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Mammoth Mountain Trail

Mammoth Mountain

Classic hiking trail to the summit of Mammoth Mountain, with the option to shorten the hike with the gondola.

Hiking Difficult

13 km
657 m
657 m
3-4 hrs
Low Point
2.7 km
High Point
3.4 km
Mammoth Mountain Trail Map

The summit of Mammoth Mountain is an obvious and worthy hiking objective! There are two main ways to reach it on foot: via the Mammoth Mountain Trail or via the Dragon’s Back Trail.


“From Main Lodge, the Mammoth Mountain Trail threads its way up along the western flank of the dormant volcano that dominates the area,” writes MammothTrails.org. As the trail passes Reds Lake, the trees begin to thin and the views of the surrounding area begin to open up. Soon, you’ll hike out of the trees and into the rugged alpine terrain covered in volcanic pumice.

From the flanks of Mammoth Mountain, you can enjoy "vistas across Reds Meadow Valley and the Ansel Adams Wilderness to the Ritter Range, the Minarets and down the San Joaquin drainage to Balloon Dome and the Central Valley beyond,” according to MammothTrails.

A gondola runs to the peak of Mammoth Mountain, providing the opportunity to complete this hike in one of three ways:

  1. Hike the trail out-and-back, as mapped here
  2. Hike up the trail, and download on the gondola
  3. Take the gondola to the summit, and hike down the trail

Whichever method you choose, you’re guaranteed to enjoy this stunning hike!

Sources: https://www.mammothmountain.com/summer/things-to-do/summer-activities/hiking https://www.mammothtrails.org/trail/33/mammoth-mountain-trail/



Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between July and October


  • Alpine
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area