On the last day of our Mammoth vacation me and Toni hiked up to Mammoth Crest – we had partially hiked it before in August 2012 but went back early because of an incoming thunderstorm. This time we set out for Mammoth Crest High Point proper!
Something that I didn’t realize until after I retraced the steps of the hike with my GPS log (link below as usual) is that the hike leads through three counties: it begins in Mono County (at Lake George), then briefly passes through a small corner of Madera County, and Mammoth Crest marks the border between Mono and Fresno County.
I had the idea that I should perhaps try to do the hike as a loop, continuing down to Deer Lakes and then finding the use trail that would lead me to Duck Lake and Duck Pass. After looking at the trail and the elevation loss it would mean to get to Deer Lakes, and evaluating my physical condition ;-) I decided against it, and just went to find the register at Mammoth Crest High Point.
What is a gentle slope on the west side of Mammoth Crest is a vertigo-inducing drop with a cliff composed of brittle-looking metamorphic rock. At the High Point, one is pretty exposed to the elements, I didn’t feel all too comfortable there and a clump formed in my stomach each time I looked down or Toni wandered too close to the edge of the cliff (I had her on the leash, probably more to calm myself than to protect her of course).
The views from up there more than made up for it though – to Mono Lake and Crater Mountain, the Silver Divide, Minarets and Ritter Range, and the Mammoth Lakes Basin below of course.
I’ve logged this hiked with my old GPS logger and made it available through GaiaGPS, if you’re interested: Mammoth Crest.