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 17 reviews

A short hike to an interesting view of the craters
Access to the area is on a dirt road, but easily accessible with a standard car. There is an uphill hike on a mostly shaded trail of just over 1/4 mile to reach the 2 lower craters. The summit crater...
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Short hike to 1.5 craters
The Inyo Craters are about a 20 minute drive from Mammoth on roads that are well-marked by signs. The last road is dirt and gravel, and a few spots were full of large rocks or a series of high...
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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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Hiking & Backpacking


Takes 1 - 2 hours