Hiking in the Mammoth Lakes Basin

Aug 24, 2022

NOTE: These hikes are all accessible via the Lakes Basin Trolley during summer months.

Mammoth Lakes is surrounded by two million acres of Inyo National Forest with dozens of hiking trails. Many of the trailheads in Mammoth Lakes are accessible by shuttles, so you don’t even need to worry about your car when you want to explore the area on a hike.

The Eastern Sierra Transit Authority (ESTA) Lakes Basin Trolley offers transportation to numerous trailheads in the Mammoth Lakes Basin.

What to Expect on Hikes in the Mammoth Lakes Basin

The Mammoth Lakes Basin is one of nature’s most spectacular playgrounds. Located only minutes from downtown Mammoth Lakes, the basin is a hiker’s wonderland of pine forests, jagged mountains, blooming wildflowers and crystal clear water. With over a dozen high alpine lakes and almost 100 miles of designated trails providing access to the John Muir Wilderness Area, and into the heart of the Sierra Nevada, the Mammoth Lakes Basin is a scenic gateway to the natural splendor of the Eastern Sierra.

Trailheads in the Mammoth Lakes Basin 

Stop by the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center to purchase a map of hiking trails in the Mammoth Lakes Basin.

Trolley Stop 94 – Panorama Dome Trailhead

From this trailhead, you can access Panorama Dome Trail.

Trolley Stop 96 – Twin Lakes Trailhead

From this trailhead, you can access Seven Lakes Point Loop trail, Mammoth Mountain – Mammoth Pass Trail and Dragon’s Back Trail.

Trolley Stop 97 – Mammoth Rock

From this trailhead, you can access Mammoth Rock Trail.

Trolley Stop 100 – Coldwater Creek Trailhead

From this trailhead, you can access Arrowhead Lake Trail, Coldwater – George Trail, Duck Pass Trail, Emerald Lake – Skelton Lake Trail, Heart Lake Trail, Mammoth Pack Station Trail, Pika Lake TrailSky Meadows Trail and Woods Lake Trail.

Trolley Stop 101 – Lake George Trailhead

From this trailhead, you can access Coldwater – George Trail, Crystal Lake TrailMammoth Crest Trail and TJ Lake Loop trail.

Trolley Stop 104 – Horseshoe Lake Trailhead

From this trailhead, you can access Horseshoe Lake Loop trail, Mammoth Pass – Crater Meadow Trail, Mammoth Pass Trail, McLeod Lake Spur trail and Rim Trail 

Getting to the Mammoth Lakes Basin

By Shuttle

Getting to the Lakes Basin is easy and taking the free Lakes Basin Trolley (Orange Line) from The Village at Mammoth relieves the burden of driving and parking. Visitors can hop on and off the shuttle at any of the Trolley Stops throughout the Mammoth Lakes Basin.

By Car

The Mammoth Lakes Basin is also accessible by car, although parking is limited in many areas. Take Lake Mary Road to the Mammoth Lakes Basin and follow signs to the trailhead areas you wish to hike from.

Meghan Miranda

Meghan has been living and playing in Mammoth Lakes since 2016. She enjoys any outdoor activities that her dogs can tag along for. See more of Meghan's adventures on her blog Meg Moves Mountains.

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