Photograph the sunset followed by the Milky Way over Lake Mary. Be sure to check when the sun sets and verify that there will be clear skies. Lake Mary is walking distance from Coldwater Creek campground.

Lake Mary is the largest of the 11 lakes in the Mammoth Mountain area. Explore the lake’s perimeter and find your own perfectly peaceful place to watch one of Mammoth’s signature stunning sunsets. Parking is easy to come by either on the side of the road or at the marina parking lot up the road.

Bring a few chairs with snacks and drinks, post up at a spot you like and enjoy the view. My favorite spot is right in front of Crystal Crag where it’s hard not to get a great shot of the formidable peak reflecting onto Lake Mary. Camping at Coldwater Creek Campground is within walking distance so you can head back and make some dinner before returning to stargaze and see the Milky Way later in the evening.

From the campground you will be able to tell when the Milky Way is high in the sky. Its position varies throughout the year so the optimal viewing time may vary. During our last visit, around 10 pm seemed to be the sweet spot but your experience may be different. You can go back to the same spot as sunset or find a different one for your night shot. Be sure to dress warm as it gets quite cold at night. Spend about an hour shooting the night sky; you won’t be disappointed.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Flashlight
  • Warm clothes
  • Chairs
  • Snacks and drinks
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Activities Chillin, Camping, Photography
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Lake
Scenic

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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