Mammoth Mountain via Dragon's Back
ElevationAscent: 2,419' 737 m
Descent: -2,419' -737 m
High: 11,009' 3,356 m
Low: 8,591' 2,619 m
GradeAvg Grade: 14% (8°)
Max Grade: 55% (29°)
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“Mammoth Mountain isn’t just for skiing! Get in some serious vertical feet with spectacular views on this rugged trail.”— Adam Hodges
From the Twin Lakes picnic area (8,600 feet) go west along the campground road, crossing the bridge that separates the two lakes. Continue following the road through the campground until you reach the trailhead. It’s less than a quarter mile from the picnic area to the trailhead. The trailhead is marked by a sign that says Dragon’s Back Trail and Mammoth Mountain Summit 3 miles.
The trail starts to climb immediately, gaining about 300 feet in the first half mile. Then the climb flattens out for a short respite before ramping up again. About a mile from the parking lot, you reach a trail junction with three options—go left to continue on Dragon’s Back Trail to the summit of Mammoth Mountain.
At about 1.75 miles from the parking lot, there is another trail junction with two options—going left will take you to Mammoth Pass, but you want to go right to stay on Dragon’s Back Trail to the summit of Mammoth Mountain. The trail climbs a bit more and then opens up into a small, flat clearing with another trail junction—continue straight to continue toward Mammoth Mountain. You are now 1.5 miles from the summit, about halfway there. This is where the trail gets narrower and rockier as you move into the ski area.
At about 2.75 miles from the start, you arrive at a ridge where a downhill mountain biking trail crosses your path. Cross the mountain biking trail and continue straight on the singletrack hiking trail—yellow arrows clearly mark the way. Follow the ridge up to the first summit. From there, you'll see the top of Mammoth Mountain across the plateau and just above the ski station warming hut. If it’s windy, you’ll start to feel the wind here as you cross the plateau toward the ski station and up the final short hill to the summit. At the top, a sign reads: Mammoth Mountain Elev. 11,053 feet.
Now head back down the way you came. Watch your footing over the first half of the descent and take time to enjoy the spectacular views.
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We need help with the following missing trail information:
Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna
Land Manager: USFS - Inyo National Forest Office