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Mammoth Lakes in Winter?

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Mammoth Lakes in Winter?

Postby scottawr » Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:46 pm

A few of my close friends are renting a cabin in mammoth lakes to go snowboarding, and I have been asked if I wanted to tag along for free and sleep on the floor. They are arriving January 8th and leaving on the 12th. I am not much of a snowboarder and don't really feel like spending a bunch of money on rentals and lift tickets.

My question is about the accessibility of the lakes out of lake Mary Road. I have camped at them numerous times during the summer, but I have never been in the mammoth area during winter. I would really like to do a day hike or two and snap some pictures. If I were to bring snowshoes would I be able to reach say T.J. lake or arrowhead lake. does anybody have any suggestions on winter day hikes in the area?

Level 2-3 backpacker
looking for some easy day hikes with snowshoes near mammoth lakes (might not have access to car)
snow experiences- San Jacinto & Mt. Baldy areas
thanks!



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Re: Mammoth Lakes in Winter?

Postby paul » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:58 pm

I think that to get to most of the lakes you have to go through the Tamarack Lodge XC ski trail system. I don't know whether there is an easy public access route through there - but there are members here who I'll bet have the skinny on that.
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Re: Mammoth Lakes in Winter?

Postby markskor » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:41 pm

Yes, all Mammoth Lakes are accessible by foot with some provisions-
Tamarack Lodge at Twin Lakes runs a dedicated X-country outfit - laying tracks on Lake Mary Road- and as such asks that you not walk over set tracks. However, the road is wide and you can still access (hike or snowshoe) all roads and trails up to TJ without trodding over their tracks. BTW, Lake Mary Store is usually open for hot soup and a warm stove...lakes are frozen over too...Epic !
Other trips available include Hot Creek (X-country or snow shoe) area as well as the 3.1 mile circle of Convict Lake.
In short, plenty of hikes to do. BTW, while Twin Lakes bus does not run in winter, you can get around town for free on the local bus...stops in the Village and you can walk/hitch the road up to Twin Lakes.
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Re: Mammoth Lakes in Winter?

Postby scottawr » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:39 pm

Thanks for the info!

I found the tamarack lodge ski trails map and even a bus map for mammoth lakes. It sounds like the lake basin area is a pretty popular destination even in winter months.
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Re: Mammoth Lakes in Winter?

Postby DAVELA » Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:44 pm

is there a way to find out where the snowmobiles in mammoth are and arent allowed to travel so one can avoid that ugly experience?
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Re: Mammoth Lakes in Winter?

Postby scottawr » Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:00 pm

I read somewhere that the mammoth lakes basin was off limits to snowmobiles until mid April.

http://www.cityconcierge.com/mammoth-la ... _south.gif
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Re: Mammoth Lakes in Winter?

Postby maverick » Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:53 pm

HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Mammoth Lakes in Winter?

Postby John Dittli » Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:42 pm

For any hiking/snowshoeing in the Mammoth Lakes Basin you will want to start at "the point of winter closure" on the Lake Mary Road rather than Tamarack Lodge. The summer road system is a groomed XC Ski Area. If not skiing with a trail pass, you are required to keep to the side of all groomed snow; this includes the set tracks and the corduroy skating lane.

There is a nicely packed, free corridor maintained to Lake Mary and on out to Horseshoe. It gets a bit squeezed heading up to Lake George and the TH at Coldwater Canyon. While the groomed trail system is quite busy on weekends, off the "groomers" it is pretty quiet.

We have skied in trails up to Duck Lake and the Mammoth Crest (above Crystal Lake) in the last week. It looks unlikely to snow before your arrival, so those should be in good shape.

If you have a car, you can drive down to McGee Creek and have a good hike (snow free the first mile and then a good boot pack up to the first McGee Creek crossing). We put in a good packed ski track to McGee Pass yesterday. Other nice snowmobile free zones other than the Lakes Basin in the Mammoth area are Rock Creek Road from East Fork to Mosquito Flat and Glass Creek Road near Deadman Pass.

While not closed to snow machines, the hike out to Minaret Vista and beyond (San Joaquin Ridge) is a stunning trip in winter. The Mammoth Mountain Bus takes you right to the TH, just don't go there on a weekend!
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