Mammoth Lakes

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Mammoth Lakes is a resort city next to Mammoth Mountain which is a popular skiing destination. Mammoth Lakes is in the Eastern Sierra region of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California.

Understand[edit]

Mammoth Mountain with ski runs toward the top and the city of Mammoth Lakes hidden in the trees on the lower slopes.

The Sierra Nevada mountains are a popular snow skiing destination. For Californians living in Los Angeles, Mammoth Mountain is the easiest resort to get to from Los Angeles.

The Town of Mammoth Lakes serves one main function: a place for these hordes of Los Angelenos to stay. Condos, motels, hotels, and restaurants fill this small town to serve the flood of winter visitors. In summer, the flood stops and rents plunge, making Mammoth an affordable base to explore the region.

At 8000 feet of elevation, the city stays naturally cool during the region's summer heat waves. Nearby Bishop routinely heats to 105°F (40C) while Mammoth tops out around 84°F (29C).

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

  • Mammoth Yosemite Airport (IATA: MMH) is just east of US-395 near Mammoth.
  • Horizon Air provides daily service from LAX in Los Angeles.
  • United Airlines offers direct non-stop flights between December and April from San Francisco, CA (SFO), Orange County Airport (SNA), and San Diego (SAN) to Mammoth Lakes CA

By car[edit]

Nearby US 395 brings visitors from the south (Los Angeles and Bakersfield) and the north (Reno).

From the San Francisco Bay Area, Highway 120 (Tioga Road) from Yosemite is the quick route, but is passable only in summer and early fall. Interstate 80 and US 50 provide cross-mountain access during the winter months, subject to icy conditions and closure due to blizzards.

By bus[edit]

The Eastern Sierra Transit Authority (ESTA) operates a bus to and from Lone Pine in California and the Reno Nevada Greyhound Bus Station that stops at the Mammoth Lakes McDonalds on Route 203, once north bound and once south bound each day (the bus also stops at the Reno/Tahoe Airport). The same Authority also operates a route to and from Mammoth Lakes and the Lancaster, California Greyhound Bus Station also once north bound and once south bound each day (the bus also stops near the Inyo Kern Airport).

The Yosemite Area Regional Transit System (YARTS) operates a bus to and from Mammoth Lakes and Yosemite Valley from June through September (weekends only during June and September) once east bound and once west bound on days that it runs. This bus is popular with back country campers.

Get around[edit]

Between the city of Mammoth Lakes and the Mammoth Mountain resort, a bike will do fine in summer. Frequent trams run between the town and the slopes during the winter, with outside racks for skis and snowboards. For everything else, you need a car.

See[edit]

  • Hot Creek Geological Area (On a dirt road just east of the airport, which is just south along US395). An area of hot springs and steam in a very small canyon. Several pools are scalding hot and will result in death if you jump in. Swimming is currently forbidden due to increased geothermal activity.
  • Mammoth Mountain. In winter, this is the main ski resort. In summer the gondola will take you to the top, and the view is amazing. Bring warm clothes for the top.

Do[edit]

  • Ski & Snowboard (Fall, Winter and Spring, depending on precipitation). Most years the ski season extends until July 4th. One of the top ranking Ski and Snowbarding Resorts in the United States.
  • Mountain Biking (Summer only). The ski resort will carry your bike up to the top of the mountain so you can coast down it. Rentals available.
  • Fish. The many lakes in the lake basin just west of the city (and north of the mountain) are popular. Boat rentals available.
  • Hike (Summer only). To beautiful and amazing locations such as Rainbow Falls and Devils Postpile. An easy 3.5 hike.
  • Horseback Ride (Summer Only). Various of tours through beautiful remote areas.
  • SnowshoeingTamarack Lodge. (Winter only) Many snowshoeing trails can be found on the road to Lake Mary behind Tamarack Lodge. These trails are marked and free to all hikers.
  • Golf - Sierra Star Golf Course2001 Sierra Star Pkwy +1 760 924 4653. 18 hole championship golf course in the middle of town. Narrow tree-lined fairways at an elevation above 8000 feet make it a challenging course. $260.
  • Backcountry Camping. (Summer only) The nearby Reds Meadow and Devils Postpile National Monument areas provide easy access to the John Muir, Pacific Crest and many other trails allowing entry to the backcountry Ansel Adams, Inyo, Sierra, John Muir and Yosemite nationally protected areas. Permits are required and national regulations apply.
  • Sighitseeing (Visitor Center), 2510 Main St. +1 760-924-5500. Mammoth Lakes is surrounded by several scenic views and places you shouldn't miss, Yosemite National Park, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake, Devils Postpile National Monument, Hot Creek and Rainbow Falls. Visit the welcome center on your right when you pull into town.

Eat[edit]

  • Base Camp Cafe3325 Main St +1 760 934-3900. Good burgers and sandwiches. You can order a brown bag meal to take skiing or hiking.
  • Breakfast Club (Hwy 203 & Old Mammoth Rd. next to Shell Mart),  +1 760 934-6944.
  • The Lakefront Restaurant (at Tamarack Lodge on Twin Lakes),  +1 760 934-2442. Reservations Recommended.
  • Petra's Cafe6080 Minaret Rd (across from the Village Gondola),  +1 760 934-3500.
  • Whiskey Creek (corner of Main St & Minaret Rd),  +1 760 934-2555.
  • Whitebark at the Westin +1 760 934 0460. 7AM- 10PM. Contemporary Chop House with and Eclectic Menu of Appetizers
  • Restaurant SKADIOld Mammoth at the Corner of Chateau +1 760 934 3902. 5PM - 9PM. Fine Alpine Cuisine

Sleep[edit]

Go next[edit]

Bodie State Historic Park
Routes through Mammoth Lakes
RenoLee Vining  N US 395.svg S  BishopHesperia


This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


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