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[Yosemite]

Best Day Hikes near Mammoth Lakes

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in the Sierra Nevada and elsewhere outside Yosemite National Park

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Best Day Hikes near Mammoth Lakes

Postby potatopants88 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:43 am

Hi, we'll be spending 4 nights in Lee Vining the first week of October but may switch our lodging to Mammoth Lakes, on account of an injured member of our group who may be more entertained there if she can't hike with us.

Can you recommend the best day hikes in the area? I plan to do Shadow and Ediza Lakes. The other hikes I've researched, well, I'm having a hard time gauging their "wow" factor. Long or short, doesn't really matter. I just want to be sure we're hitting the best trails.

Thanks for your help!

Brooke
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Re: Best Day Hikes near Mammoth Lakes

Postby dan » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:30 am

I like the hike from the Lakes Basin to Duck Lake, and further on to Duck Pass if you have time. It's a long hike, but it's a beautiful view of the backcountry.

Minaret Summit is pretty--it tends to be crowded in Summer, but not so much in Winter (or Fall, for that manner). You can also continue north, up along the ridge, away from the road and crowds.

Rainbow Falls in Devils Postpile National Monument (and of course, the Devils Postpile itself).

There's short hikes to some lakes along the John Muir Trail from the Minaret Road--Shadow Lake, Garnet Lake, and Thousand Island Lake. This is probably the best hike in the area. You already mentioned this one.

I like the hike from the Lakes Basin to Duck Lake, and further on to Duck Pass if you have time. It's a long hike, but it's a nice view of the backcountry.

Ride the Gondola to the top of Mammoth Mountain.
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Re: Best Day Hikes near Mammoth Lakes

Postby potatopants88 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:01 pm

Dan, thanks. I'd come across some of these so it's good to know they're worthwhile.
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Re: Best Day Hikes near Mammoth Lakes

Postby Dave Miller » Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:23 pm

I second Dan's suggestion of Rainbow Falls. I mapped a nice semi-loop hike that incorporates Devil's Postpile, Rainbow Falls and a small part of the John Muir Trail. You can check out the hike here:
http://www.trimbleoutdoors.com/ViewTrip/839446

Enjoy!
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Re: Best Day Hikes near Mammoth Lakes

Postby potatopants88 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:32 pm

Dave, super helpful! It's hard to find specific trail info in the Mammoth area. This is great.

What are the falls like this time of year? Still flowing there?
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Re: Best Day Hikes near Mammoth Lakes

Postby Dave Miller » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:44 pm

I'm not sure the status of the falls right now. I was out that way in mid August and they were still flowing well. You might be able to put in a call to the Ranger Station there and get a report.

Another good day hike if you stay around Lee Vining is the Twenty Lakes Basin at Saddlebag Lake Trailhead (photos: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjBBSHcA ). You can find a lot of information online about that hike. I don't have my trip report ready yet for it. There is some rough terrain, but it is only about 4 1/2 miles. If you want to just explore and sight see, there is always Bodie Historical State Park (Photos: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjtuLegs ). Depending on the state of the Aspen Trees, June Lake Loop (south of Lee Vining) and Lundy Canyon (North of Lee VIning and great beaver ponds) are other places to check out (not a lot of hiking, but great scenery, Photos from that area: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 3670d8f69e). There is one trail I've been meaning to take off of the June Lake loop and that is Parker Lake. It looks to be a fairly strait forward hike and nice in the fall if the Fall Colors are alive. It is on my short list for the next time I get out to that area.

Enjoy!!
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