The Mammoth Lakes Basin

Summer Fun at Elev. 8,540 ft. to Elev. 9,008 ft: The Mammoth Lakes Basin is one of our family’s favorite parts of the summertime in the Mammoth Lakes area. From the views of the lakes to the camping and hiking, the lakes basin has much to offer you and your family.

Just sitting down and writing this out I can feel the summer breeze on my face, these breezes have the smell of lake water and the pine trees.

Close your eyes and you can hear the sounds of the headwaters of Twin Lakes Falls. Now the smell of campfire is as clear as if I was sitting at the twin’s lakes campfire pit right now.

Welcome to the Mammoth Lakes Basin where summertime is king at 9000 feet. This area of Mammoth Lakes is a jewel and it offers the adventures of lake and creek fishing for a trophy Alpers trout. A whole series of lakes, creeks, trails, and campgrounds awaits you in the Mammoth Lakes Basin.

Here is a list of what you can see and do in the Mammoth Lakes Basin:

Tamarack Lodge, Tamarack Restaurant, Tamarack Campground, Twin Lakes Store and Marina, Twin Lakes Water Fall, Twin Lakes Chapel, Art Museum, Lake Mary Camp Ground, Pine City Campground, Pokenobe Store and Marina, Lake Mary Store and Marine, Picnic Area, View Point, Horse Shoe Lake, Co2 Kill, Horseshoe Lake Trail Head, Lake Mamie, Lake Mamie Lodge, Lake George Lodge and Marina, Lake George Campground, Mammoth Crest Trail, Cold Water Camp Ground Loop, Mammoth Mines, Duck Pass Trail, Bike Riding, Hiking, Walking, Canoe, Pontoon Boat, Fishing Boat, Fishing, Fly Fishing, Climbing, horseback riding and more.

The Drive to Lakes in the Mammoth Lakes Basin:

Twin Lakes (Elev. 8,540 ft.)
The first in the group of lakes is located three miles from the town of Mammoth Lakes. Twins Lakes is the home of three bodies of water that you can shorefish, float tube, and boat in. All offer great catches of trout. This area also features the inlet to Mammoth Creek. These headwaters almost always offer up a trout.

Tamarack Lodge is a great place to stay if you want a true summer fish experience with a cabin on a lake. 

The fishing out of Tamarack is endless. With three bodies of water to be fished, you can work this area for a day and still be ready for more in the morning. At the far end of the lake, Twin Falls tumbles 300 feet into Upper Twin Lake.

The Twin Lakes Store serves as the main social point and gathering area for campers in the Twin Lakes area. Three Campgrounds are in this area. They are all within a stone’s throw of the lake and fishing. The Twin Lakes store also has boat rentals as does Tamarack lodge.

Mammoth Lakes Basin Scenic Point Looking at Twin Lakes
Mammoth Lakes Basin Scenic Point Looking at Twin Lakes

Lake Mary (Elev. 8,920 ft.) This is the largest lake in the Lakes Basin and it stretches out about a mile long. Lake Mary is also the most popular lake for fishing, boating, and sailing.

There are many hot spots on Lake Mary for fishing. Snowman’s favorite spot is down where the water exit’s the lake into Lake Mamie. I have caught and watched many fish be pulled in near that bridge.

Lake Mary in the Mammoth Lakes Basin - May 2021 - Photo Snowman
Lake Mary in the Mammoth Lakes Basin – May 2021 – Photo Snowman

Lake George (Elev. 9,008 ft.)
This lake can be shore fished from about 90% of the lake line. There is going to be a short to moderate hike from your car to access the fishing in this area.

The rocks just to the right of the lodge always offer up a hookup and a catch or two. Lake George is one of my favorite places to spend time during the summer.

Lake Mamie (Elev. 8,898 ft.)
The Lake is a jewel to fish. Fishing at dusk is the best, but you better wear a bug guard or you will get eaten yourself. Fishing here can offer you some very large brown trout. Alpers trout are also stocked in Lake Mamie. This Lake is also perfect for Fly Fishing.

Lake Mamie in the Mammoth Lakes Basin - May 2021 - Photo Snowman
Lake Mamie in the Mammoth Lakes Basin – May 2021 – Photo Snowman

Horseshoe Lake (Elev. 8,950)
This is the only lake where swimming is permitted. This is a great place for a picnic and some swimming on a hot summer day. Do observe the areas where CO2 danger signs appear.

Horseshoe Lake (Elev. 8,950)
Horseshoe Lake (Elev. 8,950)