8 Things to Do in Mammoth Lakes

By Janet Benoir – October 18, 2023

Mammoth Lakes, a stunning outdoor paradise, boasts majestic mountains, crystal-clear alpine lakes, endless trails, and pristine forests, making it a year-round destination. In the warm months, you can indulge in breathtaking vistas, hiking adventures, and discovering hidden hot springs. Come winter, the mountain town transforms into a hub for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts.

To make the most of your visit, consider exploring Mammoth Lakes’ top attractions and surrounding areas, including Inyo National Forest and Mono Lake, located near Yosemite National Park’s eastern entrance. From marveling at the sunset at Minaret Vista to uncovering the mysterious Crowley Lake Columns, be sure to create unforgettable memories at this spectacular location.

Ride the Gondola at Mammoth Mountain

To make the most of your time in Mammoth Lakes, you should definitely take the gondola ride up Mammoth Mountain. This incredible journey will give you unmatched panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the area. Ascend to the summit, situated at an impressive 11,053 feet, and grasp breathtaking vistas before your eyes.

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See the Devils Postpile National Monument

While visiting Mammoth Lakes, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to explore the unique geological wonder of Devils Postpile National Monument. Witness the impressive formation of columnar basalt with your own eyes, as the 60-foot tall cliffs provide an awe-inspiring sight.

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Hike the 1.3-mile round trip trail to the base of the columns and immerse yourself in the beauty of this natural wonder. While there, don’t forget to visit the magnificent Rainbow Falls either, where you’ll be enchanted by the 101-foot cascading waterfall and the vibrant rainbows it creates on sunny days. Experience the best of Mammoth Lakes by adding Devils Postpile National Monument to your itinerary.

Visit the Tufa Towers of Mono Lake

You shouldn’t miss the opportunity to witness the enchanting tufa towers of Mono Lake. These unique rock formations, created by the interaction of freshwater springs and the alkaline waters of the lake, will captivate your imagination. Wander along the shoreline and marvel at the ever-changing landscape sculpted by nature.

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Aside from the striking beauty of the tufa towers, Mono Lake offers various recreational activities to make your visit even more enjoyable. You can take a guided tour to learn about the lake’s ecosystem, go birdwatching to spot the rich avian life, or simply relax and savor the serene atmosphere. Mono Lake will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on you during your trip to Mammoth Lakes.

Hunt for Awesome Waterfalls

When you visit Mammoth Lakes, exploring the mesmerizing waterfalls should be on your list of top activities. There’s nothing quite like the sound of rushing water surrounded by nature’s beauty to create a sense of awe and tranquility.

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Begin your adventure at Rainbow Falls, a stunning 101-foot waterfall named for the rainbows that often appear in its mist. Next, head to Twin Falls, a pair of cascading waterfalls that are equally as charming. To fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Mammoth Lakes, make sure to experience these breathtaking natural wonders.

Trek to Crystal Lake

In Mammoth Lakes, you will find an extraordinary experience as you embark on a hike to Crystal Lake. Begin by making your way to the Lake George parking lot, where the trailhead is located. As you follow this picturesque 2.5-mile round trip trail, you’ll be greeted by stunning mountain views, old-growth forest, and flourishing wildflowers during the summer months.

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Upon reaching Crystal Lake, you can marvel at its crystal clear waters, surrounded by the towering peaks of the Mammoth Crest. The serene atmosphere provides a perfect opportunity for relaxation, reflection, and capturing amazing photographs. Don’t hesitate to explore the nearby Lake Mamie and Horseshoe Lake for more nature-filled experiences. Embrace the unparalleled beauty that Mammoth Lakes has to offer on your hike to Crystal Lake.

Check Out the Cool Sunset at Minaret Vista

While visiting Mammoth Lakes, be sure to take the time to enjoy a breathtaking sunset at Minaret Vista. This scenic viewpoint offers an unparalleled view of the Minaret Range and the surrounding landscape. To reach this location, simply follow the signs from Mammoth Mountain’s Main Lodge, and you’ll be there in no time.

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Once you arrive at Minaret Vista, find a comfortable spot and prepare to be awestruck by the vibrant hues that envelop the sky as the sun sets behind the majestic peaks. The serene atmosphere and the striking panoramas will create an unforgettable experience during your time in Mammoth Lakes.

Snap Pics at Hot Creek Geological Site

Visiting Mammoth Lakes, be sure to stop by Hot Creek Geological Site, an incredible spot to capture stunning photographs. Witness the geothermal force beneath the ground, which creates bubbling hot springs and fumaroles. Bright and vibrant colors of mineral deposits decorate the area, highlighting the unique geological features, providing a feast for your eyes and your camera lens. Always exercise caution near hot springs and remember to adhere to safety regulations.

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Aside from photography, the site offers various recreational activities like hiking, bird watching, and observing the geothermal activity. Immerse yourself in this exceptional natural wonder while capturing precious memories. The Hot Creek Geological Site is truly an unforgettable experience that you don’t want to miss on your Mammoth Lakes adventure.

Discover the Crowley Lake Columns

While visiting Mammoth Lakes, make sure to explore the remarkable Crowley Lake Columns. These natural wonders, reminiscent of Gaudí’s architectural style, are a must-see attraction in the area. Formed by the interaction of volcanic ash and water over thousands of years, these intriguing columns showcase the beauty of nature’s work on the landscape.

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To reach the columns, take a short drive from Mammoth Lakes and follow the well-marked trail. As you embark on this adventure, marvel at the sight of these unique formations, which appear almost artistic in their structure. This fascinating destination offers a memorable experience that enhances your trip to Mammoth Lakes and highlights the region’s geological magnificence.