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Mammoth Lake Hikes to Go on ASAP
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Mammoth Lake Hikes to Go on ASAP

Looking for the best trails in Mammoth Lakes, California? Here are 6 hikes to go on that the whole family will enjoy!

Palig Dzadourian

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5 min read

June 09, 2022

Ever wondered what it would be like to go to a location where every corner is as stunning as the next? Think no further than Mammoth Lake! This extremely popular mountain town in California is one of the most picturesque destinations, usually visited during the colder seasons for its’ natural winter wonderland beauty, it remains staggeringly beautiful, with its vast expanses, crystal clear mountain lakes and scenic trails, Mammoth Lakes California is worth visiting all year round.

Convict Lake Loop Trail

Crystal clear waters, and towering mountains, Convict Lake Loop is just breathtaking.

One of the most popular things to do in Mammoth Lakes ca is to go hiking, the perfectly maintained trails and astonishing views make it the ideal place to test your limits. Anytime time of the year is a good time to come hiking in this well-known mountain town, as each season will provide its own unique set of elements and color palettes, the azure and blue hues of the Winter, the contrasting colors of reds and golds of the falling leaves of Autumn, and the vibrant green and blues of the Summer. There are quite a number of readily available and attractive trails you can explore for free, Where to begin?

Convict Lake Loop trail is an adequate point to start from, located just outside of Mammoth Lakes, it is a family-friendly trail, well maintained to suit those of us who like to hike without the feeling of exertion, who just want to take in the beauty of nature while getting a little active all the while. Stretching out a good 2 miles, it loops across Convict Lake, with the backdrop of the colorful rock walls and the constant presence of the deliciously clear lake, Convict Lake Loop Trail is one of the most relaxing and gentle Mammoth Lakes Hikes you can go on. It is an absolutely essential part of the Eastern Sierra experience you do not want to miss out on.

It takes up to an hour to complete, and a great bonus for all of you animal lovers, dogs are also welcome on this trail, they can even be off-leash and walk around the majestic lake with you.

Horseshoe Lake Loop Trail 

This lake in the form of a horseshoe is absolutely perfect for a relaxing hike.

Leave your vehicles at the Horseshoe Lake parking area, and head on over to Mammoth Lakes Basin, where the Horseshoe Lake Loop trail awaits. Also considered to be a relatively easy path to take, the Horseshoe Lake loop trail is made for families, kids, and beginner mountain bikers.

The smooth dirt surface of the trail makes for a very relaxing and effort-free hike around Horseshoe Lake, where you will see a lot of activity as this is a very common spot to go to for a lot of outdoor activity lovers. You can swim in the lake, bring your dogs in for a dip, as well and enjoy a picnic on the shore later, a recipe for a perfect evening out in the beautiful scenic environment of Mammoth Lakes. The path is 1.7 miles long, and since it loops around the Horseshoe lake, you can stop at any point and enjoy the lake’s various activities at any point.

Panorama Dome Trail 

The unobstructed 360-degree view of the Panorama Dome trail is a view you are sure to remember.

This next trail is arguably one of the best Mammoth Lakes hikes, as the stunning views that come while hiking up this trail are absolutely worth it. As the name suggests, the Panorama Dome Trail has a 306-degree view of Mammoth Lakes’ iconic elements which include Lakes Basin, the Mammoth Crest and the southern part of Mammoth Mountain and the Long Valley Caldera, and the White Mountains, picturesque scenes you won’t be forgetting for a long time to come.

Starting from Lake Mary Road, it is just a short uphill walk until you reach the Panorama Dome summit, where there are no trees, just clear views, and fresh air. While it is not as relaxing and effortless as the first two mentioned trails, it is still considered to be moderately easy, with a mere 0.3 miles to cover you will be able to reach the summit in no time. The Panorama Dome trail reaches high altitudes however, it is therefore recommended that you take more breaks and have water on yourselves during the hike.

Crystal Lake Trail

Take in the splendor and beauty of Crystal Lake; go fishing, hiking, and swimming, or just relax on the shore!

Located in the Inyo National Forest, the Crystal Lake trail is a must for anyone wanting to challenge themselves physically in the great outdoors. Crystal Lake trail is one of the most ideal destinations in California for hiking and fishing, it is an out-and-back trail, one of the most popular hiking trails in California, that’s best to visit during the summer and fall seasons.

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The moderately-challenging Crystal Lake trail takes up to an hour and a half to complete, as it goes on for about three miles. As you are walking up the trail you will come across a large number of fellow hikers and fishing enthusiasts, being one of the most popular trails in Mammoth Lakes Ca. The pine and fir trees will provide a convenient cover of shade along the way until you reach the pristine waters of Lakes Basin, where you will be able to lay back and enjoy the natural beauty of this magnificent mountain town.

Hot Creek Interpretive Trail

The beautiful natural remains of Hot Creek Trail, a geological wonder.

Out of the many things that can be found on Mammoth Lakes hikes, one of the more unexpected elements is the natural hot springs you might come across during your walks. Make your descent from a wide paved path of 100 feet into the boiling hot springs of Hot Creek trail. While swimming in these Mammoth Lakes hot springs is not allowed, it is still a very enjoyable hike down, and the entire trail takes around 40 minutes to complete. Hot Creek trail is a geological wonder, it is home to what remains of the ancient Long Valley Caldera blast, which is the hot springs, craters, and fumaroles.

Popular amongst hikers, cross-country skiers, and fishers, this Mammoth Lake California trail is open year-round and even accepts dogs on leash, it is one of a kind hiking trail you should definitely check out!

Mammoth Mountain Trail 

Visit Mammoth mountain during the winter months for a memorable ski trip.

Last but not least is the Mammoth Mountain Trail, one of the hardest Mammoth Lakes hikes filled with cool surprises along the way. Going up along the western flank of the dormant volcano that dominates the area, with views of San Joaquin river valley and the surrounding mountain peaks are considered to be a strenuous hike. Once you reach the summit, you will find a gondola building, roughly 11,053 feet high, where you will be able to enter the interpretive center with information on geology, earthquakes, volcanoes, and more. Getting down from the peak takes about 4 hours. 

There are also some sites where you can experience Mammoth Lakes camping, where you can go RV camping, or just go to the beautiful lake campgrounds, at the Mammoth Mountain RV Park, open year-round. All in all, Mammoth Mountain is full of activities you can do, with scenic backdrops and fresh air.

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