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One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done. Steep and challenging on the way up but I stopped and really took it all in along the way. Steep to start and after about 45 minutes-hour you get to Sherwin Lake, I didn’t stay here long but it is quite lovely. At some point you will walk through a grove of Redwoods, aside from the lake itself I think this was my favorite part. After that you hit a few streams. One of the pools from the streams definitely has some thermo activity, light bubbling coming up through the ice cold water. I stuck my hand in and it felt warm by the bubbles. So rad!
When you get to the steep river you hit some steep switchbacks and then you finally come out to a scenery like you’ve never experienced. Valentine Lake was picture perfect. I hiked on a hot day so since I was alone I ditched the clothing and jumped in.... and then right out since the water is ice cold. But if weather permits then I still strongly suggest it.

So this hike. Do it!
Leave no trace please <3

My husband and are in our 70’s and we hiked it with a little effort. Very beautiful lake! Would go again in a minute!

hiking
13 days ago

This is a great hike, but be warned it is strenuous at times with a few steep switchbacks.

A bit steep at times, but nothing we sea level people could not handle. The lake is clear and worth the effort!

hiking
25 days ago

Pictures of this trail started my love affair with hiking/backpacking! I finally hiked it last year and it was a dream come true! Even more beautiful than the photos!

hiking
1 month ago

Easy hike with kids even for a fat guy like myself. We enjoyed exploring around the lake, meeting a bunch of friendly dogs, and quick hellos to other families.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice short hike to lake sherwin and back. Took about 1.5 hrs out with some short stops and 50mins return.... downhill.

hiking
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

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

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

hiking
1 month 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.

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
1 month ago

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

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
2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months 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 +.

hiking
2 months ago

I loved this trail!!! I would put my ability as somewhat fit but definitely not athletic. I thought the steady climb was a perfect workout without being too challenging. The views of Mammoth and the Long Valley on the way up were great, just before the lakes are some nice views of higher peaks. The lakes are somewhat smaller than others out of the Lakes Basin but pretty and surrounded by pines and aspens. There is plenty of parking at the trailhead, even on a weekend. A very enjoyable day!

I would probably put this hike in the more difficult section of the Moderate rating. definitely not for beginners, lots of uphill. It is very worth the hike though as the lake and mountains behind it are an incredible sight.

hiking
2 months ago

Such a fun, beautiful hike with the family. My 4 and 7-year-old kids did great! The slight uphill trek from the trailhead tired them out a little, but after picnicking by the lake and dipping their legs in the cold water, they perked up. A couple weird, tiny leech-like things attached themselves to our feet in the water—not sure what those were—but I found them and got them off quickly so no harm done.

hiking
2 months ago

Moderately strenuous hike with elevation all the way to the top, but then there are beautiful lakes and mountain views. Go in the morning and pack a lunch to share at the top by the lake.

horseback riding
2 months ago

Very beautiful trail but had to turn back about a half-mile before reaching Sherwin Lake because it had too many boulders and my horse chipped her hoof and had difficulty finding footing. We turned back because it wasn’t worth risking an injury. 3 star rating for equestrian use.

Pretty easy hike. Awesome view. Get there early, coming down we must have past 30+ people.

backpacking
2 months ago

6-6-18 Started at 10:15 and made it to camp at 15:30. Great hike, I would not rate this hike as moderate, maybe up to Sherwin lakes, but not to Valentine lake (quite hard). Onto the review.

Start elevation 7725'. Lower half of trail (about 1 miles or so) is loamy dirt, the rest of the trail is dirt with lots and lots of granite rocks, some big some smaller loose rock perfect to roll your ankle on. Trail is mostly shaded with stretches of sunny areas so wear sunscreen. You will have a set of switch backs before Sherwin lakes, a little elevation loss and a flat section then it really ramps up to Valentine lake.

There is another set of switch backs before Valentine lake and a few straight shots up the hill. Trail ends at the exit side of lake (elevation 9670'), well that we could find. There is one small snow crossing at the top just before the lake. If you head to the right and carefully cross the creek and bushwack a bit there are some sweet camp sites.

The views are spectacular. Temps were in the mid 70's going up and dropping quickly when the wind picked up. It hit 32* at night. If you like fishing bring a pole, there are tons of brooke trout pan sized (we will fish next time).

PLEASE PACK OUT WHAT YOU TAKE IN!!!!! We carried out a ton of trash left behind. A great short backpacking trip.

You will need a permit to overnight at Valentine lake, you can reserve one online (Valentine lake JM02 entrance) or the day before you're camp trip at 11:00 at the mammoth visitors center.

I will be back again!

Surprised we had cell service the whole way!

Great mellow hike for the family and the dogs. Decent elevation but. Great views.

hiking
2 months ago

5 stars rating after sherwin lake.. the hike from sherwin to valentine was so much fun . Did this hike in April still had snow in the last quarter mile. Beautiful big lake. My dog loved it so much!

The drive to get to the trailhead is really beautiful. Some lovely views along parts of the trail, especially on the way down, but the actual Sherwin Lakes paled in comparison to the many gorgeous lakes in Mammoth. This trail is relatively easy and goes by quick; it’s worthwhile to go about 5 mins past the lake to find a gorgeous redwood.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike . Lots of flowers blooming including Mule Ears which are peaking. Relatively easy hike with very few people on the trail. Very dog friendly. Amazing views with a peak a boo even to Crowley.

Great day hike, took the Sherwin Lake trail, past Sherwin Lake, then to a small pond coming down from Valentine Lake, finally up to the actual Lake. There are two sets of switchbacks, early in the trail then on the top of the trail right before the lake. River coming down the lake is a great place to refuel water (we have a water filter pump). Just a little snow but not an issue. My GPS had us at 10.5 miles in and back with moderate altitude gain.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful and gorgeous trail with a little bit of an incline with switch backs, gorgeous views on the way up and when you reach the lake it's absolutely stunning and serene, definitely don't miss this gem of a hike

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