Laurel Lakes

MODERATE 20 reviews
#19 of 98 trails in

Laurel Lakes is a 9.7 mile lightly 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 May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

9.7 miles
3,031 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly


mountain biking

off road driving

scenic driving




over grown



The ultimate in SUV adventure roads. Challenging but not overwhelming with breathtaking scenery. Climb to secluded, crystal-clear mountain lakes near 10,000 feet and fish for brown and golden trout. Primitive, secluded camping along Laurel Creek in lower part of canyon. Great early-summer wildflowers and changing aspens in the fall. Trail is open to mountain bikers, hikers, ATVs and dirt bikes. A short and convenient drive from the town of Mammoth Lakes, a premier outdoor recreation destination. Located in Inyo National Forest. Narrow, steep and rocky shelf road. Good visibility of road ahead allows you to anticipate when passing will be necessary. Suitable for all stock, high-clearance 4-wheel-drive SUVs. Snow may block upper portion of trail well into July.

28 days ago

Rocky but fun!

scenic driving
5 months ago

Been to Laurel Lake 44 times! Always 4x4! (mine is a Jeep TJ standard) Talk to a Forest Ranger in Mammoth Lakes--Sometimes they have new updates on trail. Arrive at trail beginning "early" say sunrise up to 11:00 a.m. Then enjoy the drive and peninsula on lake. Peninsula is highest place to legally have a campfire! Wonderful fly fishing here! 7 wonderful hikes around & above lake. When driving back down never, ever leave till 2:00 p.m. ! ! WHY? Road is narrow...just a bit winder than your vehicle! No head on meeting! Very difficult to dive backwards with steep drop offs. Only 2 areas to pass each other and far apart. My Activity: 4x4, fishing, photography, hiking, walking.
Best months to go up: no snow. Saturday can be to crowded---new visitors unaware of narrow road!

off road driving
9 months ago

Did this trail on a 2005 KTM EXC 450 and had my brother in law with his built up Jeep LJ. For carbed bikes, I highly recomment adjusting your jet. I went down to a 168 but I feel i should have gone down to a 160 since i had the fuel screw turned in heavily. She was definitely gasping for air. For vehicles, I recommend pressuring down and having an air compressor ready. Make sure your tires have a good side wall, the rocks were pretty sharp and plentiful. Didn't catch anything here, but the lake was gorgeous with some snow in the distance.

off road driving
10 months ago

Best of the Best

off road driving
10 months ago

Amazing time and breath taking views. Some tough moments with the jeep, especially the last turn. I saw a ton of razrs up there crushing it. Overall the end results is awesome. Water was sub zero.

off road driving
10 months ago

stock 2015 Toyota 4Runner Trail: take it slow and you'll be fine. Great camping

off road driving
Thursday, July 06, 2017

Anyone know whether or not a Polaris Ranger would make it up this road? Wondering if the "High Clearance" would be a problem for a ranger.


off road driving
Friday, June 09, 2017

Snow stopped us half way up. Nice rocky trail, a couple technical areas with deep ruts & boulders.
But a stock Suburban made it to the camp ground half way up.

off road driving
Tuesday, February 28, 2017

We went on Dualsport motorcycles, pretty easy most of the way. Beautiful clear skies that day. It's not listed here, but check out the trail to McGee Mountain, Mt Morrison Rd off 395. That was hairy, steep, lots of switchbacks on the way up. Beautiful view of the valley from the top. I'd rather been on 4 wheels than 2 that day. You Jeep people would love it !

off road driving
Friday, December 16, 2016

Great spot. Awesome camping at the end, and midway along the creek. I'm not sure how good of a hike it would be, lots of loose shale rock along the path. Fishing was poor which I was bummed about.

Monday, October 17, 2016

So beautiful the whole way! Lots of waterfalls and beaver dams. Took my 63 year old parents who are not avid hikers and they did great (with rests of course).

off road driving
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The last hairpin at the top has a pucker factor to it if you have a long wheelbase vehicle.

off road driving
4 days ago

off road driving
20 days ago

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7 months ago

off road driving
11 months ago

Sunday, April 30, 2017

off road driving
Sunday, August 02, 2015