, but if you expect seclusion, this may not be the place to find it. I'm sure you could find seclusion at other places around the lake once you get a little further from the trail.
All in all, it's a nice trail. There are places where there is little shade, and some spots where you have to climb over a few rocks, but overall it's a decent trail.

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.

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.

Pretty creek views and beautiful waterfall stop for a picnic! Steep but worth it!

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 )

Had to take the shuttle in, I think 8 dollars round trip, but I think you can drive in before 830am but the road is narrow and buses are hard to get around. 10 dollars per car at the entrance pass the adventure center. Dogs need to be muzzled. Try not too take your dog if she/he is aggressive. Bus drivers don't like to take too many dog per trip so you may be asked to take the next bus. The drive is 30 miles. I have a lab so she barely fit underneath or in front of me. If you have a dog, make sure to get a seat. They have standing room but it's hard with a big dog.

Stop 6: Devil Postpile-0.5 miles; Rainbow Falls- extra 1.5-2miles (trail to lower falls is closed 2018) two viewpoints top of falls and lower falls viewpoints. First viewpoint to lower viewpoint is steep so climbing up is a pain. Trail itself is ok. Kinda up and down in elevation but not too steep. Well marked trail. Can deviate to the river to play in the water with dogs. You can also hike to the Mina--- Falls.

Stop 10: The other way to get in or get out: around 1 mile from rainbow falls. This trail is mildly challenging from falls to the stop so it's easier to walk down from this stop but you just see the falls. You are mostly gaining elevation coming back up. Pretty with wildflowers and Forest trees. Passes the PCT trail. There is a resupply general store here and a little restaurant that is heavily overpriced ($10+ hamburgers and $10 milkshakes)

The adventure center has tickets for the gondola and kid challenge structure/ rock wall. You can get a combo of gondola and shuttle 37 dollars each. Morning is best for gondola. No lines. But the food up there does not open till lunch. Summer time is for mountain/dirt bike and a beautiful view at the top. Construction at the top. The museum is nice for kids.

Cons: due to recent fires air quality and visibility was sub par.

hiking
7 days ago

Very nice stream running next to the trail. I was rather disappointed with the condition of the lake. It has been stagnant for quite some time and it not ideal for swimming.

Great views and very relaxing once at the lake

hiking
8 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.

Very busy trail at the end of July. Yosemite Valley was closed due to fires. Which explained the heavier crowds in Mammoth Lakes. As on all trails, take plenty of water for everyone in your group. Try the west side of the river. Much fewer people.

We started at the Rainbow Falls trailhead off of the Red Meadows Shuttle stop #9 which is a shorter hike than this one (1.3 miles one way so 2.6 round trip) You can change it up on the way back and take the Reds Meadow Resort path back to Shuttle stop #10 which is recommended to get out because it is the last shuttle stop and usually fills up the shuttles leaving the area. The trail to the base of the Falls is closed now for 2018 for rerouting and restructuring and will reopen in 2019. Air quality was fine despite the fires but it was dry, hot and windy so bring enough water. The waterfall was beautiful and well worth the hike according to my seven year old!

hiking
9 days ago

Great hike beautiful lake!

The waterfall is worth every step it took to get there!!

hiking
12 days ago

Did this hike with my two kids 8 and 3 and they loved it! Beautiful lake!

The elevation gain happens fast. And the lake is at 9800 feet, so prepare to be winded.

hiking
14 days ago

For starters you have to drive all the way through Coldwater Campground for parking. Restrooms are available. make sure to go early because parking does fill up quickly. Beautiful short hike with small side trails to walk along the creek. Hike is about .75 miles both ways (1.5 miles). Dog Friendly as well.

hiking
16 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!!

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!

Sherwin Lakes was beautiful once you finally got there, but over 3/4 of it is a steady incline with very little shade coverage. The trail is dog friendly, so I brought my pooch, but it’s been 2 days later and she still can’t walk she messed up her paws/feet so bad on the trail. Also- the lakes do not compare to other lakes in mammoth, but once you’re up there it will feel like you have the area to yourself.

Great trail !

hiking
19 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
20 days ago

Nice wildflowers and views. Not a tough hike, I took my 9 yr old niece with me for her first hike on this trail.

hiking
21 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
21 days ago

Easy hike to do with kids. Beautiful lake, good for swimming etc.

22 days ago

Beautiful hiking trail parallel to a small stream, with wildflowers next to the bank, that was running in late July.  Trail has a lot of rocks and tree roots, and is a good climb uphill that I don't know if it ever really leveled off. At the halfway point, there is a fork in the path off to the right to hike to Lake George. Once you arrive at Emerald Lake, if you walk a little bit farther up the path, there is a trail sign pointing to another trail off to the right to a meadow that is only 1/4 mile up the trail. This trail is along the stream, again with many wildflowers.

It was fun! I did the short walk then hiked down to the actual falls. Gorgeous views!

I made the hike to Rainbow Falls with my husband, two year old and five year old. We got dropped off at stop 6 for Devil’s Postpile.It took us a little longer than expected to complete the first leg of the trip (about 2.5 hours) so we decided to take the shortcut back to Red Meadows to make one of the last shuttles back. Mostly flat, sandy paths, with a little uphill/downhill incline on the way there. However the “shortcut” to Red Meadows is steep so be prepared! Devil’s Postpile and Rainbow Falls were pretty cool to see but I am not sure I would make this hike again, a little underwhelmed. We heard bears on the way back which was a little nerve wracking but no actual sightings. Still giving this trail five stars since it was so beautiful and would recommend this overall.

hiking
25 days ago

This was a rather easy, peaceful and well marked hike. There is minimal elevation gain and the switchbacks make it rather steady. Honestly, this should classified as easy +.

Load More