Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hiking In Mammoth, CA

Kathy and I had a wedding to go to in Lake Tahoe last week, so I took the opportunity to hike in the Sierra. I had never hiked around Mammoth before and thought it would be a fun place to explore. Just trying to find information on hiking Mammoth Mountain was more tiring than doing the hike! As most of you realize the Internet is flooded with poor and just plain incorrect information.

Hiking Mammoth Mountain? One Click That's All
I have documented the hike in the Member's Only Club of  Hiking Las Vegas so members do not have to go through what I did. Finding the trailhead is difficult without good directions. Of course my directions include very precise driving directions to the trailhead.

The Mammoth Mountain hike is a great hike. We followed the more advance trail and it was well worth it. This trail passes by Dragon's Back and 7 Lakes  Point (a lookout from a rocky rib).

Distance: 6.4 miles — up and back
Elevation gain: 2,300 feet
Elevation of peak:  11,053 feet
Time: 4 to 5 hours - Up and back
Difficulty: 3
Danger level: 2
Class: 2

We reached the summit before 9 am and were the only ones there. The gondola ride opens at 9 am and by noon the summit was full of people. We took the gondola up the mountain later in the day just for fun. There's a great observation deck inside the building at the summit with telescopes to identify nearby peaks. This made the gondola ride worthwhile in my opinion :).

Interestingly, the gondola ride is free for hikers if they only ride it down to the Adventure Center at the base of the mountain, otherwise it's $23 for a round trip ride. Lunch and drinks are available at the observation deck.

Mammoth Crest Hike to Cold Water Campground

This is one of the best trail hikes I have done in the Sierra. The scenery is unbelievable as you will see in the video below. Once on the crest the trail stays on the crest for over four miles passing lakes and peaks. This was really a must do hike and it's also in the Member's Section of Hiking Las Vegas.

Distance: 12.5 miles — one way
Elevation gain: 3,173 feet
Elevation of Highpoint:  11,362 feet
Time: 5 to 7 hours – one way
Difficulty: 3
Danger level: 2
Class: 2

There's a short version of this hike that does not require a car shuttle and it's also on my site.

Eagle Falls at Lake Tahoe

At Lake Tahoe we only had a few hours to hike so we picked one of the best easy hikes: Eagle Falls at Emerald Bay. This is a great family hike and very scenic with all the water.

Distance: Less than one mile — up and back
Elevation gain: 300 feet
Elevation of peak:  None
Time: Less than one hour - Up and back
Difficulty: 1
Danger level: 1
Class: 1

The Member's Only Club now had 393 hikes from all over the southwest. From easy hikes like Eagle Falls to hardcore adventures like Norman Clyde in the Sierra, the Member's Only Club has the best hiking description maps on the Internet. Right now you can become a member and download all 393 hikes for less than 0.16 per hike! Check it out.