Explore the most popular walking 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.

I would probably put this hike in the more difficult section of the Moderate rating. definitely not for beginners, lots of uphill. It is very worth the hike though as the lake and mountains behind it are an incredible sight.

Very nice leisurely walk with some great mountain views and a large lake that your dog can run around! Easy walk, if you're looking for any sort of challenge then this is not for you, if not then I recommend it!

Hands down, this was my favorite lake in the area. You can do a quick walk from Lake George or make a larger hike past a few lakes over to Emerald and catch the shuttle back. TJ offered the best views around.

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.

GORGEOUS hike! Awesome bridge over the inlet to the lake and the most stunning views, though there was a small stream we crossed via downed logs (easy). Could have just waded through as the current wasn’t very strong and it was shallow, but didn’t want to get our socks wet! Very comfortable hike, only started sweating in the last half mile as the sun came out. Otherwise very well shaded. Definitely recommend to people of all abilities

6 days ago

Such a fun, beautiful hike with the family. My 4 and 7-year-old kids did great! The slight uphill trek from the trailhead tired them out a little, but after picnicking by the lake and dipping their legs in the cold water, they perked up. A couple weird, tiny leech-like things attached themselves to our feet in the water—not sure what those were—but I found them and got them off quickly so no harm done.

Moderately strenuous hike with elevation all the way to the top, but then there are beautiful lakes and mountain views. Go in the morning and pack a lunch to share at the top by the lake.

Took my son on this trail for his first off pavement bike ride. He enjoyed it. Lots of flow and rhythm on downtown while uptown gets a little more tech. For beginners downtown will not disappoint. Some exposed roots and rocks, uptown would boost your skills. Connects to Paper Route and Shotgun about halfway down. Bring water. Be observant and let the advanced riders by please. Had a few people not yield to me and my son got a little frustrating.

on Heart Lake Trail

11 days ago

I don’t know why this is classified as easy - easy is something Grandma could do and this is most definitely NOT. It’s pretty steep - it’s all uphill until you get to the lake. The lake is pretty but there are better hikes in the area. But the views along the trail are amazing, the lake, IMO, is secondary

Trailhead was kind of confusing to find.You have to drive through a campground. There is a huge parking lot and you probably won’t have a hard time finding a place to park (hiked this over Fourth of July week and plenty of spaces). This is in the same parking lot as trailheads for the mine, duck and emerald lake. Go into the parking lot and go all the way around, almost to the exit - that’s where the heart lake trailhead is. Parking lot is a one way.

Hiked to Barrett Lake first. Barrett Lake was the highlight. The loop around Lake TJ... the trail disappeared in the marsh and I couldn’t find a path that wasn’t through water. Had to turn back and leave the way I came in. Disappointing.

Fun hike to do with your family. Lots of families around the loop fishing and hanging out. Didn’t bring my dog but saw lots of dogs hanging out off leash.

I’d do this hike every day if I could! The whole way up is a steep incline which makes for a great work out. I was anticipating there being snow blocking the path but didn’t find any except at the summit. Be sure to keep right and to not go the way of the mountain biking trail.

12 days ago

We did this hike as a day hike (excluding the out and back section to Ediza lake) on June 18. We took the PCT out and the John Muir Trail back using the Shadow Creek trail to complete the loop as shown. Conditions were good and most of the snow is melted (though some small patches still exist). This is a beautiful hike and the John Muir Trail section is quite spectacular. It was a long hike, but very doable in a day if fit for that kind of distance. I would definitely do this hike again.

14 days ago

Beautiful views along the string of lakes from the Coldwater Campgrounds at the base of Lake Mary. Great options for overnight permit camping at skeleton lake, Pika lake, duck lake or purple lake! The rocky Duck Pass is long and exposed so best to get here before the heat of midday. The view from the top looking back towards Lake Mary is gorgeous, but as soon as you cross the saddle and drop in to Duck Lake, wow. Totally worth it. Can be done as a day hike or add on for the overnight. Mosquitoes were viscious (typical at this time of year) so don't forget protective clothing or bug spray!

This is a really fun afternoon. we started at stop 6 for devil's postpile. Did the postpile then go up top of it and there's a trail entrance for rainbow falls. as someone else noted it is a sandy walk and can take it's toll. the falls are cool. go to lower falls the trail isn't bad and the river and small falls are great. Then back to stop 10. it ends up in the 5ish mile range. Tiring due to elevation and sandy trail, but totally worth it. Bring water and bug spray and a hat.

15 days ago

Amazing views and very beautiful hike. However, I would call it moderate, not easy. To me, easy is okay for older folks and kids. Easy to me is okay with regular shoes not hiking boots. Kids had a hard time and a few older folks in our group only made it half way. The switchbacks do not feel like easy. We took about 3 hours including breaks, photos.
Another note, the cold water creek campsite has multiple trail heads. We went to 2 others before finding the heart lake trailhead, but once we found it it was easy to tell and navigate.
All in all, I highly recommend this hike. Many people who passed us easily went up and down this trail, but keep in mind your group’s fitness level!

horseback riding
15 days ago

Very beautiful trail but had to turn back about a half-mile before reaching Sherwin Lake because it had too many boulders and my horse chipped her hoof and had difficulty finding footing. We turned back because it wasn’t worth risking an injury. 3 star rating for equestrian use.

15 days ago

Hiked 7/1/18.

Duck Lake Trail is a moderately challenging hike that leads to Arrowhead Lake, Emerald Lake, Skelton Lake, and Duck Lake. The trail is beautiful, quiet, and moderately shaded with several types of wildflowers along the way. Just don’t stand in one place too long, as the mosquitoes are out in full force. We were fully covered but wished we would’ve worn mosquito repellant.

Pretty easy hike. Awesome view. Get there early, coming down we must have past 30+ people.

19 days ago

I did this hike a few years back in the summer and it was amazing! Not a popular trail, so we pretty much have the entire place to ourselves.

lots of fishing around the lake. very nice views, rolling trail around the lake

20 days ago

Hiked 6/25/18.

This is a gorgeous hike with amazing views of several lakes and mountain ranges. Great panoramic views start from around Skeleton Lake, but the walk is beautiful before this point. There are a few patches of snow covering the path as you climb towards the saddle just after Barney Lake but these are easily passable. This path is fairly well trafficked to Barney Lake with significantly fewer people after this point. Fairly exposed - bring sunscreen!

We took the shuttle to stop 6, hiked to the bottom of the postpile (so unique!), then took the short loop to the top of the postpile (definitely a worthwhile perspective). We continued the trail to the aptly-named rainbow falls, and went an additional ~1/2 mi to the lower falls, where we found a lot of swimmers. On the way back, we hiked to shuttle stop 9, which shaved off a short distance. Fun and unique hike.

Duck Lake is one of the most beautiful alpine lakes we’ve ever seen, with bright blue water and surrounding glacier-covered peaks. The views along the way near Barney Lake are also phenomenal. There were a few patches of snow (which were easy to navigate) when we hiked on 6/23/18. Nice views on the stretch to Pika Lake; plan to go to Duck Pass next time.

The drive to get to the trailhead is really beautiful. Some lovely views along parts of the trail, especially on the way down, but the actual Sherwin Lakes paled in comparison to the many gorgeous lakes in Mammoth. This trail is relatively easy and goes by quick; it’s worthwhile to go about 5 mins past the lake to find a gorgeous redwood.

Summer months are hot up here so make sure you bring lots of water. It’s easy to get distracted and venture off trail since the infamous PCT and JMT run through here.

23 days ago

Great hike . Lots of flowers blooming including Mule Ears which are peaking. Relatively easy hike with very few people on the trail. Very dog friendly. Amazing views with a peak a boo even to Crowley.

A simple walk through some beautiful forest!! Devil's Postpile was too cool with a nice little shaded area to eat lunch before the rest of the hike to Rainbow Falls. The trail is very sandy and therefore can tire you out a bit so just pace yourself because, although not difficult, we met with a few older folks on the trail that didn't find it to be so easy -- if that's the case for you there are two spots to cut the hike short and head up to Reds Meadow Resort, and you'll still see some amazing sights! Myself, my wife, my 12 year old daughter and 6 year old son did great but we were certainly tired at the end! Rainbow Falls is breathtaking, a great reward at the end of the hike! Just save your strength since you have to then hike back up and out 1.3 miles to the resort and/or shuttle.

25 days ago

Nice trail. Hiked up with my wife and two kids, little guys is youngest at 6 years old, both kids did great. We added some mileage taking the Emerald Lake trail then going up and around to Skelton lake then back down past Arrowhead Lake -- 3 lakes in one!! I would highly recommend going this route to Skelton Lake. We just went and camped at Coldwater Campground June 2018 and it was gorgeous! Plenty of shade on the trail. Super fun and easy hike for beginners like us

Beautiful in June! Shuttle drops you off at .4mi from Devil’s Postpile. After that, it’s another 2 mi to Rainbow Falls. While its kid-friendly, the trail isn’t stroller-friendly. A jogging stroller is fine if you are comfortable exercising with one. There are many sunny spots, so make sure you’ve got a hat.

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