The Hike to Tj and Barret Lakes lies just beneath the Mammoth Crest and Crystal Crag in the Mammoth Lakes Basin at 9,293 feet.
This high mountain hiking trail is a great place for a 3-4 hour session of hiking & exploring, add in lunch on the shore line and some fishing and you can make this a day trip.
This hike takes about 30 – 60 minuets to reach Barret Lake depending on what type of shape you are in. Then it is a easy 10 minutes on to TJ Lake. You should consider this trail to be moderate in difficulty.
You will be gaining about 290 vertical in rise over the first .75 mile’s of the hike in or should we say up to Lake Barret. I have read many online reviews and post’s about this section. For many people this is a challenge, our take is you need to be in basic shape and take it easy.
This easy to moderate hike starts near the Lake George parking lot in the Mammoth Lakes Basin.
Take Lake Mary road to Pokenobe Lodge and turn left.
At the next junction just after the bridge turn right and your about 1/2 mile from the parking area.
The trail head begins along the shores of Lake George has seen in the picture just above. You will find the trail head at the back end of the parking lot, opposite of the Crystal Lake trail head.
This part of the trail last for about 1/2 mile and at one point your cross and nice wood bridge.
Just after the bridge crossing you start the moderate part of this hike heading up 290 vertical feet in under a mile. The section of the trail is like walking up 3 – 4 flights of stair’s expect your above 9000 feet.
Once up this steep section the rest of your hiking adventure is a bunch of easy hiking. Barret Lake is the first lake you reach and offers up some nice beach’s and easy access to fishing from the shore.
The trail quickly passes by Barret and offers you the option of heading to TJ Lake or Emerald Lake. Take the TJ route and your about .50 mile away from the lake just over a short rise up hill and then back down t the lake.
On the left side of the lake you will see Crystal Crag, it tops out at a elevation of 10,403 feet. In front of your is the Mammoth Crest, the lowest point along the sierra range fro 100 miles to the north and the south.
Here are some Facts:
Fishing: This lake has been well stocked in the past, so there are fish here to catch. Please practice catch and release at both TJ and Barret Lakes, stocking is rare these days and we would like to keep fish in the lake. Fly fishing or Spin fishing will get you the best results in this lakes environment.
Barret Lake’s some nice mountain beaches and they are located all around the lake.
TJ Lake has a couple beaches on the left side of the lake, but only if the lake is not full. The right side of the lake has a with a mix of rocky and forested shoreline.
A Trail Around the lake does not exist. Once your at TJ Lake you can take the trail all the way to the back of the lake. The trail seems to connect all the way around the lake but it does not. The back side is also home to some marshy bogs type fields that hold lots of mosquitoes. Beware or get eaten alive.
Wild Flowers you will read about being able to wild flowers at TJ lake. You will find them on the left side of the lake near the back. I posted a picture below of what they look like. These flowers have a short season so do not be surprised if you cannot find them.
Please pack in your own food and water for the day. We do not recommended you drink water out of the lakes or creeks in the area with out a filter. Hot Tip: make sure you check the mammoth lakes basin weather forecast before heading out. During thunderstorm cycle’s make sure to bring a rain jacket.
Barret and TJ Lake Hiking Photo Shots: Click here for a complete set of photos from this hike.