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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.


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).

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°F) 40 40 44 50 60 69 78 77 70 59 47 41
Nightly lows (°F) 15 16 20 26 33 40 45 45 38 29 21 17

See Mammoth Lakes's 7 day forecast    Data from NOAA (1981-2010)

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

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).

  • Yosemite Area Regional Transit System (YARTS). Shuttle operates weekends-only in June and September, daily in July and August. The YARTS shuttle travels on Highway 395 and 120 from Mammoth Lakes to Tuolumne Meadows and Yosemite Valley, with stops at the Mammoth Mountain Inn, The Village, the Juniper Springs Resort, the Mammoth Lakes Park & Ride, and the Shilo Inn. Ticket prices include park entry, and can be purchased from the shuttle driver.

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.


  • 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.
  • 1 Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. 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. Mammoth Mountain Ski Area on Wikipedia Mammoth Mountain Ski Area (Q3285029) on Wikidata


  • 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.
  • Snowshoeing, Tamarack 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 Course, 2001 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.


  • Base Camp Cafe, 3325 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.
  • 1 [dead link]Convict Lake Restaurant, Convict Lake Rd (at Convict Lake, south of Mammoth Lakes), +1 760 934-3800. You're always sure to dine on Mono County's famous Alpers Trout at Convict Lake, because if you don't hook one, you can always order one at the Convict Lake Restaurant. This famous dining room is famous for its "Country French" cooking with Beef Wellington (hey, isn't that English?!), rack of lamb (New Zealand?), salmon (Alaskan?), pasta (Italian?) and "succulent steaks" (so, what's French about it? - guess you'll have to go to find out).
  • The Lakefront Restaurant (at Tamarack Lodge on Twin Lakes), +1 760 934-2442. Reservations Recommended.
  • Petra's Cafe, 6080 Minaret Rd (across from the Village Gondola), +1 760 934-3500.
  • The Stove, 644 Old Mammoth Rd, +1 760 934-2821.
  • Whitebark at the Westin, +1 760 934-0460. 7AM- 10PM. Contemporary Chop House with and Eclectic Menu of Appetizers
  • Restaurant SKADI, Old Mammoth at the Corner of Chateau, +1 760 934-3902. 5PM - 9PM. Fine Alpine Cuisine


Go next[edit]

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

This city travel guide to Mammoth Lakes is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.