Paddleboarding at Horseshoe Lake

Oct 15, 2020

The sandy shore of Horseshoe Lake in the Mammoth Lakes Basin is one of the region’s best beaches. Located at the end of Lake Mary Road, Horseshoe is surrounded by the tall peaks on Mammoth Crest to the south and Mammoth Mountain to the north. A thick pine forest circles most of the lake, but its most distinguishing feature is the 200 acres of tree kill on the east flank of the lake, created by carbon dioxide seeping through the ground. The tree snags are fascinating and a spectacular display of nature. 

Horseshoe Lake is a great destination for stand-up paddleboarding and hanging out on the beach. From the water you’ll realize how big the lake really is. As you paddle around you’ll see rocky ridges, and layers of sand and rock illustrating varying lake levels over the years. You’ll paddle in and out of coves, but most likely won’t have the water to yourself. The lake is the locals’ favorite spot for bringing their dogs out to play. Get close to the shore and you’ll likely see a Labrador retrieving sticks. Winds can ripple the water, challenging even the most skilled paddleboarders—get ready for a workout, and possibly a wet adventure.

Renting a Paddleboard in Mammoth Lakes

Horseshoe Lake is a preferred destination for stand-up paddleboarding and you can launch from anywhere on the sandy shore. If you need to rent and you have a way to transport the boards to the lake there are a few shops in Mammoth Lakes that offer rentals.

There are also a few marinas that rent paddleboards.

  • Pokonobe Resort and Marina is located on the northern shore of Lake Mary and offers paddleboard rentals, as well as pontoon boats, motorboats and kayaks. The general store sells fishing supplies, beer, ice, snacks and cold drinks. Phone: 760-934-2437
  • On the south shore of Lake Mary near the Coldwater Campground, the Lake Mary Marina rents stand-up paddleboards by the hour, half-day or full day. They also have kayak and fishing boat rentals. Phone: (760) 934-5353.