Hike, snowshoe or cross country ski miles of groomed trails through the Inyo National Forest, enjoying views of Obsidian Dome and Wilson Butte. Family friendly, easy to find, and within close proximity to Mammoth Lakes you cant go wrong spending a day among the snow covered pines.

The Obsidian Dome Trailhead provides access to a large network of winter hiking trails through Inyo National Forest. These are marked trails that are groomed on an intermittent basis by the National Forest Service. To find the trailhead and parking area, drive north on highway 395 from Mammoth Lakes turning left (west) at Bald Mountain Rd. The trailhead is clearly visible from the parking lot and is marked by a large trail map. 

From the parking area you have a choice of 3 different loops, North, South and West, all of them branching from a single major track (Obsidian Dome Road).

The North Loop trail is a 4.2-mile loop trail that passes the Wilson Butte viewpoint. This is the first loop along the main track, branching off Obsidian Dome Rd just 0.2 miles into the hike. The North Loop goes northeast for 2 miles to the Wilson Butte viewpoint. At the view point turn left 0.2 miles before taking a second left and trekking the last 2 miles back to the main track.

The South Loop trail is a 2.6-mile trail that parallels the north-facing wall of Obsidian Dome. Once on the main track travel 0.7 miles till you see a trail that turns left. The first half of the South Loop trail is actually a single track before splitting into a loop after 0.5 miles. 

The West Loop trail, at 6 miles is the longest of the three loop trails and located at the end of the main track. To get to the West Loop follow the Obsidian Dome Road for 1.5 miles until you come to a T-junction. Turn left and follow the groomed trail south along the northwest face of Obsidian Dome. Halfway down the dome, a distance of 1.2 mile the trail will loop 180 degrees and head north for 2.1 miles. Finally you will come to a right turn leading you the 1.3 miles back to the start off the loop and the main track back to the parking lot.     

Pack List

  • Waterproof shoes
  • Waterproof/warm clothes
  • Snowshoes and poles
  • Campstove (JetBoil)
  • Lunch (soup, sandwiches, hot drinks)
  • GPS
  • Map
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RT Distance 6 Miles
Elevation Gain 300 Feet
Activities Skiing, Snowshoeing, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Winter
Trail Type Loop
Easy Parking
Family Friendly


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