Explore the most popular backpacking trails near Mammoth Lakes with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

11 hours ago

Nice short hike to lake sherwin and back. Took about 1.5 hrs out with some short stops and 50mins return.... downhill.

The hike is amazing shadow lake is nice but it doesn’t compare to Ediza. The trail is flat for most of it just rocky parts of gravel and rock a some steep inclines. Once you get to Ediza u won’t be disappointed you get a beautiful view of mount Ritter and banner peak even tho for me there was smoke that day

3 days ago

Beautiful hike! Easy+/Moderate. Views are stunning both ways. Hit a thunder and lightening storm, rain and sleet at Duck Lake. Saw horses and dogs on the trail, everyone friendly. Several lakes along the way to have a snack or cool your feet. Many places along the route to filter water. Mosquitos not too bad.

One of the best day trail hikes in eastern Sierra

great day hike an easy-moderate trail, not too stip. Both lakes are amazing and so many different landscapes! great day

Very nice hike! This is our 2nd time and it was just as pretty as the first. There is a lot of smoke in the area due to the Lions fire but there was none on this hike, which was a real plus. The first mile is some work and the switchbacks leading to the top of the pass are challenging but doable. Go on this one, you won’t be disappointed!

Amazing hike, not much people and gorgeous scenery. One of the bests I made!!

19 days ago

Awesome hike. Well marked and worth going to the top to see Valentine Lake. 10.2 miles with 1925 feet of elevation. Not crowded and no smoke today.

Beautiful views. Trail is washed out a bit due to rock slides. After the stream crossing, it’s quite difficult as you’re walking over rocks and have to cross some difficult rock slide areas to get to the trail. No place to camp once you start the trail until you get to Lake Mildred so get an early start as it is all uphill.

19 days ago

Went on this hike this past weekend with a few friends and my dog, and the views were just breath taking. I must say this hike was a bit challenging at the beginning and the end, but it is totally worth it. You pass by quite a few lakes and creeks, which could be great for some fishing. We even got to see some deer on our hike up there as well as some beautiful trees and flowers. In total with all the turn-offs we did to see the lakes we hiked 10.6 miles. Make sure if you do go on this hike to start as early as possible and pack lots of water and food!

20 days ago

Great day hike. We walked to the trailhead while camping in Coldwater Creek Campground. Partially shaded for the first half of the hike. The switchbacks over the pass to get to Duck Lake is hard, but definitely worth it for the views of Pika and Duck lakes. Although those switchbacks are tough, I would highly recommend this day hike. Bring some snacks/food and be sure to have enough water.

21 days ago

I hiked from Red Meadows to Horseshoe lake and enjoyed good views at the outset. Was glad to have plenty of water with me as the hike is quite exposed for most of the way. Super quiet which I love - and I enjoyed the almost constant ascent. Do it the other way around if you’re more into downhill!

21 days ago

Beautiful hike in mid July. Quite heavily trafficked but did not detract from the beautiful nature. Worth hiking down to water level of Duck Lake and taking a dip if you don’t mind the cold mountain water! A great moderate hike. Will do it again.

Hiked this today with two friends. Our total distance was 15.37 miles as we did a full circuit of Ediza lake, before retracing our steps to the trailhead. Beautiful area of lakes, rivers, waterfalls and all that hiking in the Sierras has to offer. Visibility was reduced a fair bit by smoke from a fire burning about 5 miles away.

23 days ago

Gorgeous trail, saw other hikers but not to busy. No mosquitoes when we were out on 7/27.

trail running
23 days ago

great trail! gets a little rocky closer to the end, but in all is a trail that can be worked. Finished in about 3.5 hours there and back.

Amazing trail!! Really worth it. First part, up to sherwin lake is ok, I would say it’s easy and some beautiful views.
From Sherwin to Valentines is awesome!! Beautiful and variate landscapes!
The last part is tough! All way up to the hill (after a few miles hiking), but the price when you reach valentines lake, absolutely worth it.
I really recommend this hike!!
We readed that there were a lot of mosquitos. Fortunately we only saw a few, anyway, I recommend using some Mosquito repellent.
* Our gps watch marked 10.2 miles

(we did the hike on 21/07/2018)

24 days ago

Bring a fishing pole! Trail is a bit longer than what is listed on AllTrails.

Don’t let the difficult rating scare you away. A challenging but do able day hike, this trail rewards you with a beautiful view of the Eastern Sierras and a pristine alpine/ glacial lake (Duck lake). This trail follows many lakes that are connected by a running stream so if you want to go light on water and sterilize your own as you go you can. I went towards the end of July when temps were 77 deg around noon but with the high elevation and lack of clouds it gets warm, I started to delayer half way through. Don’t forget the sunscreen and bug spray

Just finished this. Took about 8 hours. Lost the trail once I saw duck pass on the ridge. Thankfully this app’s GPS works without service. It saved me. The talus was challenging but pretty solid with minimal loose rocks. There was a gorgeous nameless aqua blue lake before the talus. So amazing. Ps. Took my Siberian husky and he loved it.

It’s not easy, but its also not too strenuous. Gorgeous views are worth it. I did it in about 5 hours, with brief stops for rests or photos. There was ample parking at the trailhead and bathrooms (with flushing toilets and TP!) The first part was nicely shaded and woodsy, but the back half you are pretty exposed as you climb up rocky switchbacks. On a Saturday you won’t be the only one on the trail, but it’s not very crowded — there were spans of time when I didn’t pass by or see anyone for 30 or 40 mins. If you’re into a shorter hike, Skelton Lake is gorgeous and a worthy destination, without as much climbing as you need to do to get to Duck Lake.

This was our second hike in the Mammoth Lakes area (Duck Lake was our first) and we were very happy we chose this for our 2nd day and we were more a bit more acclimatized to the altitude.

- This hike is one of THE MOST BEAUTIFUL river-side hikes we’ve ever done. Really a STUNNING river all the way up with lots of changes in size, speed, falls, etc. I think this hike is all about the river - don’t get me wrong the lakes are beautiful too but the river is stunning!

Hike description:
- It starts flat and then downhill to Shadow Creek. Then the trail ascends up to Shadow Lake with beautiful switchbacks and little shade. Beautiful river and waterfalls. Shadow Lake is half-way point to Ediza and great spot for a stop and snack. Shadow Lake to Ediza includes beautiful river-side shaded trails and also another steep and exposed (but shorter) climb toward Ediza.
- Between the two switchback sections the trail meanders along-side the river in many covered areas with stunning wildflowers, green growth and shade. Beautiful hiking!
- At Ediza there are at least two options. The official bridge is washed out so 1) stay on the right side of Ediza and enjoy the lake from that side - you’ll need to stay on the trail on the right of the river - enjoy some light bouldering - and you’ll get there easily. We found a nice breeze (and few bugs) there so we really enjoyed it. Or 2) you can cross the river and hike to the left side of Ediza - we didn’t cross but looks like the most shallow crossing is about 0.25 down-river (backtrack) from the broken bridge along the river (which is off the main trail).
- We started at 8:30am and finished at 3:45pm (back to parking lot). About 13 miles in 7 hours at comfortable pace with many short stops and one longer lunch stop.

- The drive to the trailhead can be a bit confusing. Officially you can drive and park at the trailhead only before 7am (and after 7am you’re supposed to park at the Mammoth Adventure Center and take a shuttle to the trailhead). We drove in around 8am on a weekday and were able to find spots at the trailhead. It was a bit of a risk since the trailhead does fill up which would have meant driving back up to the Adventure Center and taking the shuttle (which would have cost us at least 30 extra minutes depending on the shuttle schedule). Obviously it was nice to have our car at the trailhead when we finished.
- We started at 8:30am and the mosquitoes were fierce all the way to Ediza. My partner wound up with 50+ bites. Highly recommend you wear LOOSE clothing (so bugs don’t bike through clothing) and lots of repellent.
- Due to the mosquitoes we didn’t find the hike as relaxing - we had to keep moving all the way to Ediza. Although that probably helped us keep a good pace, it would have been nice to be able to stop and enjoy here and there.

Overall a stunning hike! Highly recommended, especially if you get lucky with the season and don’t have to deal with the mosquitos.

29 days ago

This was our first hike in the Mammoth Lakes area and we couldn’t be happier we started here. Beautiful trail leading to multiple stunning lakes. Other reviews give a great description of the trail - here’s what we found:
- Mosquitos were not bad at all (we were expecting much worse given the recent reviews) but somewhat active at beginning of trail.
- Barney Lake is worth the trail if that’s all you get to (and it’s a fairly easy hike to get there). If you go, hike past Barney and up the switchbacks a bit to get a view back onto the lake and the mountains.
- We took a right at Duck Lake and walked out about .25 miles - it was enough for us to get a sense of the lake. Round trip about 8 miles which was a perfect first day in the mountains.
- The trail is popular and includes runners - some were a bit rude and passed us without saying a word. Yes, it’s their trail too but we still found this way of sharing the mountains rude.
- We returned via the Emerald Trail Lake and highly recommend it. Emerald Lake was beautiful and the trail was a smooth downhill back to the parking lot.

Fabulous hike and highly recommended!

Melanie is right. It was hot.

But it wasn't hard. Because I went FROM Horseshoe Lake (via McLeod) TO Red's Meadow (via Rainbow Falls). After McLeod, it was either flat, or all downhill, which provided spectacular views of Red's Meadow because of the previous fire that cleared out a lot of old growth. Too bad about the fire. But I do like my photos.

Then took the bus from Red's Meadow to Main Lodge ($8! TIP: Tell the driver you are exiting before the Monument exit and you don't have to pay to board. Then linger on the bus and exit where you want.) the Tram to the Village, and Uber to Horseshoe Lake to get the car. All in time to get pie at East Side Bake Shop before 3pm.

Winner winner chicken dinner.

Great hike ,was a bit challenging but worth it when we got to Duck Lake. Beautiful wildflowers and Thankfully no mosquitos !

We started from rainbow falls and took the pass over to Horseshoe Lake. It was mostly uphill and hot as it was in unshaded areas because of the fire that affected the area years ago resulting in there being smaller trees. The trail would probably be better taken as shown here from Horseshoe Lake to Rainbow falls as it would be less uphill and more downhill.

Amazing, went last month. Still a lot of snow on the ground up by iceberg lake and we did not have crampons so we couldn’t make it to the other lakes past that. But iceberg lake was incredible. Mostly still frozen over at the time. Less mosquitos up there as well.

1 month ago

Great trail if you want to fish away from the crowds. Incredible views from the ridge above duck lake. A long day hike but gradual inclines make it doable. Bugs weren’t that bad but wear the juice for sure. Not much shade so dress accordingly and bring 3 liters of water or a way to sterilize the creek water.

This is one of the most beautiful trails I’ve been on. It took us about 4 hours to reach Lake Ediza and 3 hours to get back . Don’t forget to carry a mosquito repellent .

Carry a rain jacket . Weather here can be unpredictable .

1 month ago

This trail was worth every minute of the 7 hours we spent on it! The views were phenomenal and nothing else compared to the beauty we saw here. The following day I went to Devil’s Postpile and Rainbow falls and found them to be less impressive because I went on this hike the day before. We took beautiful pictures at each of the stops we saw on the trail so if you plan on stopping to take in the sights, it will more than likely take you about 7 hours as well.

A word of warning, we went on 7/8/18 and the mosquitos were absolutely terrible even though we were using Off Deep Woods spray. Consider covering up more or using a bug repellent that’s more lotion based.

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