Suggested Flies for the Margaret Lakes Area:
Other Local Favorites:
Directions: From Fresno, take Highway 168 up to Huntington Lake, about 65 miles. To get to the Edison Lake, continue from Highway 168 to Kaiser Pass Road. Take Kaiser Pass Road about 21 miles. Turn left on the road to Mono Hot Springs and continue to Edison Lake. From the Vermilion Campground on the southeastern shoreline of Edison Lake a 4 WD road, OnionSprings OHV, heads northwest for 5 miles to the Margaret Lakes Trailhead. The Margaret Lakes trail proceeds past Arch Rock in 3.5 miles then drops down into Margaret Lakes forming a loop hike around Rainbow Lake and returning via Coyote Lake. About 5.5 miles to reach Big Margaret Loop Trail from the Margaret Lakes Trailhead.
From the East Side, take the Crater Creek Trail south from Red's Meadow near Mammoth. This trail will get to Fish Creek where you can cross at Island Crossing and take the Silver Creek Trail south to the Big Margaret Lake loop trail, about 15 miles.
If you are accessing the Margaret Lakes region from Lake Edison, taking the Margaret Lakes trail from the 4wd road out of Vermillion campground, proceed up to the Arch Rock pass and continue for 1 mile down the slope to the intersection of Rock Lake trail. Continuing another 1/2 mile will take you to:
Frog Lake (elevation 9750'): Contains Rainbows and Brookies up to 12".
Another 1 miles past Frog Lake, the trail goes over a small 200' knoll and intersects with the Coyote Cutoff Trail. Proceeding to the rightthe Margaret Lakes trail goes up in elevation almost 300' in 0.7 miles to Fern Lake.
Fern Lake (elevation 9980'): Contains Rainbows and Brookies up to 10".
From Fern Lake, the trail goes over a pass below Cockscomb Peak, climb of 400' gain over 0.5 miles. The trail drops down the other side to Big Margaret Lake with an outlet stream to Bathtub Lake just to the north.
Bathtub Lake (elevation 9960') contains Brookies, 6-8 inches. Big Margaret Lake (elevation 10,000') is the largest lake in the region at 82 acres and contains Brookies and Rainbows.
Rainbow Lake is just 3/4 miles further to the north at 9700' elevation. Similar to Big Margaret, Rainbow contains both Brookies and Rainbows.
Three lakes reside just northeast of Rainbow Lake within 1/2 mile, you must go off-trail to reach these lakes. Useless Lake, Shorty Lake, and Sedge Lake.
There are four lakes north of the Silver Divide all fishless with poor spawning. These lakes are best accessed from the eastside at Mammoth, taking the Duck Pass Trail into Fish Creek Valley. From Fish Creek, access the Long Canyon Trail and the lakes are off-trail about 1 mile to the west.
From the northern shoreline of Rainbow Lake, Margarite Lakes trail heads due west to Baby Lake. Baby Lake (2 acres) is at 9,840' elevation and contains both Rainbows and Brookies.
The trail crosses Silver Creek and proceeds southwest for another mile reaching Coyote Lake. Coyote Lake (22 acres) is at 9,600' elevation and contains Rainbows and Brookies.
Rock Creek Lake at 9350' elevation. Had a burn through the area in 2020. Status unknown but was reported to have Brookies.
Silver Creek will have both Rainbows and Brookies.
Fishing Regulations (Effective March 1st, 2021)
Open all year, five trout daily bag limit, 10 trout in possession.
Silver Creek and all other creeks and tributaries:From the last Saturday in April through November 15, 5 trout daily bag limit, 10 trout in possession; and, from November 16 through the Friday preceding the last Saturday in April, 0 trout bag limit, artificial lures with barbless hooks only and trout must be released unharmed and not removed from the water.