Explore the most popular birding trails in Inyo National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Hit Piute Pass trail 5/5 - 5/6, with the trail being mostly covered in snow still. Lock Leven and Piute lake being frozen over was surreal. Picture perfect views from the pass of a winter wonderland. Stayed the night for an amazing sunrise. Definitely will coming back, after the spring melt.

Just hiked on 5-22-18 trail is in great condition right up until the final switchbacks start going up to valentine lake. There are none, because it’s covered in snow. The track goes straight up so bring your micro spikes and get ready. It’s tough but short. Lake is still mostly frozen. Incredible hike with so many highlights I could go on forever. Rained on me and my dog the whole way back with a hale storm thrown in to boot!

nice and easy trail with beautiful views!

hiking
3 days ago

We had hiked Big Pines trail two days before, and while staying in June Lake Campground we wanted a small hike to stretch our legs. We set out to do the full June Lake Loop Trail and decided that we would just do two miles of it out and back - which is actually I guess Yost Meadows Trail.

In any case, the views are spectacular! We are definitely going to do the full June Lake Loop when we go back. Good work out on the way up. Basically had the trail to ourselves.

Tip: if you stay at the June Lake Campground this trail is conveniently across the street. The trail is both shaded and exposed so good idea to bring sun screen.

Great spring hike near Mammoth Lakes. Gentle incline up to a beautiful lake. Trail is well maintained and easy to follow. Dog-friendly.

All I can say is wow! This Trail starts off at a nice gentle slope for about 1 mile, after that be prepared for some serious altitude gain. I did this hike in May 2018 and the mountains surrounding the trail were still covered in snow. there was a small river running across the trail which require waterproof boots and some careful footing. If you're looking for a real leg workout about halfway up you will come across a set of railroad tracks that were used for a pulley car to haul supplies up to the dam. You can take this track up to the dam but your legs better be in excellent shape. I measured a 37 degree incline.
I continued on to Gem Lake and it was worth the extra time and effort.

hiking
10 days ago

Amazing Hike! Completely worth it. Beautiful view of Lone Pine peak. Lots of snow still getting up to the lake. Not too difficult.

me and five of my Grandchildren did this hike going in was fun ,lot of work coming out ,but we're talking about doing it again. My age hope I can

This trail leads up by Horsetail Falls which was an awesome sight to see! It crosses a smaller waterfall/stream so waterproof shoes would come in handy. The last ascent to Gem Lake is very steep with lots of loose rocks. It's kind of a gnarly hike to be rated moderate but I loved it! The views are amazing! Also, bring a hat as there is no shade!

on Meysan Trail

16 days ago

Easy trail to follow pretty views and worth it

hiking
23 days ago

Walk down from the Visitor Center via paved paths to a closer view of Mono Lake. The VC is very interesting and worth a stop. Drive out to the east side for some up close and personal interaction with the tufas.

hiking
24 days ago

One of the best places to see a hill of solid obsidian - beautiful black glass - although it just looks like rock until you break it open - don't remove it. Wear good shoes. 11 miles north of Mammoth Lakes up I-395 from the I-395 and CA-203 intersections, take a left on Obsidian Dome road, and it is 2.7 miles up Obsidian, Glass Flow, and Glass Creek Rds. Dirt road to parking area; hike starts down and to the right of the dome and up a gravel bulldozed hill that takes you into the cone at the top. Really good description here: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/long_valley/long_valley_sub_page_19.html [along with directions - coordinates - about 37°44.810' N, 119°01.305' W]. The hike is easy, looks like a hill up to a rock quarry. Nice distant views from the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent hike through the snowy woods. I feel that this hike is really best during late April when you have the beautiful snow capping the mountains and the volcano itself.

Good early spring hike when other trails in the area are still under snow. POOR signage though. We parked in Paradist the well marked trailhead and hiked up the creek. TRAIL is well maintained and is a good sunny day hike if you are seeking some shade.

The snow made it difficult bit special.

Walked on a lot of stinky sand. Lots of flies. Couldn’t see any huge tufas you have to be on a boat for those.

The hike begins at Reds Meadow Resort. It continues gradually downhill toward the San Joaquin river. You cross Boundary Creek a little over half way to the upper viewing area. We were there in October 2017, the lower viewing area was closed for repairs, but the views of Rainbow Falls and valley down stream are worth the walk. Enjoy!

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike even in February. Several lakes at the top.

backpacking
3 months ago

I go backpacking around here almost every year, and the Pine Creek Trailhead is one of the less crowded trails in the area. The first part of the hike is steep, with a quick elevation gain and a lot of switchbacks. It can get really hot and there's not much shade on the initial portion, so it's a good idea to bring a lot of water and start early. Once you get to about 10,000ft it's a pretty easy hike to Honeymoon lake. From Honeymoon, you can go on to Pine Creek, Italy pass, or a number of other lakes in the area!

I have hiked this trail 5 or 6 times. The trail is fairly steep at times, and narrow in a few spots. The last time I did this hike was in 2014 with my wife and son. I was excited to show them the mine shaft and all the other mining equipment. I was disapointed when I saw that the shaft had been collapsed or collapsed on its own. It is still a gorgeous hike, and one I hope to take a few more times.

Beautiful hike in winter conditions (Jan 1-2 2018)
50% snow and ice currently to 7300 ft. Trail is showing wear and needs a little love but is still easy to follow. Variety of water crossings from solid ice, logs and requiring boot removal and getting wet. Campsite near the springs is comfy with easy water access and a built up fire ring.

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail, not too steep but not flat. At the end you will find a beautiful frozen lake. Best part is there is very light traffic.

The trails are clearly marked and very easy! As always make sure to bring water. The Bristlecone Pines are beautiful and I'd come back.

Perfect day for a perfect long hike (note: We continued to the far side of Gem Lake, 5 miles in from the trailhead and 5 miles back.......but if this hike isn’t rated “Hard”, I can’t imagine what would be. So to call it "Moderate" is a bit of an understatement, IMHO. However to think of it or categorize it as “Hard" might scare away a few hikers, and in truth this climb is do-able by most. Lots of loose rocks and scree. Hiking shoes or boots highly recommended. Advice: When in doubt the trails goes UP, (except on the way back, LOL)

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked about 2 miles past Sherwin Lakes. We used this hike to acclimate to the area before doing a much longer hike the next day. It was a beautiful hike on this Fall day.

hiking
7 months ago

This trail presented a tough climb up & a difficult stream crossing due to the snow melt. The views at the top of Gem lake & Agnew lake were well worth the effort. Crowds thinned out once you crossed the falls. Start of trail was a bit confusing from the campground, but you can continue on the road for about 5oo yards to reconnect to the trail head as the signs at the campground said the trail was closed due to flooding.

Great short trail. The altitude wears you down a little but trees are great.

Beautiful hike. About 2” of snow on most of the trail after the log crossing as you pass the Fern Lake trail.

Wow. It is October and the colors are incredible right now. We headed up at 10am. It was hot at first then got windy and cold at Agnew. The dam was quite a site. The trail is easy to follow and maintained. It is noted as MODERATE but for me it was tougher. The altitude to begin with and the elevation climbing was what made it tough for me (I have two new stem cell treated knees!).

The weather was perfect.

Great hike with beautiful fall color near Lundy Lake. Historical remnants were interesting and added a desolate vibe to the area.

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