Explore the most popular views 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.

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.

fishing
2 days ago

I was trying to get to Honeymoon Lake to fish, unfortunately the bridge was flooded out over Pine Creek and I couldn’t get past it. I Don’t think I would rate this as moderate much of the trail is extremely rocky due to avalanches. I would rate it as hard due to the number of switch backs that are difficult to walk due to the excessive rocky trails.

Amazing beautiful hike

Half of the trail was snowed out and had to trek through it which was I wasn’t expecting. Trail was not clearly marked because of it. Would have enjoyed this trail a lot more probably in a couple of months. The views were pretty though. Was really looking for the Twenty Lakes trail which was supposed to be off of this one but because trail wasn’t marked clearly just ended up finishing this trail instead.

Amazing hike, snow got us lost but when arrived to crystal lake the view was beautiful

Alpine lakes, shade, and a great view of the basin; what more do you need?

The trail does get unclear due to snow and runoff, but at now point is is dangerous or precarious. If you're unsure of the trail due to snow, or unclear demarcations then I'd suggest looking up hill a bit and seeing where the trail head continues and ladder up. You'll reconnect with the trail after 10-20 feet or so.

Amazing.

went june 5-6, 2018. tough hike with amazing views. be sure to call or check-in and ask about snow levels. the bridge is out so also ask about the water level in the creek. hike is well worth it.

one option is to just do the easy hike to where the bridge is out and enjoy the waterfall and rapids.

Just a really nice walk.

very pretty but not for those who are out of shape. I would consider this hike to be steep. also there is a really narrow log bridge over a steep roaring Creek. not for those who are scared of falling. I believe fern lake is more beautiful. turn right and go to fern lake for better views and a short hike.

hiking
7 days ago

Strenuous especially after the trail junction. Local maps say it is a 4.4 mile round trip hike. The day we went it was very, very windy. When we got to the lake we literally were almost blown over. But it was a gorgeous little cirque. Someday I’ll probably do it again.

Tried to go today instead of boarding and the main road was closed :(

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

A really great trail, easy for beginners as long as you're willing to take your time, stamina building for sure. Not too difficult of a grade but it definitely pushes you after a while. Loved it, the lakes were beautiful, and the way down is a breeze. The dogs loved it!

Beautiful trail but still a little early to complete the whole thing. Only made it to about Skelton Lake before the trail was too snowed in to continue with just hiking boots.

hiking
13 days ago

Nice views around the lake. More road walking than I would have liked.

Started at Lake Mary campground and walked to Mammoth Pass Trailhead. Hiked through patches of snow on the way up. Not much shade on the way down to Red's Meadow Resort. Trail on the map looked like it went to Red's Meadow Campground but takes you more towards the resort. Went via the pack trail down to Rainbow Falls and the Lower Falls. Hiked up to Devil's Postpile and back to Red's Meadow Campground (Closed). There was luckily water at the Red's Meadow Resort that we could fill up from because it was very hot.

hiking
14 days ago

Did this one June 2nd. Great hike with awesome views at the lake, perfect for a lunch / mid point refuel. A little bit of snow on the trail towards the top, but no hazard at all. My GPS clocked this at 10.5 miles and 2,300 ft of gain

fishing
14 days ago

Trail is 98% passable now. Boots only touched snow a handful of times and those patches were very small and easily passable

Well marked trail, easy to follow. Several large trees have fallen across the trail and there are places where the brush needs to be cut back. The stream crossings: At Casa Vieja you can almost jump the water, the next one down the canyon is quite easy with some good flat rocks, the third crossing is a bit more challenging, the fourth crossing is a real challenge if you want to keep you feet dry.

Overall a real joy going in, and a real workout climbing out.

Beautiful hike. I had been to Grass Lake, but never Lamarck. It is beautiful

Beautiful views. Loved it.

Four stars for a beautiful lake with great snow ringed mountains. But less for no trail that I could see. Maybe high snow run-off covered up what will be a trail later in the season? Today the walk was either on the road or going near the lake through closed campgrounds. A very scenic road walk though.

backpacking
18 days ago

Did this 5/27-28/18 and there was snow along the last 1/4 mile. We got hit with a little rain and sleet once we got to Lost Lake, but kept going once it died down a little. The switchbacks at the top were not visible, so we followed the footsteps in the snow along the stream made by previous hikers, which also meant a higher grade climb. With our pack weight, we would sometimes posthole or slip on the icy snow. We saw groups of day hikers having trouble navigating through the snow, also. It would likely help to have shoe chains next time. Once at the top, you have to cross the stream to get to a few good camp spots. Go higher up away from the lake to find some clearings. We found a good spot to camp about 150 feet up, with views of the surrounding mountains and even the town of Mammoth in the distance. We couldn't travel far parallel to the lake due to marshy ground and large boulders. The lake was partially frozen on top. At night we heard a choir of what may have been the endangered yellow-legged mountain frogs, which was cool. We only saw one other backpacker camping at the lake, and not many people coming up on our way back down. Also had cell phone reception at the lake. We started at the Valentine Lake trailhead, which is east of the Sherwin Lake trailhead, and is approximately 4.5 miles each way. This was a relatively short hike, but strenuous at the top with the snow.

See my review of May 26th hike on Skeleton Lake Trail. We tried to hike to Barney Lake but there was so much deep snow and we were not prepared so we stopped at Skeleton Lake.

hiking
21 days ago

Caution: The late-season snowpack has made this trail significantly more difficult and treacherous than would be typical.

I went up on Memorial Day weekend and the trail disappears into the snow approx. 25-30% of the way up. The official trail that leads to the junction with the Mammoth Crest Trail is completely snowbound and demarcation appears absent. The granite crest that divides the lake basin from the preceding climb has less snow cover, owing to decreased tree cover, but large drifts prevail once again around Crystal Lake.

Crystal Lake is about 90-95% frozen over.

The snowfields cover multiple areas of steep ascent that is passable, but one should seriously evaluate equipment, fitness, and Alpine experience before continuing up into the snow-covered terrain. The snow is navigable in waterproof hiking boots and with sturdy trekking poles, but studded footwear or snowshoes would still be helpful even this late into the season. Going up is strenuous, but the descent can be very dangerous. Absent a clear trail, many are descending across snowfields over steep slopes. The snow becomes slick as the day progresses, so special care should be practiced at the upper descent.

I don't regret this hike, and the very and relative solitude was marvelous. But it was far more difficult that I had initially planned, and I had to be mindful to stay within my limits. Once the snow melts and the trails crews can access the terrain, I expect the conditions to improve drastically. For now, tread very carefully.

GREAT hike.

Did this trail on 5/27/18, could only get part way because of the snow up on the mountain. Still really enjoyed and the views were gorgeous.

hiking
21 days ago

MUST have proper hiking shoes, poles and micro spikes!!! Tons of snow, it’s doable but only enjoyable with these pieces. We are avid hikers and had to turn around from the snow fields.

Really nice hike. There is a restroom at the parking lot. But it’s not a very large lot so if your driving a motorhome I would suggest going early. When you get to the top there will be a large body of water, keep going the lake is about a quarter mile further up. So beautiful you can fish and swim there.

Did an out and back of 17 miles (to Owens Peak saddle). Loved the views and space, really recommend the walk. Was planning to try the saddle up the peak but the rain came and my tired legs voted to turn around instead!

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