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Sherwin Lakes Trail

Mammoth Lakes, California

based on 4 reviews



4.42 miles

Elevation Gain

850 ft

Route Type



Added by Gregg Boydston

This hike provides easy parking and is a close drive from town. As you hike, take in stunning alpine views and relax at the sandy beach shores of this lake. If you go during warmer weather, consider jumping in for a swim.

Just outside the town of Mammoth Lakes, CA is the Sherwin Lakes Trailhead. An easy 10 minute drive down some dirt roads will get you to the dirt parking lot where you can safely leave your vehicle and begin your fairly easy 2.5 mile hike to Sherwin Lakes. (Valentine Lake is not much further beyond Sherwin)

The trail is very clear and easy to stay on. It is a fairly popular hike for the locals, so you will most likely see other hikers and their dogs. You will walk through a gorgeous area of the Sherwin Mountain range passing the Sherwin Creek and a few sandy washes. After a mile or so, you will begin the handful of switchbacks where you gain most of your elevation. From these you gain views of Mammoth as well as the Owens Valley and the 395 highway. Most of the trail is shaded but does have an area of a past wildfire that opens the canopy up a little. After the switchbacks, the trail flattens out for almost the last 0.25 miles. The lake will be on your right hand side just over the hill, and will be noticeably low. After some log jumping and rock hopping, you will land on the sandy beach of Sherwin Lakes.


  • There can be multiple dogs on the trail.
  • This is a great place to make a day of. Picnic stuff is a great plan!
  • There is a crafty little hut on the East side of the lake.
  • Mammoth is known for a little wind/breeze.
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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

Sherwin Lakes Trail Reviews

This is a gorgeous hike going through a beautiful pine forest. About a 1/2 mile in the trail started getting snowy and we just followed the footprints in the snow. After another mile the trail was all snowed in with no more foot prints which is when we turned back. Would want to do this in the summer to make it Sherwin Lake. Highly recommend it.

I'm an avid backpacker and plan to come back to backpack to Valentine Lake in the future. I hiked to Sherwin Lakes twice, two separate days, as I was looking for a workout in the mornings. Just beautiful! Loved the trees and the trail is in excellent condition. The best part was getting great photos of Sherwin Lakes reflecting the mountain behind it at sunrise!

The trailhead for the hike is only about 10-15 mins from the village making it very accessible. The trail gets a little steep, but is well worth it once you get to the Sherwin Lake. I recommend bringing a lunch or snacks so you can enjoy the time once you're up there. If you're looking to really get some miles in, continue on the trail and head up to Valentine lake. Just remember to take the trail to Sherwin Lake on the way back down so you don't end up at the wrong trailhead.

Challenging, but doable. Nice little beach along the lake for a picnic.

Leave No Trace

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


Valentine Lake via Sherwin Lakes Trail

Snowshoe Shady Rest Park

Waterford Bridge

Lake Basin Path

Panorama Dome

Heart Lake