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Activitiesrock creek trails

Rock Creek Trails

Rock Creek Trail along the river Rock Creek is an area very familiar to Mammoth visitors. Rock Creek Road is just off HWY 395 near Tom's Place. The road leads into the backcountry where streams, rivers and lakes abound. Along the way you'll pass Rock Creek Lodge known for their tackle shop that sells the most delicious pies made by Sue King. You got to get there early to get a slice as she is generally sold out before lunch.

Following the road to the end of Rock Creek , you'll see several junctions and the road ends at Mosquito Trailhead where you can park and begin your hikes.


Mosquito Flat Trailhead is located at the end of Rock Creek Road. From Hwy. 395, turn at Tom's Place and continue up Rock Creek Canyon to end of road. Trailhead parking is at Mosquito Flat. At an elevation of 10,300 feet, Mosquito Flat starts at an altitude many trails struggle to attain. As a result, this area is perfect for even the most inexperienced hiker due to its accessibility to easy trails. The area is a haven for photographers, fishermen, botanists, backpackers, and anyone who loves the backcountry. Two very popular hikes can be started from Mosquito Flat ranging from easy to strenuous, both leading to spectacular areas of Rock Creek's backcountry. There is a reason it is called "Mosquito" trailhead... be sure to bring bug repellent.TRAIL SUMMARY
TRAIL DIFFICULTY - easy to strenuous

Rock Creek Camping

Rock Creek has some of the most beautiful campgrounds in the Eastern Sierra. There are 13 Rock Creek campgrounds in Rock Creek Canyon with over 300 campsites. Most of the sites are tucked away under juniper, pinyon, Jeffrey pine, Lodgepole pine or aspen trees. Except for Holiday Campground, the campgrounds in Rock Creek Canyon are located near the creek and the lake. Nearly all of the sites are provided with a metal fire ring, picnic table, space to park two vehicles, and a good deal of seclusion and serenity. Each campground is equipped with cold-water faucets, and all have flush toilets, except for Upper Pine Grove that has clean chemical toilets.


In Little Lakes Valley, glacial activity is portrayed vividly. This charming valley surrounded by 13,000 ft. peaks (Mt. Mills, Dade, Abbot, and Bear Creek Spire) has the typical U-shaped profile of a glacier carved canyon. Small lakes now top the lateral moraines that pushed to the sides of the valley by the force and flow of ice. This area with its long chain of lakes is a popular area for beginning hikers and for fisherman seeking brook, rainbow & brown trout. Please pack out all trash and empty bait containers. Hikers can continue up Little Lakes Valley to Morgan Pass. This can become a loop as the trail from Morgan Pass winds down into Pine Creek Canyon.

The Mono Pass Trail ascends up to Ruby Lake where sheer granite walls tower over the emerald waters. The trail then climbs steeply over switchbacks up to Mono Pass. (12,000 ft.) Views from Mono Pass are excellent of the Mono Recesses and Pioneer Basin. The trail continues down Mono Creek where it joins with the Pacific Crest Trail. This hike is much more difficult than Little Lakes Valley, and is drier, particularly on the upper slopes. This hike does have its advantages, however. Incredible views of Little Lakes Valley can be had from various points along the trail, fewer people use this trail compared to the Little Lakes Valley trail, and Ruby Lake, a large, secluded, and picturesque alpine lake, is accessible from here. The Mono Pass Trail continues west over the Sierra Crest and drops down into the Mono Creek Recesses and Pioneer Basin. Access to lakes containing golden trout can be achieved from this trail. Golden Lake at the headwaters of Mono Creek and Summit Lake at the top of Mono Pass are 2 of these lakes. Mono Pass is very popular with the Rock Creek Pack Station. Popular Mammoth pack station trips are to Fourth Recess Lake and Pioneer Basin.

The Morgan Pass Trail winds through Little Lakes Valley, a beautiful area containing several lakes, incredible wildflowers, riparian meadows, and excellent views of the 13,700+ foot peaks surrounding the valley. Several species of wildlife thrive in the valley, including marmot, deer, chipmunk, squirrel, pine marten, pika, and many species of birds and fish. Although small brook trout is the most prevalent species of fish, 3-5 pound browns are caught out of these lakes every summer. Some lakes have wild rainbow trout in them as well. This is a heavily traveled trail, especially in July and August.


Trailhead parking for Hilton Lakes is located near the Rock Creek Pack Station at 9,600 ft. The Hilton Lakes Trail will take hikers through a forest of Whitebark and Lodgepole Pine before it enters the basin of Hilton and Davis Lakes. The upper Hilton Lakes contain Golden and Brook trout. The Lower Hilton Lakes and Davis Lake contain Brook and Rainbow trout.


Trailhead parking for Tamarack Lakes is located near the east side of Rock Creek Lake (9,600 ft.) and at Pine Grove Campground, (9,300 ft.) The Tamarack Lakes trail begins at the eastern shore of Rock Creek Lake. The trail is steep initially, but levels out around the intermediate lakes before starting the final climb to Tamarack and Buck Lake. Fisherman will find Golden Trout in Tamarack Lake, while the lower Dorothy Lake holds Brookies and Lahonton Cutthroat. Packstock often use trails in the Rock Creek area.

Weather conditions change rapidly in the Sierra Nevada. Hikers should carry ample clothing for the changing conditions. It is recommended that all hikers boil water at least 3 minutes before drinking due to the presence of giardia.

White Mountain Ranger Station
798 N. Main St. Bishop, CA 93514

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