Mammoth Lakes is a perfectly situated springboard to the ultimate in sightseeing adventures in summer. A national park, national monument, state parks, an official ghost town, and the world’s oldest trees are all within easy reach for amazing day trips. See the region’s most unbelievable natural and historic site on a three-day trip to Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern Sierra.
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
No trip to California would be complete without visiting Yosemite National Park which is known for its deep valleys containing some of the world’s tallest waterfalls, giant sequoia trees, and wild meadows. Yosemite’s eastern entrance is just 45 minutes from Mammoth Lakes and together they make a great pairing on any outdoor enthusiast’s itinerary.
To get there from Mammoth Lakes during summer and fall, take the Tioga Pass State Highway 120 to the eastern gate into Yosemite National Park. Or take Yosemite Area Regional Transit (YARTS) which offers transportation for visitors who would prefer to travel by bus from outlying communities into Yosemite Valley rather than drive themselves.
AN ANCIENT LAKE & GOLD RUSH HISTORY
Over a million years old and covering nearly 105 square miles, Mono Lake, is situated just north of Mammoth Lakes. Mono Lake is a sightseer’s fairy tale, a nature lover’s dream, and an outdoor adventurer’s mecca. Whether launching kayaks through the tufa towers of Navy Beach or meandering along the boardwalks of the South Tufa Area during an evening sunset, there is a way for everyone to explore this unique area.
Just 11.8 miles north you’ll reach the weathered buildings of Bodie State Historic Park, California’s official ghost town and the largest unrestored ghost town in the West. Back in Mammoth Lakes, you can explore additional mining history at the Mammoth Consolidated Gold Mine in the Mammoth Lakes Basin or at the Hayden Cabin Museum on the bank of Mammoth Creek.
Catch the scenic shuttle from Mammoth Adventure Center to Reds Meadow (no private vehicles allowed), where you’ll find Devils Postpile National Monument and the 101-foot Rainbow Falls. Hike along the San Joaquin River to see the unique rock formation. Then, continue on the easy 2-mile hike downstream to Rainbow Falls, named for the colorful rainbows reflected in the mist by the midday sun.
Wrap up your adventure with lunch at the Mule House Café at Reds Meadow Resort before catching the shuttle back to Mammoth Lakes. When you’re back at the Mammoth Adventure Center, take a ride on the Scenic Gondola to the summit of Mammoth Mountain and admire the views from 11,053 feet.
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