Birding

Birding on Panorama Dome

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  • This is an easy 1.3-mile loop hike that introduces you to the many bird species found in the sub-alpine red fir and lodgepole pine forests of the Mammoth Lakes region. Starting from the parking area at Twin Lakes Vista, cross the road and follow the paved Lakes Basin Path to the Panorama Dome Mountain Bike Trail. Follow this trail up through shady woods that've recently been thinned for fire prevention. Listen for the calls of red-breasted nuthatches, mountain chickadees and Steller's jays. Listen for the calls and hammering of hairy or white-headed woodpeckers or Williamson's sapsuckers. After about a half mile you'll see a sign for the Mammoth Rock Trail. Look below for remnants of an old mining flume built in 1878. Turn left at the sign for the Lakes Basin Path and loop back along the edge of the Valentine Ecological Reserve (to the north). Keep an eye out for flocks of golden-crowned kinglets and check tree branches for Cassin's finches. Listen for the high-pitched call of the brown creeper. If you hear one, you may see this tiny bird climbing upward along the trunk of a tree, extracting insects on its way up. When views begin to open up of Dragon's Tail and Mammoth Mountain, scan the skies for raptors: golden or bald eagles, or maybe an osprey heading downvalley with a fish.

  • This is an easy 1.3-mile loop hike that introduces you to the many bird species found in the sub-alpine red fir and lodgepole pine forests of the Mammoth Lakes region. Starting from the parking area at Twin Lakes Vista, cross the road and follow the paved Lakes Basin Path to the Panorama Dome Mountain Bike Trail. Follow this trail up through shady woods that've recently been thinned for fire prevention. Listen for the calls of red-breasted nuthatches, mountain chickadees and Steller's jays. Listen for the calls and hammering of hairy or white-headed woodpeckers or Williamson's sapsuckers. After about a half mile you'll see a sign for the Mammoth Rock Trail. Look below for remnants of an old mining flume built in 1878. Turn left at the sign for the Lakes Basin Path and loop back along the edge of the Valentine Ecological Reserve (to the north). Keep an eye out for flocks of golden-crowned kinglets and check tree branches for Cassin's finches. Listen for the high-pitched call of the brown creeper. If you hear one, you may see this tiny bird climbing upward along the trunk of a tree, extracting insects on its way up. When views begin to open up of Dragon's Tail and Mammoth Mountain, scan the skies for raptors: golden or bald eagles, or maybe an osprey heading downvalley with a fish.

  • Experience Checklist

    • A good eye
    • Binoculars
    • Insect repellent
    • Local bird guide
    • Notebook
    • Spotting Scope
    • Sunglasses
    • Sun hat
    • Sunscreen/lip protector
    • Wildlife-identification guide

    Public Services

    Experience Information

    Trail Length
    1.3 miles
    Trail Surface
    Soil
    Duration
    Less than 4 hours

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Panorama Dome Vista Viewing
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