Parker Lake Trail

Inyo National Forest, California

Elevation Gain1,219ft
Trailhead Elevation7,788ft
Elevation Min/Max7788/8625ft
Elevation Start/End7788/7788ft

Parker Lake Trail

Parker Lake Trail is a hiking trail in Mono County, California. It is within Ansel Adams Wilderness and Inyo National Forest. It is 2.2 miles long and begins at 7,788 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,219 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking.

Parker Lake Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

100 Classic Hikes in Southern California (The Mountaineers Books)
Allen Riedel
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"Parker Lake may be the easiest-to-reach “secluded” alpine lake in the eastern Sierra. It is a haven for local fishermen, and a good starter hike for older children and people new to the Sierra Nevada. The elevation gain, while tough in spots, is minimal; the distance is also minor for such an amazingly beautiful destination. The trail gets a lot of usage because of the lake and streams and their plentiful fishing opportunities, but it is relatively underused in comparison with other areas around the June Lake Loop. A hike here can feel like a great escape from civilization, even if only for a little while." Read more
Best Dog Hikes Northern California (Falcon Guides)
Linda B. Mullally and David S. Mullally
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"This accessible and easy hike starts in exposed high- desert sage country and quickly transitions to aspen and pines. The effort is minimal for maximum reward, as the trail traces cascading Parker Creek most of the way to lovely Parker Lake at the base of picturesque Parker Peak. Inyo National Forest is described as “where the desert meets mountains,” and this trail to Parker Lake is one of the best examples. Your feet are ankle-deep in sagebrush at the trailhead, yet your eyes are feasting on mountain peaks straight ahead. Maybe it’s the sagebrush meadow guarding the Parker Lake trailhead at the end of the dusty albeit improved gravel road that misleads hikers into thinking Parker Lake is a dismissible destination. It could also be that with so many glorious hikes off of I-395 accessed along scenic paved roads, hikers have become jaded and spoiled. The fact that Parker Lake seems to be overlooked makes it doubly enjoyable for those lucky hikers with dogs who take a chance." Read more

Parker Lake Trail Reviews

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Great little hike. Scenic and yet not too crowded. Caught a real nice brown at Parker. Note to older hikers or those who are flat landers: don't be fooled by some descriptions of an easy hike. Yes, it is easy once you climb the initial ridge, but the first 15 minutes of the hike is moderately steep. We passed many older and out of shape hikers who needed our words of encouragement to keep going. Trust me, it will be worth it.
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Beautiful trail. Short, with somewhat steep swtichbacks, but ends at a beautiful lake tucked back in a valley below Koip Peak, glaciers, and waterfalls. Best camping is on north short of lake, too steep and rocky on south shore. Saw lots of deer and birds, heard an owl at night. Very busy with fishermen during the afternoon and weekend. Good beginners/first of season backpacking trip.
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Five stars for beauty, variety, and seclusion. The trail follows Parker Creek through pine and aspen stands, after getting the elevation gain out of the way in the first mile. The area around the lake is beautiful, a nice spot for a picnic, and the water is crystal clear.

Parker Lake Trail Photos

Trail Information

Inyo National Forest
Nearby City
Ansel Adams Wilderness
Inyo National Forest, Mammoth Ranger Station and Welcome Center, 2510 Main St./CA 203 in the town of Mammoth Lakes; (760)924-5500;
Local Contacts
USGS Koip Peak; Inyo National Forest; Ansel Adams Wilderness
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018