Horseshoe Lake

  • At the end of Lake Mary Road and the Lakes Basin Path, with winter access by ski or snowshoe only, Horseshoe Lake is a popular recreation area and staging point for the Mammoth Pass and McLeod Lake trails. With the Mammoth Crest escarpment and the southern flank of Mammoth Mountain as backdrop, the area is further distinguished by more than 100 acres of tree kill; carbon dioxide from cooling magma seeped through the surface after a swarm of small earthquakes hit in 1989-1990. In dry years, as its feeder streams dry up, the lake diminishes dramatically over the summer, leaving expanses of sandy beach to play on.

  • At the end of Lake Mary Road and the Lakes Basin Path, with winter access by ski or snowshoe only, Horseshoe Lake is a popular recreation area and staging point for the Mammoth Pass and McLeod Lake trails. With the Mammoth Crest escarpment and the southern flank of Mammoth Mountain as backdrop, the area is further distinguished by more than 100 acres of tree kill; carbon dioxide from cooling magma seeped through the surface after a swarm of small earthquakes hit in 1989-1990. In dry years, as its feeder streams dry up, the lake diminishes dramatically over the summer, leaving expanses of sandy beach to play on.

Destination Alerts

  • 05/24/2017: Thanks to the drought busting winter of 2017, trails above 8500 ft are covered in snow. Watch for snow, ice, and high water.

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Related Trails

Related Trails

Trail Length (mi) Surface Activities and Services
Horseshoe Lake Loop 1.7 Soil Hiking Mountain Biking Pets
Lakes Basin Path 5.3 Asphalt Biking Hiking Pets
Mammoth Pass - Crater Meadow Trail 3.6 Soil Equestrian Hiking
Mammoth Pass Trail 4.1 Soil Equestrian Hiking

Related Experiences

Related Experiences

Experience Rating Length (mi) Surface Duration
Bouldering at Horseshoe Boulder 0.6 Mixed Less than 4 hours
Family Biking the Horseshoe Lake Loop 1.8 Mixed About an hour
Family Biking the Horseshoe Lake Loop from Twin Falls Overlook 2.1 Mixed Less than 4 hours
Family Biking the Lakes Basin 6.2 Mixed Less than 4 hours
Family Biking the Lakes Basin Path 10.6 Asphalt Half day
Family Biking the Lakes Basin Path Downhill 5.3 Mixed Less than 4 hours
Guided Geology Tour at Horseshoe Lake 1.4 Mixed Less than 4 hours
Hiking the Horseshoe Lake Loop - Adaptive Option 1.8 Mixed Less than 4 hours
Lake Swimming in McLeod Lake 1.2 Water Less than 4 hours
Pets on the Horseshoe Lake Loop 1.8 Sand Less than 4 hours
Road Biking around the Lakes Basin 14.1 Asphalt Less than 4 hours
Road Biking the Climber's Tour of Mammoth 16.5 Asphalt Less than 4 hours
Road Biking to Horseshoe Lake and Swimming Horseshoe Lake 13.9 Asphalt Less than 4 hours
Running the Lakes Basin Path from Twin Lakes Vista to Horseshoe Lake 6.2 Asphalt Less than 4 hours
Ski Touring from Mill City to McLeod Lake 7.0 Snow Half day
Sport Climbing at Horseshoe Slabs 1.0 Soil Less than 4 hours
Stand Up Paddleboarding on Horseshoe Lake 0.6 Water Less than 4 hours
Trail Running around Horseshoe Lake and Swimming Horseshoe Lake 2.7 Soil Less than 4 hours
Walking the Horseshoe Lake Loop 1.8 Mixed Less than 4 hours
Walking the Horseshoe Lake Loop Out and Back 1.0 Sand Less than 4 hours
Walking the Lakes Basin Path from Horseshoe Lake to Lake Mary 2.1 Asphalt Less than 4 hours
How to get involved Local recreation resources Experiences and ratings Finding your way around the MLTS