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A mostly forested hike up to Valentine Lake.


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Map Key

11.8

Miles

19.0

KM

Loop

9,630' 2,935 m

High

7,456' 2,273 m

Low

2,169' 661 m

Up

2,190' 668 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

26%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Overview

This route provides a gentle climb up the Sherwin Lakes Trail and then a steeper climb up to Valentine Lake before descending back down the Valentine Lake Trail to Sherwin Creek Road to finish the loop.

Need to Know

There are restrooms at the Sherwin Lakes Trailhead.

Description

To get there, go east on Sherwin Creek Road from Mammoth for about 1.5 miles until you see the sign for the Sherwin Lakes Trailhead. Turn right and drive along a dirt road for a quarter mile until you reach the parking area.

From the trailhead, the Sherwin Lakes Trail climbs about 800 feet in just under two miles to a plateau with nice views of the Minarets. The trail skirts by the second of the three Sherwin Lakes and then reaches a juncture with the Valentine Lake Trail at about three miles.

From this juncture, turn right to take the Valentine Lake Trail up to Valentine Lake. The trail steepens and climbs another 1,000+ feet over the next 2.25 miles. The trail dead-ends at Valentine Lake. If you cross the outlet of the lake, you can find a nice lunch spot on some boulders overlooking the Long Valley Caldera behind you.

To descend, follow the Valentine Lake Trail all the way back down to Sherwin Creek Road. The descent is about 4.5 to 5 miles.

Turn left onto Sherwin Creek Road and follow it back to the Sherwin Lakes Trailhead in less than two miles.

Flora & Fauna

The flora and fauna found along the Valentine Lake Loop include Jeffry Pines, Sierra Junipers, Indian Paintbrush, Lupines, Pink Monkeyflower, and Mountain Pride, among others.

Contacts

Shared By:

Adam Hodges with improvements by Amy Hikesalot

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 6 votes

#3855

Overall
  3.8 from 6 votes
5 Star
17%
4 Star
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3 Star
33%
2 Star
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1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#539

in California

#3,855

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1,893 Since Oct 18, 2018
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Photos

End of the trail at Valentine Lake.
Oct 18, 2018 near Mammoth…, CA
View through the trees on Sherwin Lakes Trail.
Oct 27, 2019 near Mammoth…, CA
Trailhead for Valentine Lake Trail off of Sherwin Creek Road.
Oct 18, 2018 near Mammoth…, CA
The juncture of Sherwin Lakes Trail and Valentine Lake Trail.
Oct 18, 2018 near Mammoth…, CA
Sherwin Lakes Trailhead off Sherwin Creek Road.
Oct 18, 2018 near Mammoth…, CA
Looking back down the valley from the top of the Valentine Lake Trail.
Oct 18, 2018 near Mammoth…, CA

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Check-Ins

Aug 6, 2023
Benjamin Chupik
Aug 9, 2020
Robert David
Jul 28, 2019
Amy Hikesalot
Gorgeous views and an even more stunning lake. There were a few lingering patches of snow right Valentine Lake, but not near enough to be obstructive. 11.4mi — 5h 00m
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