Head out of the city and into the mountains for a spectacular weekend away from Los Angeles County. Reacquaint yourself with nature with hiking, water sports, camping, and especially skiing in winter at Mammoth Lakes. Here is our Los Angeles to Mammoth Lakes weekend guide.
Where is Mammoth Lakes?
The town of Mammoth Lakes is located in California’s Sierra Nevada. It’s a year-round adventure land with the warm sun in summer, gorgeous autumnal foliage in fall, spectacular snow in winter, and vibrant colors in spring.
You can get to Mammoth Lakes by flying to Mammoth Yosemite Airport, located just 10 minutes from town, or driving via the scenic Hwy 395, which will take around 5 hours from Los Angeles.
Why visit Mammoth Lakes?
With extraordinary skiing areas in winter, gorgeous hiking trails leading to cascading waterfalls and lakes, along with postcard-ready landscapes, there are so many reasons to visit. Here are some of the best things to do in Mammoth Lakes.
Best things to do in Mammoth Lakes
If you’re visiting Mammoth Lakes over a long weekend break, you’ll easily have an agenda full of exciting outdoor adventures.
Hike around Mammoth Lakes
Easily one of the best things to do in Mammoth Lakes is go hiking. With trails leading to gorgeous alpine lakes as well as dramatic cascading waterfalls, it would be an absolute shame not to trek around and explore the beauty of this natural oasis.
Remember to bring plenty of water and an eco-friendly reusable water bottle before you go.
Visit Devils Post pile National Monument
For a geologic wonder in California, a visit to the Devils Post pile National Monument is a must. This unusual rock formation comes from columnar basalt, creating striking towers of symmetric rock. It’s thought to have formed around 100,000 years ago as the result of cooling lava flow.
Here you’ll also find hiking trails and the chance to discover the gorgeous Rainbow Falls, a favorite waterfall of many visitors to Mammoth Lakes.
Explore Rainbow Falls
After visiting the Devils Post pile, meander over to the nearby Rainbow Falls. A 5-mile round trip trek will take you to both the Devils Post pile and Rainbow Falls for a lovely day hike in Mammoth Lakes.
Rainbow Falls is one of California’s most dreamy waterfalls standing at 101 feet, nestled in rock and surrounded by trees. Bring your swimwear for a dip in the natural pool, too!
Wander around Convict Lake
Convict Lake is one of Mammoth’s most stunning lakes, and it’s especially dreamy in autumn. Surrounded by fallen leaves and fall foliage along with the backdrop of mountains, it’s a spectacular hiking spot.
Once you turn onto Convict Lake Road from Hwy 395, you’ll immediately see marvelous tall mountains greeting you as you approach Convict Lake.Here you can camp out or stay in a cabin to soak up the full experience of this gorgeous area of Mammoth Lakes.
Bring a cozy soft towel for drying off after a dip in the lake. This one will also make for a handy road trip blanket, as a road trip is hardly complete without bringing a snugly blanket along for the ride.
One of the best things to do in Mammoth Lakes is ski. It’s one of the main attractions, drawing in visitors from around the world. You’ll find impressive terrain with mountain scenery and an exceptionally long ski season. Hangout at the Mammoth Mountain Lodge, ski, snowboard, and enjoy some of the best spots for winter sports in California.
Check out Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain ski areas for two of the top spots for epic ski experiences.
Looking for more adventures around California? Check out our weekend guide to desert life at Joshua Tree!
Christa Adams is a writer, photographer, and sustainable traveler based in Barcelona. She’s been traveling solo since 2014 has a passion for the outdoors, coffee culture, and exploring quaint European towns. Follow her adventures at www.thespiritedexplorer.com