Home / Blog / The Minaret Vista Trail

The Minaret Vista Trail

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 Reddit 0 StumbleUpon 0 Pin It Share 0 LinkedIn 0 Filament.io 0 Flares ×

Minaret Vista – a great trail to enjoy year round!

Minaret Vista Trail is a jeep trail located off CA-203, just behind the kiosks at the Minaret Vista overlook.  The vista kiosks define the Minarets, Mt. Ritter and Mt. Banner on the horizon and the Devil’s Postpile and the San Joaquin River Valley area below.  This section of the Inyo National Forest is also home to the John Muir and Ansel Adams Wilderness areas, John Muir Trail and Pacific Crest Trail (known to skilled hikers as the JMT and PCT); and is said to be the core of the mountain range.  Parking is located just off of CA-203, before the Forest Ranger gate that leads to the Devil’s Postpile/ Reds Meadows camping and hiking areas.

Minaret Vista Trail is one of Mammoth’s best kept secrets, as most visitors take the bus through the Ranger Station gate and down into the Postpile/ Red’s Meadows area via bus from the Main Lodge parking area.  The trail is a steep ascent along the jeep trail for about 2.0 miles eventually ending at Dead Man’s Pass; however the vistas are worth the trek, with photo opportunities surpassing one’s imagination and numerous overlook spots to stop at along the way. The 360-degree panorama is breath taking, with the White Mountains to the east, the Sierras of Mammoth Lakes to the west and even a view of Crowley Lake in the distance.

Minaret Vista - photo

The views are amazing and accessible year round, by car, bike and foot in the summer months and by snowmobile, snowshoe and skis in the winter.  Summer views include all the colors of the rainbow, with meadows full of an array of wildflowers and winter views reveal snow covered mountain ranges for miles.  No matter the time of year this trail exposes the wonder of the area and is a terrific spot for picnics, celebrations or just gathering with friends.

I have a group of friends, in Mammoth, that make an annual hike to the summit every winter with their alpine skis, to take in the sunset and enjoy the ski back.  I have unfortunately been unable to take part in their wine and cheese hike/ski/sunset experience, but have already marked it on my calendar for this year, after having just experienced the views for the first time with my parents a week ago.  My father blazes trails in connection with the North Country Trail in western Pennsylvania and he makes it a point to visit the Minaret Vista Trail every time he is in Mammoth Lakes.  As he likes to put it, “You don’t get these kind of views in PA!”

If you have not experienced it for your self, I strongly suggested taking it in on your next trip to Mammoth Lakes, whatever time of the year, it won’t disappoint.

Submitted by:  Sheila Copeland


Leave a Reply