Emerald Lake Trail

EASY 50 reviews
#7 of 100 trails in

Emerald Lake Trail is a 1.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mammoth Lakes, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and nature trips and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
1.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
393 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

trail running

forest

lake

views

hiking
6 days ago

Very nice stream running next to the trail. I was rather disappointed with the condition of the lake. It has been stagnant for quite some time and it not ideal for swimming.

hiking
7 days ago

Great hike beautiful lake!

11 days ago

The elevation gain happens fast. And the lake is at 9800 feet, so prepare to be winded.

hiking
13 days ago

For starters you have to drive all the way through Coldwater Campground for parking. Restrooms are available. make sure to go early because parking does fill up quickly. Beautiful short hike with small side trails to walk along the creek. Hike is about .75 miles both ways (1.5 miles). Dog Friendly as well.

21 days ago

Beautiful hiking trail parallel to a small stream, with wildflowers next to the bank, that was running in late July.  Trail has a lot of rocks and tree roots, and is a good climb uphill that I don't know if it ever really leveled off. At the halfway point, there is a fork in the path off to the right to hike to Lake George. Once you arrive at Emerald Lake, if you walk a little bit farther up the path, there is a trail sign pointing to another trail off to the right to a meadow that is only 1/4 mile up the trail. This trail is along the stream, again with many wildflowers.

hiking
24 days ago

A short but sweet hike with a nice lake at the top, I'd recommend continuing onto Sky Meadow if you feel up to adding another 2 miles!

hiking
1 month ago

Starting out from Coldwater Campground, we climbed along the stream for a few, and then the path leveled out. It was moderately busy, but it’s a very doable hike for all ages. Everyone warned us of the mosquitoes at the lake, but they weren’t too bad.

hiking
Thursday, July 13, 2017

Great trail to take your four legged friend on. Beautiful lake.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Great for 2 mile round trip with the dog. 7/10 still s little snow on the trail, but no biggie.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Great for super easy 2 mile round trip with the dog!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Dogs and hubby and I enjoyed the hike up and the beautiful lake once we got there!

hiking
Sunday, July 31, 2016

Gorgeous

hiking
Sunday, July 17, 2016

Beautiful scenic all the way

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Perfect for a family hike. We took our five year old and one year old in early June, when there were still a few patches of snow. A decent amount of shade and pretty lake to see. Next time, we will go further to see Sky Meadow. Definitely family friendly! And it could be a quick hike without kids.

hiking
Sunday, September 06, 2015

Easy hike. Though there is a steady climb at the beginning, it isn't nearly as steep as the other trails in the Lakes Basin. The lake is small, but has its own unique beauty, it's not "just another lake." To make a full day out of it, after reaching Emerald Lake, head up the trail along Coldwater Creek to Sky Meadows. I imagine the wildflowers would be out of this world up there in the spring.

hiking
Friday, October 10, 2014

I also hiked this via the Lake George side, following signs to TJ and Emerald lake. Short, yet high elevation climb will leave you pretty winded if not used to the altitude. Once up it is relatively flat and easy. Views are beautiful and Crystal Crag is a sight.

hiking
Saturday, June 14, 2014

The emerald lake trail is a fun easy trail for beginners. The trail starts out uphill for about half a mile then flattens out until you reach Emerald Lake. Should only take about 20 - 30 minutes at a good pace. Go in the early morning to avoid crowds (Around 8 AM is when we went).

Emerald lake is small compared to most lakes in the area but is still very beautiful. Fish were everywhere you looked in early June.

I like to turn this trail into a loop by going up Skeleton Lake about another 1.5 miles north, then from there take the trail down to Arrowhead Lake and then back to Coldwater Campground where you park. You can go even more north if you want, up to Duck Lakes if you're looking for a great overnight backpacking trip.

Overall good easy hike, great for family's and dogs. Not one of the most exciting lakes in the area to hike to by any means but still cool and one that everyone should get a chance to visit.

hiking
Sunday, November 03, 2013

We loved this hike! It was mid July, and the wildflowers were just ALL over the place. Easy hike, my biggest suggestion is for Mosquito spray~ the buggers were out in full force, and being right by the water, the fed heartily!

hiking
Saturday, July 20, 2013

Not a difficult hike. Good for a quick family hike. We like to follow cold water creek most of the way up (less dust). Definitely wear bug repellent.

hiking
Thursday, June 27, 2013

I like to hike to Emerald lake by starting from the right side of lake George and following the signs up to lakes TJ and Barrett. From the back left side of lake Barrett (you will be able to see lake Mary off in the low ground to your right from here) you can follow the signs to Emerald lake. Very few people on the trail (far less than crystal lake trail which also starts from lake George.) watch out for bugs and enjoy!

hiking
Sunday, June 02, 2013

Quick jaunt! Good, quick hike to do between arriving and dinner.

hiking
Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A cool little hike. Very green-don't forget bug reppellant.Early last year the mosquitos were biting right through the Deet! Bugs aren't too much of a problem later in summer/fall. Good hike for the whole fam!

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