The Mammoth Lakes area is home to an assortment of beautiful and invigorating hiking trails. Whether you prefer the easier Horseshoe Lake Loop, the Duck Pass Trail that veers off to Woods Lake, or another trail that catches your attention, it’s important to be as safe and prepared as possible before you get started. Here are eight essential hiking safety tips to keep in mind, brought to you by the mountain sports experts from ASO Mammoth, your one-stop Mammoth outdoor store for high-quality hiking gear, safety equipment, and tips for exploring Mammoth’s grandeur.
1. Bring Your Hiking Essentials
You’ll have a safer hike if you come prepared with the basic essentials. Even if hiking is only one of several things you have planned for your visit to the Mammoth Lakes area, it’s best to have the following items with you:
• Some type of navigation tool/device
• Light snacks and a refillable water bottle
• Sun protection, including sunscreen and a hat
• A fully stocked first aid kit
Bonus tip: If your car will be packed with kids, friends, and other stuff for your visit to Mammoth Lakes, you can always rent some of your hiking gear from local shops.
2. Dress Responsibly
Just because Mammoth Lakes is normally a sunny, pleasant place in the summer doesn’t mean it can’t get cold later in the day. Bring a jacket and other things you can quickly slip on to stay warm if you know you’ll be hiking the entire day. Also, dress for conditions during the day as you actively hike, which typically means light, breathable clothes.
3. Bring a Friend
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying solo Mammoth Lakes hikes. However, if you’re a first-time hiker or you’re planning to explore new or challenging hikes, err on the side of caution and bring a friend. This way, someone will be there to help if you need some assistance.
4. Pace Yourself
Even if you’ll be hiking along the moderate 3.1-mile Crystal Lake Trail or a similar hiking path, you should pace yourself as you go. Find a pace that’s comfortable for you and stick with it, but still take breaks to briefly recharge as necessary.
5. Stay Hydrated
You don’t need to be thirsty to be dehydrated. As you hike, sip your water to ensure your body is getting sufficient hydration to keep everything functioning normally. This is another reason to have a hiking buddy with you so you can remind one another to stay hydrated while hiking.
6. Plan Your Hike
While there’s something to be said for spontaneity, this isn’t a great idea when you’re hiking. Always know where you plan to go ahead of time, and share your hiking details with a friend or loved one.
7. Factor in Any Health/Medical Limitations You May Have
If you have asthma or another medical issue that could present risks, take such things into consideration as you prepare. This might mean bringing along emergency medication or extra snacks if you have low blood sugar issues. If you have plans for a more challenging hike and you have certain health limitations, check with your doctor first.
8. Have an Emergency Plan
Lastly, be prepared in case something unexpected happens as you hike. For hiking in the Mammoth Lakes area, this may include:
• Programming Mono County EMS contact info into your phone
• Making sure your phone is fully charged
• Knowing the quickest route back to an area where you can get help
If you’re looking to explore the natural beauty of Mammoth Mountain, hiking is one of the best ways to do it. Whether you hike or prefer to enjoy the scenery on two wheels, you can find everything you need at ASO Mammoth, the area’s top provider of bike rentals. Mammoth visitors can rely on us for high-quality equipment and outstanding service. Stop by when you get to the mountain or give us a call at 760-965-3444 for more information.