Sightseeing
 
 

These are things to do that require more eyework than legwork. After that eight-hour day, when you knew you should have quit at noon, you can check out the sights. For further sightseeing information, you should visit the Forest Service Visitors Center and the Mammoth Lakes Visitors Bureau when you are in town.

 

Minaret Vista Point
This is the best spot to view Mt. Ritter and Banner, the Minarets, and the San Joaquin River drainage area. Spectacular views, easy access by car, picnic tables, and a bathroom. Trailhead for San Joaquin ridge starts here. Take HWY 203 past Mammoth Mountain all the way up to the vista point.

 
     
 

Mono Lake
The center of much controversy between Mono County residents and the Los Angeles Water District. About 25 miles north of Mammoth on HWY 395. Stop at the Visitors Center first so you know how special Mono Lake really is, then go to the South Tufa Area and walk around the real thing.

 

 

Yosemite
Most people don't realize how close Mammoth is to Yosemite. We're only about an hour south of Tuolumne Meadows, and the drive from here to there is absolutely one of the most spectacular in the whole USA. Take HWY 395 to Tioga Pass road (HWY 120) and up into Yosemite. Tioga Pass Road is worth the price of admission all by itself — one of the Eastern Sierra's true engineering marvels. You can drive another hour or so and be in the valley. You can also walk there from here. Mammoth is often used as a lodging base for Yosemite exploration.

 
     

Reds Meadow
Up HWY 203 past Mammoth Mountain and down Minaret Summit Road to the end. Reds/Agnew Meadows is a very popular camping area. Lots of trailheads in this area. The San Joaquin river offers fishing and sightseeing. Devils Postpile, Sotcher Lake, Rainbow Falls and other good stuff. During the summer you must take the required Shuttle, for a fee from Mammoth Mountain, or enter the area before 7:30 a.m. or after 5:30 p.m. You can also do the HARDMAN bike ride into the valley.

 

Hot Creek
No visit to Mammoth is complete without a trip to the Hot Creek. Fantastic geologic happenings, spouting geysers, and world famous fishery. Swimming and soaking are no longer permitted at Hot Creek and visitors will be cited for jumping the fence.

 
 
 

Owens River
A world-class fishery. The easiest place to see the river is from Benton Crossing. Take Benton Crossing Road about 2 miles south on HWY 395 out to the bridge. There is a small campground and general store there (you can buy fishing flies there cheaper than anywhere else). A dirt road parallels the owens more or less to the north. This is a great fishing spot.

 
 
 

June Lake
Just a few minutes north of Mammoth on HWY 395. Nestled snug below spectacular rugged mountains. A very scenic place. Great fishing. June Mountain Ski Resort islocated here. This is a very nice morning or afternoon trip.

 
 
 

Upper Lakes Basin
Fishing, boating, swimming at Horseshoe Lake, hiking, cross-country skiing, rustic lodges. This is a happening place. Nine lakes to park at or walk to within a mile or so. Several rustic lodging facilities offer the honest-to-goodness mountain cabin experience.

 
 

Earthquake Fault
This isn't really an earthquake fault. It was formed many years ago when the earth opened up, probably through some seismic event on other nearby real faults. But don't tell the kids it isn't real. Take HWY 203 about 1.5 miles towards Mammoth Mountain.

 
Convict Lake
Good fishing, great views. Good restaurant. Boats and launching facilities.
 
 
 
Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort
World-class skiing in winter, mountain biking in summer, rock climbing, scenic gondola rides, lodging and eating facilities, and a summertime performing arts tent offering special activities. HWY 203 to the Mountain.
 
 

Fish Hatchery
Especially nice to visit if you have been skunked fishing. There are a lot of fish here, some very very big ones. Self-guided free tours. Take HWY 395 south to Hot Creek/Airport turnoff, follow Hot Creek road. The fishery is on the left about 1 mile from HWY. Fun visit for kids. No, they won't let you fish here.

 
Devils Postpile
Interesting rocks in Red's Meadow. You've probably never seen anything like it. Take HWY 203 past Mammoth Mountain, down Minaret Summit Road and follow signs. About 10 miles from town.
 
 
     
Rainbow Falls
Another Red's Meadow sight. Tall natural falls on the San Joaquin river. Short hike from the road. This is a good destination if you have small kids and can't hike a long ways, but want to experience the forest.
     
 
Bodie
One of the great things to do if you like this kind of thing. Bodie is probably one of the best preserved, least commercialized ghost towns remaining in the West. You won't find a MacDonalds here. Walk around the streets and you can really get a sense as to what it might have been like to live in a place like that in the 1800's. Take HWY 395 north almost to Bridgeport. Look for HWY 270. Take that and watch for the Bodie signs. The road turns to gravel for about three miles, but any passenger car can do it. There is a small entrance fee, but well worth it. It takes a little over an hour to get there. Bring lunch with you.
 
     
 
Death Valley
Death Valley is about four hours away. Yup, it's hot and dry and barren — it's also one of the most beautiful and unique spots on earth. Go see it. One of the really fascinating sites to visit is Scotty's Castle, nine buildings constructed between 1921 to 1931 and costing $2 million dollars.
 
 
 
 
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