When nature plays sculptor, it can pull out all the stops to create a masterpiece. The mountain resort town of Mammoth Lakes in California is a breathtaking glacier-carved opus that makes it a worthy vacation destination. Unfurling over 3,500 acres of sweeping terrain dominated by the 11,053-foot Mammoth Mountain, the town is surrounded by pine-mantled peaks, snow-capped mountains, bubbling creeks, and rugged forests that provide many diversions. Riding on the slopes of the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range, Mammoth Lakes mesmerizes with stunning scenery, a fascinating history, and plentiful recreational opportunities -- making the area a veritable year-round destination. Visitors will agree: the captivating beauty of Mammoth Lakes holds its own to other celebrated areas such as Lake Tahoe.Mammoth Lakes Geographic Information
The magnificent landscape of the Mammoth Lakes area was sculpted millions of years ago by the powerful forces of fire and ice. Widespread volcanic eruptions and underground forces folded sedimentary rocks and tilted them westwards to form the Sierra Nevada batholith. During periods of extreme climatic cooling, cycles of glacier advance and retreat chiseled granite peaks, canyons and lake basins. About 180,000 years ago, volcanic eruptions from multiple lava domes and flows began constructing the cone-shaped Mammoth Mountain. Today, the mountain is a dormant, or sleeping, volcano, which last erupted nearly 50,000 years ago. It continues to exhibit volcanic activity and could still erupt someday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Mono Lake, the 760,000-year-old highlight of the Eastern Sierra's alpine lake district, rises 6,381 feet above sea level and plunges to a maximum depth of 159 feet. Although its high salinity does not allow fish to survive in it, Mono Lake is home to fourteen unique ecosystems and host to thousands of migratory birds that feed on its brine flies and brine shrimp. The region's active geologic past has bequeathed the area with diverse natural attractions, including the Devil's Postpile National Monument, the Mono Craters, the Obsidian Dome, and Mono Lake's tufa towers.Mammoth Lakes Weather Overview
Climate plays a major role in shaping the reputation of Mammoth Lakes as year-round vacation hotspots. While the area receives an average of 385 inches of snowfall annually, it also enjoys 300 days of sunshine. Snow on Mammoth Mountain stays firm longer, so the skiing season stretches right up to spring. Summer temperatures rise to an average high of 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit but seldom drop below 40 degrees for a low, while winter temperatures post an average high of 30-40 degrees and an average low of 10-20 degrees.Mammoth Lodging and Mammoth Rentals
Visitors to Mammoth Lakes will find a host of lodging options and that take quality and service seriously. Mammoth rentals guarantee first-class accommodation and superior service within an alpine setting. The properties are furnished to provide the warmth and convenience of a home away from home -- from rustic log cabins to quaint manors -- boasting of perks and amenities that make staying indoors as much fun as venturing outdoors. Complemented by majestic vistas of the Eastern Sierra Nevada and alpine lakes, Mammoth lodging facilities provide a comfortable and luxurious refuge.Local Events of Interest to Mammoth Mountain Vacation Rentals Guests
Special events and festivities pack the calendar of activities at Mammoth Lakes. Music festivals, fishing competitions, snowboard races, and motocross events provide an eclectic mix of entertainment that will leave Mammoth Mountain lodging guests with plenty of options.
Visitors coming to the area in March should not miss the Dave McCoy College Classic fundraiser. Participants in the Mammoth Lakes Foundation's signature event converge at Mammoth Mountain for competitive skiing and snowboarding, cocktail parties, a formal awards dinner, and a live auction. The Annual Festival of Beers and Bluesapalooza, the biggest and most talked about party this side of the Sierra Nevada, happens every last weekend of July. Guests can come for the beer or the blues, or both. A Blues and Brews Party Package ticket entitles Mammoth lodging guests to a commemorative glass, unlimited tasting, food coupons, and admission to the Blues Festival. September reels in Double Haul in the Fall, the big fish of Mammoth Lakes fishing derbies. Sponsored by the Mammoth Lakes Visitors Bureau, this sport fishing event treats participants to prizes, a barbecue dinner, retail discounts, and deals on Mammoth rentals.Dining and Nightlife Options for Mammoth Mountain Vacation Rental Guests
Mammoth Lakes may be the ultimate destinations for those who love the great outdoors, but they are also home to some of California's finest restaurants. Gourmets and night owls will have their pick of all that Mammoth Mountain has to offer.
Mammoth rentals guests longing for fine dining in rustic elegance may want to serve time at The Restaurant at Convict Lake. Located five miles south of Mammoth Lakes, this multi-awarded restaurant has one of the best wine lists in town and serves sumptuous specialties such as rack of lamb, duck breast, pan-fried venison, and salmon. For the freshest fish and seafood served in a cozy dining room with a gorgeous mountain view, guests should head for the Ocean Harvest Restaurant. Reputed to serve the town's best fried chicken and coleslaw, Grumpy's Sports Restaurant & Bar is also Mammoth's original sports bar. While visitors are waiting for their food, they can watch NFL games on any of the bar's 35 big-screen TVs and play arcade games or pool.Mammoth Lakes Attractions
From a Gold Rush-era ghost town to the tufa towers of Mono Lake, Mammoth Lakes has places that will interest even the most discerning Mammoth rentals guest.
Visitors who consider themselves history buffs and fans of the Old West should visit Bodie, one of the most authentic and best preserved ghost towns in the West. William S. Bodey discovered gold here in 1859 and it wasn't long before the good, the bad and the ugly found their way into this gold-mining district. In 1880, the town had nearly 10,000 residents and earned the kind of reputation guests may have only learned about from watching Spaghetti Westerns.
A trip to Mammoth Lakes would not be complete without seeing the spectacular "tufa towers" that adorn Mono Lake's shoreline. Visitors will be fascinated with these unusual spires and knobs of calcium carbonate (limestone), which are formed by the interaction of calcium-rich freshwater springs and alkaline lake water. Bird watchers will also have a field day identifying the more than 100 species of birds that call the Mono Lake Basin home.
Mammoth lodging guests who can't get enough of front-row-seat geology lessons should visit the Devil's Postpile National Monument to see its slender, blue-gray basalt columns that scale as high as 40 to 60 feet. Geologists believe these basaltic columns were formed about 100,000 years ago when lava from a volcanic eruption cooled and fractured into geometric forms.Overview of Mammoth Mountain Activities
If you're looking for non-stop outdoor action, then look no further than Mammoth Lakes. The area is filled with adventures that will have guests exploring the sky, the sea, and everything in between: from ballooning to fly fishing to cross-country skiing.
Mammoth Lakes enjoys the distinction of being one of the best venues for trout fishing -- and with good reason. Area waters such as Lake Mary, Lake George, Lake Mamie, and the Twin Lakes are regularly stocked with giant-size Alpers trout, which can weigh up to ten pounds. Mammoth lodging guests can drop their line in any of the area's freshwater lakes, rivers and creeks, where big trout abound.
Guests who want to experience the most exciting adventure of their life can go hot air ballooning. Hot air balloon rides yield thrilling bird's eye views of the Mammoth Lakes area's amazing landscape. Guests will soar with the eagles as they admire the awesome beauty of the lake and ski area, Yosemite National Park, and the Eastern Sierra.
Snow sports are still the top draws of Mammoth Mountain. Aside from world-class downhill skiing, Mammoth Mountain is also renowned for its first-rate cross-country skiing. The Tamarack Cross-Country Ski Center has 45 kilometers of groomed tracks and skating lanes, and Rock Creek Lodge has 15 kilometers of groomed cross-country skiing and telemark skiing in the winter. Guests will be delighted to find that amusement in the Eastern Sierra's winter wonderland is not limited to skiing. Dogsledding, snowmobiling, sleigh rides, and snowshoeing guarantee that everyone can have their share of fun.