California’s Eastern Sierra

Top 10 Hiking Trails

In need of an adventure? Want something easy going or something super strenuous? We have a range of easy, moderate and hard hikes that will take you to gorgeous mountain tops, through meadows of wildflowers and some that graze the shores of some of the Eastern Sierra's most beautiful and breathtaking lakes. These Top 10 Hikes range from the most southern area of Mono County, all the way to the northern most boundaries... and all will delight the avid outdoors enthusiast or first time visitor!

Rock Creek Little Lakes Valley

1. Little Lakes Valley

Rock Creek Canyon

Located at the top of Rock Creek Road, this relatively easy trail offers dramatic lake-after-lake views. This trail is one-of-a-kind from the very beginning and is a great hike for the whole family. This is an easy to moderate hike at 5-10 miles round trip, depending on your start point. TIP: For a post-hike treat, drop by Rock Creek Lakes Resort for a delicious home-made dessert!

Rock Creek Little Lakes Valley
Convict Lake winter with fall colors

2. Convict Lake Trail

Convict Lake is one of the most breathtaking and serene hikes in the Eastern Sierra. A gentle two-mile trail winds around the lake, through a beautiful aspen grove (that has spectacular colors in the fall) and along a boardwalk that crosses over inlet streams that run strong with snowmelt in the spring. TIP: Convict Lake Resort offers horseback rides, and also has a marina with boat and kayak rentals for you to enjoy Convict Lake from a different perspective!

Convict Lake winter with fall colors
Crystal Crag

3. Crystal Lake Trail:

Mammoth Lakes

Hikers in search of alpine grandeur close to Mammoth will find that Crystal Lake fits perfectly. A series of switchbacks up from Lake George offers exceptional views of Mammoth Lakes Basin. With plenty of blue lakes, green forests and red mountains to be in awe of, this moderate hike will surely please all in the group at only 4 miles round trip.

Crystal Crag
Parker Lake with Fishing

4. Parker Lake Trail:

June Lake Loop

From the north end of Highway 158 (June Lake Loop), take the Parker Lake Road to the trailhead parking. A short hike along the aspen-lined creek has a few switchbacks and offers big rewards with a serene lake tucked at the base of the Sierra Nevada's. You can also sneak a peek at Mono Lake from this gorgeous hike. TIP: Afterwards, head on down into June Lake Village for hand-made candy at Cathy's Candy. This trail is easy to moderate at 4 miles round trip.

Parker Lake with Fishing
Twenty lakes Basin out of Saddlebag Lake

5. Twenty Lakes Basin:

Tioga Pass near Lee Vining

On the east side of Tioga Pass, this stunning alpine loop trail linking numerous lakes is located on the north side of Saddlebag Lake. In summer months, a boat taxi is available to take you across to the trailhead. This is a moderate hike that is either 4.2 miles round trip, with an additional 2-3 miles if you start from the parking area and hike to the trailhead.

Twenty lakes Basin out of Saddlebag Lake
Lundy Canyon with Fall Colors

6. Lundy Canyon Trail:

Lee Vining

One of the most highly regarded hikes in the Eastern Sierra for wildflowers, fall colors, waterfalls and even a beaver dam, the trailhead is at the end of Lundy Lake Road, off US Highway 395, 7 miles north of Lee Vining. This is a moderate hike at 4.6 miles round trip.

Lundy Canyon with Fall Colors
Virginia Lakes Hiking

7. Virginia Lakes Trail:

Bridgeport

At the foot of Dunderberg Peak, this trail climbs steadily through alpine meadows, and passes numerous lakes and an old mining cabin, finally arriving at Summit Pass with views of Sawtooth Ridge. Be prepared for a strenuous hike at 10 miles round trip.

Virginia Lakes Hiking
Barney Lake

8. Robinson Creek Trail:

Bridgeport

At Twin Lakes and Annett's Mono Village, the trail to Barney Lake winds through evergreen forests, and traverses meadows and aspen groves with sweeping views of dramatic snow=capped peaks. This is a moderate hike at 8 miles round trip.

Barney Lake
roosevelt lake ca

9. Leavitt Meadow to Lane Lake:

Walker

The most beautiful scene on the ever-scenic Sonora Pass Road is Leavitt Meadow— spacious and surrounded by mountains. This leisurely hike shadows the old, historic Sonora Pass Route to the shores of two high sierra lakes, after which you descend into Leavitt Meadow. The spectacular view southward, down Leavitt Meadow to Tower Peak is phenomenal. This is an easy to moderate hike at 6.8 miles round trip.

roosevelt lake ca

10. Yost Lake Trail:

June Lake Loop

In the Sierra, where there's a view, a stream or a lake, it is worth the effort to get there… and the Yost Lake Trail has all three. After crossing the narrow log footbridge, continue along the slope-side trail that gradually and steadily brings you up into higher elevations and eventually to scenic Yost Lake. The views down towards June Lake are equally as breathtaking and spectacular. TIP: After a day at Yost Lake, grab a bite to eat at The Tiger Bar, located in the heart of June Lake Village! This is a moderate hike at 4.8 miles round trip.