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Crystal Lake Trail

MODERATE 444 reviews
#2 of 120 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
8 days ago

Great hike, nice day.

hiking
9 days ago

A favorite trail that I have hiked since 12 years old through young adulthood. Haven’t been back to this trail in 30 years; was excited to revisit! Switchbacks for the first mile, but nice shade. Lots of rocks and tree roots along the way, with a few rocky steps, some very high, so take your time on those for us older folks! Trekking poles were a godsend for me, and noticed that many people used them, young and old. I wore lightweight trail runners and they were perfect. Several people out hiking, some with their dogs and kids. everyone was in a cheerful mood, and the day was beautiful! (Wednesday sept 11th) the lake is beautiful as I remember! Very worthwhile walk, be sure to not miss this while in Mammoth!

hiking
9 days ago

Low effort high reward, views are incredible. Almost no traffic on a Friday evening.

hiking
11 days ago

I only went to Mammoth Lakes in the first place because I had a hotel there for my days at Yosemite. I was quite surprised then to find out how nice the area itself is, which is why I decided to do this great hike. While it goes uphill the entire way, it's still very doable. The lake is really nice, but so are the views along the way. Excluding a break at the lake, it also took me around 1.5 hours, so this is one that can be done if you are a bit in a hurry.

hiking
12 days ago

Beautiful hike in the early morning. Dogs loved the lake! Good amount of foot traffic, but well worth it.

hiking
14 days ago

Great out and back trail with a beautiful lake at the end. Pretty strenuous for 1 mile because it is consistently uphill, but well worth it. On the way back keep to the trail on the left so as not to go off, which happened easily.

hiking
15 days ago

Amazing trail !! And at the end beautiful lake view ! Hike back is easy ...

hiking
16 days ago

The side trail to the top, after reaching Crystal, is well worth the effort. Going back down, the trail splits after creek. Pay attention and bear left.

Easy short hike. Crystal lake is very pretty but the rest of the hike is nothing special (there is a good view of the town from up top, before you get to the lake). I started around 9 on a weekday and it wasn't busy on the way up but coming down I passed many people -- most with either a fishing pole or a dog. Speaking of: dog poop, horse poop, litter... it's clearly a popular trail. This isn't a hike to do if you are looking to have peace or quiet.

hiking
rocky
21 days ago

hiking
22 days ago

views of at least four different lakes throughout.

fishing
23 days ago

Great hike, beautiful views, fishing is tough. I went this morning, I was searching for that elusive golden trout. Steep going up, I’m guess almost 2500 - 3000 feet over a short distance. You then travel down to crystal lake. I fished about 80% of the shoreline and had a few rises but the fish weren’t taking what I was offering. A few people there and on the trail but not what I would call crowded. A few swimmers, water was cold but I wished I had brought something to swim in. Be careful on the way back I went off trail and had to back track - uphill several hundred yards. I only noticed because the view was different as was the sound of the creek that flows out of the lake. There was a nice breeze all day so no bugs!

dope hike, not difficult at all but yes a bit strenuous for being so short, worth it!

hiking
30 days ago

Be careful on the way back. It’s easy to go off trail in the first half mile of the return- it looks like a well worn trail but if you hear an alert from your phone check to see if it’s telling you you’re off trail. I’ve rarely gotten off trail before like on this one. Beautiful views. Some mosquitos. Nice water temp!

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Beautiful! Some bugs, but not a whole lot. Laid on a rock near the lake for a good 30 mins. Weather was great!

hiking
1 month ago

Worth the huff and puff to get to a beautiful lake. We hiked mid afternoon on a Sunday and passed a few people heading back. It was a steep hike with lots of switchbacks. There are plenty of spots to stop along the way to catch your breath and take in the wonderful mountain and lake views.

hiking
1 month ago

Great short hike to a beautiful lake!

hiking
1 month ago

Good hike with some steep inclines with lots of switch Backs. Views were amazing, the workout was good. Bring your Camer. Not too difficult, but enough for a couple hour hike with nice views.

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent trail condition. Amazing views.

hiking
1 month ago

Steep switchbacks up all the way, difficult but manageable for two overweight out of shape flatlanders. So many great views. Lots of spots to stop and rest or take a good pic. The lake is beautiful, cold, and good for swimming. The mountain backdrop against the lake is really pretty. Good for dogs. Bugs were horrendous even drenched in bug spray, they swarmed- our fault for going in the afternoon. Go in morning if you can.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views from just about any part of the hike. There was a few snow patches when I hiked yesterday. Dog friendly - several dogs off leash. Come early because parking can get full.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful, complete serenity! Go early to avoid the crowds...

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice hike......we loved the lake and the views getting there.

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

Nice trial, beautiful scenery not too busy. Got eaten alive by bugs at crystal lake.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this yesterday, a few snow patches on the way up but trail was clear and only a few bugs. We did see an adolescent bear close to the trail on the way down, looked as if it was headed down to the campground to forage.

hiking
1 month ago

Uphill from the trailhead to the top of the Crest and worth every step. Great for a morning hike. Look forward to doing the entire Mammoth Crest Loop.

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

Incredible views from the top before heading down towards crystal lake. Definitely worth walking around the lake and finding a spot to take a dip! Be prepared for some mosquitos.

hiking
1 month ago

Set out early (645am) and only one other person on trail. Gentle hike following yesterday’s hike to Thousand Island Lakes. Very enjoyable. Doable for a family with hiking backpack or kids 8+. Some incline, but enjoyable views along the way to stop and rest. Plenty of shade. Very few bugs this early in the morning.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful, and definitely steep, hike to Crystal Lake offering wonderful views of Lake George from above!

2 months ago

This was a nice trail and lake. I had done a 16 mile trail earlier from Mammoth Pass so I wanted to do a nice relaxing walk around a lake to end the day. This was not it! This trail is kinda short but its ascending the whole time and with snow in many areas especially before the lake. The trail ascends near George Lake and literally is at the top and behind that weird mountain formation on the ridge above surrounding George Lake. The lake was nice and it's a short trail so easy to do again. You also get a great view of the Mammoth Lakes area on the way down.

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