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 chart (explanation)|
- 1 Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH IATA) (just east of US-395 near Mammoth). United Airlines offers direct non-stop flights year-round flights between Mammoth Lakes and Los Angeles. United also operated between December and April from San Francisco International Airport (SFO IATA) and Denver (DEN IATA). JSX operated flights from Orange County Airport (SNA IATA), and Burbank (BUR IATA) to Mammoth Lakes.
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.
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 northbound and once southbound 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 northbound and once southbound 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.
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.
- 2 Village Gondola station. Rides up to canyon lodge
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 1 Sierra Star Golf Course, 2001 Sierra Star Pkwy, ☏ . 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.
- Sightseeing (Visitor Center), 2510 Main St, ☏ . 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.
- 2 [dead link] Edison Theatre (Mammoth Lakes Repertory Theatre).
- Angel's Restaurant, 3516 Main St, ☏ .
- 1 Base Camp Cafe, 3325 Main St, ☏ . 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), ☏ .
- 2 Good Life Cafe, 126 Old Mammoth Rd, ☏ .
- 3 Convict Lake Restaurant, Convict Lake Rd (at Convict Lake, south of Mammoth Lakes), ☏ . 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 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), ☏ . Reservations recommended.
- 4 Petra's Cafe, 6080 Minaret Rd (across from the Village Gondola), ☏ .
- The Stove, 644 Old Mammoth Rd, ☏ .
- Whitebark at the Westin, ☏ . 7AM- 10PM. Contemporary chop house with and eclectic menu of appetizers.
- Restaurant SKADI, Old Mammoth at the Corner of Chateau, ☏ . 5PM - 9PM. Fine Alpine cuisine.
- 1849 Condos, 826 Lakeview Blvd, toll-free: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 10AM.
- Cinnamon Bear Inn (Bed and Breakfast), 113 Center St, ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. One of the few full bed and breakfasts in town, wonderful charming rooms and great deals. From $130/double.
- Discovery 4 Condominiums, 25 Lee Rd, ☏ . Condos that are affordable. Adequately well-kept, but not more so.
- Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, 3236 Main St (Hwy 203), ☏ .
- Mammoth Premiere Reservations, 89 Laurel Mountain Rd (Head into Mammoth on Main Street, turn left on Laurel Mountain), ☏ . Check-in: M-Sa 4PM, Sundays and holidays 5PM. Various rentals.
- Mammoth Reservation Bureau, 94 Old Mammoth Rd (Take a left at Old Mammoth Rd., 4th driveway on right side), toll-free: . Check-in: 5PM, check-out: 10AM. Studio to 5-bedroom condominiums in 43 complexes. Hosting visitors since 1976.
- Mammoth Reservations, 3325 Main St (near Base Camp Cafe), ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Rents various properties around Mammoth. Their website is terrible, but you may find some deals worth the pain.
- Mammoth Village Condominiums, 6201 Minaret Rd.
- 1 Motel 6, 3372 Main St, ☏ , fax: .
- 2 Shilo Inn, 2963 Main St, ☏ , toll-free: .
- Stay In Mammoth, 26 Old Mammoth Road, #L2, toll-free: .
- 3 The Westin Monache Resort, 50 Hillside Dr, ☏ .
- Bodie an old ghost town from the gold digger era
- Mono Lake a natural basin in the middle of the mountains
- Yosemite National Park
- Manzanar, the site of an Internment Camp for people of Japanese ancestry during World War II.
- The White Mountains and their ancient bristlecone pines.
- Devils Postpile National Monument is a short bus ride from the Mammoth Mountain ski resort.
|Routes through Mammoth Lakes|
|Reno ← Lee Vining ←||N S||→ Bishop → Hesperia|