Sherwin Lakes Trail

MODERATE 61 reviews
#14 of 107 trails in

Sherwin Lakes Trail is a 5.9 mile out and back trail located near Mammoth Lakes, California that offers scenic views. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
5.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1141 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

views

1 day ago

The first day hiking with a 25lb pack was challenging.
Great views

3 days ago

This is not an easy trail, but the payoff makes it worth it. The lake is full and the views are awesome.

hiking
5 days ago

9 days ago

a little rough as we live at sea level and have only just acclimated, and we're just at the beginning of moderate hiking- however the switchbacks aren't the worst we've done and the lakes and views were worth it. :)

10 days ago

Good hike, a good work out with all those switch backs

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12 days ago

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16 days ago

17 days ago

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19 days ago

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19 days ago

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23 days ago

26 days ago

The lake is breathtaking!

hiking
26 days ago

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28 days ago

29 days ago

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1 month ago

1 month ago

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1 month ago

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1 month ago

The great elevation change makes for amazing views along the switchbacks. It can be a little difficult to get to the lake shores as the trail mostly takes you around the rocks overlooking the lakes. It does make for a nice day hike. I found a nice spot on some rocks to have lunch.

hiking
1 month ago

May 28 2017. Went to Mammoth in February. Sherwin Creek Road was blocked off by snow. We were nervous that we would have to cancel our camping trip to Sherwin Creek as a result. Boy we were wrong. Snow has retreated to 8000'ish. Lake Mary was still closed however. Mammoth Mountain is still covered in snow.

Anyway Sherwin Lakes Trail
This is my second time doing this trail as it is my favorite. This time we drove to the trailhead from Sherwin Creek Campground.

Warning to all, a snow melt spring has eroded the road to the trailhead that connects with Sherwin Creek Road. For 4x4s it is a piece of cake. Everybody else should park near Sherwin Creek Road. I saw many brave sedan drivers turn around due to this.

The bathrooms are open and I recommend to use them as there is no bathroom at the lakes. Also carry hand sanitizer as it is a vault only toilet.

The start of the trail passes through the snow melt heavy Sherwin Creek. After that it goes through the heavy shaded pine forest. The trail here is muddy due to the snow melt that is racing downhill to the creek. The trail starts ascending with flat switchbacks until you reach the base of the hill where you will start switchbacking at a comfortable climb. Once you have done a couple you will have a view of Mammoth, the 395, the Sherwin Creek forest and Mammoth Mountain. Eventually you will start seeing the snow (my guess it will retreat completely by late-June up to Valentine Lake). At the moment the trail has one snow crossing of 3 yards in length. Taking your time or using mini spikes will get you through. Eventually you will reach the top of the hill (you will know because you will see the hill flatten). From here on there are two more mini insignificant switchbacks before the trail flattens and goes straight.

As you continue on the trail you will see a turquoise colored lake on your right. This is a vernal pool. Our main destination is close after passing a log the blocks the trail. After passing the log you will eventually reach Sherwin Lake on your right. The lake is full this year compared to last year. It is beautiful with the mountains in the horizon. Take a break, eat your lunch, fish for trout and even take a dip if you like. The uphill trip is a 2 hour ordeal for those that are below the intermediate range. We took our time on this hike since it is our favorite. We began at 10 and got to the lake at 12. Took a 40min break. We left and got back to the car at 2.

I definitely recommend hiking sticks if you are not physically fit. Water: about 5-8 bottles especially if you decide to go further to Valentine Lake. Mini spikes are optional but bring them just in case.