Mammoth Crest Backpack

Lee Vining, CA
5.0 (3 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Amazing Camps
  • Alpine Lakes
  • Breathtaking Views
  • Summit Duck Pass at 10,800 ft
  • Hike on the John Muir Trail
  • Incredible Beauty of Ram Lake
  • Mountain Solitude

Description

Explore the grandeur and solitary reaches of the Eastern Sierra on this 4-day backpacking trip. Escape the crowds, climb into an amazing alpine world, and explore the soaring granite peaks that loom over the endless desert basins to the east of the Sierras. This trek begins and ends at the beautiful Lake Mary, which is a worthy destination in and of itself. We climb up and over Duck Pass, over 10,00ft where the views are amazing, to reach Duck Lake which will be our basecamp for the trip. Well take a day hike along the John Muir Trail with light packs to stunning Purple lake and also traverse the scenic Mammoth Crest, the namesake of this trip, which offers world-class views and unforgettable hiking.

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4 Days
$1085 Per Person
Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Guided Backpacking Trip
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-10 Guests
Trip Length: 4 Days
Distance: 24MI / 38KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 3

Our difficulty ratings are based on a scale of 1-5, tours with a rating of 1 being least difficult, tours with a rating of 5 being most difficult

Backpack Weight:
25-35 pounds
Daily Hiking Distances:
5-9 miles
Most Elevation Loss:
1495 feet
Most Elevation Gain:
1677 feet
Quality of Trails:
Well maintained and off trail
Additional:
This trip follows maintained trails and game trails, which are more rugged.

Participants should:

  1. be active and healthy
  2. exercise several times per week
  3. be comfortable hiking 6-8 miles per day in hilly or mountainous terrain with a 25-pound backpack

SOLITUDE LEVEL 3

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Yosemite backpacking trip a solitude 3. You can expect hours of solitude at a time.

TRAVEL TO LEE VINING, CALIFORNIA

All Eastern Sierra trips begin and end in Lee Vining at the iconic Mobile Station at 6PM on Day 1 of their trip. Lee Vining is east of Yosemite National Park at the junction of Highways 395 and 120. There are multiple way to reach Lee Vining:

By Car
The primary gateways if driving (or flying in and then driving) are Reno, NV; Fresno, CA; and Sacramento, CA. Lee Vining is a 2 hour and 40 minute drive south of Reno on Highway 395; and it’s 4.5 hours from both Fresno and Sacramento.

By Rail and Bus

From Fresno or Yosemite:
Yosemite Area Rapid Transit (YARTS) is offering 4 bus rides each direction from Fresno to Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite. From Tuolumne Meadows, you can catch a second YARTS bus that will drop you off directly at the Mobile station in Lee Vining. Please note that busses arrive at the Mobile at 8:42 AM, 4:47PM or after 7:30PM.

From Reno:
Eastern Sierra Transit’s CREST service offers transportation from Reno’s airport and Greyhound Station to Lee Vining, CA.

From Los Angeles:
Metrolink’s Antelope Valley Line offers service from Downtown Los Angeles to Lancaster, CA.  Eastern Sierra Transit’s CREST service travels north from Lancaster to Lee Vining.

From the San Francisco Bay Area:
Yosemite Area Rapid Transit (YARTS) offers service from Merced, CA to Yosemite Valley and in the summer, continuing service to the Eastern Sierra, with stops in Lee Vining.  There are many options for travel between the Bay Area and Merced, including Greyhound and Amtrak.

Travel by Air
Fly into Mammoth Yosemite Airport and take Eastern Sierra Transit’s CREST service north to Lee Vining.

Private Trips

Travel in perfect company by booking a private trip exclusively for your group!

Our sliding scale for private trips is based on the final number of guests in your group. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax, national park fees or guide gratuity. The final rate is based on the actual number of guests on the trip and may adjust based on cancellations or additions.

Please Note: you can also enjoy a private trip at our normal scheduled rates by filling any empty tour to capacity. However, if group members drop from the tour those spots will automatically become available on our website for instant booking. By purchasing a private trip at the rates listed below, your trip will remain exclusive to your group regardless of cancellations. 

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2.5
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.75
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.25
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1.15

*all rates are per person

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We’re here to help. If you have any questions, call 800-715-HIKE or contact us online.
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Itinerary

Itinerary

DAY 1

Day 1 begins with a rendezvous at the iconic Mobil Gas station at the corner of Highway 395 and Highway 120, just before the small village of Lee Vining. We will meet at 6pm, conduct an orientation meeting and have dinner together at the famous “Whoa Nelli Deli” located within the Mobil. After a surprisingly delicious meal at what may very well be the most gourmet gas station cuisine on earth, we hop into the company vehicle and cruise up the hill to our ready-made campsite. Finally settled, we enjoy our first alpine sunset amidst the excited chatter of a group embarking on an amazing adventure in the High Sierra.

DAY 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 5.1 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1947 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 575 feet

After a hearty breakfast with plenty of tea and/or coffee, we hop into the company vehicle and make our way along the eastern flank of the Sierra to the Lake Mary trailhead. The high peaks of the Sierra beckon us as we drive, and the anticipation of our hike builds quickly. At our trailhead, with our packs fully loaded, we will begin our ascent toward Duck Pass. The hike is arduous but replete with beautiful mountain vistas, lakes and towering granite monoliths. Finally pushing over Duck Pass, we descend to Duck Lake and make camp at its outlet stream for the next 2 nights. We settle in and and the guide will begin preparing dinner. Our first feast in the backcountry is welcome and made sweeter by the unbelievable setting we are in.

DAY 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 8.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1916 feet

Today we enjoy a day hike with light packs. An early rise and a quick breakfast make for a peaceful morning hike downhill on the famous John Muir Trail to the aptly named Purple lake. We will hike around the lake and enjoy a picnic lunch. After our meal we make our way back up over Duck Pass to our camp at Duck lake.

DAY 4

  • Hiking Mileage: 10.6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2194 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 3546 feet

Today we traverse the namesake of this trip, the Mammoth Crest, it is one of the highlights that blow our guests away. After breakfast we pack up our camp and hike toward Duck Pass one final time. From the pass we hike west toward Deer Lakes and the Mammoth Crest. Along the way we pass Blue Crag and Crystal Crag- giant granite monoliths. Once we reach the crest at roughly 10,500 ft we will enjoy 360 degree views of Mammoth Mountain, Mammoth Lakes, and the Minaret Range. We’ll take our time up here, snap photos, and eventually finish the hike at the Lake Mary trailhead. Safe and sound we enjoy lunch and reflect on our amazing 3-day trek into the Eastern Sierra Nevada high country.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book

AVAILABLE TO BOOK

This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast

GOING FAST

This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation

REQUEST A RESERVATION

This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Top-of-the-line tent, backcountry sleeping pad and multi-day backpack
  • High quality, synthetic sleeping bag (professionally laundered after every use) – or bring your own.
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from dinner on Day 1 through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Yosemite hiking guide
  • Transportation originating and ending in Lee Vining, CA
  • National park backcountry camping permits
  • Bear cannisters for food storage
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • Clothes, raingear and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

MEALS: WHAT TO EXPECT

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

GEAR WE PROVIDE

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware synthetic-fill sleeping bags (or bring your own)
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Bear cannisters
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

WHAT GEAR TO BRING

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person, leather gloves, and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important.

Additionally, some guests choose to bring their own sleeping bag. We supply high quality, synthetic fill bags that are professionally laundered after every trip. Synthetic fill is non-allergenic, insulates when damp and stands up well to repeated washings, but is heavier and bulkier than down. If you’re able to bring your own down sleeping bag, there are multiple benefits. If not, we’ve got you covered!

WHAT CLOTHES TO BRING

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with detailed guidance about what clothes to pack (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and our recommended clothing system. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

HOW DO I REGISTER?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

WHERE DO WE MEET?

This trip meets at the iconic Mobile Station in Lee Vining at 6PM on Day 1. The Mobile (also known as the Tioga Gas Mart or the Whoa Nellie Deli; 22 Vista Point Drive, Lee Vining, CA 93541) is on the corner of highway 395 and 120 just past the eastern entrance of Yosemite. Upon arrival, you will easily spot your guide waiting for you in a Wildland Trekking hat and shirt at the picnic tables by the main entrance. This trip includes dinner at the Deli and camping at a campground just minutes away. Personal vehicles can remain parked at the upper level parking lot at the Mobile during trips.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

START/END TIMES

Your guide will inform you of the first day’s rendezvous time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 5 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will be out of the backcountry normally before 5 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time) on the final day.

SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We’ve developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

GUIDES

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.

GUIDE SHIFTS

Eastern Sierra guides work daily shifts from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. During off hours (9 p.m. to 5 a.m.) the guides’ time is their own, and they are free to sleep, rest, take personal time, postpone guest requests until the next morning, and any other legal, reasonable activity people engage in when not working. We ask all guests to respect the guides’ off-duty hours by not waking or asking anything of them unless there is a true emergency. Also, state law requires that employees receive an uninterrupted 10 minute break every four working hours, so guides are required to take four 10 minute breaks between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m.

GROUP SIZE AND AGE RESTRICTIONS

The standard group size on backpacking trips is 6 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 10 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we’ll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 10 and older to join private tours, with final approval on a case by case basis
  • specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

WEATHER IN THE SIERRAS

Being a high mountain environment, the Sierra Nevada Mountains are prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. This is an exciting aspect of being in the mountains. On trips in June, snow is a possibility, and the rest of the summer rain is always a possibility on your trip. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). See below for average summer temperatures:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
Month
Valleys
Alpine
hi
low
hi
low
January
49°
26°
45°
25°
February
55°
28°
46°
26°
March
59°
31°
48°
27°
April
65°
35°
54°
30°
May
73°
42°
62°
37°
June
81°
51°
71°
46°
July
89°
57°
77°
50°
August
89°
56°
81°
53°
September
82°
51°
71°
46°
October
74°
39°
62°
37°
November
58°
31°
51°
29°
December
48°
26°
46°
25°

Accommodations

Accommodations

BACKCOUNTRY SLEEPING

TENT CAMPING

Sleeping on backpacking trips is in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and synthetic-fill sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

BACKCOUNTRY CUISINE

FRESH & DELICIOUS

Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.

AMAZING CAMPSITES

IN THE ACTION

Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 5.0 (3 reviews)
Alison M.
5.0

Fantastic Guide!

1 year ago

Michaela is a fantastic Guide! She is incredibly knowledgeable and takes great care of her group from safety to hygiene to technical knowledge. She was incredibly patient and flexible with any and all questions and gives a first rate experience to each individual person. The foot selections were excellent and she goes above and beyond to ensure an excellent experience. She gets two thumbs up and more!

Greg R.
5.0

Spectacular Scenery

2 years ago

This tour offers spectacular scenery, pristine alpine lakes, stunning mountain views, great camping sites, and only a moderate number of other hikers on the trails. It's a "don't miss" trek. The ascent of Duck Pass is among the best and most pleasant in the Sierras. Our guide, Brittney Dane, was fantastic. It's interesting to hear about her experiences doing the entire Pacific Crest Trail.

Kathy R.
5.0

Great Trip

2 years ago

Great trip. Our guide, Britt, did a great job. Great cook. I would recommend this trip to anyone who loves amazing scenery.

See All Guest Reviews!

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