Duck Pass

One of the most popular area trails in the Mammoth Lakes basin is Duck Lake with its intense, deep-blue color.  It's a classic John Muir Wilderness hike with a series of challenging switchbacks, epic views and lovely alpine lakes along the way.  It is reached by reached by ascending the steep switchbacks of Duck Pass.The views from the Pass show off the chain of lakes along the trail -- Arrowhead, Skelton and Barney lakes.

The Duck Pass trail head begins at the top of Coldwater Campground where free day parking is available. Allow a half-day to reach Skelton Lake (1.5 mile one way) or a full day for the rewarding sight of Duck Lake (5 miles one way). Expect moderate-to-strenuous uphill climbs, starting in the shade, then sun-exposed in higher elevations. Trout fishing, horseback riding and backpacking are popular uses of this well-traveled trail.

Directions from Bishop, CA:

Head west on May St toward N Main St49 ft; turn right onto US-395 N/N Main Street, continue to follow US-395 N38.6 miles, take the CA-203 exit toward Mammoth Lakes/Devils Postpile0.2 miles, turn left onto CA-203 W3.8 miles, continue onto Lake Mary Rd3.6 miles, turn left onto Around Lake Mary Rd0.6 miles, take the 1st left onto Cold Water Creek Campground Rd0.7 miles, turn right 262 feet - park and go hiking!

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Latitude: 37.5912813 Longitude: -118.9893258 Elevation: 9132 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Alicia Vennos

Vertical Gain or Loss

1700 feet

Trail Distance

10 miles, round trip


We did the trail today--it's just soo beautiful! And compared to previous years, the trail seemed even better maintained. On a slightly sad note, there don't seem to be any glaciers left in the area.

Anna S., 8/10/2013

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