Mammoth Pool Reservoir is located on the San Joaquin River. The mountains that surround the reservoir form a steep narrow valley. The lake is five miles long, 1/2 mile wide and is open to camping, swimming, fishing, boating and hiking from mid-June until winter snow closes the road, usually in November.
Take Hwy 41 north to Road 200. Turn right and travel east to North Fork. Continue through North Fork to Minarets Road (Forest Road 81), follow it 37 miles to the Mammoth Pool Road, turn right, travel 4 miles to the lake.
A free public boat launch is available at the lake. Boats are required to be operated in a counter-clockwise pattern. No permit is required. The lake is closed to boating and other activities from May 1st through June 15th to allow for the annual migration of deer to their summer range in the Sierra Nevada.
Boat Speed Limits:
5 mph from 8 p.m. - 6 a.m. entire lake, year round.
20 mph from 6 a.m. - 8 p.m. entire lake, except from July 1st to September 10th the speed limit is 35 mph on the main body of the lake to China Bar.
Camping & Picnicking
Seven Forest Service campgrounds are located within thirteen miles of Mammoth Pool. Forest Service campgrounds have a total of 98 camp units. Mammoth Pool is the closest, has piped water and 47 sites. Other campgrounds in the area include Sweetwater, Placer, Little Jackass, Rock Springs, Soda Springs and Lower Chiquito. China Bar campground is primitive site located on the north end of the lake and accessible by boat or via the French Trail. Mammoth Pool campground accepts reservations. Please contact National Recreation Reservation System at www.recreation.gov or by phoning 1.877.444.6777. Reservations must me made at least three days in advance.
Mammoth Pool is a popular destination for anglers seeking rainbow and brown trout. Fishing season is from mid-April to late fall. However, California State Department of Fish and Game prohibits fishing in the reservoir waters from May 1st through June 15th, to allow migrating deer to swim across the reservoir. State fishing regulations apply and the limit is five per day, 10 in possession. Check seasonal closures for tributary streams flowing into Mammoth Pool.
Hiking and Equestrian Trails
The French Trail runs on the west side of the reservoir and is accessed at the Logan Meadow or Shakeflat trailheads. The trail was surveyed in 1880 and built by John S. French, a mining promoter from San Francisco who was developing mines in the Mammoth Mountain area and built the trail to access his mines, beginning at Ross' Ranch and ending south of Devil's Postpile. In this area the trail runs through mixed conifer forest and rocky, brush-covered hillsides, making spring or fall the best time to hike.
Sierra Vista Scenic Byway Located in the Sierra National Forest, the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway is a designated member of the National Scenic Byway System. The entire route meanders along National Forest roads from North Fork to the exit point on Highway 41 past Nelder Grove. Take an afternoon drive from Mammoth Pool and visit the various stops along the Byway.
Located at Mammoth Pool you will find Wagner's Resort. The Resort has groceries, gasoline and campsites for rent.
History of Mammoth Pool Reservoir The reservoir was constructed in 1958 by Southern California Edison Company for the purpose of generating hydroelectric power. Located at 3,330 feet in elevation, it was named after a large, natural pool in the river just above the location of the dam.
More Information Contact the Bass Lake Ranger Station at 559.877.2218.
Alerts & Warnings
- Sierra NFSafety Advisory: Road and Recreation Facilities Closure Extended
- Bass Lake Ranger District plans to initiate winter/spring prescribed burning
- High Sierra Ranger District plans fall/winter/spring prescribed fire projects
- High Sierra Ranger District will be changing hours of operation
- Recreation Fee Program Accomplishment Highlights 2021
- Public Meeting Creek Fire Ecological Restoration Project Video
- Seasonal Visitors Center Closure