Photo Essay: A Tour of Mammoth Lakes and Mammoth Mountain

You guys, the area in and around Mammoth Mountain and Mammoth Lakes may be one of most extraordinary corners of California. I know, I know, I say that about just about everywhere in California, but I really think it may be true about Mammoth.

But hear me out here. Mammoth, located amidst the Sierra Nevada Mountains, seemed like something of an urban legend to me for so long. When I lived in San Francisco, and now in Los Angeles, people seemed to talk highly about Mammoth Mountain, but I found that many people seemed to talk loftily about it, but few seemed to go. The biggest reason for visiting seemed to be the ski resort, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, but San Francisco residents would typically travel to Lake Tahoe and Los Angeles residents would typically travel to Bear Mountain, since both involved a similar experience but at half the distance. But last year, I finally visited, ironically, on my way back down from a winter ski trip to Lake Tahoe.


I call Mammoth Mountain one of the most extraordinary corners of California for a number of reasons. Perhaps most obviously is Mammoth Mountain itself, which boasts the highest summit elevation of any ski resort in California, at 11,000 feet. This also means that Mammoth Mountain can often have a longer ski season than many other California ski resorts. The Mammoth Mountain Ski Area itself has more than 3,500 acres of ski terrain serviced by 28 lifts and featuring 150 named trails.

However, what's perhaps most unique is what you have access to at Mammoth Lakes. Within a 60-mile drive of Mammoth is some of the best outdoor things to do in California, such as Mono Lake, a saline soda lake characterized by tufa formations springing out of the water, and June Lake, a much quieter mountain town, home to Ohanas395, one of the best Hawaiian meals I've had in California, and June Lake Brewing. June Lake also features June Mountain, Mammoth's Mountain's sister ski resort. Just north of Mammoth Mountain is Yosemite National Park, while just south is Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. Further afield beyond Mono Lake is California's own historic ghost town of Bodie.

Convinced yet? While I'll be sharing more soon about how to do a ski trip in Mammoth Mountain, today I'll simply whet you appetite with photos from in and around Mammoth Mountain.

Photos of me, Mammoth Brewing, Sierra Nevada Resort, and June Lake Brewing from illustrious travel personality and friend Rachel Rudwall.