There's a half mile or so to go and then it will be finished: 5.5 miles in the Eastern Sierra-Nevada Mountains for walkers, runners and cyclists. This is the Lakes Basin Path, a project over 10 years in the making that Mammoth Lakes locals and tourists alike are sure to enjoy.
"This has been a long time coming," said John Wentworth of Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access Foundation, which is assisting with signage and wayfinding for the project that travels from the middle of town into the forested hills and by four lakes.
Starting from the intersection of Lake Mary and Minaret roads near Mammoth Village, the path heads southward into the Inyo National Forest where it hugs the eastern edges of Twin Lakes before boomeranging over to Lake Mary and on to Lake Mamie, finally ending at Horseshoe Lake. When all is said and done, over 900 feet in elevation has been gained.
The first segment of the path--from town to the lakes basin area--opened in the summer of 2010, followed by last August when the last leg to Horseshoe opened, save for a 3,000-foot gap expected to be completed in the next few days.
For contractors, the timing is great as the first major snow of the season is expected this weekend, just in time for Mammoth Mountain's opening day next week. But those eager to try the path in its entirety will likely have to wait until next year when the snow melts away. Not that anyone is complaining--winter in Mammoth is quite beautiful.
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