Mammoth Lakes, California, is truly a high mountain oasis in the midst of the California’s high desert. When you arrive in Mammoth you feel as though you have truly arrived in Paradise. Between the majestic views everywhere you look, the smell of pine in the air and one of the bluest skies you have ever seen, it is impossible to visit this amazing area without falling in love.
Mammoth is most well known as being the location of one of the nation’s top ski resorts, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. Mammoth was put on the map by an amazing visionary named Dave McCoy, who began bringing skiers to the Eastern Sierra back in the late 1940’s. He made Mammoth Mountain what it is today, a world class ski resort. Dave and his wife, Roma, still live in the area and are in their 90’s still recreating!
Set in the mountains of the Eastern Sierra, Mammoth is just five hours north of Los Angeles, three hours south of Reno, Nevada, and about two hours to Yosemite Valley.
Visitors can arrive by driving along scenic Highway 395 or by flying in to the Mammoth / Yosemite Airport (code = MMH).
If you are looking to recreate, Mammoth is definitely the place! We often say that about the only major activity that you cannot do in Mammoth is surf. Although between riding powder on a beautiful winter’s day and wake surfing on Lake Crowley under 85 degree skies, many have tried. The list of activities to do is a long one. Skiing and snowboarding logically sit at the top of the list, but some of the many other activities include:
Winter: Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice climbing, sledding, hiking, ice skating, back-country skiing, kite boarding, and more (with Bishop, California just 40 miles away and about 4,000 feet lower in elevation, you can golf, run, bike ride, climb and hike almost year round). The ski area hosts many competitions throughout the winter including ski races, half-pipe competitions, skier-cross and boardercross events, rail jams, and even a winter biathlon.
Summer: Golf (Mammoth currently has two golf courses: Sierra Star Golf Course and Snowcreek Golf Course), mountain biking, hiking, fishing, climbing, running (incl traing running), biking, roller blading, skateboarding, canoeing, kayaking, waterskiing, wake boarding, jet skiing, and the list goes on!
In addition to the recreation, there is also culture. Mammoth plays host to many performances and festivals. Music festivals include: Jazz Festival, Bluesapalooza, Sierra Summer Festival (featuring the Eastern Sierra Symphony Orchestra), SkyFest. Art festivals are also a common weekend sight with local and traveling artists setting up booths in the forest along Minaret just down from Whiskey Creek restaurant.
In addition, keep you eyes open for the state’s highest rib cookoff, geocaching events, rock concerts at the Village and dozens of backpackers stopping for supplies as they traverse along the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail).
Mammoth is most famous for its incredible winters, ski conditions, snowfall amounts and spectacular year round weather. Mammoth receives an AVERAGE of over 300 inches (that’s 25 feet) of snow per season, with the biggest season boasting over 55 feet of snow just a couple of years ago. In addition to these epic snowfall amounts, Mammoth is also known for having about 300 days of sunshine every year. All this combined with the fact that The Town of Mammoth is a small area of about four square miles surrounded by a sea of public lands (US Forest Service lands, Bureau of Land Management lands, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power lands).
Although Mammoth is definitely most well known for its wintertime activities and recreation, we actually have more visitors passing through in the summertime. It seems like more and more, people from the city are beginning to appreciate how nice it is to get out of the crime and congestion and get away to Mammoth where the air is clean, the sky is the bluest they have ever seen and the commute across town is a maximum of about 2 miles! Summers here are spectacular with average temps around 75-80 degrees.
Mammoth summers have also become a draw for some elite Olympic runners who call Mammoth home and take advantage of the high altitude living and training.
Mammoth has seen many changes over the years. In the late 1990’s, a company named Intrawest bought into Mammoth Mountain as well as acquired a number of properties throughout town. We have a true mountain village with Gondola access right into town. We also have more user friendly sidewalks in many parts of town. Development of any kind comes with its pros and its cons. Mammoth is no different. The vision for Mammoth is to create a resort town that is economically able to survive, even through the hard times when Mother Nature doesn’t dole out as much of the white stuff.
We invite you to call us any time you want an update on what is happening up here.