Crystal Lake Trail

MODERATE 210 reviews
#1 of 99 trails in

Crystal Lake Trail is a 3.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Mammoth Lakes, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and fishing and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
3.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
833 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

fishing

hiking

nature trips

forest

lake

views

muddy

snow

Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park, 47050 Generals Highway , Three Rivers, CA, 93271-9651, Phone: 559-565-3341, Fax: 559-565-3730, TTY: 559-565-3196

hiking
2 days ago

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 )

hiking
3 days ago

Great views and very relaxing once at the lake

hiking
4 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.

hiking
12 days ago

Great hike, very beautiful.

12 days ago

Beautiful!!

hiking
14 days ago

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!!

15 days ago

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!

hiking
15 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.

hiking
17 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.

22 days ago

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.

hiking
25 days ago

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

26 days ago

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

28 days ago

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...

hiking
29 days ago

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

1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

If you are looking for a short scenic hike in the mammoth lakes area. This is a great choice. The views as you climb over the lakes are beautiful. Actually I feel the views on the way up are more impressive than Crystal Lake itself. It was about a 2 hour round trip for us and my girlfriend is not really a hiker. However it is a constant climb on the way to the lake. Like most hikes early morning is always the best time in the summer. No people and the light on the lake and mountains is amazing.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike today with the family and a hundred of our closest friends! (4 star rating is just because it was crowded). Trail is easy to follow (no more snow), and cutting the switchbacks is not necessary. The trail is well-graded, never flat but never to steep either. Lake is beautiful and the swim was perfect. Enjoy!

hiking
1 month ago

Crystal Lake Trail is a moderately challenging hike with beautiful vistas and panoramic views of Lakes Mary and George below.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely stunning view of the lakes.

hiking
1 month ago

Fast easy hike.. saw too many people going off trail due to the snow (please don’t do that, it ruins the hike). Decided to turn around and wait for the snow to melt. Snow should be gone by July 4th

1 month ago

One of the prettiest alpine lakes with minimal effort to get there. Cool view of lake George and lake Mary from above. Watching climbers on crystal crag was an unexpected bonus.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing beautiful hike

2 months ago

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

2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months 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.

hiking
2 months 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.

2 months ago

Amazing Hiking and swimming

6 months ago

This place is breathtaking. Seems almost unreal. I will come back again and again - hiked in October of ‘17

9 months ago

Hike is so worth the constant switchbacks (which did seem like forever but it ends I swear!)

hiking
9 months ago

Very nice hike thru woods, the incline is a little tough for beginners a lot of switchbacks but just keep going the views of the lakes are magnificent it’ll be well worth it.

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