Crystal Crag Approach

Inyo National Forest, California

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2 Reviews
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Crystal Crag Approach is a hiking trail in Mammoth Lakes, California. It is within Inyo National Forest. It is 0.4 miles long and begins at 9,622 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 313 feet.
Distance: mi Elevation: ft
Crystal Crag Approach is a hiking trail in Mammoth Lakes, California. It is within Inyo National Forest. It is 0.4 miles long and begins at 9,622 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 313 feet. This trail connects with the following: Crystal Lake Trail.
Activity Type: Hiking, Horseback Riding, Trail Running, Walking
Nearby City: Inyo National Forest
Distance: 0.4
Elevation Gain: 313 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 9,622 feet
Top Elevation: 9,929 feet
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Parks: Inyo National Forest
Elevation Min/Max: 9621/9929 ft
Elevation Start/End: 9622/9622 ft

Crystal Crag Approach Professional Reviews and Guides

"Hikers in search of a splash of alpine grandeur close to Mammoth will find it quickly at Crystal Lake, cupped in a bowl between the Mammoth Crest and the 10, 364-foot monolith of Crystal Crag. You will gain increasingly superb views as you mount higher, embracing ever greater expanses of the Mammoth Lakes basin, its blue lakes, green forests, and red mountains. These mountains take their color from metamorphic rocks, which are among the oldest in the Sierra, as well as from lava, which are among the youngest."

"This hike is a “wow” at every bend. It ascends gradually on sweeping switchbacks in and out of the pine and fir forest, revealing stunning views of Lake George, Lake Mary, and the Mammoth Crest where the trail skirts the granitic perches.

This trail to Crystal Lake is not the Eastern Sierra’s best- kept secret judging by the number of hikers and backpackers with dogs who travel to the lake and beyond. It is a very popular and easily accessible trail at the end of a paved road adjacent to a popular fishing lake, panoramic campground, and dog-friendly cabin resort. But then again, the popularity of some hikes is a reflection of how special or rewarding they are, and Crystal Lake fits that criteria."

"This is just another postcard-perfect destination in exchange for a little sweat and heavy breathing. Follow the dirt trail, with its intruding large roots and scattered boulders, as it starts to climb out of the parking lot, eventually switch-backing behind the cabins at Woods Lodge. Lake George soon becomes visible on your left with the Crystal Crag rock formation towering above the lake. Crystal Lake sits to the right and beneath the crag."

Crystal Crag Approach Reviews

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6/26/2012
Crystal Lake lies just beneath the Mammoth Crest and Crystal Crag in the Mammoth Lakes Basin at 9600 feet. This awesome high mountain lake trail is a great place for a 3-4 hour session of Hiking & Exploring, add in Lunch and Fishing and you can make this a day trip. The best part about Crystal Lake is it's well away from the main Mammoth Lakes Basin Traffic and Summer crowds. This hike takes about 60 - 90 minuets to reach Crystal Lake. You should consider this trail to be moderate in difficulty. You will be gaining about 900 vertical in rise over a 1.75 mile hike in. * below someone posted this is a 1600 foot gain, this is wrong. Check the map and you see it's around 900 vertical in rise* This hike feels longer and steeper because of the very high elevation peaking just before you reach the lake at 9,607 feet. There are lot's of vista point's to stop at and rest while on your way up. For a full write up and 46 images of this hike check this link: http://discovermammoth.com/hiking-mammoth-lakes/crystal-lake-mammoth-lakes-basin-california/
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10/21/2006
Terrific views of the lakes and peaks. The trail was a little icy in spots, but we hiked late in an almost snow-less season. Great spots for reading and relaxing, and photo equipment is a must. Moderate terrain with no notable problems. Next time we'll go all the way to the crag.
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Jun 2018