Pet Friendly Places in Mammoth Lakes, CA
When to Visit Mammoth with your Dogs
Mammoth Hotels are Dog Friendly! (mostly)
How Dog Friendly is Mammoth Lakes?
The Town of Mammoth Lakes
Map of Pet Friendly Mammoth Lakes & Trails
Mammoth Adventure Center. Is Devil’s Postpile Dog Friendly?
Devils Postpile to Rainbow Falls – Devils Postpile National Monument is a unique basalt rock formation in the Red Meadows Valley. From the monument you can hike to Rainbow Falls on the San Joaquin River Valley. The mist from the falls turn rainbow in the afternoon sun. The hike is 4.5 miles, with slight elevation and will take a few hours to complete. To get to the Devils Postpile Monument during the summer months you must take a shuttle bus from the Mammoth Mountain Adventure Center (you can drive up yourself if you arrive before 7am). This creates a few complications:
From Noom – 3 PM the wait for the shuttle bus was about 1 hour. By 3pm you could just walk up to the bus. The bus comes by every 15-20 minutes.
Pets on the Mammoth Shuttle Bus
The monument and the trail are pet friendly. HOWEVER the bus system has a rule that ALL dogs must be muzzled while on the bus no matter how friendly they are. They have muzzles for sale at the shop for 10 dollars and they enforce this rule very strictly. Once off the bus, the muzzle can be removed. Our bus tickets were $8 each.
The Mammoth Mountain Gondola is Dog Friendly – Dogs can go on the Gondola to the top of Mammoth Mountain. Gondola tickets cost $35 each but are free on the way down if you hike to the top (11,053 ft). This is a tourist trap for sure, although the view is great and we fell for it.
Minaret Vista – Before heading out of the recreation center, you can check out the Minaret Vista for a scenic lookout over the Sierra Nevada valley.
Other Dog Friendly Activities in Mammoth
Wild Willy’s Hot Springs – The Mammoth Area has an abundance of natural hot springs and most of them are pet friendly. The dogs are not allowed IN the hot springs but this is unlikely to be an issue. Calvin wouldn’t even get close to the steaming water. Wild Willy’s offers exceptional views while sitting in a natural hot tub. We arrived at 7am after watching sunrise at Convict Lake – by the time we left at 8am, the crowds were arriving. From the parking lot, follow the wooden path to the springs about 1/4 miles away. If you are interested in camping, you can have an entirely no frills (no bathroom or shower) camping experience around the parking lot. If you are camping, make sure to check regulations as the parking lot land and hot spring land are each owned by different entities – you cannot camp on the hot spring land. We met many friendly off leash dogs and Calvin enjoyed running freely through the fields while we enjoyed the water. There are roaming cattle so make sure your dog is ok with farm animals before unleashing him. The cattle keep to themselves so it shouldn’t be an issue.
Inyo Craters – The Inyo Craters (AKA 200 foot holes in the ground) were created as a result of underground steam blasts. At the bottom each crater, turquoise lakes have formed. The hike to the craters from the parking lot is about 1 mile with moderate incline.
Dog Friendly Lakes & Hiking Trails in Mammoth
Drive right up to these lakes:
In this section you will find a variety of lakes that don’t require hiking. These lakes are located right off of parking lots and easy to access.
Mono Lake is Dog Friendly! – The BEST time to visit Mono Lake is at sunrise but we have visited at others times as well. For sunrise, we arrived at 5:50am and watched the sunrise until 7am. Mono Lake has no natural outlet and so water only escapes through evaporation leaving behind a high salt content. The salt content makes for picturesque mirror reflections on the water. The 760,000 year old lake is surrounded by beautiful Tufa (limestone) towers. Dogs must remain on leash at this one – if your dog likes to swim this is especially important since such high salt content is poisonous to dogs. During the day, the clouds in the sky reflect perfectly off the water.
June Lake – We camped right on June Lake at the Oh Ridge campground. June Lake is located right in between the famous Mono Lake and the town of Mammoth. The lake is great for kayaking, fishing, swimming, or just basking in the sun. The main beach requires dogs to be on leash but if you walk a little further around the lake they are allowed to be off leash.
Convict Lake – Convict Lake was another one of our dog friendly sunrise lakes. It is surrounded by mountains and desert foliage. We arrived at 6am as the fishermen were getting their boats onto the water. We found a quiet outlet for Calvin to splash and he happily ran around the lake – we only ran into one fisherman during our entire walk. The walk around Convict Lake is an easy 2.5 miles.
Gull Lake – The town of June Lake can be found right in between June & Gull Lake. The main reason to visit town is in conjunction with the 2 mile walk around Gull Lake. The lake is quieter than June Lake, and has a campground with direct lake access. After our stroll around the lake, we headed into town for a walk down main street and enjoyed sandwiches on the patio of the Alpine Deli & Pizza Co.
Hike up to these alpine lakes:
In this section you will find a variety of dog friendly lakes In Mammoth that can be accessed by a hike. The hikes range from easy to moderate. We found that the lakes in Mammoth which are accessed by hiking are less crowded and so the dogs were able to have more freedom to swim.
Start at Lake George and hike to Crystal Lake –The Crystal Lake trailhead starts at the Lake George Campground. The hike to Crystal Lake is about 1-1.5 hours with moderate incline. As you ascend towards Crystal Lake you can enjoy an aerial view of Lake George. The timing for this hike is important if you are trying to see it for sunset. We made the mistake of setting out too late and by the time we reached the lake, the sun had set and we hiked back in the dark. Hiking in the dark in bear country (granted it’s just black bears) was definitely not ideal.