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“Beautiful Acclimation Hike” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Crystal Lake trail

Crystal Lake trail
Mammoth Lakes, CA
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Type: Trails, Outdoors
Attraction details
San Francisco Bay Area
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15 reviews 15 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Beautiful Acclimation Hike”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

In preparation for "Bigger" hikes like Duck Lake or Valentine Lake, the short hike to Crystal in itself is a beautiful trail. We encountered a family on horseback returning to the trailhead. The trail takes you above Lakes Mary and George for an awesome photo op. For a longer challenge, you'll come across a signpost directing you to Mammoth Crest to the right. Crystal Lake is to the left with a short descent, and another great view of Crystal Crag looming above.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • English first
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English first
Tustin, California
Top Contributor
132 reviews 132 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
“A good climb with a great payoff.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

Know primarily as a world-class ski resort, the Mammoth Lakes area is also home to many excellent hiking trails, with trails available to hikers of every level. The Crystal Lake trail is a relatively short (around 3 miles up and back) but challenging hike in an absolutely gorgeous setting. The trailhead is located off the parking area for Lake George, where there are both vault and flush toilets available. This is not a simple stroll along a lake, so you should wear proper shoes and definitely bring water.

You immediately begin to climb as soon as you hit the trailhead, and endure several steep (but tree-filled) switchbacks. You’ll watch to stop along the way to take in a spectacular view overlooking Lake George and Lake Mary. Right about the point where you’re getting pretty tired and maybe starting to lose hope you will see a sign directing you toward either Mammoth Crest or Crystal Lake. At this point you can take heart because you’re almost there! Soon thereafter you reach the summit and are treated to your first view of Crystal Lake. Follow the short descent to the lake and then take in the beauty of Crystal Lake. Framed by glacial rocks and an alpine forest with Crystal Crag in the background, the view is simply stunning.

Take your time to enjoy the scenery, the crisp mountain air and the serenity before your return trip, which will seem like a relative breeze. All-in-all, this is a very satisfying hike.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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