Mammoth Lakes, California

Hike to Crystal Lake, Mammoth Lakes

2.5 Miles Total - 700 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Aaron Jaro

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.
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Tags

Chillin
Fishing
Photography
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Romantic
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

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.

Gorgeous!

I highly recommend going early when the light on the mountains is best and before the crowds hit the trail. Going early also increases your chance of arriving before the wind and getting to see all the mountains perfectly reflected in the lake.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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.

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Tours

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