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Hilton Lakes Trail

MODERATE 41 reviews
#18 of 63 trails in

Hilton Lakes Trail is a 12.1 mile moderately 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 and nature trips and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 12.1 miles Elevation Gain: 2,152 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

hiking
bugs
15 days ago

Nice moderate trail. Lots of bugs so wear layers. It gets really cold once the sun sets. Beautiful views of Rock Creek and Hilton lake

12.5 mile hike

backpacking
1 month ago

Great backpacking trip. Went to and around Davis Lake for five nights. Day hiked to 2nd and third lakes. Hiked completely around Davis and 2nd Lakes. Getting around 2nd Lake requires some bouldering skills. All the lakes were full in mid September 2019 and bugs were not a big deal. Very few other campers but did see several day hikers who were going to 2nd and 3rd Lakes. Went with my Wife, two dogs and our cat. First camping trip for the cat and we still have Mosquito netting in our tent!

hiking
off trail
2 months ago

Great dog friendly trail with several gorgeous lakes! Initial climb is fairly easy but as you turn toward 2nd lake it’s a steep upward climb to lakes 2, 3 and 5. All trails map is slightly off in places (app tells you you’re off route despite you remaining on trail. Wildflowers still abundant, as are mosquitoes, though not too bad while you’re moving.

hiking
2 months ago

06/08/19 - LOTS of snow left & very little trail visibility. GPS required. Experienced backcountry hiking recommended. That being said, it was a fun adventure! Bring your deet.

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

The highest lake had the most amazing view! That said, the way to the first lake is very long and boring. Also, the part where you have to lose elevation and gain it right back is a bummer. Myriads of mosquitoes in the watery parts of the trail. Several horse packs went by, raising dust in the air and leaving smelly traces. Yet, amazing lakes!!! I'm happy i did this trail.

hiking
bugs
muddy
3 months ago

Did this hike yesterday, had to turn back at the five mile mark due to mosquitoes. Not just a few, swarms of them, hard to breath without inhaling mosquitoes. Trail is heavily used by pack teams, horse droppings litter the trail, smelly and lots of flies. Start early, little shade, very hot and sandy.

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

Just got back from 2 nights up at 3rd Lake. Ma-Skee-Toes. Bad. Always mosquitoes in the mountains and the severity depends on the amount of snowfall. The more water, the more mosquitoes and the longer they will be around. Since we had a ton of snow this year, tons of mosquitoes more than likely for most of the summer. I used my bug net and used spray on exposed skin and thin clothing and tried to reach a zen state with the little bastards so as to enjoy this great area. The hike starts with a pretty decent incline for about 1/3 mile or so. After that for the next three or so miles is a very pleasant hike with lots of gradual up and down sections with a sandy trail, which I really like compared to a lot of rocky switchbacks. This was one of my favorite hikes ever. The trail meanders through a beautiful forest with lots of shade opportunities. Some great views along the way. About the 3 mile mark you'll start a big gradual incline, which isn't too bad due to the soft trail. Not really much in the way of rocky switchbacks. Then, as one trail description indicated, you give all the elevation gain back as you decline to the junction of Davis/2nd Lake and 3rd/4th Lakes at the 4.6 mile mark. We hiked to 2nd Lake and found it very windy where all the good campsites were and nobody was around. So we back tracked a bit and decided to take a chance that 3rd Lake would be better......great decision. It was less windy and just 3 other groups at the lake. We crossed the stream when we first got to the lake and made our way to the right side of the lake about 200 yards and found a really nice campsite near the water. It was a bit windy at night, but only seemed to effect the tree tops....our tents weren't really effected. Just a few patches of snow here and there. We fished a bit in the afternoon on the southeast side of the lake and found a little "honey hole" where we caught and released a number of smaller fish. Then I was able to catch a nice 10" fish which I was very proud of until my nephew caught a "14 incher 10 minutes later....rainbows I think. All the smaller fish were cutthroat. Great dinner. The next morning we made our way to 4th lake which is beautiful. We had soggy boots crossing a couple rivers at the beginning of the lake, but well worth it. Tons of fish and some beautiful campsites on the west side. We decided next time we would camp here. We caught about 20 fish each (Sierra Slammers - Grasshopper), all on the small side but fun exploring the lake and catching fish. We returned to 3rd lake and after a short nap fished with power bait on a little "lawn" to the side of the outlet. My nephew caught one 30 seconds after it hit the water. The next three took a little more effort but the four fish made another tasty dinner. I love this hike and these lakes! Next time we hope to make our way to Davis lake and some of the other lakes in the area. Highly recommended hike and I'll be back. If you can't handle mosquitoes, wait until the water is gone. If you can, enjoy!!!

hiking
3 months ago

Enjoyed the hike. Better for overnight hikers or starting really early in the morning. Never made it to the lakes, but it was nice. Views were minimal until about an hour into the hike. Very sandy and rocky trail. Some muddy areas but weren’t difficult to get around.

hiking
4 months ago

Early June 2019 - had to do some significant route finding due to snow, but very rewarding, as we didn’t see another human on our day hike from Rock Creek to Crawley Pack Station. Great hike.

backpacking
Sunday, July 08, 2018

Nice and easy backpacking. But to many mosquitoes. Need more insect repellents.

hiking
Thursday, June 28, 2018

From the trailhead to the 3rd Hilton lake it is ruined by the packers! Deep dish sand with heaps of donky doo. Why don't they require poop bags? After lake 3 it was sublime. I suggest waiting until Fall after some rain and the packers go home.

hiking
Monday, May 28, 2018

Great hike. Goes from Rock Creek to Crowley Lake Campground BLM. Traffic was moderate on the trail and everyone was extremely friendly.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Backpacked this trail last weekend 9/28/17. Beautiful trail and amazing lakes .

Monday, July 03, 2017

hiked all the way through from hilton lakes to crowley blm today. the trail was relatively easy, although wet and marshy at Davis Lake. lots of bugs. 2nd Lake and Davis Lake were beautiful. Had to cross a pretty deep stream on the Crowley side, it was a little sketchy but doable. Very fun adventure.

backpacking
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A group of us backpacked up to Davis Lake and 2nd lake. Fun hike. Lots of snow at the top ridge before you descend to the lakes. It made following the trail difficult. The views all around were gorgeous. There are several streams to cross on the trail in the first few miles. You'll be in and out of the shade of pines. It was real warm this weekend, even in areas with the snow. As a day hike it's nice to the ridge, but may be difficult to get to the Hilton lakes right now. The view or 2md lake was amazing. The fishing in Davis was great.

camping
Thursday, October 08, 2015

Great trip for the family good fishing and saw a couple of brown bears

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A friend and I lost a dog up in the Hilton/Davis Lakes area on July 16th. If anyone notices any sign of a lost, 90lb, black/brindle (white chest) hound dog roaming around in the woods, please call David at 305-333-8681. Any sign of him, however uncertain, will be much appreciated. Thanks everyone!

hiking
Friday, June 27, 2014

6/28/14, hiked from pine glen camp trail head up to upper lakes. 2200foot elevation gain, 8.7 miles. this can be a hot hike. fall is best. can be a busy horse trail.

hiking
Sunday, November 03, 2013

I lived in Hilton Creek/Crowley Lake this summer, so this trail was easy access for me and my dog. I haven't completed the entire trail yet, but what we've completed thus far was very enjoyable. The beginning at the trail head is quite a steep climb, so eat your Wheaties before you head out! Fun to reach the top and peer out over Crowley Lake!

fishing
Sunday, August 22, 2010

Rated easy, if your not carrying a full backpack!!! Beautiful hike, we hiked it and continued on to Davis 2 and camped for 5 days! Great hikes up to Hilton Lakes, great fishing and beautiful views of the mountains!

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

recorded Hilton Lakes Trail

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

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