Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
271.00 ft (82.60 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
2.30 mi (3.70 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.

The Hot Creek Gorge Trail begins at Hot Creek Geological Site and travels up the beautiful gorge offering great views of the nearby Sierra Nevada peaks and of course lovely Hot Creek. The location is 20 minutes east of the town of Mammoth Lakes. Although it is drivable in a passenger car, the gravel road is fairly rough in areas so use caution.

At the Hot Creek Geological Site Trailhead you’ll find a large parking area, vault toilets and a few picnic tables. The trail begins here and follows a paved pathway as it descends down into the gorge. You’ll see a couple of steaming hot turquoise pools. Please do not enter the creek around this area, stay behind the fencing as the waters here are unpredictable and can change from comfortable to scalding hot in a matter of seconds.

Continuing up the gorge the trail soon turns from pavement to a natural surface. The trail is easy to follow in all but a few spots. You’ll meander alongside Hot Creek through the beautiful gorge and past several great fishing spots. This area is very popular with fly fishermen, and you’ll likely see several along your hike.

The trail does climb slightly up and away from the creek at two points, crossing a rocky knob before descending back down to the creek. The trail ends upon reaching a fence line and private property sign. Turn around and retrace your steps back to the trailhead.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Beautiful scenery. Great fishing. Unique geological features.

Cons

Rough road to trailhead.

Trailhead Elevation

7,093.00 ft (2,161.95 m)

Highest point

7,093.00 ft (2,161.95 m)

Features

Vault toilet
Near lake or river
Wildlife
Fishing
Family friendly
Geologically significant
Big vistas

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Adventures

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