Slopeside Mountain Lodge near Outdoor Adventures
If you want to stay close to Mammoth Mountain—California’s highest ski resort at an elevation of more than 11,000 feet—you can’t do much better than Mammoth Mountain Inn. The hotel lies within walking distance of a high-speed gondola that takes passengers up the mountain and to a bike park named number one of its kind in the U.S. by Outside magazine. The Sierra Star golf course also claims the highest elevation of its kind in the state at 8,000 feet. And that’s just a sampling of the wide variety of year-round activities available here.
Though the inn was remodeled in the 1990s, it retains much of its rugged character in the form of vaulted ceilings, natural-wood beams, and a stone fireplace in the lobby. Mammoth Mountain Inn has free overnight storage out front, so guests can drop off and pick up their gear with ease. Being so close to the Main Lodge means you can easily access the scenic gondola.
At the inn’s restaurant, Mountainside Grill, rustic California-style cuisine is prepared with seasonal fruits and vegetables. It’s a good place to stop for dinner and a glass of wine chosen from an extensive selection featuring international and local varietals.
Mammoth Lakes, California: Hot Springs and Hiking in the Sierra Nevada
Mammoth Lakes is a quiet California town high up in the Sierra Nevada mountains southeast of Yosemite National Park. It’s the main gateway to Mammoth Mountain resort, which is just a 10-minute drive from the center of town. The resort is home to the highest golf course in California and Mammoth Mountain Bike Park, which Outside magazine named the best bike park in the United States.
Though Mammoth Lakes is a natural playground for skiers and snowboarders, it’s a popular destination for fishing and hiking in warmer months. Convict Lake, which got its name after a sheriff captured a group of escaped inmates here in 1871, is well known for its stunning mountain vistas and abundance of rainbow trout. The lake is encircled by an easy 3-mile hiking path that reveals the mountains from all perspectives.
The area’s geothermal activity supports a number of natural hot springs, which are great places to unwind after a day of exploring the wilderness. When hunger strikes, head to downtown Mammoth Lakes to find casual bistros and bars pouring West Coast brews.