Many people know Mammoth California as a premier winter sports destination, with 28 lifts covering 3500 acres and a base elevation of 8000 feet, Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort is one of the best places in California to get your shred on during the winter months.
What you may not know is that there is a plethora of activities that keep this mountain town jumping during the summer. Check out this sampling of fun summertime activities to help you start planning your next get away.
1. Try out that new driver on the highest elevation golf courses in California. While the 8000 ft. elevation may take your breath away, it will also add yards to your drive. There are two public golf courses in Mammoth, the 18-hole Sierra Star and the 9-hole Snowcreek Resort.
2. When you arrive at Mammoth Main you may ask yourself why the ski lifts are turning in the middle of the summer, well the answer may literally hit you as a pack of mountain bikers race to their next lift ride. The Mammoth Mountain bike park covers 80 acres and has terrain to fit every level of rider. You won’t even need to bring a bike, the rental shop can hook you up with everything you need to get out on the trail.
3. Strap on your hiking boots (boots not really necessary) and hike the .4 mile trail to the Devils Postpile National Monument. This geological rock formation is sure to test your geometry skills. Volcanic activity created these 60 foot high towering columns of rock that will amaze you.
The additional 1.2 mile hike to Rainbow Falls is well worth the sweat equity. The river has cut this waterfall through columns of rock similar to the post pile and the mist from the falls creates a picturesque rainbow for visitors.
4. If a 5 mile round trip hike is not your idea of a good time, you can opt to take in Rainbow Falls via horseback. The Red’s Meadow Resort will get you out on the trail aboard an equine companion who will shuttle you to the falls and back during a 2 hour ride. Half-day and full-day rides on the Pacific Crest Trail are also available. Contact Red’s Meadow Resort for all the details.
5. On the way out of the national monument you will see a sign for the Earthquake Fault in the Inyo National Forest. This hiking trail will guide you through a walk down into the 60 foot deep Mammoth Earthquake fault. You can explore the fault from the safety above or delve in the recesses of the fault. No matter how you choose to explore, this is just one more amazing example of the geological formations that the Eastern Sierra has to offer.
6. After a day of hiking, find a refreshing adult beverage at the Mammoth Brewing Company, located 100 yards from the village. This award winning brewery serves up to 15 different brews on any given day. They have a list of regular offerings and a rotating list of seasonal beers that are sure to please. For $9 you can taste them all! If you have a designated driver in the group, they offer a house made icy cold root beer. They do not offer food, for that you will have to walk back across the street to the many offerings at the village.
7. Now that you have worked up a decent appetite, a visit to the village will present many opportunities to satiate your hunger. But only one restaurant will allow you continue playing while you eat. Campo on the village offers a bocce court where patrons can challenge one another to a roman game of skill while sipping Italian and California wines and dining on locally farmed produce and house made salumi. If you can’t get enough of the flavors at Campo you can stop in their Reno location on your way north up Highway 395.
8. With all this wilderness camping is a favorite activity for visitors. The Mammoth Mountain RV Park offers sites for both tent and RV campers and is open year round. There are also sites available at the Devils Postpile National Monument and in the Inyo National Forest. Both of these wilderness areas are also available to backpackers and hikers for backcountry camping.
9. If angling is your passion or a day of learning how to fish is your idea of a good time, The Trout Fly & Troutfitter on Old Mammoth Road should be your first stop. With a multitude of lakes, streams and rivers Mammoth offers hundreds of opportunities to fish from boat, dock, shore or mid-stream.
10. If you are looking for a more high-adreanaline experience Mammoth Mountain Adventure Center has you covered with climb/zip/bungee options. There is a huge climbing wall anchored in the main plaza where you can see zip lines anchored overhead. Newly added is the Bungee Trampoline wher you can safely work on your aerials in the off-season.
Mammoth is not just a winter destination, summer fun is around every corner. So think about planning a trip to Mammoth when the drive is not the adventure. If I have missed one of your favorite summer activities in the Eastern Sierra, leave me a comment below, I am already planning my return trip.