Inyo Craters

Dry Creek Road Spur
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

Toll free phone: 888-466-2666

Six hundred years ago, a massive explosion heated rock and ground water, causing a large blast zone. Three craters were formed. Today, snow melt and rainwater create emerald green pools in the craters. Accessibility: 1.4 miles (2.25 km) round-trip uphill hiking trail. Directions: From the Mammoth Scenic Loop follow signs to Inyo Craters. Take 1.3 mile (2km) unpaved road to trailhead.

As of August 1, 2022, to ensure public safety Inyo National Forest officials are temporarily closing the entry roads, trails, and facilities at the Inyo Craters site, located on the Mammoth Ranger District during the month of August.

·        August 1 – 12: Inyo Craters Interpretive Area including associated facilities (vault toilets), parking area, trails (2705, 2705A), and roads (portion of 3S30, 3S30F, a portion of 3S30G, and 3S30L) will be closed.

·        August 15 – 24: Inyo Craters Road (3S30) and Dry Creek Road (3S22) will be closed. 

See the official Forest Order and maps here. 

Traveler Reviews

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

Overall Rating: 4.5

based on 15 reviews

Most excellent hike and vistas
On a whim, took an afternoon hike up to the craters. The trails are very walkable; some trails are better-less fallen trees. There are at least three paths up to the craters. Pros; beautiful vistas...
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Easy hike but keep kids close at crater
Bit of a long drive to the trail head, but once there it’s an easy 1/2 mile hike. The crater was really beautiful. Cold but beautiful. I have two 10 year old boys that are constantly screwing around...
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Interesting to see.
These craters are cool to see but generally once you have no need to do again unless taking friends.
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Hiking & Backpacking


Takes 1 - 2 hours