Trip Planning: Mammoth and Eastern Sierra Snowshoeing and Winter Hiking, Nov 27-29 2015

posted in: Trip & Hike Planning | 0

I’ll add more details as time allows and as I find more information about this area.

Planned Itinerary

  • Day 1 (Fri)
    • 11 AM
      • Start drive to Mammoth
    • Afternoon
      • Optional Hike?
          • Sunset photos from the Alabama Hills
          • Other ideas?
  • Day 2 (Sat)
    • 6 AM
      • Snowshoe Minaret Summit and Beyond (photos here:
        • Mammoth Mountain Inn > Minaret Summit (9,215′) || 1.75 miles || +425, -75
        • Minaret Summit > Deadman Pass(9,948′) || 2.5 miles || +1115, -385
        • Deadman Pass > Two Teats(11,340′) || 2.5 miles || +1600, -210
        • Two Teats > San Joaquin (11,560′) || .75 miles || +425, -205
  • Day 3 (Sun)
    • Possible Snowshoe Options
      • Sunrise from Minaret Summit
        • Base start time on Saturday’s snowshoe to Minaret Summit
      • Lakes Basin Winter Public Access Corridor
      • Inyo Craters
        • 6.2 miles RT || 4 hrs
      • Little Lakes Valley (SNO-Park Pass required)
        • Leave Hotel around 4 AM
        • Start snowshoeing around 5 AM, turnaround by 8AM
    • 10 AM
      • Start driving home
    • 4 PM
      • Arrive at home


Here is an interactive map showing the routes that I have planned out.


Whenever I hike in the Sierra, I keep the following in mind:

You should carry sufficient clothes to spend a night out on the trail. At a minimum, bring thermal tops and bottoms, a fleece hat, and a waterproof, wind-resistant jacket. Adding a fleece top and a pair of polypropylene gloves will greatly increase comfort if a problem occurs, yet weigh less than a pound.
(Source: One Best Hike: Mt. Whitney, by Elizabeth Wenk)

Based on the forecast, we will need to be prepared for temperatures ranging from -10° F to 30° F. Here is the forecast for the San Joaquin Ridge: NOAA.

In general, I use the Winter Gear List to pack for winter hikes. With the cold temperatures, I recommend using bottles rather than a hydration bladder.

I have a ton of gear that I need to test this winter, so I may carry two items or more that are very similar for testing purposes on this trip. I’ve listed specifics of what I will carry below:


  • Snowshoeing/Winter Traction
  • Head/Neck
  • Hands
  • Torso
  • Legs
  • Long Underwear Bottoms (in pack)
  • Columbia Modern Logger Pants
  • Footwear


First Aid/Emergency Kit
I will carry a large first-aid kit for the group. Each individual should carry the following:

  • Navigation & Itinerary
    • I will print out a index card sized map for everyone
  • Sun Protection
    • You don’t want to forget sunscreen, chapstick and sunglasses for this hike
  • Headlamp or Flashlight
  • Emergency Shelter
    • I prefer an SOL Emergency Bivvy over a space blanket, but either will work

  • Toilet Paper
  • Small first-aid kit for personal use.