Hot Creek, Mammoth Lakes

4 Reviews

Hot Creek Geothermal Area

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Hot springs at Hot Creek
    Hot springs at Hot Creek
    by chewy3326
  • Hot Creek
    Hot Creek
    by chewy3326
  • Hot Creek Fish Hatchery
    Hot Creek Fish Hatchery
    by chewy3326
  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    Hot Creek

    by mtncorg Written May 11, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Mt Morrison rising over 'hot' pools on Hot Creek

    Mammoth Creek flows eastward from the Mammoth Lakes towards its mixture with the Owens River near the head of Lake Crowley. This entire region of the Sierra is rife with volcanic activity, cinder cones, pumice flats and geothermal activity. The creek tumbles near the small Mammoth Lakes airport and then goes by a large California state fish hatchery. Downstream from this, the creek serves as a magnet for fly fishermen as the creek enters a small canyon. The canyon twist and turns and runs directly through one of those areas of geothermal activity with hot springs pumping water directly into the lake. The creek runs through a couple of deep pools which have heat emanating from the stream bed directly. Atop the canyon's south walls, there is a large parking lot with changing rooms and a trail that takes people down to the creek pools. You can then swim around in the pools to find the spot with the 'correct' temperature for you. The pools do get crowded during the day, but if you go early - or late - enough, the whole setting is magical. Also, the scene tends to change from year to year, depending on what is happening geothermally or what kind of a snow year it was.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Fishing
    • Spa and Resort

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    Hot Creek II

    by mtncorg Written May 11, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Boiling pools at Hot Creek

    Geothermal activity and water level in the creek vary from year to year. These hot springs were almost dry for several years, but can return the next season. You may not want to bathe in these pools, but several other spots can be found that are more conducive.

    Related to:
    • Water Sports
    • Spa and Resort
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • chewy3326's Profile Photo

    Hot Creek Geothermal Area

    by chewy3326 Updated Jul 2, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hot springs at Hot Creek
    2 more images

    Although Tom Harrison Maps marks the road to Hot Creek Geothermal Area as a 4WD road, it is actually easily accessible to most vehicles.

    Hot Creek Geothermal Area is one of the most amazing examples of the region's turbulent volcanic history. The entire area, from Mammoth Mountain to Crowley Lake, forms the 20 mile long and 10 mile wide Long Valley caldera. It was created about 750,000 years ago with the eruption of a giant volcano/magma chamber 2,500 times larger than the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980 that spread a thick layer of ash over all of the western US. This catastrophic eruption emptied the magma chamber and caused it to collapse on itself, forming a depression that today is the Long Valley caldera. Hot Creek is a reminder of that time period; water from the Sierra Nevada seeps down into the ground, where it is heated by the currently rising magma, and boils back up to the surface at Hot Creek.

    From the parking area, you can walk down the gorge to view a fascinating variety of mud pots, hot springs/pools, and fumaroles. At times, temporary geysers have even been known to shoot up here. Although swimming and soaking in the creek was once popular here, it was prohibited starting June 2006 by the Forest Service due to increased unstableness in the area.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • chewy3326's Profile Photo

    Hot Creek Fish Hatchery

    by chewy3326 Written Jul 2, 2007
    Hot Creek Fish Hatchery
    1 more image

    Hot Creek Fish Hatchery is an interesting stop on the way to the Hot Creek Geothermal Area. I've never seen more trout in my life than here. The hatchery raises 3 million cutthroat and rainbow trout each year to stock the streams and lakes throughout the Sierra Nevada. There are two main areas of interest at the hatchery; a pool with the older fish that are generally used for eggs, and a larger set of pools for newly hatched trout. In the first set of pools, you'll find rainbow trout up to 10 pounds swimming about. These fish are generally raised for three years to produce eggs; after that, to prevent the gene pool from degrading, they are released into the wild. The second and larger set of pools features millions of young trout who are released into the Sierra. It's a fascinating place.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Mammoth Lakes

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

71 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Hot Creek
4.0 out of 5 stars
15 Opinions
0 miles away
Show Prices
3.5 out of 5 stars
141 Opinions
0.1 miles away
Show Prices
3.0 out of 5 stars
167 Opinions
0.1 miles away
Show Prices

View all Mammoth Lakes hotels