- Mammoth Pool Reservoir in the Sierra Nevada Mountains offers plenty of outdoor recreation
- Just south of Yosemite National Park
- Take a hike on the west side of the reservoir on the French Trail
- Take a swim in the lake when the weather is hot
- You’ll find plenty of camping sites
Mammoth Pool California offers not only wonderful views, but also provides recreational activities for the whole family. This man-made lake on the San Joaquin River is in a high-elevation valley northeast of Fresno, not far from Yosemite National Park.
Location & Information
You can reach Mammoth Pool Reservoir from Yosemite by taking Highway 41 south, turning left on Road 200, then continuing east to North Fork. After passing through North Fork, follow Minarets Road or Forest Road 81 for 37 miles to Mammoth Pool Road. It’s only four more miles to the lake.
Mammoth Pool is closed from the 1st of May to the 16th of June to allow deer migration (they swim across the reservoir). In the winter, the reservoir is also inaccessible following the first snowstorm of the season because the road isn’t plowed.
Sierra National Forest
1600 Tollhouse Road
Clovis, CA 93611-0532
The water is cold in Mammoth Pool Reservoir, but if you want to brave swimming in the lake, be aware there is no lifeguard service. There are a number of opportunities to swim at any of the flat places along the shore.
Mammoth Pool Reservoir fishing provides some healthy German brown, eastern brook and rainbow trout. You can fish from mid-April to the end of April and from 17 June to the first snowfall.
You’ll find a free public boat launch for larger boats on the reservoir, but learn what the speed limits are as they are strictly enforced.
Take the French Trail on the west side of Mammoth Pool, which you can access at the Shakeflat or Logan Meadow trailheads. Since during the summer it can get quite hot, the best time to hike this trail is during the spring or fall.
- Scenic Driving
The beautiful Sierra Vista Scenic Byway is perfect for a drive from Mammoth Pool Reservoir through the Sierra National Forest. You’ll find nice places to stop and relax along the way.
The Forest Service provides seven campgrounds for terrific Mammoth Pool Reservoir camping. They are all within a 13-mile radius of the lake. Some are primitive while others require reservations. You can call 877-444-6777 for information.
The Mammoth Pool Dam, completed in 1960, created this five-mile-long, half-mile-wide reservoir. The Southern California Edison Company operates the dam, part of one of the most extensive hydroelectric systems in the world.