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Heart Lake - Inyo NF, CA

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Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CA > Sierra Nevada
3 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9,137 feet
Elevation Gain 440 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.4
Backpack Yes
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
12  2016-03-27 slegal
15  2015-07-31 slegal
11  2015-06-21
Consolidated Mine Trail
18  2013-10-11 slegal
10  2011-07-25 lP14
5  2008-07-07 slegal
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Aug, Jul, Sep, Jun → Any
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  7:08am - 5:06pm
Route Scout App
Official Route
0 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
Consolidated Mine Trail
0.0 mi away
1.5 mi
550 ft
Pyramid Peak - Mammoth Lakes
Pyramid Peak - Mammoth Lakes
0.0 mi away
8.9 mi
2,862 ft
Sherwin Ridge - West
Sherwin Ridge - West
0.0 mi away
4.7 mi
1,055 ft
Duck Pass Trailhead to Duck Lake
Duck Pass Trailhead to Duck Lake
0.0 mi away
8.0 mi
1,700 ft
Barney Lake
0.1 mi away
6.5 mi
1,200 ft
Emerald Lake - Inyo NF
Emerald Lake - Inyo NF
0.1 mi away
2.0 mi
604 ft
The Upper Crest - Mammoth Crest
The Upper Crest - Mammoth Crest
1.2 mi away
4.5 mi
1,700 ft
Lake George to Deer Lakes
1.2 mi away
13.0 mi
2,755 ft
Deer Lakes Loop
Deer Lakes Loop
1.4 mi away
13.4 mi
2,142 ft
Crystal Lake - Inyo NF
Crystal Lake - Inyo NF
1.4 mi away
3.1 mi
800 ft
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Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Heart Lake is a beautiful lake located south of Sherwin Ridge above the Mammoth Lakes Basin. The lake is a fairly shallow lake. From above the lake you can see the bottom of the lake very easily. The lake is small enough that it takes a good breeze to blow the glassy surface off.

The Heart Lake Trail begins at the end of the Coldwater Creek Campground. The trail passes an old mining camp and the remnants of an old stamp mill. The trail then begins to ascend the side of Sherwin Ridge. This is the same trail that is described in the Pyramid Peak Hike. The trail has two switchbacks on it. At the second switchback the Pyramid Peak route splits off to the left and the Heart Lake Trail heads off to the right.

Much of the remainder of the trail has no tree cover. If it's a warm day you will feel it through this section as you continue heading uphill. As you reach the trees you've been looking during the long straight section of trail, the lake is just behind the trees.

A couple of things to take note of: During the months of June and July the mosquitoes are fierce on this trail. You will want to use heavy Deet for this hike. Also, the trail is heavily used by Mammoth Lakes Pack Outfit for short out and back trips. That mean you may have to step off of the trail to let a long train of horses. It also means that there will be lots of horse dung along the trail.

If you are really feeling energetic and want to turn your trip to Heart Lake into a real adventure you could head up along the route to Pyramid Peak. When you reach a saddle between two red peaks you can drop off the south side of the ridge and scree ski your way down the slope toward Heart Lake. I'll include a track log that includes this entire trek plus some extra credit. Enjoy.

    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From the town of Mammoth Lakes, take Lake Mary Road to the lakes. Turn left onto Lake Mary Loop Road. When the road rounds Lake Mary at the eastern end of the lake the road reaches the Coldwater Creek Campground. Turn left into the campground and head up the campground road all the way to the parking lot at the end of the road. Drive all the way around the parking lot to the north side and park at the Heart Lake Trailhead.
    page created by slegal on Apr 15 2011 10:03 pm
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