People hike for as many reasons as there are trails. Some hike to be healthier, some hike to get outside, and some hike just because it’s an escape from their everyday life. No matter why people hike, everyone agrees that the best hikes are the ones that reward your hard work with a stunning view. Thanks to the number of views and trails in Mammoth Lakes though, how hard you work for a great view is up to you.
The ASO Mammoth team has put together a list of the easiest hikes with the best views in Mammoth Lakes below. Check it out before you head out the door!
Minaret Vista is already accessible by car when Minaret Road isn’t closed down for snow, and the fact that there is a hiking trail leading to it makes it one of the most accessible views in the area.
This hike is a great option for beginner hikers or groups who have a mix of hikers and non-hikers as the trail runs near the road leading to the top and is an easy 1.2 miles. Although the elevation and any snow left on the trail may cause some difficulty for hikers, the view from the top of the Minaret and Ritter Range is worth every step. Plus, Minaret Vista is one of the most popular views in the area so there are several informational signs explaining the local geology and ecosystem, making this hike a great opportunity to exercise and learn more about Mammoth Lakes.
Like Minaret Vista, Convict Lake is easily accessible from highway 395. In fact, as you arrive at Convict Lake you’ll see the views that make this historic body of water one of the most popular places in the Mammoth Lakes area.
You can enjoy the lake and surrounding mountains by driving around in your car, but If you want to spend a little more time and get closer to nature then you can park and walk the two-mile loop hike that follows the shoreline. Experienced hikers and beginners alike will enjoy this ADA accessible trail as it provides spectacular views of Mount Morrison and Laurel Mountain as they rise above the pristine lake. Thanks to the well-maintained trail, this hike is a great way to enjoy the beauty of the Eastern Sierras and introduce hiking to your family and friends!
Twin Lakes Vista
Like the other trails on this list, Twin Lakes Vista is accessible by car and an easy walk.
Twin Lakes Vista is actually located just off Lake Mary Road as it enters the Lakes Basin, but if you’re looking for an easy, paved walk you can access the vista from Mammoth Lakes and the Lakes Basin by walking down the Lakes Basin Path. How long of a walk that is depends on where you start from, but if you’re staying in Mammoth Lakes the Lakes Basin path begins at the intersection of Lake Mary Road and Minaret Road. From there, it’s a 2 mile walk to Twin Lakes Vista, but you can begin your walk from anywhere on the Lakes Basin Path. Once you make it to the vista, you’ll be rewarded with postcard-like views of the Twin Lakes and Mammoth Crest.
Please note that these hikes are not accessible by car during the winter due to snowfall. If you still hike to these views during the winter, then you should be prepared to walk on snow and ice!