Duck lake is a moderately strenuous 7.2 mile out and back hike. It can be both backpacked or day hiked. My advice is to set out early, much of the trail is exposed to the sun and you don’t want to be hiking over the pass in midday sun! If you backpack you have the freedom to go on further from Duck Lake where you’ll join up with the John Muir Trail and PCT.
This is a Summer/early Fall hike, dogs are permitted if kept on a leash at all times.
I loved this hike,it is stunning!!! The views are insane, and Duck Lake is the deepest Azur Blue. I will never forget this backpacking trip as it was actually my first, and it’s a great taster weekend trip for first time backpackers. Along the way you’ll see the most beautiful lakes from Skelton to Barney, there are plenty of photo opportunities along the trail and so much to take in. The trail will climb over Duck Pass to an elevation of nearly 11,000 feet. You will have great views of the lakes basin and rugged peaks of the valley. Pack your camera, fishing pole, sunscreen, lot’s of water and high carb/protein snacks. As with any trek into the wilderness be sure to leave no trace that you have been there,be it trash, or food.
From Mammoth Lakes: Head west on Highway 203 (Main Street). Main Street changes its name to Lake Mary Road at the intersection with Minaret Road. Follow the Lake Mary Road for 3.6 miles to a fork just before Lake Mary. Bear left at the fork, following the signs for the Coldwater Campground. (The road travels around the east side of the lake.) Turn left at the Campground, 0.6 miles after the fork, and follow the road through the campground for 0.7 miles to the trailhead parking area, located at the end of the road. The Duck Pass trailhead is located at the south end of the parking area.
Map in link below: