One place that took me by surprise was Mammoth Lakes in California’s Sierra Nevadas. Last month, we spent a few days exploring the area, hiking, and hopping in and out of hot springs. The sheer natural beauty of this part of California is hard to capture in photos, but I hope they’ll inspire you to visit.

The one thing about Mammoth Lakes that is truly unique is the diversity in landscape. From towering mountains in the John Muir Wilderness area to the lakes that are spread throughout, there is truly a lot to experience. Mammoth Lakes is a destination for those who want to be outdoors, with plenty of options for things to do.

7 Incredible Things to Do in Mammoth Lakes

We spent two nights and it felt like it was the right amount to stop by some iconic spots and do one long hike. We knew we would be going back in the fall for the famous fall colors of June Lake Loop, so we kept a few hikes for then as well. But for now, if you’re thinking of going camping this summer, you may want to consider Mammoth Lakes and the entire region for a weekend trip. Here are some of the most incredible things to do in Mammoth Lakes and the surrounding area.

猛犸湖& the Surrounding Area

Where to Stay in Mammoth Lakes

If you’re headed to Mammoth, you’ll want to probably book an Airbnb or private cabin. You’ll find quickly that the hotels are very limited and most are not incredibly great. A cabin will give you a place to retreat to (learn from our mistake of booking a cheap hotel). Otherwise, I’d recommend camping. There are a lot of campsites in the area from June Lake down to Convict Lake, there is even BLM land you can just dry camp at for the night.

Here are some options for Airbnbs in Mammoth Lakes that caught my eye:

7 Incredible Things to Do in Mammoth Lakes


的主要原因之一we booked this trip to Mammoth was for this hike alone. The Sierra Nevadas have some of the best full day and overnight hikes in the state. It was this hike that caught are attention because it looked like a scene out of the Dolomites. The hike is strenuous, and we started off at sunrise to beat the heat. Overall, the effort was well worth it to be out in nature and soak in these views. If you went later in the summer, you definitely could cool off in the lakes on this trail.

我写的一切整个指南,你需要了解这个加息和什么计划。阅读完整的博客文章the hike to Big Pine Lakes.

7 Incredible Things to Do in Mammoth Lakes


猛犸湖Area is a literal hotbed for geothermal activity which means that as a visitor, you can enjoy a dip in natural hot springs. There are several to choose from in the area. Our favorites were Wild Willy’s Hot Spring and Travertine Hot Springs further north in Bridgeport. For Travertine Hot Springs, I wouldn’t make the drive just for it, it’s really worth it if you’re passing through. Other hot springs that came recommended were Whitemore Hot Springs and the Rock Tub Hot Springs.

A few things to note for when visiting the hot springs:

  • 服装是可选的,所以不要被裸体感到惊讶
  • 有些是季节性所以他们可能不会有水在里面,也可以不跟上
  • Early morning is best to beat the crowds

For Wild Willy’s Hot Spring, note that there is a clear parking area after you go down the dirt road off of Benton Crossing Road. You’ll walk the wooden planks out to the two tubs.

3. Catch the sunset over the Minarets

虽然我们会have loved to hike out to the Minarets, the next best thing was catching the sunset over them. Above Mammoth Lakes town, the Minaret Vista Point gives unparalleled views over the mountains and makes for a stunning spot to catch the sunset.

7 Incredible Things to Do in Mammoth Lakes



One of my favorite areas that we drove through was the scenic June Lake Loop. This scenic drive takes you through June Lake, Gull Lake, Silver Lake, and Grant Lake. They are all nestled under towering peaks and covered in the forested areas. It is stunning and this where we’re headed back for fall colors this year because of the aspen growth.

This area would also be an amazing spot to stay overnight as you’re close to everything but removed from town of Mammoth Lakes. We packed a lunch and parked at Gull Lake and soaked in the views from here. There are some great trails and awesome spots for fishing here.


7 Incredible Things to Do in Mammoth Lakes




7 Incredible Things to Do in Mammoth Lakes

6. Go fishing at Convict Lake


There is a trail that goes around the lake and it’s a very popular spot for fishing and boating. We brought our sandwiches here and enjoyed the view on our last day.

7 Incredible Things to Do in Mammoth Lakes

7. See the Hot Creek Geological Site

One of the most picturesque areas that looks like a scene out of a movie is the Hot Creek Geological Site. You drive down a dirt road, park, and can walk along this geothermal area. It’s very unique as the creek is flowing but there are hot springs on the sides.


Other things to do nearby

Here are a few things that also caught are attention:

  • 到莫诺湖一游
  • Boating on Lake Crowley
  • Hike to Devils Postpile to see the Devils Postpile National Monument
  • 看到地震断层线
  • See the Inyo Craters

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