Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
900.00 ft (274.32 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
3.10 mi (4.99 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Crystal Lake is a beautiful small lake nestled in the mountains accessible by a short thigh-burner of a climb.

The lake sits beneath the granite wall of Mammoth Crest and the Crystal Crag peak. Covering an area of about 13 acres, Crystal Lake can be reached by a well-traveled trail the begins adjacent to Lake George and the Lake George Campground. Climbing over 700' in less than a mile and a half, the trail switches back while gradually gaining wider and wider views over Lake George and the surrounding mountanous skyline.

While the trail begins near a small cluster of cabins, hikers will eventually leave them far behind and ascend into the forest. Just after a fork for the Mammoth Crest Trail, the trail reaches its peak and starts a quick descent to the edge of the lake. From here, hikers can trace their way along the eastern edge of the lake, where plenty of large granite boulders and shaded areas offer nice areas to hang out at and enjoy the quiet air of the alpine lake.

From here, return on the same route back to the trailhead. 

Pit toilets are available at the trailhead parking area.

From July until September, Lake George can be reached by Mammoth area transit via the Lakes Basin Trolley.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Accessible by Mammoth area transit.

Cons

Trail can get crowded.

Trailhead Elevation

8,960.00 ft (2,731.01 m)

Highest point

9,675.00 ft (2,948.94 m)

Features

Family friendly
Vault toilet
Near lake or river
Big vistas
Horseback riding

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Horseback

Permit required

No

Location

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