The Minaret Vista hike above Mammoth Lakes is an explosion of colors and magnificent vistas. It is a 4WD road that runs from CA-203 about 2 1/2 miles up to a hilltop with a 360º view of the surrounding mountains - the White Mountains to the east and the Sierras around Mammoth Lakes to the west. It is steep in places, and a steady climb, but it is an easy hike other than that. To reach the trailhead, follow CA-203 through the Mammoth Mountain lodge parking lot and continue on until just before the Forest Ranger shack that leads to Devils Postpile. Turn right (it is currently signposted for Minaret Vista), and continue on until you find the Minaret Vista parking area a little more than 1/4 mile up the road. First, stop at the lookout and read the signs and look through the pipes provided to pick out some of the major mountains and geographic features visible. The view is panoramic. Mammoth Mountain, the Minarets, Banner Peak, Mount Ritter, and the White Mountains are all visible. Even if you're not going to hike, this is a great picnic spot and there are a few tables, restrooms, and plenty of parking.