Hike to Gem Lake via Rush Creek



6.6 miles

Elevation Gain

2080 ft

Route Type


Added by Tyler Drake

Amazing waterfall and alpine lake views near Mammoth Lakes, CA.

This hike starts next to Silver Lake in the June Lake Loop, located just north of Mammoth Lakes, CA off HWY 395. There is a parking lot near the RV park as well as street parking across the road from the trailhead. 

Once you head out on the hike, you'll start gaining elevation as you hike up toward Horsetail Falls, June Lake Loop's tallest waterfall at 270 feet from Agnew Lake down to the floor. If your legs are already spent by the time you get to the falls, I get it. No shame in turning around here. 

If you're just getting warmed up, keep heading up the trail next to the rail track. The trail will level off as you reach Agnew Lake. Take a minute to have a snack and some water before the last push to Gem Lake > this next part will be a good uphill climb! (make sure you bring plenty + a little more for those in your group who should've brought more.)

After quite a few switchbacks, you'll make it to Gem Lake! There's a great viewpoint, which is where I turned around. You can continue to hike around the lake for different views if you're interested. From there, head back the way you came. 

And once you finish, treat yourself to a beer at June Lake Brewing or if you're heading back into Mammoth, stop at Distant Brewing. You've earned it! 

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Known for

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking



Leave a Review

Great hike outside of mammoth lakes!

Took us about 20 minutes from mammoth to get to the trailhead. We did this hike over 4th of July weekend in 2019. It was very sunny and warm, so be sure to pack plenty of water. There are amazing views of Horsetail Falls and agnew & gem lakes, but you have to work for a bit. All things considered on a holiday weekend, this trail wasn't very crowded, so if you're looking for something with a little more solitude, this could be it.

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