What to do in Mammoth – Rebecca Garrett

Mammoth Lakes, California’s premiere mountain resort, is a four season destination. No matter the time of year there is something for everyone.

Located on the east side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range Mammoth enjoys cold winters that regularly produce record amounts of snow and warm summers that are perfect for hiking, camping, fishing, road and mountain biking, running and just relaxing. We experience the full range of seasons and have activities for each.
Mammoth has always been famous for its winter activities but over the recent years it has been recognized for the myriad of summer recreational activities it offers.

Below is a sampling of the things we do for fun.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Mammoth Mountain is one of the nations largest ski mountains. It has over 3500 acres of skiable terrain and receives an average of nearly 400 inches of snow each year. There are 28 lifts that service 150 runs, the longest of which measures 3 miles. Being California we average more than 300 sunny days per year. The Mountain has three main terrain parks that draw extreme snowboarding and skiing enthusiasts from all over the world. Click here to visit the official Mammoth Mountain website.

Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing

Enjoy 19 miles of freshly groomed track at Tamarack Lodge. Chose from nordic, striding, skating skis or snowshoes. The track circles some of our most beautiful lakes with gorgeous views of Crystal Crag, Mammoth Mountain and the Owens Valley. Click here to visit the official Tamarack Lodge website.


If zooming through beautiful meadows and wooded forests on seemingly endless untracked powder is your idea of a good time, check out the snowmobile experiences Mammoth Lakes has to offer. There are 80 miles of groomed trails and 75,000 acres of open expanse in our backyard. Look for the orange diamonds marking snowmobile trails through the backcountry. Snowmobile destinations include Lookout Mountain, Inyo Craters and Bald Mountain.


Mammoth Lake’s two golf courses are located at the highest elevation in California. These sky-high courses will entice seasoned and novice players alike. Test the effects of elevation on your game.
Sierra Star Golf Course is one of the most challenging alpine courses anywhere. This 18-hole, par-71 course features tree-lined fairways, well-trapped greens, spectacular mountain views, and tranquil lakes and streams. Click here to visit the Sierra Star website.

Snowcreek Golf Course is a par-35, nine-hole course and is designed to challenge all abilities. Mammoth Meadow surrounds the course, enhancing play with unobstructed views of the Sherwin Range, Mammoth Mountain and the White Mountains. Click here to visit the Snowcreek Golf Course website.

Mountain Biking

In summer, Mammoth Mountain’s ski slopes are transformed into a mountain bike paradise. Riders of all abilities and conditioning levels can take advantage of its extensive trail system. More than 80 miles of groomed single-track trail and lift access to the 11,053-foot summit make the mountain very popular.

The Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center and Ranger Station located at the entrance to town on State Highway 203 offers free mountain biking trail maps and information on route descriptions, trail ethics and precautions.


The Eastern Sierra has hiking for everyone. Miles and miles of well-maintained trails converge on Mammoth and lead you through pine tree corridors, lush meadows, scenic vistas and sparkling alpine lakes. Whether youre taking it easy, looking for family fun or all out adventure theres a trail for everyone.


If fresh water trout fishing is your passion, the Eastern Sierra is for you. A multitude of lakes, rivers and creeks are stocked with rainbows, brooks and German browns anxious to take the bait. Catch and release in some areas, such as Hot Creek in the scenic Long Valley. Fly-fishing is prime along the San Joaquin River in the Red’s Meadow/Devils Postpile area, and on secluded ranches, such as Alpers Ranch or Hot Creek Ranch. Wonderful trout fishing can be found in our many lakes, rivers and streams, stocked with locally raised, world famous, trophy-size Alpers trout. The Owen’s River from Crowley Lake to Tinemaha Reservoir including the Pleasant Valley Reservoir and the Diaz Lake and Haiwee Reservoir are open to year-round fishing. There are some special restrictions; check with local ranger stations or the Department of Fish and Game for more information.

Rock Climbing

From the challenging, short climbs of the Owens River Gorge to the big walls of Yosemite and towering Sierra peaks, sport climbers rave about the exhilarating options in the Mammoth area.

Whether you’ve ever tried climbing outside, in a gym or just thought about it, you’ll have an exhilarating experience. For the novice there are guide services and for the more experienced climber there are local guide books that can help you find the many hidden climbing spots

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders. Many have said that Yosemite’s natural beauty has the power to take one’s breath away. It is breathtaking! The eastern gate into Yosemite National Park (Tioga Pass Hwy 120) is just 45 minutes north of Mammoth Lakes. This entrance is closed in the winter.

Yosemite has far more to offer than just the beauty. Experience fishing for wild trout throughout Yosemite. Spring, summer or fall, this region offers a wide variety of extraordinary angling opportunities with four species of wild trout.

Soaring peaks, tranquil lakes, towering waterfalls, and ancient forests await travelers ready to venture away from the highway and into the Yosemite wilderness. Few park visitors go beyond a few busy trailheads, yet the park has hundreds of miles of beautiful trails for hiking. Walking to the edge of a three thousand-foot high precipice is an unforgettable experience. From the Valley Rim the great depth of the chasm is breathtakingly evident. On high country trails, hikers encounter another Yosemite of mountain peaks, wildflower gardens, and permanent snowfields.

Yosemite Valley has an excellent bike path system and bikes to rent. Yosemite is also a birder’s paradise. The rich variety of birds in Yosemite is a reflection of the Park’s rich ecological diversity. Click here to visit the Yosemite web site.

Scenic Gondola Rides

The Panorama Gondola provides uphill access for mountain bikers and pedestrians (in winter, it is used to carry skiers to some of the most extreme terrain on Mammoth Mountain). Witness the splendor of the Eastern Sierra from the Top of the Sierra Interpretive Center. Have lunch at the Top of the Sierra Cafe and walk it off afterwards with a hike on the Mountain or a tour with a Naturalist.