Big McGee Lake

MODERATE 14 reviews
#22 of 100 trails in

Big McGee Lake is a 13.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mammoth Lakes, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

13.3 miles
2,860 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly




horseback riding

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running




wild flowers


11 months ago

Very nice hike with amazing views. We had good weather except for a brief rain shower but the other than that beautiful. Would not mind getting back out and doing it again. We didn't go over the pass to Tully's lake but would like to do it sometime.

Monday, August 07, 2017

It was one of the stranger hikes I've been on for sure! I was enjoying the amazing scenery when I came upon a couple fornicating on the big log near the marina turnoff. The rest of the walk was uneventful but I did come across at least 3 piles of human feces. I was warned about that but didn't believe it. Have respect!

Friday, August 04, 2017

Beautiful but...
As stated previously, the two first Creek crossings are very challenging, especially with full packs where balance may be an issue. Still very high flows, so don't take any risks. Expect to get wet.
Mosquitoes above first crossing bad, and get worse as you go up in elevation. I'm no wimp when it comes to mosquitoes, but when we were up there during the last weekend in July, it was pretty much unbearable. And it never let up at night - I was getting swarmed even at midnight. Of course, this is likely to reduce substantially later in the season, assuming it dries out a bit.
But the wildflowers were awesome! The water was cascading everywhere, and it was good to see all the snow so late in the year.
Have fun!

Monday, June 26, 2017

beautiful valley. The creek is flowing strong. We planned on hiking up to Big McGee Lake but the bridge 2.5 miles in is washed out and broken. The bank is washed out also. The creek is flowing so strong it's dangerous. But the hike up with snow on the peaks and the green valley is gorgeous. coming back one day to make it up to the lakes. You may get wet at Horse Spring Falls crossing. great half day hike

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Only hiked about 3 miles in and even though it was a hot mid afternoon hike, there was still a breeze an plenty of places in rest in the shade along the way. Beautiful scenery, plenty of wildflowers and of course McGee Creek was full and furious! Great hike. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Tremendous! The views were outstanding. 3 hours up to the lake at a good pace and 3 hours back. Tired at the end and enjoyed a nice dinner and wine!

Monday, October 13, 2014

This is part of McGee Creek Trail and just one destination of many. We hiked it as an overnight backpacking trip with Big McGee Lake as our stopover. Our goals for the trip: autumn color and Red Slate Mountain. The first day, starting past bright yellows drawing lines all over the hills, we kept to the old road to hike up to Scheelore Mine, then dropped back and hiked up to the lake. The second day, we hiked up to McGee Pass, then continued generally along use trail up to the top of Red Slate Mountain. It is possible to do this as a class 1, but you still have to know what you are doing when climbing it. The mountain isn't much to look at, but you aren't looking at the mountain when sitting on top of it. The canyon above Convict Lake and the lakes and basin south of Mammoth are both amazing. Red and White Mountain, which dominates the view above Big McGee Lake, is stunning. All in all, a most excellent peak to sit atop. If you go over the pass, the trail will end at the Pacific Crest Trail (and John Muir Trail). Besides the spur to the mine, there is also a spur to high Steelhead Lake.

7 months ago

recorded McGee Creek Trail

9 months ago

10 months ago

Friday, August 18, 2017

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Sunday, October 02, 2011