Sherwin, Valentine, and Laurel Creek

Revised 11 Jun 2012 - please send updates to the webmaster

home See Driving Directions > Eastern Sierra for context and how to get here.
west prev in Eastern Sierra: Mammoth Lakes Trailheads (Lake Mary, Lake George, Horseshoe Lake)
east next in Eastern Sierra: Convict Lake Trailhead
info view GPS waypoints: simple Waypoint+ format, download GPX file, or overlay on interactive map.
See this popup local area map showing Mammoth south to Bishop (look for waypoints MAMOTH, 395SWN).
View the waypoint file (above) for GPS Routes MAMMOTH LAKES, SHERWIN CK BEST,
SHERWIN CK DIRT, and HWY 395 MAMMOTH TO BISHOP.

Overview map for all trailheads:

There are two ways to approach all of these trailheads:

  1. By far the best road is to leave Hwy 395 on Hwy 203 (waypoint MAMOTH), following the main road west into Mammoth Lakes. 2.8 miles from Hwy 395, turn south off Hwy 203 (also called Main Street here) onto Old Mammoth Road (waypoint MAINST). In less than a mile, Old Mammoth Road turns west, and there is a junction with Sherwin Creek Road in the corner (waypoint MAMSWN). Sherwin Creek Road, which is intermittantly paved, continues south and then turns east, passing the Sherwin Creek, Valentine Lake, and Laurel Creek trailheads.

    Continuing in this direction, Sherwin Creek Road comes out on Hwy 395 (waypoint 395SWN), 1.5 miles east of waypoint MAMOTH. This portion of the road is very rough, but quite drivable with any vehicle. Washboards keep your speed down so it's probably faster to drive through Mammoth Lakes except for the Laurel Creek Trail.

  2. By far the shortest road is to leave Hwy 395 on Sherwin Creek Road (waypoint 395SWN), 1.5 miles east of the Mammoth Lakes turnoff (where Hwy 203 crosses Hwy 395). The portion of this road before the Valentine Lake turnoff is very rough, but quite drivable with any vehicle. Washboards keep your speed down so it's probably faster to drive through Mammoth Lakes except for the Laurel Creek Trail.

    Sherwin Creek Road, which is intermittantly paved after the Valentine Lakes trailhead, continues west and then turns north, passing the Sherwin Creek, Valentine Lake, and Laurel Creek trailheads.

    Continuing in this direction, Sherwin Creek Road ends at Old Mammoth Road (waypoint MAMSWN), which comes takes you to Hwy 203 (waypoint MAINST) also called Main Street in Mammoth Lakes. Follow this road east 2.8 miles to Hwy 395 (waypoint MAMOTH).


Sherwin Creek Trailhead - GPS Routes SHERWIN CK BEST and SHERWIN CK DIRT

About 1.3 miles from Old Mammoth Road (waypoint MAMSWN) when coming from Mammoth Lakes via the good road, or 4 miles from Hwy 395 (waypoint 395SWN) when coming via the rough dirt road, there is another dirt road (waypoint SWNJCT) with a sign for the Sherwin Lakes Trailhead.

Turn south here (waypoint SWNJCT), and after a quarter of a mile you'll be forced to turn left at a gate (waypoint SWNGAT). It's another tenth of a mile to the trailhead parking lot (SWNCRK) which has an outhouse but no other useful features.


Valentine Lake Trailhead - GPS Route SHERWIN CK DIRT

You can approach this trailhead from Mammoth Lakes, as described for the Sherwin Creek Trailhead, but given the longer distance it's probably smarter to come in via Sherwin Creek Road directly from Hwy 395 (waypoint 395SWN).

It's all rough dirt road, but suitable for any vehicle. Drive about 2.5 miles from Hwy 395 on Sherwin Creek Road, and turn left (uphill) at the sign for Valentine Lakes (waypoint VALENT).


Laurel Creek Trailhead - GPS Route SHERWIN CK DIRT

You can approach this trailhead from Mammoth Lakes, as described for the Sherwin Creek Trailhead, but given the longer distance it's definitely smarter to come in via Sherwin Creek Road directly from Hwy 395 (waypoint 395SWN).

It's all rough dirt road, but suitable for any vehicle. Drive about 1.5 miles from Hwy 395 on Sherwin Creek Road, and turn left (uphill) for Laurel Creek (waypoint LAUREL). There wasn't a sign here in 2005, but one was reported in 2009. It's a 4WD road that I haven't scouted, so use your best judgement on whether to drive or walk. Here's a 2009 trip report that might inform your decision!

Do not confuse this with another unmarked junction 2.25 miles from Hwy 395 (waypoint SWNCK3). This is also a 4WD road, and it's also unsigned, but it goes nowhere.


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