Sherwins Area Trails and Trailheads2022-07-08T20:17:29+00:00

Welcome to the Sherwins Area Trails and Trailheads Project,

the next phase of the Sherwins Area Recreation Plan (SHARP).

Here you will find planning documents, maps, images and more!


Recreation use in the Sherwins area has traditionally been high and complex; the area is currently enjoyed year-round by individuals in pursuit of quiet and reflective natural experiences, backcountry skiers and snowboarders, world-class athletes in training, those seeking motorized play, and others. No formal trailheads or facilities exist at this time and as a result, the non-system trail facilities receive no maintenance. The Sherwins area remains popular with residents and guests alike. There is a desire to provide a level of service that residents and visitors can be proud of, enhancing several existing facilities and building new trail facilities to better accommodate the level of use. The Sherwins Area Trails proposal includes new trail construction, reconstruction of user created trails, and decommissioning of user created trails.

The Town of Mammoth Lakes Trail System Master Plan, Sherwins Area Recreation Plan (SHARP), and subsequent Programmatic Environmental Impact Report support this proposal with concepts for trail facility development. Projects included are derived from these existing documents and years of public outreach and participation. These remaining concepts from the Sherwins Area Recreation Plan have been refined over time by staff and volunteers with some of the preliminary resource work completed. View the Sherwins Area Recreation Story Map below to follow the history and evolution of SHARP.


Click Here


Document Library



Spring 2022

  • Community Meeting TBD: Introduce project, solicit public participation and feedback
  • Consider ways to improve the trail system
  • Solicit feedback from trail enthusiasts

Summer 2022

  • Corridor design improvements and analysis

Fall 2021

  • Community Meeting TBD: Share 2022 season of work
  • Submission of proposed action for new trail alignments and trail decommissioning

Yes, multi-use non-motorized.

This project includes trails that are classified as multi-use, motorized natural surface trails. The trails will be designed and constructed to accommodate hikers, bikers, runners, OHV’s, OSV’s, nordic and backcountry skiers, and equestrians.

No. Trails will be non-motorized, multi-use.

Once a project proposal is submitted, the U.S. Forest Service will determine the appropriate environmental analysis.

An inventory of disturbed areas and identified segments of roads will be included for recommended restoration projects. A team of resource specialists will be providing direction and recommendations.

During this planning process, all reasonable concepts are being considered within the context of the Sherwins Area Recreation Plan. We strongly encourage feedback and participation for trail system improvements, expansion and stewardship.

There is never a guarantee for maintenance of any trail system. Strong agency partnerships are key to successful management. Continued support from the public, local and State representatives help to sustain facilities over time. 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. The Town of Mammoth Lakes Measure R Trails Program currently maintains around 30 miles of existing USFS trails within the municipal boundary of the Town.

Yes, we need to hear from you! Local knowledge and thoughtful feedback will ensure the highest quality outcome. 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.

  1. Implement a rolling contour trail design standard
  2. Identify and avoid all sensitive resource areas
  3. Create trail connections between existing system facilities

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process begins when a federal agency develops a proposal to take a major federal action. The environmental review under NEPA can involve three different levels of analysis:

  1. Categorical Exclusion determination (CATEX)
  2. Environmental Assessment/Finding of No Significant Impact (EA/FONSI)
  3. Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

A federal action may be “categorically excluded” from a detailed environmental analysis if the federal action does not, “individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment”. CATEX are not exemptions or waivers of NEPA review; they are simply one type of NEPA review. To establish a categorical exclusion, agencies determine whether a proposed activity is one that, on the basis of past experience, normally does not require further environmental review. Once established, categorical exclusions provide an efficient tool to complete the NEPA environmental review process for proposals that normally do not require more resource intensive EA or EIS. The use of categorical exclusions can reduce paperwork and delay, so that EA’s or EIS’s can be targeted toward proposed actions that truly have the potential to cause significant environmental effects. A federal agency can determine that a CATEX does not apply to a proposed action. The federal agency may then prepare an EA. The EA determines whether or not a federal action has the potential to cause significant environmental impacts. Federal agencies prepare an EIS if a proposed major federal action is determined to significantly affect the quality of the human environment.

The average cost for construction of natural surface trails is $5 per foot. The cost of soft surface trail construction is estimated at $475,200. New Trailhead construction is estimated at $1 million. The Mammoth Lakes Trail System (MLTS) is primarily funded through the Measure R Special Tax. The MLTS program budget includes capital funding for this project and others like it.

Measure R or “Mammoth Lakes Recreation, Trails and Parks Investment Initiative” was approved by voters in 2008. The Ordinance imposed a Transactions and Use Tax in the amount of one-half percent for the purpose of funding Recreation, Trails and Parks.

Let Us Hear You!

We have provided a “Letter of Support” template you can use as is or personalize, to show your support for this project. The more support we can show the bigger the impact we will have on the outcome. Our goal is to create a united voice to speak for our communities and trail users. Click the icon to the right to download.

Need more information? Email questions and comments to TOML Trails Manager, Joel Rathje.

Click the link below and use “Sherwins Area Trails and Trailhead” in the subject line.

Joel Rathje, TOML Trails Manager

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