Hike to Crystal Lake, Mammoth Lakes

Hike to Crystal Lake, Mammoth Lakes

Crystal Lake Trailhead, Mammoth Lakes

Distance

2.5 Miles

Elevation Gain

700 Feet

Activities

Chillin, Fishing, Photography, Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Romantic
Scenic

The hike to Crystal Lake offers up breathtaking view of Lake George, Lake Mary, and Lake Mamie at the top.Then, you'll experience the beauty and serenity of Crystal Lake. If you're lucky, you might see a fairy (I had that feeling!).

In Lake George, park along Lake George Road and walk towards Crystal Crag Trailhead sign to begin the hike. If you couldn't find it, you can head to the boat rentals by the lake and you will see a sign saying trailhead is behind you. The trail is well maintained and it is really easy to follow.

As you go up, you will slowly have a bigger view of Lake George. There are some big rocks where you can climb and take photos. At the top, you will definitely have a breathtaking view the the three lakes. This is also a good spot to take a short break.

You can then descend to reach the beautiful Crystal Lake. We took our hike just before sunset, and the sun just turned our view into a painting. It was a very relaxing and serene experience.

  • Total hiking time 2 hours or less. 
  • No permit needed and parking is free.
  • Start early or late to avoid crowd.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $143/night

Tuolumne Meadows Lodge

Tioga Rd, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA 95389, USA

From $90/night

Half Dome Village

Yosemite Valley, California

From $108/night

Housekeeping Camp

Yosemite Valley, California

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

A great little hike if you are in the Mammoth area.

We went early in the morning, and had the trail to ourselves. If you are hoping to get good photos of the scene, note that Crystal Crag will be in shadow, so it is probably better to endure the afternoon crowds.

Gorgeous!

Great rock jumping! Super beautiful!

Worth every minute

Semi strenuous hike but completely worth it for the surrounding views and lake itself. Make sure to not accidentally wander into private property or roads on your way up or down, the locals are sensitive to trespassers. For a real treat hike to the lake in the winter or early spring, it’s much harder to find the trail but views are unmatched. For the rock climbers out there; Crystal Crag, for which the trail gets its name, is an amazing and unique place to climb. The crag its self offers both sport and trad routes ranging from 5.6 to 5.11, with a couple routes that go to the summit.

Distance

2.5 Miles

Elevation Gain

700 Feet

Activities

Chillin, Fishing, Photography, Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Photograph Lake Mary, Mammoth Lakes

Adventure

Hike to McLeod Lake

Adventure

Hike to Pika Lake

Adventure

Hike to Arrowhead Lake

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