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Mammoth Lakes

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Revision as of 23:57, 31 July 2011 by (talk) (added listing Back Country Camping)

Mono County : Mammoth Lakes
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Mammoth Lakes

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

Mammoth Lakes [13] 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.


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

By plane

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

By car

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

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

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.
  • 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.


  • 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, 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. $99.
  • Back Country Camping. (Summer only) The nearby Reds Meadow and Devils Postpile National Monument area provide easy access to the John Muir, Pacific Crest and many other trails allowing entry to the back country Ansel Adams, Inyo, Sierra, John Muir and Yosemite nationally protected areas. Permits are required and national regulations apply.


  • Angel's Restaurant, 3516 Main St, +1 760 934-7427.
  • 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.
  • Good Life Cafe, 126 Old Mammoth Rd, +1 760 934-1734.
  • 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.
  • Whiskey Creek, (corner of Main St & Minaret Rd), +1 760 934-2555.
  • Whitebark at the Westin, 760.934.0460. 7 AM- 10PM. Contemporary Chop House with and Eclectic Menu of Appetizers
  • Restaurant SKADI, Old Mammoth at the Corner of Chateau, 760.934.3902. 5PM - 9PM. Fine Alpine Cuisine


  • Discovery 4 Condominiums, 25 Lee Rd, +1 760 934-6410, [1]. Condos that are affordable. Adequately well-kept, but not more so.
  • Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, 3236 Main St (Hwy 203), (760) 924-1234, [2].
  • Mammoth Village Condominiums, 6201 Minaret Rd, [3].
  • Mammoth Premiere Reservations, 89 Laurel Mountain Rd (Head into Mammoth on Main Street, turn left on Laurel Mountain), (760) 934-6543, [4]. checkin: 4PM, Sundays and Holidays 5PM. Various rentals.
  • Mammoth Reservations, 3325 Main Street (near Base Camp Cafe), (760) 934-6011 (toll free: (800) 223-3032, fax: (760) 934-7461), [5]. Rents various properties around Mammoth. Their website is terrible, but you may find some deals worth the pain.
  • Motel 6, 3372 Main Street, +1 760 934-6660 (fax: +1 760 934-6989), [6].
  • Shilo Inn, 2963 Main St., +1 760 934-4500 (toll free: +1 800 222-2244), [7].
  • The Westin Monache Resort, 50 Hillside Dr., (760) 934-0400, [8].
  • 1849 Condos, 826 Lakeview Blvd, 1-800-421-1849, [9]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 10AM.
  • Mammoth Reservation Bureau, 94 Old Mammoth Road (Take a left at Old Mammoth Rd., 4th driveway on right side), 800-462-5571, [10]. checkin: 5PM; checkout: 10AM. Studio to 5-Bedroom Condominiums in 43 complexes. Hosting visitors since 1976.
  • Stay In Mammoth, 26 Old Mammoth Road, #L2, 866-686-8423, [11].
  • Cinnamon Bear Inn (Bed and Breakfast), 113 Center St, 760-934-2873, [12]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 10AM. One of the few full bed and breakfasts in town, wonderful charming rooms and great deals. From $130/double.

Get out

Bodie State Historic Park
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