Adventure is available year-round in Mammoth Lakes. Outdoor adventure activities in Mammoth Lakes is a great way to enjoy a quiet moment in nature. During winter you can ski and snowboard Mammoth Mountain or take off into the wilderness on your cross country skis. When spring hits, you can ski and also celebrate the fishing opener in the same day. The summer melts away the snow, opening roads to Devils Postpile National Monument, 101-foot Rainbow Falls and the gateway to Yosemite National Park. Some claim autumn is the best season because you get all of the sightseeing of summer PLUS spectacular fall colors and fewer visitors. No matter what time of year you visit, there are plenty of things to do in Mammoth Lakes.
Which activities will you choose?
HIKING AND BACKPACKING
Hiking in the Eastern Sierra is spectacular year-round. In spring, the sharp and craggy granite peaks of the Sierra Nevada Range from a dramatic backdrop for meadows brightly colored by wildflowers. In the summer, you’ll never tire of finding secret alpine lakes, lush aspen-lined streams and forested hideaways tucked away in the mountains. In fall, early snow in the high-country contrasts beautifully with the vibrant golds and oranges of aspens and willows alight with their display of autumn colors. There are plenty of short, easy and family-friendly hikes. For more ambitious hikers and backpackers, check out trails from Mammoth Lakes link to the Pacific Crest Trail and the John Muir Trail.
With more than 3 million acres of wilderness and public lands surrounding Mammoth Lakes, you can experience the serenity of nature anywhere your legs can take you. For quick and easy access to stunning mountain scenery, there is free public access to more than 140 miles (225 km) of track that winds throughout Mammoth Lakes and into the expanse of the Inyo National Forest. There is a public access point on the left side of the Lake Mary Loop at the Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center. There are also groomed trails that are accessible behind the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center and Shady Rest Park. Both groomed areas are open to Cross Country and Nordic skiers. Please be courteous by sharing the trail and staying out of the set tracks designated for cross country skiers.
CROSS COUNTRY & NORDIC SKIING
There is no better way to get away from it all, to reset your perspective, than to glide on cross country skis into the serene winter wonderland that surrounds the town of Mammoth Lakes. Feel the crisp mountain air in your lungs, take in majestic views of ice-covered lakes and snow-clad peaks, immerse yourself in the deep, timeless silence of the forest. Mammoth Lakes is surrounded by seemingly endless acres of public lands, and a number of roads which are transformed into trails for the winter so it’s easy to get out and explore on via skis or snowshoes. Bring your own skis or rent to explore over 140 miles (225 km) of cross country track that winds throughout Mammoth Lakes and into the expanse of the Inyo National Forest.
BOATING, KAYAKING & PADDLE BOARDING
Whether you’re paddling a kayak or stand-up paddle board, or motoring a pontoon boat or small fishing boat, getting out on the water offers a unique perspective and is an excellent way to observe waterfowl, fish, and other wildlife. The scenery is incomparable, with sweeping views of the surrounding mountains and distinctive geological features. Delight in the sight of Carson Peak from June Lake, or Mammoth Mountain from Lake Mary. See how many of the 300 species of birds who frequent Mono Lake you can spot. Many visitors have even been thrilled to spot eagles and black bears during their boating adventures.
Your choice of terrain, sensational Sierra scenery and that famous California summer sunshine make an irresistible combination for mountain or road biking in Mammoth Lakes. Test your suspension on the Inyo National Forest’s vast network of trails and unpaved roads. There are so many different conditions and views to discover; in fact, you may even cross a couple of microclimates.
Road bikers have plenty of asphalt routes to choose from, whether pedalling around town, gearing down to puff up Minaret Road to the Mammoth Mountain Main Lodge and beyond to the breath-taking Minaret Vista or cruising the scenic stretches of US 395.
For those who might not want to pedal the whole way, Sierra Engine and Wave Rave in Mammoth Lakes rent electric bicycles that use your own “pedal power” in addition to assistance from the bike’s power. Go off on your own or take a guided ride of the Mammoth Lakes area. Biking is a great way to enjoy the glorious scenery of Mammoth Lakes.
Mammoth Lakes also has terrific bike events and rides for the single athlete or for the entire family.
SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING IN MAMMOTH LAKES
Whether you plan to ski or ride massive Mammoth Mountain or its family-friendly sister resort June Mountain, you’ll find epic terrain, stunning mountain scenery and an exceptionally long season.
Even before you take your first run, the panoramic views on a clear day from the top of the mountain could make the whole trip worthwhile. Whether you’re an expert skier looking to challenge yourself on some of California’s most unique terrain, or a beginner who wants a beautiful and memorable setting in which to learn the sport, skiing in Mammoth Lakes is an incredible experience. That’s why people who visit Mammoth Lakes to ski frequently get hooked and start coming back in the summer as well.