Duck Lake Trail is a 7.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mammoth Lakes, California that features a lake 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.
Beautiful trail in Mammoth. We backpacked in on a weekend so the trails were pretty crowded up until Barney lake. Then the ascent up the crest over to Duck Lake was pretty empty. There were only 3 other groups at the lake for the weekend so it felt like you almost had it all to yourself. Water was freezing even that late in the season, but amazing view of the Ansel Adams Wilderness can be found at the dam side of Duck Lake.
It's a tough hike especially gong over the pass. Took 5 hours with several brakes. Arrowhead lake and Duck lake are the highlights.
check out Ryan Rosario's review below for the first half of this hike. I recommend the fisherman's trail starting at Arrowhead as well. Mammoth Creek is beautiful.
From Skelton Lake to the base of the ascention to the pass...Barney Lake...pretty mild. From there to Duck Pass is moderately strenuous. Very rocky. Very gorgeous when you get to the pass. Check out Pike Lake and Duck Lake as well if you have time. Some nice off-trail adventuring.
Another popular hike is to attach this to Mammoth Crest via Crystal Lake at Lake George trailhead on through Deer Lakes ( semi cross-country). I'll be doing that in two days. Review to follow.
Not an easy hike for beginners. Hiked all the way to Duck Lake. Took about 6 hours and 8 miles total. There are multiple lakes that you see on the way to Duck Lake. Beautiful view at the end but plan a whole day for this!
Nice hike, but we came up emerald trail and descended duck pass. Skeleton lake is much nicer then arrowhead
Arrowhead Lake was beautiful and worth the hike
Favorite hike in Mammoth! Great Lakes, great views, great hike!
We took Duck Pass trail to Duck Lake (past Arrowhead) and camped out overnight. This trail does not disappoint. At every turn there was something amazing to view. The first part of the trail is straight up but don't let that stop you. Once you get past that it starts to even out and you get the beautiful sceneries that the Sierra Nevadas promises you. The lakes you pass and the streams you cross make you stop in wonder. If you take the trail up over the pass to Duck Lake you will be rewarded with a deep blue sea of water. Some tips: Bring water it gets hot up there, the mosquitoes are the size of birds spray before you go, wear lots of sunscreen and don't forget your camera! Happy Hiking :)
Read more about our trip in my blog:
Great trail and good fishing good for all skill levels. Beautiful lake and views are awesome.
Done this trail many many times. Sometimes for just a quick jaunt to arrowhead for some fly fishing, and other times on backpacking trips I took Duck Pass to the PCT to Purple Lake. Beautiful, but brutal. Rocky and dangerous in many areas.
Pack really light and you'll have fun. The elevation might kick your butt more than anything.
I recommend parking at the trailhead. While the trolley is nice, it is about a mile uphill through the campground to get to the trailhead.
This is a classic trail for hikers in Mammoth. I only went up the Skelton but it was a lot of fun. At Arrowhead, there is a large waterfall at the northern end, and then take the fisherman's trail along the lake to the southernmost end, where you will find another high, beautiful waterfall. As you hike back to the main trail from the waterfall, there is an abandoned mining hamlet with a cabin, a bunch of metal equipment just laying there, and a guillotine-looking thing. Very interesting finds. Skelton Lake is pretty big and beautiful. I mainly just walked along the west shore and then returned to the campground.
I am not a big fan of the 0.5 miles of the trail closest to the campground because it is endless switchbacks with very high (2 ft?) rock steps etc. It's like being in a neverending labyrinth. The climb in this section is a bit intense but a good workout, and pretty typical of the trails in this area.
An absolutely wonderful hike that gets you up into the high country and gives you 3+ lakes. I did it first thing in the AM and had it all to myself. The first part is a bit of work as your gaining most of your elevation. After that it's one beautiful meadow / lake after the other.
Great back packing trip.. Head to Barney Lake continue up to the top and over the mountain drop down into the valley to Emerald lake.. Beautiful..