Trail News / Shady Rest/Inyo Craters Planning Update

Shady Rest/Inyo Craters Planning Update

Spring is in the air and we are gearing up for ground work for the Shady Rest/Inyo Craters trails planning project. The Mammoth Lakes Trails System is implementing a 3-year trails planning grant the Town of Mammoth Lakes received from the California State OHV program. We are working with Inyo National Forest to plan for a future where we have a well-designed, sustainable trail system between Mammoth Lakes and June Lake.  Our top goal is to have a system which makes sense for trail users and the environment. Our team of data collectors, trail designers, and planners will be working to ground truth concepts, identify positive and negative control points and areas, and make thoughtful recommendations for optimizing the public access trail system between the communities of Mammoth Lakes and June Lake. 

A very special thank you to the over 80 individuals who joined us for our first community meeting that was held on March 25, 2021. The meeting was recorded and can be viewed on this page. It is listed under, "Other Meetings," as, "Mammoth Trails Community Meeting." 

We are encouraging local leaders and trail enthusiasts in Mammoth Lakes and Mono County to support this important project and ensure local interests take shape on the landscape. We would be grateful for your support and invite you to be an important part of this project. If you want to become a core local participant in trail planning, please let me know as soon as possible so that we can include you in future focused efforts and opportunities. 

We are planning sustainable trails that everyone can use.
With grant funding from the California State OHV program, The Town of Mammoth Lakes is partnering with Inyo National Forest, Mono County, Mammoth Lakes Recreation, and others to develop a trails plan to optimize and improve the existing condition of the trail system between Mammoth Lakes and June Lake in the Shady Rest/Inyo Craters sub-region. Together, community members, land managers and local government agencies will create a Trails Plan with a vision to enhance sustainable recreation opportunities on public lands and contribute to shared stewardship and on-going maintenance of facilities. 

Your support will shape the future of thoughtful trail design in the region.
Local support is critical for success. We are asking for letters of support from local residents and business entities for our effort. We will use these letters to show the level of support to grant programs, government agencies and land managers. The more support we can show the bigger the impact we will have on the outcome. Any feedback is welcome, but the more unique each letter of support is the more of an impact it will have. Our goal is to create a united voice to speak for our communities and trail users. 

Your local knowledge is needed.
We want to engage community members in the planning process to understand where and how community members use local trails and where they would like to have improved access to surrounding public lands. We completed our first virtual public Mammoth Trails meeting in March, with over 80 participants attending. Over the next year we will be holding both virtual and in person Mammoth Trails Meetings to review, discuss and share planning ideas. Our next meeting will be in June on site in Shady Rest Park. Visit for up-to-date information on these events and sign up for the Mammoth Lakes Trails System Newsletter. We are also asking you to please take just 2-3 minutes to fill out an electronic survey found on the Mammoth Lakes Recreation web page. Your responses will be extremely helpful in the planning process. 

The Shady Rest/Inyo Craters Trails plan will: 

• Plan a well-managed world-class trail system connecting the communities of Mammoth Lakes and June Lake.

• Provide a repeatable process through project documentation for how we can work with local land managers and local government agencies to develop sustainable recreation on public lands.

• Support communities through recreation-based economic activity, new business opportunities and local job creation.

• GIS database inventory and map designated types of use on existing trails and roads connecting communities, campgrounds, fire lookouts, lakes, streams and other points of interest.

• Showcase the headwaters of the Owens River, which is a critical watershed delivering clean drinking water.

• Attract individual adventure seekers and families to mountain communities looking for high quality of life and a lifestyle tied to the outdoors and trails. 

• Bring visitors into towns for services and accommodations, and allow residents to easily access the surrounding public lands (without the use of a vehicle) via convenient access. 

Timing of the Shady Rest/Inyo Craters Trails Plan for 2021:

March 2021: Identify the existing condition of trails infrastructure and consider ways to improve the trail system. Solicit feedback from trail enthusiasts to better understand where there are gaps, constraints, and opportunities to improve the quality of the trail experience.

June 2021: Mammoth Trails will convene in Shady Rest Park to look over maps and share ideas and concepts. There will be opportunities for trail enthusiasts to help with trail corridor design and analysis.

October 2021: Share the 2021 season of work toward a Plan and Proposed Action that will include recommendations for maintenance, staging areas, route identification, new trail connections, stewardship, and on-going partnerships. 

Now is the time to support well designed, managed and sustainable trail systems. You can support our community led trails planning effort by sending us a letter of support. Thank you for your time and consideration. 

Your letter should include:

• Company or organization letterhead

• Your name and contact information

• Why you support the project

• Other pertinent details about your history/experience in the Eastern Sierra

• Please sign your letter, and if possible, please provide the letter via email in pdf format. 

Letters can be emailed to: 
Joel Rathje – [email protected] 

Letters can be mailed to: 
Joel Rathje, Trails Manager
Town of Mammoth Lakes
P.O. Box 1609
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546 

We would also appreciate it if you could distribute this information to your members through social media, encouraging them to learn about the project and to take the online survey. 

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Best regards,
Joel Rathje