Twin Falls

Inyo National Forest / Mammoth Lakes, California, USA

About Twin Falls


Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2001-09-02
Date last visited: 2010-08-19

Waterfall Latitude: 37.6115
Waterfall Longitude: -119.01021

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Twin Falls drains Lake Mamie as it tumbles into the Twin Lakes near the Mammoth Lakes area (which is most known as a resort town for skiing).

We were able to experience this reportedly 250ft waterfall from both its top and its bottom.

Twin_Falls_017_08192010 - Twin Falls
Twin Falls

The photo you see above was taken of its front side at the bottom in between the namesake Twin Lakes.

The Top of Twin Falls

From the top, we were able to see the waterfall tumble down the cliff below us towards the scenic Twin Lakes Recreation area.

In the afternoon, this was a great spot to take photos and perhaps even have a little bit of a picnic as the viewpoint was right next to a picnic area.

But given that the afternoon sun was mostly behind us, it really brought out the colors in the Twin Lakes and the surroundings.

Twin_Falls_012_08192010 - Looking towards the Twin Lakes from the top of Twin Falls
Looking towards the Twin Lakes from the top of Twin Falls

We were also able to see that they might even turn off this waterfall as the outflow of Lake Mamie seemed to pass through a sluice gate before rushing below the pair of bridges on its way over the precipice.

I have to apologize to my former office-mate for disagreeing with her that this was the waterfall they turn off. Apparently, she was right all along!

The Bottom of Twin Falls

At the bottom, we were able to walk towards a bridge separating the two lakes comprising Twin Lakes, which I’ll refer to as the Twin Lakes Bridge.

In afternoon lighting, the lake was colorful, clear, and serene. So it was perfect for taking lake photos while basking in the chill atmosphere of people enjoying themselves amongst classic Sierra frontcountry.

Twin_Falls_023_08192010 - Twin Falls over one of the Twin Lakes
Twin Falls over one of the Twin Lakes

But in addition to the lakes, we could look against the afternoon light across one of Twin Lakes and see Twin Falls tumbling right into it.

Although afternoon lighting was good for looking away from the falls, it wasn’t great for photographing the falls itself.

Even though we were pretty happy with the waterfall exhibiting unusually high flow during our August visit in 2010, clearly the best time to photograph the falls from the bottom was in the morning.

Julie and I first visited the falls back in September 2001 in the morning so it had nice lighting, but the falls had low flow.

Twin_Falls_004_scanned_09022001 - Twin Falls as seen in the morning during a Labor Day Weekend in September 2001
Twin Falls as seen in the morning during a Labor Day Weekend in September 2001

So we were never really able to get that combination of great flow and great lighting.

In any case, I think the best view of the waterfall is from this bridge.

I recalled trying to get a closer look at the falls at its base, but after running into lots of overgrowth and obstructed views, I determined it wasn’t worth it.

Finally, I’d have to say that for people enjoying themselves at the Twin Lakes (whether it’s swimming, chilling, boating, fishing, etc.), Twin Falls made for a very nice scenic backdrop for all this activity.

Twin_Falls_028_08192010 - Looking downstream away from Twin Falls over another one of the Twin Lakes looking very idyllic
Looking downstream away from Twin Falls over another one of the Twin Lakes looking very idyllic

I couldn’t imagine a better conglomeration of attractions in one place.

I mean, it’s got attractive lakes for recreation, a waterfall in the backdrop, walking paths, and mountains surrounding the scene. What more can you ask for?

Authorities

Twin Falls resides near Mammoth Lakes in Mono County, California. It is administered by Mono County. For information or inquiries about this area as well as current conditions, visit the Mono County website.

Twin_Falls_003_08192010 - Looking over the top of the Twin Falls towards the Twin Lakes as seen in August 2010
Twin_Falls_004_08192010 - This was the control mechanism upstream of Twin Falls, which was proof that this waterfall can be turned off
Twin_Falls_014_08192010 - Looking down at the Twin Lakes from the top of Twin Falls as seen in August 2010
Twin_Falls_016_08192010 - Zoomed in look at the Twin Falls as seen from the Twin Lakes during our August 2010 visit
Twin_Falls_026_08192010 - Contextual look over some submerged reeds towards Twin Falls as seen in August 2010
Twin_Falls_002_scanned_09022001 - Contextual look at Twin Falls when we first saw it back in September 2001
Twin_Falls_003_scanned_09022001 - As close to the Twin Falls as I was able to get on my overgrown bush scramble to get a closer look in September 2001
Twin_Falls_005_scanned_09022001 - A more direct look at Twin Falls from back in September 2001

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From the Mammoth Lakes Village (roughly 6 hours drive north of Los Angeles), we drove west on Main St/Hwy 203 towards the traffic light at the intersection with Minaret Rd/Lake Mary Rd.

We continued going straight at the light and followed the Lake Mary Road for another 2.2 miles eventually reaching the Twin Lakes Camp Store.

There’s a spur road (Twin Lakes Loop Road) to the right leading to car park where we were briefly able to park the car and walk to the bridge.

Beyond the camp store, we drove further up the paved Twin Lakes Loop Road for about 0.4 miles.

That was where we turned right and followed the much busier Lake Mary Road for another 1.5 miles towards the Twin Falls Picnic Area right across from Lake Mamie (just beyond Lake Mary).

Bottom up sweep from the very top of the falls


Left to right sweep from near the top of the falls ending at the lakes below


Bottom up sweep from the bridge at Twin Lakes zooming in on the waterfall at the end

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Tagged with: mammoth, twin lakes, mono, fresno county, inyo, sierra, california, eastern sierra, waterfall



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