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near home Map
15 hours ago

Get there early to find parking. This trail starts downward and connects with Rubicon. Beautiful waterfall. The hike back was up hill yuck

3 days ago

We couldn’t get a parking spot near the trail entrance, but once we parked further down around the bend it made more sense to walk down the paved carriage road that joins up with the Rubicon trail. It made for a longer hike — almost the length of Emerald Bay— but the views from above were amazing. We enjoyed touring the house which seems to have had some recent restoration— it looks great. I also appreciate that the gift shop by Vikingsholm now has some snacks. The ice cream treats helped power us back up the hill! There are some amazing campsites along the Rubicon trail. A great day.

very nice trail

3 days ago

Short, easy hike, Emerald Bay was cold to swim in which was really nice during the summer. Also came during the winter when it was snowing, beautiful.

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.

Short but sweet. Hiking out was a bit of a chore due to the grade and, after swimming all day, we were feeling it. We passed two guys hauling an ice chest full of fish back up, bless 'em. Totally worth it to swim in the bay and sit by the trees.

Beautiful bay views. Steady up and down so not difficult. Arriving on Emerald bay area, several spots for a swim on the lakeside. Worthy !

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 )

Gorgeous hike! Pretty easy. The back area is no longer flooded. Just had to cross one little stream. We even saw a couple of dear.

Great views and very relaxing once at the lake

9 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.

16 days ago

I had been wanting to hike down to the castle for some time now but I chose the wrong day. I arrived at 9am and it was so heavily trafficked with all the end-of-summer vacationers that it took me almost an hour just to find parking.

Besides that reservation, it is a short but sweet trail descending down to the beach with stunning, scenic views. There was a bit of incline coming back up but nothing too challenging. I would definitely do it again on a less busy day.

17 days ago

Great hike, very 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!

21 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.

Park down by the campground to avoid walking on the road... great views. Bring your suit for little beach swim.

Excellent trail with lots of varied scenery ending at a great little uncrowded beach

22 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.

Awesome views of the lake. Beautiful forest scenery. Mostly down hill one way. Nice treasure at the end Vikingholm was breathtaking. would definitely recommend.

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.

1 month ago

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

Awesome hike up to a gorgeous lake. It is steep uphill but downhill is a breeze!

Great hike....loved it but very steep, what a beautiful lake and a small stream on the back side of the lake! Lots of bugs and warm this time of year...

Incredible views with a stunning lake at the end, very worth the hike.

Great views! The trail was exactly what the description said.

This trail is excellent.. We are not expert hikers neither do we hike often but it very doable. It starts off with a climb up so don’t take off at great speed pace yourself.. My husband has a bad knee but was able to do the whole hike., he did wear a strap. The views are wonderful. It was a Friday morning we started off at 10.30am got to Emerald bay for lunch walked up to Eagle Falls just behind the beach and we returned back to DLBliss at 5.30 pm after a short stop to dip our feet in the lake. I would highly recommend this hike....it is arduous and probably longer than I anticipated when we set out but so worth it. A great day.

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