Here are some of the best things to do in Mammoth Lakes:
Hike on Mammoth Mountain
You have several trail options when hiking on Mammoth Mountain. For instance, the Discovery Nature Trail is a relatively easy trail where you can see the region’s unique fauna and flora. You can also try the Main Lodge Trail, a 4-mile hike with great views from McCoy Station and halfway up Mammoth Mountain.
If you’re looking for a more challenging hike, the Mammouth Mountain Trail is a 5-mile hike that goes down the mountain from the Eleven53 Interpretive Center to the Main Lodge. You can also try the Twin Lakes Trail, a 6-mile hike with a rolling terrain around Mammoth Mountain’s summit and the Lake Basin.
Ride the Mammoth Mountain Gondola
Go over 11,000 feet above sea level and enjoy 360-degree mountain vistas by riding the Mammoth Mountain gondola, which fetches visitors from the summit and base. However, you may want to put on your hiking boots if you want to trek back to the foothill to enjoy a closer-to-nature experience.
(Note: You can purchase your gondola tickets ahead of time. Meanwhile, each paying adult can bring up to two 12-and-under kids for free.)
Keep in mind that the temperature drops at higher elevations, so you may want to bring extra layers of clothing. But despite the chilly environment, the summit is worth the visit with its breathtaking views. From there, you can visit an information exhibit and a restaurant where you can grab a bite.
Go kayaking, canoeing and fishing in Mammoth Lakes
The pristine, sapphire-colored lakes around Mammoth Lakes make the town perfect for those who love water activities like boating, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding and fishing.
Lake Mary is one of the lakes near the town, making it the most popular among tourists. Meanwhile, its marina is dotted with local shops where you can rent boats and fishing equipment (FYI, aside from its stunning view, the lake is filled with rainbow, brook and brown trouts). There are also nearby RV-friendly campgrounds that offer hookups.
Other must-see destinations include Lake George, Horseshoe Lake, Convict Lakes, and Mamie Lake, which are less “touristy” than Lake Mary but still offer equally captivating scenery.
Visit the Hot Creek Geological site
A breathtaking natural wonder, the Hot Creek Geological site includes bubbling blue pools, geyser eruptions and fumaroles caused by a magma chamber three miles underground. To get there, you need to drive along a 3-mile dirt road off the US 395.
The Hot Creek Geological Site is a great location to take nature photos; this is especially true during sunrise when the water from the turquoise-colored hot springs glistens. To take excellent landscape pictures, you may want to go to a viewpoint that the locals call “Brees Lookout.”
Visit the Devils Postpile
The Devils Postpile National Monument is a columnar basalt formation that dates back 100,000 years when lava flowed, cooled and contracted. Towering around 60 feet tall, with most of the columns appearing like hexagon-shaped piles, it looks like they were stacked up by a giant.
As a protected area, the National Park Service manages it and requires all visitors to use the designated shuttles, which usually close on the last Sunday of October until winter.
Drive around the scenic loops
If you’re into road trips, Mammoth Lakes has various loops where you can drive around and see the wild beauty of California’s Eastern Sierra.
For starters, you may want to try the Mammoth Scenic, which is a 16-mile relaxing drive around lodgepole pines. It only takes around 30 minutes to cover this trail that starts north of Mammoth Lakes on Highway 203 and goes through Dry Creek Road, Inyo Craters, Lookout Mountain and Obsidian Dome.
Another must-try route is around Lake Mary Road, which begins in the town center and passes by Horseshoe Lake. While you can finish the drive in 20 minutes, you may want to stay a bit longer to enjoy the scenic view of Lake Mary and Lake Mamie.
Best time to visit Mammoth Lakes
Mammoth Lakes offers countless outdoor activities no matter what time of the year you visit this town. In fact, it’s also a popular destination for winter vacationers who can ski in snow-capped mountains.
And during summer and spring, this popular nature destination attracts RV campers, hikers and backpackers.
If you’re going to Mammoth Lakes and want a closer-to-nature experience, you can rent a travel trailer from Adventure in Camping. So plan your trip now and start filling out this form.