Located in the eastern Sierra, Mammoth Mountain will be the incredible basecamp to complete your adventure. Spending a night or two to enjoy the backcountry here will be the best place to escape. The wonderful alpine lakes, the dramatic peaks, and the chance to hike the sections of the popular trails in the world such as the John Muir Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail, these backpacking trips around Mammoth Mountain will make you amaze, especially if you are the wild enthusiasts. Here are the best trails that you should take for your trip to Mammoth.
1. Garnet Lake
Finally, you have a beautiful trek even you can do in one day. You can take the second night so you can explore more. Besides, there are some small sides of trips available along the way. It is worth to have extra time in the mountains.
If you have enough time, we think it is great to spend over three days and two nights. It is perfect to have secluded camping with the amazing views around the mountain.
Here is the important pack list:
Water, food, backpacking essentials, sleeping bag, tent, and jetboil stove
The optional items to bring:
Fishing rod or bait for fishing, camera gear, hammock, and celebratory spirits
Hiking in this mountain is great for intermediate hikers especially during spring, summer, and autumn. With out-and-back trail type, the place offers 14 miles of distance and 2030 feet of elevation gain. There are some activities to do such as camping, fishing, chilling, photography, hiking, and backpacking.
2. Agnew Meadows to Tuolumne Meadows
Enjoy the scenic view of the John Muir Trail located between the Yosemite and Mammoth Lakes. This is the best place to visit, especially if you have a long three-day weekend.
The pack list:
Backpack, food, shelter, water purification method, rain gear depends on the season, the safety essentials like map/ compass and first aid, permit, and YART.
With point-to-point trail type, you can include this trip to your adventure during spring, autumn, and summer. The area is great for intermediate hikers. Besides hiking, you can do something more like fishing, camping, backpacking, and photography. With 4756 feet of elevation gain and 33.69 miles of distance, it is worth to spend a few days here!
3. Duck Lake
The highlight of this trip is the lakeside camping and stunning peak views. The breathtaking views, the icy mountains for swimming and the wildflower make you feel great to spend your time in the lake. In addition, the moderate trail offers distance and difficulty. There are multiple lakes in the way you build your tent. You can decide the day hike choices from the base camps. If you have a long holiday, spend your weekend in this trail to enjoy a long time to explore the Sierras.
Duck Pass Trail starts from the parking lot and then end of the Cold Water Campground. The mark is clear and the climb is steady yet mild with the zigzag trail through the forest. After hiking at 0.9 miles, you will find a fork in this trail. After that, the short detour is ready to take you down, head to the Arrowhead Lake. Continue your trip to the Skeleton Lake. You will never regret because the small beaches are great for picnic lunch, especially beneath the shallows and pines.
Below the Duck pass is the location of Barney Lake. Even though the pass is quite hot, you only need to fill your water bottles and soak your hat or plunge your head into the clear waters. For a hot day, it is great to swim there, for sure!
Sunscreen water bottles, pack, hiking boots, sleeping bag or sleeping pad, tent, rain gear, warm layers, hiking clothes, water purifier, stove or fuel, food, binoculars, and camera
With 8 miles of distance and 1362 miles of elevation gain, the lakes are perfect for camping, swimming, backpacking, photography, and hiking. The place is great to visit in summer, spring, or autumn with the out-and-back trail type that we recommend you have the intermediate skill level of hiking to trip there.
4. Ediza Lake
The best things to enjoy here are the sunrise and the sunset. It is also an excellent base camp for hikers or climbers with the views of the Minarets, Banner Peak, and Mt Ritter. The starting point is at the Agnew Meadows Trailhead and we recommend you to come early, at least at 7.30 a.m., otherwise, you should take the Shuttle from Mammoth Mountain.
You can start to head to the north on the John Muir Trail and there, you will find the Shadow Lake. Continue the trail to the Shadow Creek so you can find the junction with the Ediza Lake Trail. In this point, go to the east. After that, climb to the amazing alpine basin with the massive rock walls. Continue to the south and east shore of the lake so you will find the camping spots. The longer you explore, the better the views will be. From Ediza, you can even spend a day to hike to Iceberg Lake, in which you climb 13,000 feet of mountains.
With 13.4 miles of distance and 1200 feet of elevation gain, you can do some activities such as photography, fishing, camping, chilling, swimming, hiking, backpacking, and rock climbing. With the out-and-back trail, the area is great for intermediate hikers in spring, summer, and winter.
5. The Minarets Loop
The most favorite parts in this trail are the alpine lakes and mountains. At the lakes, you can even enjoy the fishing spots. Therefore, the trail is great if you have a plan to do a weekend backpacking trip. Even though you will find the Shadow Lake as the first big lake, you should not dwell there too long. It is because you still have some more lakes to see. For example, if you hike at 6 miles, you will find Lake Ediza, Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak. We have to admit that it is one of the most adorable lakes in Sierras.
If you want more than Ediza and Iceberg Lake, go with more remote area. Iceberg Lake is the best place to go camping if you are a backpacker. If you go to pass the Iceberg Lake, you will find no real trail and you are traveling cross country.
The pack list:
Backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent, water filter, fishing rod and reel, sun protection, mosquito repellent, and cash for the shuttle
It is better to plan the trip to the trail in summer, spring, and autumn with 16 miles of distance to explore. Enjoy your time for fishing, backpacking, and photography. We recommend this site for the intermediate hikers.