Mammoth Lakes is a small mountain resort town encircled by towering mountains, crystal-clear alpine lakes and flower-filled meadows. Visit in winter for some of California’s most outstanding skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. Arrive in summer to enjoy first-rate mountain bike trails, hiking, fishing and horse riding.
Take the lifts up Mammoth Mountain, which reaches a dizzying height of 11,053 feet (17,788 meters). Experience breathtaking views and begin an exhilarating downhill ride. Mammoth has more than 3,500 skiable acres, nearly 30 lifts and 150 snow trails. Slopes for all levels of experience offer powdery snow long into spring. If you don’t care for downhill skiing, try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing through dense alpine forests. Get away from the crowds and seek out your piece of wintery wonderland.
More gentle activities also abound in the area. Enjoy a hot air balloon ride over the wilderness, lounge in natural hot springs, take a leisurely horseback ride through the Inyo National Forest or play golf at Snowcreek Golf Course.
Summer brings hiking, biking, fishing and sightseeing opportunities. Hike in the Mammoth Lakes Basin area, where trails such as Panorama Dome Trail, Duck Lake Trail, and Inyo Craters Trail promise picturesque alpine scenery. Mammoth Mountain transforms into a maze of bicycle paths. See some of the world’s best riders in September’s Kamikaze Bike Games.
For more serenity, hop in the Gondola and soar up the mountain for panoramic views. With a stop midway up the mountain and 360-degree-views from the summit, it is a must-do activity.
Mammoth Lakes is located 40 miles (60 kilometers) east of Yosemite’s perimeter and about 300 miles (500 kilometers) from both San Francisco and Los Angeles and their international airports. The full-service resort has upmarket hotels and restaurants. Getting around is easy with free shuttles from the town to the slopes. Nestled in the heart of California, Mammoth Lakes is one of the country’s most acclaimed all-season resort towns.