With a name like “Mammoth Lakes”, you can be certain that such a place would have more than its fair share of water adventures—including lots of opportunities for boating, fishing, watersports, and swimming.

Swimming, in particular, is a highly popular activity around Mammoth Lakes, especially in the summer and early fall. 

June Lake Loop from VisitCalifornia
Photo from VisitCalifornia.com

Which Lakes in the Lakes Basin Are OK For Swimming?

Fortunately, all lakes in the Mammoth Lakes Basin welcome visitors looking to do some swimming. So it’s all right to plan your swimming and water activities in Twin Lakes, Lake Mary, Lake Mamie, Lake George, and Horseshoe Lake, as long as the weather is agreeable enough.

Horseshoe Lake, in particular, is a great option for families. It has a beach where you can launch kayaks or paddleboards. As no motorized boats are allowed in Horseshoe Lake, the area is especially safe for swimming.

The other lakes are easily accessible by car via Lake Mary Road. Just keep an eye out for fishermen and boaters while you’re swimming, as the lakes in the Mammoth Lakes Basin are multi-use.

Top Swimming Spots In and Around Mammoth Lakes

Crystal Lake

Tucked away beneath the sparkling granite of Crystal Crag, Crystal Lake is a popular summertime destination that’s perfect for a picnic and can be wild with flowers in the right season.

  • How to get there: From the Lake George Trailhead, take the Crystal Lake Trail to Crystal Lake.
  • Swimming season: Summer and fall

June Lake

Located 20 miles north of Mammoth Lakes is June Lake, one of the four lakes inside June Lake Loop (the other three being Gull Lake, Silver Lake, and Grant Lake). The east end of June Lake has a swim beach with a sandy shoreline.

  • How to get there: June Lake is located along Hwy 158 (June Lake Loop). Take Oh! Ridge exit to access the beach
  • Swimming season: Summer and fall

Mammoth Lakes Basin

Swimming is allowed in all lakes in the Mammoth Lakes Basin. The Twin Lakes are the lowest of all the lakes (at an elevation of 8500 feet). Continuing up Lake Mary Road, you’ll also find Lake Mary, Lake George, Lake Mamie, and Horseshoe Lake.

  • How to get there: Take Lake Mary Road or the paved bike path
  • Swimming season: Summer and fall
The Mammoth Lakes Basin from VisitMammoth
Photo from VisitMammoth.com

McLeod Lake

A short distance up from the parking area at Horseshoe Lake, McLeod Lake is a popular summertime destination for families, with long, sandy beaches, interesting sun-bleached snags for the kids to climb on.

  • How to get there: From the Horseshoe Lake Trailhead, take the Mammoth Pass-Crater Meadow Trail to McLeod Lake.
  • Swimming season: Summer and fall

Snowcreek Athletic Club

An indoor venue, the Snowcreek Athletic Club offers swimming all year round and is open to non-members. Swim lessons are available. Snowcreek Athletic Club has steam rooms, locker rooms, and WiFi. 

  • How to get there: Punch in 51 Club Drive into your GPS device or mobile app.
  • Phone Number: (760) 934.8511
  • Website: www.SnowcreekAthleticClub.com
  • Swimming season: The indoor facilities of Snowcreek Athletic Club are open all year. The outdoor pool area is available from May to around mid-September.

Whitmore Pool

Managed by the local Parks and Rec department, Whitmore Pool is a six-lane, 25-meter outdoor public pool down on Benton Crossing Road. It has a children’s wading pool as well as WiFi. Hours vary. 

  • How to get there: Punch in 904 Benton Crossing Road into your GPS device or mobile app.
  • Phone Number: (760) 935.4222
  • Website: www.MammothParksAndRec.com
  • Swimming season: From around mid-June to the end of August.

What’s The Best RV Campground For Me (If I Want To Go Swimming in Mammoth Lakes?)

Coldwater Campground would be your best bet when it comes to campgrounds relatively close to the lakes around the Mammoth Lakes Basin.

In addition to swimming, other popular activities in Coldwater Campground would include horseback riding, hiking, fishing, boating, and biking. Picnic tables are available on the campgrounds, as are campfire rings and bear-proof food storage lockers

Coldwater Campground from Eric E
Photo from Eric E.

Coldwater Campground is 320 miles north of Los Angeles and 180 miles south of Reno. Follow U.S. Highway 395 to the junction of State Highway 203. Turn west on 203 and drive 7 miles through the town of Mammoth Lakes. Highway 203 becomes Main Street, then Lake Mary Road, which will lead to the Lakes Basin. Continue on Lake Mary Road to the Coldwater Campground cutoff on the left.

A Final Word About Swimming in Mammoth Lakes

To make the most out of your day trip at Mammoth Lakes with plans to go swimming, most guests typically go on a leisurely hike or a picnic, then cap the day off with a quick dip in one of the lakes mentioned above.

While you can find lots of excellent swimming locations in and around Mammoth Lakes, Horseshoe Lake is probably the best for families, followed by McLeod Lake and Crystal Lake. Swimming is best around summer and early fall, when you can take in all the beautiful scenery and the temperature is just right for outdoor fun.