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Mammoth Lakes, California, United States

Laurel Lakes 4x4 Trail

Fantastic trail for adventurous SUV owners

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Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 4.5 miles / 7.2 km
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly • Dog Friendly
Overview: The ultimate in SUV adventure roads. Challenging but not overwhelming with breathtaking scenery. Climb to secluded, crystal-clear mountain lakes near 10,000 feet and fish for brown and golden trout. Primitive, secluded camping along Laurel Creek in lower part of canyon. Great early-summer wildflowers and changing aspens in the fall. Trail is open to mountain bikers, hikers, ATVs and dirt bikes. A short and convenient drive from the town of Mammoth Lakes, a premier outdoor recreation destination.Located in Inyo National Forest. For current conditions call the Mammoth Ranger District at (760) 924-5500.


Moderate. Narrow, steep and rocky shelf road. Good visibility of road ahead allows you to anticipate when passing will be necessary. Suitable for all stock, high-clearance 4-wheel-drive SUVs. Snow may block upper portion of trail well into July.

This trail is one of 100 trails from the book, Guide to California Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails, by Charles Wells & Matt Peterson, and is available at

Tips: We drove trail on 4th of July weekend and ran into a large Land Rover Club. Things got very congested when we were forced to stop at snow drifts before reaching the lake. It took quite a while for everyone to turn around. The trail shouldn’t take more than an hour to reach the lake under less-crowded conditions.

Trail conditions can change without notice. FunTreks, Inc. and its owner and employees are not responsible for injury, death, or vehicle damage as a result of using this guide. The content of this guide is the property of FunTreks, Inc. and is made available to the user pursuant to EveryTrail’s Terms of Service (

Points of Interest


Start Here

From Sherwin Creek Road turn south on Forest Road 4S86. Sign says Laurel Lakes.

Camping on Right

Road on right goes to good camp spots. From this point, road narrows and climbs more steeply.

Very Narrow

Trail narrows considerably. Snow may block the road here well into July. Wider vehicles should consider turning around at this point.

Upper Laurel Lake

Trail ends at lake near 10,000 feet. Return the way you came.
Pictures in this guide taken by: FunTreks, FunTreks, Inc.

Copyright 2011 FunTreks, Inc

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