Horseshoe Lake - Mammoth Lakes, CA • Hike
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Horseshoe Lake - Mammoth Lakes, CA

Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
  2.5 of 5 
27 2 0
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9,014 feet
Elevation Gain 20 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 1.9
 Backpack No
unreported if dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
13  2016-07-20
Horseshoe Lake & McLead Lake
5  2016-07-20 chumley
4  2013-07-16 slegal
5  2006-11-24 slegal
author avatar Guides 74
Routes 101
Photos 2,962
Trips 57 map ( 363 miles )
Age 60 Male Gender
Location Thousand Oaks, CA
Associated Areas
list map done
Sierra Nevada Region
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar Map
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Preferred Aug, Jul, Sep, Jun
Seasons   Summer
Sun  6:04am - 6:05pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 2020 Creek Fire834

A good family hike
by slegal

Horseshoe Lake is situation just south of Mammoth Mountain in the Mammoth Lakes Basin. The area offers an interesting geology lesson. At the parking area for the lake you will quickly notice that the trees are dead. The geology lesson is that the reason the trees are dead is because magma deep beneath the area has pushed carbon dioxide to the surface. The carbon dioxide has smothered the roots of the trees. The same problem exists beneath the lake. The water is full of carbon dioxide.

It doesn’t take long to leave the dead trees behind you on this hike. The trail quickly reaches a heavily forested area. If you travel around the lake in a counter clockwise direction you reach the prettiest part of the hike right away. The trees are mature. The trail travels beneath the Mammoth Crest, making for steep slopes rising out of the lake. Several stream pour into lake.

As you near the southeastern end of the lake the terrain flattens out. Here you’ll find a chimney, which is all that remains of a burned out cabin. I don’t think that the cabin was all that big, but the fireplace and chimney were enormous.

After leaving the cabin site the terrain becomes straighter and flatter. It’s not as nice here, but you can spice your hike up a little by heading toward the lake to your left and hike closer to the water. If you choose to stay on the main trail, the trail will take you back to Lake Mary Road, where you can follow the road back to the parking area.

It’s worth noting that this trail is a multi use trail. That means that hikers, mountain bikers and horses share the trail. Keep your eyes open for others.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2013-07-16 slegal
    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 $$

    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Hwy 395 exit at Hwy 203. Take Hwy 203 into Mammoth Lakes. At the intersection with Minaret Road, Hwy 203 turns off to the right. Go straight on Lake Mary Road all the way to the end, about 4 miles. Lake Mary Road dead ends into the Horseshoe Lake parking lot.
    page created by slegal on Jul 16 2013 5:55 pm

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