Deer Lake Trail

Deer Lakes trail is also called the Crystal Crag trail. This trail begins with a steep climb up the ridge from Lake George to the Mammoth Crest and yields spectacular views of Crystal Crag and Crystal Lake. The trail continues along the rim of the Sierra Crest with views into the back country toward the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River.

This trail ends at Deer Lakes. Older maps indicate a trail down Deer Creek however this area was impacted by a wind event that blew down thousands of trees winter of 2011-2012 and the old trail is impassable. Hikers who want to reach the John Muir Trail should use Duck Pass or Red Cones trail.

Common Destinations: Deer Lakes

Download  area map for trail names in this area.
To purchase more detailed maps or guidebooks of the area, visit

At a Glance

Current Conditions:
Reservations: Reserve up to 6 months in advance at
Permit Info:
  • Wilderness permit required year round for overnight trips.
  • Day use does not require a permit.
  • May 1 through November 1 overnight visitors are limited to 10 people per day
Closest Towns:
  •  Mammoth Lakes, CA (Full Service, Hospital)
Water: Water from creeks, lakes and springs should be treated before drinking.
Restroom: Vault toilet at trailhead. Please Leave No Trace. Bury or carry out human waste.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center:

General Information


Leave Hwy 395 at Mammoth Lakes, Hwy 203 and follow Lake Mary Road. Follow the signs to Lake George. There is a large parking lot with separate parking for day and overnight hiking.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Lake and Pond Fishing

Enjoy the solitude of Deer Lakes while fishing for Rainbow Trout.

Day Hiking


Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
9,041ft. at trailhead - 10,669 ft. at Deer Lakes