A Beginner’s Guide to Hiking in Mammoth Lakes

Jul 14, 2021

With so many beautiful trails for hiking near Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern Sierra, it can be hard to figure out where to start. Here are some helpful tips from Danna Stroud, President of Mammoth Lakes Recreation, about the best trails for first time visitors and beginning hikers, as well as what you’ll need to pack.

Top Trails for Beginners

Paved Trails in Mammoth Lakes

Check out some of the gorgeous, paved trails in Mammoth Lakes, including the Lakes Basin Path, Hot Creek Trail and Shady Rest Path. These easy hikes allow you to acclimatize to the environment and altitude while providing panoramic mountain views.

McLeod Lake

Up in the Mammoth Lakes Basin, the half-mile hike up to McLeod Lake is an easy soft surface trail through the woods leading to a beautiful mountain lake at the base of Mammoth Crest.

Convict Lake Loop

Convict Lake Loop is another soft-surface trail with little altitude gain that hugs the shores of Convict Lake, providing spectacular views of both the lake and the mountains surrounding it.

What to Pack

  • Bring plenty of water with you.
  • Pack extra layers; the weather can change quickly in the mountains.
  • Make sure to apply sunscreen and bring extra for reapplication throughout the day. It’s easier to get sunburned at high altitude.

Trail Etiquette

  • Hikers going downhill should yield to hikers going uphill. They’re on a roll, so let them keep going.
  • Help keep the trails clean and not leave any debris. The trails in Mammoth Lakes are clean thanks to hikers like you.

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