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19 Jun 2018
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Why Mammoth Lakes is the perfect summer getaway

For most people, Mammoth Lakes conjures up images of picturesque snow-capped peaks, cozy winter lodges, and, of course, excellent skiing and snowboarding. And it’s not surprising we’ve gained this reputation: winter-lovers have been coming to Mammoth for decades to enjoy our perfect snow and our unique little town.

But there’s another side of Mammoth that more and more visitors are beginning to notice. In fact, from the time that the wildflowers start to pop up in May until those first snow flurries fall in September, Mammoth is a wonderland of a different sort. During the summer season, travelers from all over the world fill our campgrounds, condos, and trails, and we couldn’t be happier to share our sun-soaked months with them.

So if you haven’t put Mammoth on your list of summer vacations yet, we encourage you to consider spending some time with us this season. Here are just some of the things you’ll find are different (and maybe even a bit superior) during summer in Mammoth:

1. There’s a long list of activities to choose from

When locals have a day off in the summer, their schedule may look a little something like this: take the dogs on a run in the backwoods, catch a morning yoga class, do some paddle-boarding in the lakes basin, have lunch in town, head down to the natural hot springs for an afternoon dip, and finish off the day with a craft beer while enjoying some live music.

I know, that sounds like an exaggeration. Clearly, one day couldn’t be so perfect. Yet, because there are so many activities available and everything is so accessible, every day has the potential to be as fun-filled as this one. Here are just a few activities that you could mix and match for a summer day in Mammoth:

  • Hike out of the lakes basin. There are hikes for all ages and experience levels, just don’t forget the bug spray!

  • Explore the natural hot springs off the 395. This has become a popular spot over the past year, so make sure to ask a local to share one of the lesser-known locations if you want a more private experience.

  • Spend the day at June Lake, which is just a forty minute drive from Mammoth. Bring a bathing suit, a beach towel, a picnic, and maybe a volleyball.

  • Get your fishing license and explore one of the many great fishing spots in the area. Crowley lake, the Owens River, Mammoth Creek, and, of course, the Lakes Basin are all well-stocked.

  • Go for a mountain bike ride at Mammoth Mountain or break out the road bikes for some gorgeous and challenging rides. Beginners can enjoy the bike path that snakes through town and all the way up to the Lakes Basin.

The more time you spend in Mammoth in the summertime, you’ll see that this list is clearly incomplete. What wasn’t included here were the additional activities for climbers, runners, shoppers, science buffs, artists, theater-lovers, horseback riders, and more. Put simply, while Mammoth in winter specializes in snow-related fun, summers here are open to a wide range of interests.  

2. It’s relaxing

Another benefit of visiting Mammoth in the summertime is the laid-back attitude. True, we locals tend to be relaxed in general, but summers are when we really breathe deeply and enjoy our wonderful town. There are a few reasons for this:

  • Driving is easier. No three-car pile-ups in the snow banks. No worrying about black ice or blizzard conditions. Everyone is able to drive with one hand on the wheel, windows down, and summer music playing over the radio. Sure, when you first arrive, you might find the 25 mile an hour speed limits a bit frustrating, but after a while, you’ll come to enjoy driving as much as we do.

  • The days are longer. With more daylight, you won’t find yourself trying to rouse the family before dawn to make sure you pack in all the daily activities. Instead, you can wake up a bit more slowly, really enjoying that cup of coffee before heading out.

  • There are more spaces to roam. In winter, we all tend to be packed into a small zone: the mountain and the areas in town with snow removal. In summer, on the other hand, we have entire mountain ranges, forests, meadows, and deserts within our reach. So, while we may have had cabin fever for the long winter months, we’re now more than happy to take a deep breath, stretch our legs, and spread out.


3. The weather is wonderful

This one doesn’t need too much explaining. Most days we have blue skies, with a few puffy white clouds. Temperatures generally don’t rise above 80° and though nights can be a bit chilly, it’s nothing a cozy sweater, or a campfire, can’t fix. Even our rain is nice, with storms breezing through occasionally in the afternoon to drizzle for a few minutes and make everything smell wonderful.

4. It’s accessible

As summer tourism has become more popular, the town has really stepped up in terms of providing guests with easy access to all the best sights. The extensive public transportation here is completely free and will take you all the way up to the Main Lodge and the Lakes Basin. You can even catch a free shuttle from the Village that will take you up to Devil’s Post Pile.

We’re also lucky enough to have a huge network of trails and bike paths that service the town, the Lakes Basin, and more. Mammoth Lakes Trails System has an awesome interactive map so that you can plan out your walk, run or bike ride.

Summers are short, so get planning!

Now that you know some of the insider secrets of summers in Mammoth, it’s time to plan your perfect getaway. Enjoy those long, sunny days and gorgeous summer nights before fall sneaks up on us again.

What is your favorite part of Mammoth in the summertime? Let us know in the comments below!