7 Most Beautiful Lakes in Mammoth Lakes California

best lakes in mammoth california

Mammoth Lakes is one of the most aesthetically pleasing areas in the state of California. Located in the East Sierra, Mammoth Lakes is surrounded by some of the highest peaks in the West. It is considered one of the best areas in the United States for serious outdoor lovers. Many of these activities include skies and hiking.

There are so many things to do in this part of the world. The friendly locals and wonderful blues music make up the most of the culture in some of these towns. The Mammoth Lakes Basin is a lower section in the area. It provides clear trails and scenery that has made it a spot for outdoor activities

The best lakes in Mammoth Lakes, California are a natural wonder. It will draw in more people and tourists from around the country. Yet, the itinerary could be overwhelming if you arrive unprepared. Since we love the natural and appealing aesthetics of Mammoth Lakes, we have decided to share it with you.

In the following article, we break down the area that of Mammoth Lakes.  You can see for yourself what you can do and how to go about planning your trip. With so many things to do, it is a great break away from the bustling rush of the city. Here is an in-depth look at Mammoth Lakes in California and what you can do.

Mammoth Lakes in California: a Brief History

Mammoth Lakes has been occupied and settled for thousands of years by the Mono People. It has not always been this way. The European History of Mammoth Lakes starts in 1877. Four prospectors laid claim on the town called Mineral Hill in recent years. This led to the establishment of the Mammoth Mining Company in 1878, which led to the first gold rush of the area.

During the same time, it is estimated that around 1500 people settled the town. People came to the town for the obvious gold rush. The small mining camp located outside of Mineral Hills was called Mammoth City. Mammoth Lakes are rich in resources and prospectors knew they could survive

Yet, the gold rush was not one of the longer-lasting ones for prospecting. By 1880; the Mammoth Mining Company was closed down. The closing down of the company means that almost 10% of the population left. Many more prospecting opportunities opened up in California. But, many remained due to the logging prospects that existed.

During the early 1900s, Mammoth was established by the remaining locals. It was established to provide housing for the remaining locals. The town was built on logging. Moving through the 20th Century, tourism became one of the most profitable aspects. It is still very popular in the modern day.

Mammoth Lakes Geography Explained

Before visiting any town, it is important to do some background research. You should have some knowledge of the town. Nowadays, the geographical aspects are also important for tourists. It allows you to see things like the climate and if they would like it. As a tourist, it is important to have basic knowledge of tourism and the geographical aspects of the town.

The US Census Bureau has released the statistics about Mammoth Lakes. According to them, Mammoth Lakes consists of around 24.9 square miles in total area, of which over 1% is water. One of the biggest attractions is the Long Valley Caldera. It is close to Mammoth Lakes and features many hot springs. You could also silica-rich volcanic rocks that could be very attractive to excavators.

Mammoth Lakes Climate Explained

If you don’t like the hot plain in Texas or the cold weather in Alaska, Mammoth Lakes provides the most comfortable temperature. The Mediterranean climate means that temperatures can reach more than 80-degrees Fahrenheit during . It will keep these highs for an average of 21-days each year.

Yet, the climate takes a drastic turn in the winter months and can dip below temperatures of 14-degrees Fahrenheit. It leads to high levels of snowfall. During December, the town and surrounding areas can expect snowfall in the range of 203cm. These conditions are perfect for skiers and snowboarding

It has a very balanced climate, but many people might not like the massive highs and lows of the climate. You will adjust to the climates in the area and notice that certain adventures are open during different seasons. Mammoth Lakes provide something to do for tourists regardless of the season or climate. The geography makes it a versatile area to explore.

Best Lakes in Mammoth Lakes, CA (Most Popular)

As you might have noticed by now, there is a lot of water in the area. You will need to understand the different lake locations in Mammoth Lakes California. We have done some research and spoken to a few experts to help us determine which lakes are the most popular. The following section should provide you with some insight on why to choose them.

1. Twin Lakes

Twin Lakes is a popular area that is often visited in Mammoth Lake. However, it is also the lowest lake located in the Mammoth Lakes Basin and the area is used for fishing and hiking along the water. On the sides of the lake, there are rock formations. These formations are a spectacle to view and have formed due to the eruption of Mammoth Mountain.

The pine forest campground sits close to the area and gives outdoor enthusiasts a brief moment of solace. Unfortunately, there is no motorboating permitted on the lakes. Yet, one can easily find a canoe or kayak and spend some time fishing on the lake.

What Can You Do Near Twin Lakes:

  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Exploring

Twin Lakes might not be the most popular of the lakes, but it is one of the best options for those that want to explore Mammoth Lakes. There are so many things to do and keep you busy while resting.

2. Lake Mary

For those looking to explore a little more water, Lake Mary might be even more appealing. Lake Mary is the largest lake located in the Mammoth Lakes area. At 8920-feet in elevation, Lake Mary is one of the best scenic lakes for avid explorers. The lake itself is over one mile in total length and will give you tons of water.

There are many lodges and camping locations near Lake Mary and the scenery is calming for any photographer. Due to the size of the lake, it has become a popular site for boats and those trying to do water skiing. There are 51 different campsites located near Lake Mary for the avid outdoorsmen.

What Can You Do Near Lake Mary:

  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Skiing
  • Hiking
  • Sailing
  • Camping

Lake Mary is one of the most popular lakes in the Mammoth Lakes and it is one of the areas you should visit. The wide selection of trout and other fish make it an anglers dream.

3. Lake George

Lake George is one of the most popular lakes for people visiting mammoth lakes and this is due to the location. The lake is the highest road-accessible lake that one can find and it ensures exceptional scenes for many people to enjoy. The elevation of Lake George is 9250-feet, which makes it one of the higher lakes that one can access.

Mammoth Lakes, lake George

However, the lake can also be a dangerous spot to visit in the winter. It is often best to visit the lake between May and October. Unfortunately, the heavy snowfall during the winter and spring months are dangerous. It can also be dangerous to drive at certain times.

What Can You Do At Lake George:

  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Paddling
  • Swimming

Lake George is not as accessible as many of the other areas. However, it is worth visiting if you want to live in the mountains. The mountains will make it possible for you to take picturesque photos if you like to.

4. Lake Mamie

Lake Mamie is one of the underrated lakes located near Mammoth Lakes in California. It is the smallest of all the lakes and you will mostly find that fishing is the primary activity one can do. One of the main reasons that someone would visit the area is the surrounding mountains and picturesque scenery that people will see.

There are plenty of camping spots that one can choose from and all of these camping spots offer something unique and will bring you closer to nature. As mentioned, many people enjoy fishing and water activities. Even children can enjoy the lake due to the nature of the lake and keeping an eye on the kids.

What Can You Do At Lake Mamie:

  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Boating
  • Hiking

Lake Mamie is one of the best spots for picnicking and there is an abundant source of wildlife. Birdwatchers will also have some fun and perhaps come across a couple of species that are rare to find.

5. Horseshoe Lake

Horseshoe Lake is one of the lakes that have been located deeper in the mountains. At the end of Lakes Basin Path, one would come across the Horseshoe Lake and it is one of the best areas for swimming. However, the lake is well-known for skiing, and during the winter months, it can only be accessed by skies and snowshoes.

However, Scientists have uncovered that there is a massive release of CO2 releasing from underneath the mountain. While this does not a danger so far, it is something that is looked for to ensure the safety of the visitors. Horseshoe Lake is a beautiful lake that one can visit for the scenery.

What Can You Do At Horseshoe Lake:

  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Paddling
  • Skiing
  • Camping

Horseshoe Lake is one of the best options for those that are into skiing and during the winter months. The snowfall is enough for snowboarding and many different winter sports. However, it is also one of the most inaccessible of all the lakes.

6. Convict Lake

Convict Lake is one of the lakes of Mammoth Lakes that we have found the most aesthetically pleasing. It has a wonderful selection of rocks that have been formed through years of the lake passing through and it has some of the oldest rocks. According to scientists, it has some of the oldest rocks located in the Sierra Nevada area.

Mammoth Lakes, Convict lake

The lake is one of the most active and constantly flowing through the summer months. The turquoise water is clear and will allow you to see to the bottom of the lake. It is one of the best options to choose for fishing. However, the serene sounds of nature make it a great area to rest and recover from the bustling life of the city.

What Can You Do At Convict Lake:

  • Photography hotspot
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Excavating
  • Exploring

Convict Lake is one of the oldest lakes that one can visit and due to the location, it is the perfect spot to explore and find a few rare rocks to view and keep. Unfortunately, there are no rare minerals to collect due to the earlier Gold Rush.

7. Crowley Lake

Most lakes located in Mammoth Lakes California form due to springs and snow in the summer. Yet, Crowley Lake is one of the manufactured lakes in the area. It is one of the largest fishing lakes with a dedicated fishing cult. People come to fish from all over the United States.

The lake has a dedicated fishing park, which features the Crowley Lake Fishing Camp. However, the lake is also a popular spot for water skiers and due to the motorboat regulations, one can achieve rapids speeds on the lake. The area is often open during specific seasons when fishing is at the highest peak and the fish are biting.

What Can You Do At Crowley Lake:

  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Water-skiing
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking

Crowley Lake might not have the majestic wonder of the other lakes in Mammoth Lake. However, it is still one of the best spots for people looking to explore and get outdoors after working in the city.

Mammoth Lakes Tourism Attractions

Mammoth Lakes is one of the biggest areas for tourists in the United States. The cumulative trails in the area can amount to almost 150 different trials and according to many; it is the best ski area in the country. The area is commonly used by skiers throughout the year, but also works wonders for those training in the Winter Olympics and snowboarding. Here are 10 of the best things you can do in Mammoth Lakes in California:

1. Outdoor Activities

There are numerous outdoor activities one can do in this part of the world. Sightseeing and camping are two of the most prominent activities that many people like to do when they are visiting Mammoth Lakes. There are more than 200 different camping sites scattered throughout the different lakes located in the area.

With so much water available, many people enjoy fishing in the area. The variety of fish range from different types of bass to some of the biggest trout one could imagine when visiting some of these lakes. Yet, the winter months are perfect for skiing. Locations such as Horseshoe Lake provide the perfect opportunity for skiers.

2. Tours Around Mammoth Lakes

During certain times of the year, there are numerous tours that one can choose to join. These tours are generally booked ahead of time and they will allow you to explore various areas of the lakes. Not all the nooks and crannies are always available to the general public due to the danger they pose and the risks that one need to take.

However, touring companies have experts that can assist you in visiting many of these spots. The areas around Mammoth Mountain have become a prominent tourist location due to small caves and the vast history. With collectible stones, many people simply visit the area to find some of these stones for their collection.

3. Hiking

Hiking is one of the many outdoor activities that you could enjoy. There are hundreds of hiking routes scattered throughout Mammoth Lakes. Many people try to visit as many hiking routes over their lifetime as possible. Hiking in Mammoth Lakes can be daunting and it will take a lot of time, but it is very rewarding.

Lakes In Mammoth, CA: is it Worth Visiting?

lake in mammoth

Mammoth Lakes is located near the Mammoth Mountains and it is one of the highest elevations in the state of California. It is one of the best areas that one can choose if they are into outdoor activities and want to have some fun. There are many different elements to these lakes and it will take a lot of time to fully explore.

During certain times of the year, it can be hard to find the best spot and some of the lakes located deeper in the mountain are not accessible. Since these are booked ahead of time, you should act as soon as possible to secure a spot. Outdoor lovers will find plenty of activities to keep them busy when visiting Mammoth Lakes.


One can have a lot of fun exploring the outdoors and many people just want a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. California is a popular state, which is heavily populated by many outdoor enthusiasts and it has a large hunter following. If you don’t like to travel too far, go have look to some of the best lakes in Mammoth Lakes (CA), they are located in the state, which makes them easy to access.

There are many reviews and thoughts of people visiting the lakes. However, it is of a personal opinion that visiting these lakes during the summer months could give you the best rewards and activities. There is so much that you can do during the summer months to keep you busy and relax.

Having said all of this, we would like to encourage you as the reader to share some of your thoughts. If you have ever made the trip to Mammoth Mountain and visited some of these lakes, you can drop a comment and let us know about your experience. It is important to share some of these experiences and encourage others to visit the area.

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