Laurel Lakes Road

5/5 (19 reviews)
Mammoth Lakes, California (Mono County)
Last Updated: 08/08/2016
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Trail Information

Highlights

Laurel Lakes Road is a great scenic trail just outside the town of Mammoth Lakes in the Eastern High Sierras. The narrow five mile road has lots of places to turn out and pass. Starting at 7,300 feet and ending just over 10,000 feet, this trail has snow capped mountains, aspen groves, creeks and a back country lake. With so many sights in front of you, it easy to miss the great views from behind as you leave the valley floor.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

5/5 (19 reviews)
Bill
1300
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/29/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Beautiful spot, we've been going there since 1985. Trail is open and doable with 4x4 low range and high clearance vehicle. Leaves were yellow and the valley heading up was very colorful and pretty. No one was up there except for us.
Trail Review: Laurel Lakes Road - Bill
Trail Review: Laurel Lakes Road - Bill
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Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/07/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

Pretty rocky the first half, but if you have high clearance not so much a problem. Recommend 4LO. The one switchback going down to the lake is sketchy…it is very off camber. Had flashbacks of that Jeep rolling down Black Bear in Colorado. Anyways, the challenges are worth it. Few people there.
Trail Review: Laurel Lakes Road - Justin B.
Trail Review: Laurel Lakes Road - Justin B.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 11/13/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

We attempted to run this trail today with two Rubicons on 35s. The washouts are large, but not impossible. There are several bypasses created for them now and we made it thru the washouts towards the beginning of the trail. Then further up the trail, about 3/4 of the way, we encountered deep snow on the trail itself and could not make it all the way to the lake. Do not recommend anyone attempting at this point as we could see deeper snow further up the trail as well. Will have to come back at some other time.
Trail Review: Laurel Lakes Road - Hovo Tepoyan
Bill
1300
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 11/01/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

The trail is now completely impassible until some work is done to fill in the washouts. The pictured washout looked to be about 2-3 feet wide and 2-3 feet deep. We made it through 2 gnarly washouts but the one in the picture needs some work to be passible. And we didn't make it far as all, these washouts are near the beginning of the trail. This is the worst I've ever seen it and our first trip up this trail was in 1985. It was just my wife and I in a 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon on 38s, so we decided to not press on any further. This last storm must have been a real problem because it's washed out really bad in the last 2 weeks.
Trail Review: Laurel Lakes Road - Bill
Status: Partially Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/15/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

This trail is absolutely gorgeous (snow-capped mountains with Autumn colors, currently; babbling brooks with Aspen groves and amazing views of the basin) and we were so lucky to have run as much of it as we did. We cannot wait to return and fully complete the trail in its entirety. Note: this trail is considered impassable, currently, due to the (earlier) wash-outs from a storm quite a few months ago. Currently, our 2020 Tacoma TRD4x4OR (double-locked; only used rear locker within one of the many wash-out areas and probably did not need to in hindsight) did just fine on the entire trail; it was at the remaining 0.35 mile (so close!) mark to Laurel Lake that we had to turn tail and descend off of the mountain (around 10k feet elevation). The snow was quite packed and icy and was mostly located at two sweeping left turns at the end of the trail, just prior to the descending switchbacks to the lakes (see above map). These sections (I walked them to gauge difficulty) were located on off-camber, loose rock sections of the trail. We chose to live to drive another day and had to abort our journey (would have been an epic camp site). The fall (see pictured red Bronco II above) would not have been forgiving and we were travelling solo (one vehicle, two people, two dogs). That being said, this is definitely one of the most beautiful tracks we have done. Not technical, but breathtaking nonetheless. I do wish my snow driving skills were more honed, however I feel that unless you are up there with multiple vehicles and experienced drivers alike, the current conditions at the end of the trail should not be attempted. Local authorities, although not posting signs as to otherwise, are still cautioning people away from this trail. Journey at your own risk and be safe.

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