Hike to Heart Lake, Mammoth Lakes

Yosemite Heart Lake Trailhead

Added by Gregg Boydston

A quick and easy hike that offers stunning views of Mammoth Mountain, the Minarets, and Heart Lake. If done in autumn, there is a ton of aspens along the trail for the fall colors.

Starting by parking at the Goldwater Creek Campground parking lot, you will see a couple trailheads. This one is specifically marked Heart Lake. There will be a couple forks in the trail, but if you stay right and on the more obvious path, you will be up to Heart Lake in no time. (Going left will take you on a short half mile loop around some old mines.)

Just over a mile on a fairly easy trail, you will come out of the trees to the Heart Lake beach like entrance. The beginning portion is the steepest of it all. The end of the trail flattens out and contours the hillside. A very small lake but very easy to access for swimming or chilling for a picnic. (You will be in the John Muir Wilderness area so mind those rules).

Pack List

  • Hiking shoes
  • Water
  • Camera
  • Swimsuit (optional)
  • Fishing Pole (optional)
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Fishing, Hiking, Photography, Swimming

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



3.2 Miles

Elev. Gain:

500 Feet



Dog Friendly
Easy Parking

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How to Get There

9 months ago

Heart Lake

Fun afternoon hike right outside the town of Mammoth Lakes. I completed the hike with my daughter in a little over an hour. Lots of beautiful, scenic views and a nice lake at the top. Easy to find and very accessible.

9 months ago

12 months ago

Quick Hike and A Great View

The hike up to Heart Lake has a little incline, but isn't too tough. The hike can be done in less than an hour excluding time at the lake. There's a parking lot at the trailhead so as long as it's not a summer holiday weekend, it should be fairly easy to get a spot. You're also really close to town, so when I finish up I like to head to Mammoth Brewing for a bite and a beer after.

12 months ago

Added by Gregg Boydston

U.S. Forest Service Hotshot Living in and exploring the Eastern Sierra.

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