Mammoth Crest

Distance: 4.4 - 13.2 miles (loop)

John Muir Wilderness Area, Inyo National Forest, near Mammoth Lakes in California's Southeastern Sierra

Great views of the Ritter Range along the Mammoth Crest

Great views of the Ritter Range along the Mammoth Crest


This scenic trail climbs along the Mammoth Crest, with fabulous views of the Mammoth Lakes, the Ritter Range and Middle Fork San Joaquin Canyon. Beyond the Crest the trail drops to scenic Deer Lakes where a route leads to the Duck Pass Trail, creating a long, interesting loop hike.
See Trail Detail/Full Description

  • Distance: 4.4 miles (round trip) to Mammoth Crest
    11.5 miles (round trip) to Deer Lakes
    13.2 miles (loop) to Complete Loop
  • Elevation: 9,025-ft. at Trailhead
    10,425-ft. at Mammoth Crest
    11,190-ft. at Deer Lakes
    11,215-ft. at Complete Loop
  • Elevation Gain: 1,400-ft. to Mammoth Crest
    2,165-ft. to Deer Lakes
    2,765-ft. to Complete Loop
  • Difficulty: strenuous
  • More Hikes in:
    Mammoth Lakes / California's Southeastern Sierra

Why Hike Mammoth Crest

Stunning, far reaching views of the Ritter Range, Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River Canyon, Duck Lake and the Silver Divide are the scenic highlights of this long hike that includes a traverse of the Mammoth Crest. Along the way the trail visits pretty Deer Lakes, enjoys scenic vistas of Duck Lake, tucked in a huge cirque of jagged 11,000-ft. peaks and ridges, and descends the pretty Mammoth Creek valley, studded with glistening lakes and lined with rugged peaks and ridges.

The hike can be done as an out-and-back or semi-loop. A portion of the loop between Deer Lakes and Duck Pass travels along a use trail/route, which can be difficult to follow at times. Without a car shuttle completing the loop requires a 2.2 mile walk between the Crystal Lake trailhead at Lake George and the Duck Pass trailhead at Cold Water Campground.

Elevation Profile

Mammmoth Crest Elevation Profile

Trail Resources

Trail Detail/Full Description / Trail Photo Gallery / Trail Map

Basecamp(s) Information:
Mammoth Lakes

Region Information:
California's Southeastern Sierra

Other Hiking Regions in: