You are here

25 Mar 2024
Related Items: 
Mammoth Vacation Planning

Mammoth Lakes in the springtime is such a special time to visit! But, you might be wondering what it’s really like up here during the slower months between the peak winter and summer seasons. 

Here are a few things we think you should know about visiting Mammoth from now until June!

You’ll need to dress in layers

Temperatures will steadily rise from now until summer. But don’t forget that you’re in the mountains! As soon as the sun goes down, things will get quite chilly. And, wind tends to pick up in the afternoons, so you don’t want to leave the house without one or two warm layers.

Snow can get slushy around town 

The temperatures are still low enough that the mountain is able to make snow for great skiing conditions. But, the snow around town may start to get a bit slushy. 

That means that when you’re driving, you’ll still want to practice caution in areas where you see snow, especially on corners, as this type of slush can be slippery.

Also, you’re likely to see locals continue to wear their most durable shoes this time of year. After all, that slushy snow isn’t great for fashion. So, don’t wear anything you would be upset to get dirty.

The bears will wake up at any moment

There’s no set time that bears come out of their winter hibernation. And in fact, they’ve been known to wake up from their snooze to have a little early spring snack even if there’s more snow on the forecast. 

So, to keep our wild friends safe throughout the season, we ramp up our bear safety practices during this time of year.

Always make sure that dumpsters are closed and locked and that you don’t leave any scented items in your car. 

If you do see a bear around town, give it plenty of space. Many of them wake up with quite an appetite, which can make them grumpy. 

Learn more about the town bears in our Mammoth Lakes Wildlife Highlight!

And other animals will start to appear, too

Spring is a wonderful time to do some wild animal watching because many of our native species will start returning or emerging from winter dens. And, because the town tends to be less populous during this time of year, they’ll be more relaxed and eager to start searching for food.

Some of the species you’re likely to see in spring are coyotes, squirrels, chipmunks, mule deer, and a number of bird species that migrate to Mammoth Lakes in the summer. Some rarer wild animals that become more active in the Eastern Sierra during this time are pumas, bighorn sheep, and bald eagles.

When driving, remember to always keep your eyes open for migrating animals! 

Waterways can start to get dangerous

Even during the years that we haven’t had much snowfall, spring can be a dangerous time when it comes to snowmelt. Always be cautious around bodies of water like rivers and streams. And remember that the water is so cold that your body could go into shock even in bodies of water that you would normally be able to navigate with ease.

During this time of year, it’s important to be especially cautious around frozen lakes. The ice may look thick enough to walk on, but it may be thawing at different rates depending on sun exposure. So, some areas will be dangerous.

Plan for wildflower blooms

Wildflowers are such a special part of springtime in the mountains! If you happen to plan your trip at the right time, you’ll be treated to blooms of mule ear, larkspur, lupine, paintbrush, and more.

That being said, this time of year is also peak allergy season! As much as the wildflower booms are a gift, you’ll enjoy them much more if you remember to stock up on your allergy medication before you get here. 

Be ready for a more laid-back vibe

If you’ve only ever visited us during the winter or summer, you’ll notice that spring comes with a much more relaxed atmosphere. This is the time of year that we locals are able to finally rest after many months of shoveling snow and working long hours. And it’s a time for us to enjoy some much-needed family time.

For this reason, spring is a really lovely time to visit. There will be less traffic, shorter wait times at restaurants, and generally a more laid-back and casual vibe.

You’ll probably see some construction

Spring is an opportune time for Cal-trans to get some road work done before the summer tourist season. And we couldn’t be more grateful! After all, snow can wreak havoc on our roads and highways. So, if you do come up during this time, remember to have patience, follow all of the construction zone signs, and thank a Cal-trans worker!

The full line-up of activities may not be available

Another potential downside to a visit in spring is you might find that some of your favorite winter activities are closing down for the season while your favorite summer activities aren’t quite ready yet. 

The exact timeline for this shift changes every year. Last year, for example, our heavy winter season meant that summer activities were delayed because of snow and snowmelt. This year, we predict that spring visitors will be able to start enjoying summer hiking and mountain biking trails and earlier than last year.

Don’t forget that there are plenty of activities to do around town even during the transition from winter to spring! Mammoth Lakes has all kinds of indoor entertainment, including a bowling alley, ice rink, movie theater, art workshops, and live music concerts throughout the year.

Don’t write off winter just yet

Up here in the mountains, it’s not unheard of for us to get a dumping of snow after we’ve already started our spring cleaning. So, stay flexible. Your spring hiking plans may need to be rearranged if an unexpected storm comes our way. Or, you may just get the pleasant surprise of a powder day in spring! Always keep taps on the weather forecast so you can plan accordingly.

Take full advantage of the spring deals!

Traveling to Mammoth Lakes during spring can be a great way to make your trip more budget-friendly! Be on the lookout for spring sales and mid-week discounts on everything from condos to gear rentals, restaurant promos and more.

Ready to book your spring trip to the mountains?

Take a look at the condos we have available this spring at Mammoth Mountain Reservations! We’ve got the perfect cozy condo for two or large-group condos for your next trip to Mammoth Lakes!