Earthquake Fault Trail is a 0.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mammoth Lakes, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 0.3 miles Elevation Gain: 16 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

A more appropriate name for the nearly straight fracture would be "Earthquake Fissure." Because the rocks on both sides have not moved much vertically of laterally relative to one another, it is not really a "fault." The fissure is up to 10 feet wide and 60 feet deep. The Earthquake Fault was formed by tectonic stresses in the earth's crust. The sides are jagged, un-eroded, and lack pumice fill, suggesting it is still very young in geologic time. The fissure runs north and south, and lines up with the dike that fed the Inyo Domes. Someday the magma might rise to the surface, but it is also possible that the fissure could just slowly fill up with debris. These are the unknowns of geology, and what makes studying this area so exciting. The snow from the winter months would sometimes last up to year round in the bottom of the fissure. Because of this the local Native Indians would store their food at the bottom of the fissure during the warmer months. A short walking trail surrounds this natural phenomenon. Majestic red fir and Jeffrey pine trees make this a nice spot for a picnic. Source: USDA Forest Service Inyo National Forest

4 months ago

not really a hike, great spot for all you geology fans

hiking
6 months ago

Pretty amazing!

hiking
7 months ago

This trail is short and sweet. Plenty of shade. A quick hike. Very easy.

8 months ago

Definately interesting but not really a hike at all.

hiking
9 months ago

Nice little trail.

hiking
9 months ago

Trail was fine condition. Technically this is a fissure not a fault per the info. Very easy non-strenuous. Our two pugs cooed with it fine!

hiking
10 months ago

Not really a trail but worth a short stop to see the fissure.

hiking
11 months ago

The fissure is right next to the parking lot and it only takes a few minutes to walk around it. However, it’s worth your time as it’s an interesting example of the volcanic activity that shaped the area.

recorded earthquake fault trail

hiking
11 months ago

really cool geological features but I wouldn't call it a hike. it was more of a lazy stroll

hiking
11 months ago

Hard to find the turn for the parking lot off the main road(no signs), but once we did it's an easy short drive to a lot with restrooms. Easy walk down to the fault. For June there was still big piles of snow, but it can be easily walked on or avoided. It is amazing to see the fault and you can walk around the entire fault on all sides to get nice pictures and views! Not too long to hike (2 min walk).

hiking
Sun May 26 2019

It’s pointless when it’s snowed out, couldn’t find trail or see the fault line. Will Come back when it’s melted.

hiking
snow
Sun May 26 2019

Great little trek to the fissure. Definitely not a hike, although we went on 5/25 and there was plenty of snow, which added to the fun. The parking lot was impassable with all the snow so we parked on the main road and walked up. Enjoy!

Tue Apr 09 2019

not a hike, but pretty cool.

Thu Sep 27 2018

Short but a good to see in Mammoth.

hiking
Wed Aug 15 2018

More of a short walk than a hike. 100 yards from parking lot. Cool to see tho.

Tue Jul 31 2018

The trail is just a short walk around the “fault”. Very cool to see. Venturing out into the forest after taking a look at this was fun though.

Sun Aug 13 2017

Not really a hike but a great stop.

hiking
Sun Aug 06 2017

Nice improvement from the old location by the side of the road...

hiking
Sat Aug 05 2017

Easy very short walk to the fault and I was surprised how deep and narrow the walls were. I though it was an interesting walk

walking
Fri Jun 09 2017

Snow has melted, so we were able to park in the lot. Short walk to the fault. Interesting to see. Lots of erosion along the sides and the sign at the parking entrance is gone. Looks like some maintenance is needed.

hiking
Mon May 29 2017

Moderate snow. Enough to keep a two wheel drive from reaching the parking lot. Still, this was a nice hike, over the snowbanks and around the fenced-off fault (which I discovered is really a fissure). Met another hiker who indicated that after the snow melts one can walk in the bottom of the fissure.

hiking
Wed Jun 15 2016

One of the unique features of the Mammoth Lakes area, this earthquake fissure looks like a separated jigsaw puzzle because both sides look like they could be pushed back together. The fissure is about 10 feet wide and up to 60 feet deep. Caused by a glassy rhyolite lava flow from Mammoth Mountain maybe 200 years ago, the fault lines up with the Inyo-Mono Craters and lines up with the gradual widening of the Basin and Range region. The fissure runs north and south, and the short trail goes around both sides of the fault. Located a short ways up Minaret Road on the right after the junction with Hwy 203 (Main St) at the stop light. Worth the short stop to get out of the car and take a gander.

hiking
4 days ago

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6 months ago

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6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

recorded Earthquake Fault Trail

walking
7 months ago

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