Mammoth Lakes is legendary for its majestic scale and natural beauty. This year-round adventureland's name speaks to the grand size of the mountains, the expanse of the valleys, the incredible number of crystal clear mountain lakes and the endless opportunities for adventure just outside your door.
But what makes this place really unique are the surreal storybook scenes that drop jaws, spark imagination and make every moment feel like a brush with the truly incredible.
Mammoth Lakes is 330 miles of an arcing route east from San Francisco. Take I-80 E toward Bay Bridge/Oakland and continue onto I-580 W/I-80 E for about 80 miles. Keep left at the fork to continue on I-80BL E/US-50 E/Capital City Fwy and follow signs for Interstate 80 Business/Sacramento/South Lake Tahoe. Five miles later continue on US-50 E/El Dorado Fwy. This part of the drive will take you through a gorgeous stretch of El Dorado National Forest.
Find a scenic overlook here if you need to stop and stretch your legs. Near the eastern edge of the forest, you’ll turn right onto CA-89 S and 11 miles later, left onto CA-88 E/CA-89 S. There are a few turns in quick succession coming up. You’ll enter Nevada and continue on NV-88 N for a few miles before making a right onto NV-756 E/Centerville Ln. Continue straight on Dresslerville Rd for just under 1.5 miles and then continue onto Riverview Dr before making a right onto US-395 S/US-395 N. That's your run all the way down past Topaz Lake. When you start seeing Mono Lake, Lee Vining and June Lake on the signs, you're in the heart of the home stretch.
This Mammoth Lakes hotel is considered a home away from home, know for more than 40 years for its hospitality and prized for its proximity to endless outdoor adventure. Only minutes from Crowley Lake and from Mammoth Mountain’s Eagle Express ski lift, this hotel is a fantastic spot for High Sierra skiing and snowboarding, fishing, hiking, mountain biking and myriad other recreational activities.
The Best Western Plus High Sierra Hotel has prime location is prime for hitting the slopes and trails in Mammoth Lakes or for running up and down CA-395. Parking and Wi-Fi are free. You can make your morning cup of joe right in your room before tackling a day of thrills in the surrounding Sierra Nevadas.
Convict Lake Resort located in nearby Mammoth Lakes, offers mountain views and mountain life. With cabins suited for guests rolling in as pairs or parties up to 34, the resort is loaded with outdoor adventure. Fishing, camping, horseback riding, standup paddleboarding ... the list goes on. There's an onsite restaurant and bar and endless nature for miles and miles.
The Red Meadows Mule House Cafe is a fantastic place to kickoff your day off with breakfast before tackling a hike to Devil's Postpile or Rainbow Falls ... or whatever else you have planned. The cafe makes an excellent homestyle French toast. The home-fries, homemade pies and burgers also collect raves. The wait staff is very nice and welcoming, and the location in Red's Meadow is gorgeous.
Like the name suggests, the Mammoth Rock Brasserie has a touch of class that takes you above the kick-back pub. But for a night out with a hearty French plate on the table, this is your place. You can't go wrong here. They rep and the prices are big for strong reasons. From app and drinks to entree and dessert ... this is a meal to remember.
Roberto's Mexican Cafe collects top reviews from locals and travelers by the barrel. This spot has the authentic flavor, service and atmosphere you're after when the urge for Mexican cuisine hits. Don't forget to splurge for the guac and to dip into a salt-rimmed margarita. They're the cherry on top of this flavor explosion.
Devil's Postpile National Monument is great for all ages and all levels of hikers. Tackles the up-and-down trail to see the beautiful waterfall at the bottom of the valley or grab a seat on the bus that runs every 30 min to and from various stops at the bottom of the valley. At the Postpile parking lot, it's an easy half-mile walk to the bottom of the rocks. Go see the hexagonal lava rocks, up close and personal.
Mammoth Lake Bike Park brings outdoor lovers to the slopes in summer to feel the crank and coast on two wheels. But biking isn't the only summer action here. Rock climbing walls and a range of outdoor adventure is setup on the mountain when the snow turns to lush greenery.
Hot Creek offers amazing fly fishing where the trout run amid a landscape of nearby hot pools of bubbling waters and spurting mud. It's a surreal environment that might tempt you to get caught looking around as much as you're looking after mending your line.
Mammoth Mountain in the winter is legendary for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. There even are junior half pipes and terrain park runs for those of us still eyeing X-Game dreams ... that might not happen. The staff is great and always helpful.
Crowley Lake offers a marina, RV sites, boat rentals and a café. Rent a kayak and explore the remarkable 20-foot sand columns, formed 760,000 years ago, on the northeast shore. In town, the Crowley Lake General Store serves up breakfast wraps, sandwiches, dinners, home-made desserts and a fine collection of California wines.