Photo of Sherwin Lake, Mammoth Lakes, Mono County, CA

Sherwin Lakes - Mono County

Photo of Sherwin Lakes

Lower Sherwin Lake

Sherwin Lakes are a series of small lakes off the beaten path near Mammoth Lakes, California. A one hour hike on a well-established trail delivers you to this serene cluster of lakes. Fishing is great in all the larger Sherwin Lakes for rainbow and brook trout.

Sherwin Lakes are at an elevation of 8,700 feet, several hundred feet lower than most of the Mammoth Lakes.


In My Creel

  • #16 Stimulator
  • #14 Yellow Humpy
  • #14 Elk Hair Caddis
  • #16 Royal Wulff
  • #16 Zug Bug
  • #8 Psycho Ant
  • Dave's Hopper

I headed up to Sherwin Lakes prepared for all kinds of conditions, thinking I might be fishing the main lakes and also some of the surrounding ponds. As it turned out I was doing so well on the main lakes that I never fished any of the ponds.



Making Your Way to Sherwin Lakes

Sherwin Lakes are tucked in a valley on the southwest side of the Mammoth Lakes area. To reach Sherwin Lakes drive on Highway 395 which runs north and south along the foot of California's Eastern Sierra. Turn up Highway 203 and follow it to Mammoth Lakes Village where you turn left on Old Mammoth Road. After 0.8 miles turn left onto Sherwin Lakes Road.

Photo of Mammoth from Sherwin Lake trail

Mammoth Mountain from the Trail

The Sherwin Lakes Road begins as a paved road and then turns to gravel for a short distance. Watch for the Sherwin Lakes sign after driving 1.3 miles on this road and turn right up a road, keeping to the left at a Y. Shortly you will arrive at the trailhead parking lot. Restrooms are available there.

The 2.3-mile trail climbs 900 feet up to the lakes at a moderate incline. At first you hike across sage, but soon the trail enters the trees at the Sherwin Creek bridge. An old trail follows the creek, but you should avoid it and use the newer route. The trail switch-backs up the hillside, at times offering views across the valley toward Mammoth Mountain. At the top of the hill the trail levels off and then eases down to the lower of the two main lakes. It is the most scenic and easiest to fish of the two larger lakes.

A maze of trails lead around the left shore of the lower Sherwin Lake and around to the upper lake. The upper Sherwin Lake is surrounded by boulders on most sides, making approach difficult at times. During periods of low water in the fall it becomes two lakes. Fishing is great on all the lakes.

Valentine Lake is another 2.5 miles and 1000 feet of elevation up the trail.

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 Sherwin Lakes

Pond above the Highest Lake

There are plenty of campgrounds around Mammoth Lakes, but they can be crowded during the summer. Sherwin Creek Campground , just ¾ mile from the trailhead to Sherwin Lakes, is a little more out of way and offers a pleasant place to stay. It has 85 sites and you can make reservations ahead of time.

Up around the Mammoth Lakes you'll find Coldwater Creek Campground, 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 Street.

California's Best Camping logo

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

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

logo saying California's Greatest Lakes

Fishing supplies can be purchased locally at the following places:


Recommended Books for Fishing the Sierra Streams and Lakes




Photo of T.J. Lake

Upper Sherwin Lake


Nearby Featured Trips in Mammoth Lakes:





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