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Kayaking Mammoth Lakes
 Photo Credit Kathy R.


Paddling the Pristine Waters of Mammoth Lakes


Words cannot possibly begin to describe the beauty of Mammoth Lakes. Nestled against a backdrop of fragrant pines and majestic mountains, a more perfect paddling getaway could scarcely be imagined. At sunrise, spectacular reflective views of colorful mountains Kayaking Lake George Mammoth Lakesare cast onto the calm, mirror smooth water of these pristine alpine lakes. Why anyone would prefer to paddle at another time of day is beyond me.

The area around Mammoth Lakes is home to nine small lakes, located in the Mammoth Lakes Basin. All of these spellbinding high-elevation lakes offer a leisurely paddle in a picturesque wilderness setting, surrounded by dense pine forests and jagged mountain peaks. Each one provides striking photography and superb paddling opportunities.

The Mammoth Lakes Basin is located on the eastern slope of the Inyo National Forest at a 9000’ elevation, off Interstate 395 and Highway 203, in California's High Sierras Region. The lakes southwest of the town of Mammoth Lakes, include Lake Mary, Lake Mamie, Lake George, Crystal Crag, Lake McLead, Twin Lakes, Barrett, TJ, and Horseshoe Lakes. They are all interconnected by streams and all lie within the Inyo National Forest.

Nearly all the lakes in the Mammoth Lakes Basin have access via National Forest Road. Lake Mary, George, Mamie, Horseshoe and Twin Lakes are the only lakes accessible by vehicle that don’t require you to portage your kayak or canoe. All the lakes in the Mammoth Lakes Basin allow paddling. However, Horseshoe Lake is closed to paddling and camping, because carbon dioxide gas has been detected in its vicinity

All of Mammoth Lakes are so small you can easily paddle all of them in a day. Lake Mary, the largest of the Mammoth Lakes, takes less than an hour to paddle, but spectacular vistas invite a slower pace to enjoy the scenic splendor. In addition, the lakes are within walking distance of one another and are beautiful beyond imagination.

Mammoth Lakes is ideal for family camping and for all levels of paddlers if a breathtakingly beautiful surrounding is all you require. The sculptured geological features of these exhilarating cold-water lakes offer awesome views of snowcapped mountain peaks from scenic campsite settings situated along shorelines rimmed with towering pines.

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Kayaking Twin Lakes Mammoth LakesLake Mary has the most public access and services. A public marina provides boat launch facilities. Lake Mary allows sailing, canoeing, kayaking and small motorboats. The lake has a ten mile per hour speed limit and is extremely popular for trout fishing. If you're an avid kayak angler, Mammoth Lakes is an ideal kayak fishing destination. In fact, the Eastern Sierra provides just about any kind of fishing experience you could want. Fishing at Mammoth Lakes largely centers on brown trout, brook trout, cutthroat trout and rainbows planted yearly. Regardless of whether you are kayak fishing or fly fishing, head to one of the local fishing shops for advice, or book a guide, to get the most enjoyment out of your fishing experience.





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