Photo of Emerald Lake,  Mono County, CA

Emerald Lake Fishing

Mammoth Lakes Region - Mono County

Photo of Emerald Lake near Mammoth Lakes, Mono County, CA

Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake is another beautiful lake just a short hike from the road's end at Mammoth Lakes in California's Eastern Sierra. Fishing is good for rainbows and brook trout. Emerald Lake is easy to reach from the Coldwater Campground at the south end of Lake Mary. A twenty minute hike on a well-marked trail delivers you to the water's edge, ready for an early morning of fishing.

Emerald Lake are at an elevation of 9,500 feet. It makes a good destination for children because there are safe places along the shore for them to fish.

Getting to Emerald Lake

To get to Emerald Lake drive on Highway 395 which runs north and south along the foot of California's Eastern Sierra. Turn up Highway 203 and follow it through Mammoth Lakes, staying on what becomes Lake Mary Road, rather than turning right toward Devils Postpile.

In My Creel

  • Super Duper
  • Rooster Tail
  • Panther Martin
  • salmon eggs
  • Berkley Power Bait
  • Nightcrawlers

At Emerald Lake I decided to try my hand at spin casting and also do a little bait fishing.

Photo of Mammoth Crest near Emerald Lake in Mammoth Lakes, Mono County, CA

Looking up toward Emerald Lake

Drive on the Lake Mary Loop Road to the south end of the lake and through Coldwater Campground to a parking lot at the trailhead at the far south end of the campground. Restrooms are available there. The hike to Emerald Lake is only 3/4 mile, so it makes a good early morning destination, allowing you to arrive while the fish are still rising for their sunrise feast.

You could also approach Emerald Lake along the same trail that leads to T.J. Lake, but it is 2 miles by that route. That trail swings around Barrett Lake (where you see the sign pointing to Emerald Lake, crosses a low ridge and then follows the contours over to Emerald Lake. The trail may not appear on every map. I recommend that you purchase the Mammoth Trails Hiking Trail Map available at Booky Joint, 437 Old Mammoth Road. The map shows all the lakes and streams and the key trails to reach them.

Accommodations and Supplies

Mammoth Lakes has accommodations to meet any budget. Because it is a popular ski resort area, there are an overabundance of condominiums available to rent. There are also some wonderful lodges and resorts which can make your stay at Mammoth Lakes all the more enjoyable. Among the nicest places to relax is Snowcreek Resort. Another one worth looking into is the Austria Hof Lodge which offers rooms and condos. Also take a look at the Mammoth Creek Inn, the Sierra Nevada Lodge, and the Westin Monache Resort.

Photo of Emerald Lake near Mammoth Lakes, Mono County, CA

Emerald Lake

There are plenty of campgrounds in the immediate Mammoth Lakes area, but they can be crowded during the summer. Coldwater Campground is right next to the trailhead to Emerald Lake and also within easy walking distance of Lake Mary, making it an ideal place to set up you base camp.

Other campgrounds around Mammoth Lakes include Lake George Campground, Pine City Campground, and Twin Lakes Campground. Reservations are possible at some of these campgrounds. For RV owners, Mammoth Mountain RV Park is located at 2667 Main St.

logo saying California's Greatest Lakes

For more information about camping, lodging, boating, and fishing in the Mammoth Lakes area, see California's Greatest Lakes coverage of Mammoth Lakes.

California's Best Camping logo

To find the very best campgrounds in the area and all across California, visit California's Best Camping.

Fishing supplies can be purchased locally at the following places:

Recommended Books for Fishing Grouse Ridge


Several other good fishing lakes are nearby. From Emerald Lake you could continue on another mile to Skelton Lake and nearby Arrowhead Lake. Farther up the trail are Barney Lake and Duck Lake. All these lakes have rainbow and brook trout.

Photo of Lake Mary at Mammoth Lakes, Mono County, CA

Lake Mary

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