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5 Must-Do Backpacking Trips Near Mammoth Mountain

Explore the heart of the Eastern Sierra.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

Mammoth Mountain is the ultimate basecamp for your adventures in the Eastern Sierra and while there is more than enough to happily explore right off the main roads, there’s nothing quite like escaping completely into the backcountry for a night or two. With gorgeous alpine lakes, dramatic mountain peaks, and the chance to hike sections of world-famous trails like the John Muir Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, these 5 backpacking trips near Mammoth Mountain will satisfy your need to get into the wild. Check out these trails and start making your plans for a trip to Mammoth today.

1. Backpack to Garnet Lake

Photo: Scott Nichols

While this trek is doable in one day, it’s advised to take a second night to explore more. There are many small side trips to take along the way and extra time in the mountains is always worth it. Learn more.

2. Backpack Agnew Meadows to Tuolumne Meadows

Photo: Jeff Driscoll

Connect two famous areas, Mammoth Lakes and Yosemite, by hiking one of the most famous trails in America, the John Muir Trail. These three aren’t famous for nothing either, the entire area will leave you in awe. Learn more.

3. Backpack to Duck Lake

Photo: Sierra Joy Stevens McGeever

Duck Lake and the area surrounding offers incredble campsites and expansive views of the John Muir Wilderness. You’ll find wildflowers and icy lakes and rivers for cooling off on summer days. Learn more.

4. Backpack to Ediza Lake

Photo: Tobin Akehurst

Ediza Lake is a popular day hike in the area but also makes for an excellent backcountry adventure. Pack along a fishing pole and spend a few days taking it all in. Learn more.

5. Backpack the Shadows of the Minarets Loop

Photo: Bernice Ngo

If you have the time and didn’t get enough at Ediza Lake, continue on to Iceberg Lake for another great campsites plus base camp to scramble around to Cecil Lake, up and over the ridge down to Minaret Lakes and back to the trail to the shuttle back to Mammoth. Learn more.

Cover photo: Tobin Akehurst

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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