1) Rainbow Connection
Hike to Rainbow Falls from the famous Devils Postpile National Monument. It’s a 2-mile walk to this 101-foot stunner that plunges over a sheer cliff and leaves a rainbow glow in its mist.
2) Let the Good Times Roll
Jump on the gondola and get whisked to 11,053 feet and a 360-degree wow-o-ramic peak! The view spans the central Sierra all the way to Yosemite. Mountain bikers can ride down “Off the Top” trail (an intermediate blue square route). There’s also great beginner mountain biking options lower on the mountain!
3) Stairway to Hiker’s Heaven
It’s one of the finest day hikes in America, and it starts right in Mammoth Lakes! Lace up your hiking boots for the 11-mile (round-trip) Duck Pass. The trail passes multiple crisp blue lakes, then goes up a granite mountain staircase to the glory spot: Duck Pass (pictured), hovering high above a turquoise necklace of lakes that you passed along the way. Many other incredible hiking trails start in the Mammoth Lakes Basin (accessed via the free shuttle system in town).
4) It’s ALL the Scenic Route
Take your pick of scenic driving routes, because they’re everywhere in Mammoth Lakes. Like the June Lake Loop, which meanders through “Little Austria” or the view when coming in from Yosemite’s Tioga Pass, where you’re greeted by Mono Lake, a high-desert oasis filled with fascinating towers of gnarled limestone, called tufas. (Pro Tip: Get up close to the tufas on a guided kayak trip.) Here are other must-do sightseeing activities in the area.
5) Helicopter Approach!
For the ultimate view of Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern Sierra, take a helicopter ride. You’ll get an amazing perspective of the jutting spires of the famed Minarets, hidden lakes, and the two tallest peaks in the range: Mount Ritter at 13,157 feet and Banner Peak at 12,945 feet.
6) Dawn and Dusk Dreamscapes
The Mammoth Lakes Basin is THE place to fish: lakes are stocked with hearty trout throughout the season. Dubbed the “Granddaddy of them all” in the Eastern Sierra, Crowley Lake is famous for its large stillwater trout. Fish with a pro guide or simply go for the breathtaking views of Mammoth Mountain and the surrounding Sierra. (Pro Tip: Sunrise and sunset are spectacular here.)
7) Oh the Places You’ll Ghost!
Set in the high desert of the Eastern Sierra, Bodie State Historic Park looks like something straight out of the HBO hit Westworld. Explore this gold-mining ghost town and other routes of the Old West on a fantastic guided horseback and camping trip. Mammoth Lakes Pack Outfit leads these adventures: Ride by day and enjoy cooked meals and campfires at night.
8) Make Like Mad Max
Adventure off the beaten path in the spectacular Inyo National Forest. Whether you’re a total beginner or an ATV enthusiast, there’s something for everyone on an off-roading adventure. (Pro Tip: Ask about Lookout Mountain for a 360-degree view of the region.)