Guidebook

Experience the Sierras: Best Day Hikes in Mammoth Lakes

Experience the grandeur of the Sierra Nevada mountains on this incredible selection of day hikes near Mammoth Lakes, California.

Description

"Hiking in the Eastern Sierra is spectacular year-round," writes VisitMammoth.com. "In spring, the sharp and craggy granite peaks of the Sierra Nevada Range form a dramatic backdrop for meadows brightly colored by wildflowers. In the summer, you'll never tire of finding secret alpine lakes, lush aspen-lined streams and forested hideaways tucked away in the mountains. In fall, early snow in the high country contrasts beautifully with the vibrant golds and oranges of aspens and willows alight with their display of autumn colors."

The wide range of recommended hikes in this guidebook will allow you to experience the best that Mammoth's seasons have to offer. Here, you'll find everything from short family-friendly jaunts to scenic overlooks to hikes that are so ambitious that some people turn them into overnight backpacking trips. Yet for most reasonably fit hikers, all of the routes in this guidebook are achievable as a single day hike.

If you're looking for more than a mere day hike, two of the most iconic long-distance backpacking trails in the world run through the mountains right above town: the John Muir Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail run concurrently through this region.

Duck Pass and Duck Lake
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Duck Pass and Duck Lake

3 - 4 hrs
14.9 km
671 m
671 m
A popular out-and-back with incredible alpine views.
Difficult
Private
Devils Postpile to Upper and Lower Rainbow Falls
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Devils Postpile to Upper and Lower Rainbow Falls

1 - 2 hrs
6.0 km
190 m
193 m
Visit both the upper and lower falls on this hike.
Moderate
Private
Mammoth Crest Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mammoth Crest Loop

5 - 6 hrs
21.1 km
980 m
980 m
Traverse the top of a stunning mountain ridge.
Difficult
Private
Mammoth Mountain Trail
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mammoth Mountain Trail

Mammoth Mountain
3 - 4 hrs
13.2 km
657 m
654 m
Classic hiking trail to the summit of Mammoth Mountain, with the option to shorten the hike with the gondola.
Difficult
Private
Mammoth Mountain Via Dragon's Back
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mammoth Mountain Via Dragon's Back

3 - 4 hrs
10.4 km
748 m
747 m
The more difficult ascent up Mammoth Mountain.
Severe
Private
Minaret Lake
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Minaret Lake

6 - 7 hrs
25.1 km
985 m
987 m
Otherworldly views of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Difficult
Private
Little Lakes Valley Trail to Morgan Pass
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Little Lakes Valley Trail to Morgan Pass

2 - 3 hrs
11.4 km
379 m
378 m
An easy hike through a stunning glacier-carved valley.
Moderate
Private
Heart Lake
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Heart Lake

0 - 1 hrs
3.4 km
149 m
149 m
A superb bang-for-your-buck lake hike.
Moderate
Private
Horseshoe Lake Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Horseshoe Lake Loop

0 - 1 hrs
3.5 km
46 m
50 m
A very easy hike with gorgeous views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
Easy
Private