Hot Creek / Fish Hatchery
The Hot Creek Fish Hatchery is just opposite the airport which you passed on your drive to Mammoth Lakes, located just off Highway 395. Since it is easy to miss, just past the airport is a small road that says airport and that leads to the hatchery. Follow the signs to Hot Creek Fish Hatchery to view trout in outdoor rearing ponds.
From the hatchery, continue east two miles to see the bubbling hot water show at Hot Creek shown above.
The Hot Creek Fish Hatchery is important as it is the life blood of Mammoth Lakes. During the fishing season over a million people come to Mammoth Lakes to enjoy hiking, golf and outdoor sports including fishing. With all this tourism, the lakes do not have enough time to regenerate themselves, so they need help from the various fish hatcheries in our area. It is all driven by the economy... if there are no fish, then there are no fisherman. With no fisherman, there is no one to stay in the lodging, eat at the restaurants, buy the sporting goods or generate tax dollars to pay for any services for any other activity. So the Mammoth Lakes "food chain" starts with breeding and raising baby trout. The tours of the ponds are quite unique and a nice lesson on keeping nature in balance.
With this driving and walking tour you are exploring the rich eco tourism that Mammoth has to offer. If you have already explored Convict Lake, you should check out the other locations listed.
Create Your Own Tour of Mammoth
To tour the Mammoth Lakes Basin,
From Hot Creek, retrace your route back to U.S. 395 to Mammoth Lakes
and continue through town along Hwy. 203. Go straight through the
Minaret Road intersection and enter Lake Mary Road, which takes
you to the Lakes Basin, with its 13 alpine lakes. From the road
you'll see the basin's five major lakes: Twin, Mary, Mamie, George
and Horseshoe. Follow the loop road around Lake Mary and head up
Coldwater Canyon to visit the historic site of the Mammoth
Consolidated Mine. A short hike from the parking area will lead
you along Coldwater Creek to gorgeous Emerald Lake.
On your return to town, turn right onto Old Mammoth Road just
below Lake Mary, and continue down this winding road past the area's
first mining site and historic Mill City. The Mammoth Museum
is how housed in Hayden Cabin which is just past the meadow and golf course, along Mammoth Creek.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Mammoth Ranger Station and Welcome Center
Highway 203, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546