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Summer Vacation Ideas

Summer time around the Mammoth Lakes area is an adventure paradise for fishing, hiking, golfing, mountain biking, and climbing.

Sierra Star Golf Course

Sierra Star sits at 8,000 feet and is the highest course in California. Open to the public, between June and October it offers comfortable, relaxed, and enjoyable golfing for all levels. It's the only 18-hole resort golf course in Mammoth.

4WD SUV Off-Road Adventures

Your off highway road adventure will give you an opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful parts of the state. Visit some of the out-of-the-way charms of a ghost town, historic gold mine, or geologic sites such as Hot Creek, Inyo Craters, and Obsidian Dome. Take the Owens River - Hot Creek Road, The Lookout Loop, or the Deadman Creek Trail. There's something for everyone and roads for all levels from beginning to the most challenging.

Hot Air Ballooning and Scenic Flights

Take in the picturesque beauty of Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern Sierra aboard a hot air balloon. Mammoth Balloon Adventures offers one hour Sierra sunrise ride. If you would rather ride a plane Mammoth Air Charter will offer you an enjoyable aerial view of Mammoth Lakes, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Yosemite National Park, and the Eastern Sierra.


Mammoth Lakes not only offers amazing views, but also amazing fishing. Mono County fishing season starts the last Saturday in April and ends on November 15th of every year. There are several fishing derbies held throughout the season. The Department of Fish and Game stocks many of the lakes, rivers and streams for great trout fishing.

Mammoth Lakes Basin also receives heavy summer plants of trophy-sized Rainbow trout, some weighing in at the 10 to 12 pound range. Mammoth Creek is full of pan-sized Rainbows or wild Brown trout. Convict Lake also offers Rainbow trout and Brown trout and is located approximately seven miles south of Mammoth Lakes. Crowley Lake is full of fishermen battling the elements and the big trout. Crowley Lake is located about 12 miles south of Mammoth Lakes.

From Rock Creek Lake to Long Lake you'll find an abundance of Golden, Brook, Rainbow, Brown and Cutthroat trout. Rock Creek in particular has some of the most exciting creek fishing in the region, as it's been reported that trout up to five pounds or more have been pulled out of the creek's waters.

Take time to discover the June Lake Loop with its four glistening lakes—June Lake, Gull Lake, Silver Lake, and Grant Lake. All the lakes are stocked with trophy-sized Rainbow trout. Rush Creek is the perfect place to test your fly-fishing skills. Some of the best fly-fishing is along the San Joaquin River in the Reds Meadow area. Hot Creek offers catch-and-release fishing with barbless hooks.

Hot Creek State Fish Hatchery raises about 3 million trout each year for planting in Sierra Nevada lakes and streams, and over 20 million eggs for other fish hatcheries throughout the state. The warm springs of Hot Creek provide ideal temperatures suitable for incubation of trout eggs and continual development of trout to planting size. The Hatchery is located three miles south of Mammoth Junction and it is open daily. No charge.

Incredible Sightseeing

Devil's Postpile National Monument is a work of fire and ice at its best! About 100,000 years ago the columns of basalt were formed, when lava flow slowed and began to cool and crack. Temperatures deep inside the lava bed produced six-sided columnar joints, an ideal configuration within a cooling mass. Columns of four, five or seven sides indicate some degree of temperature shift when the Postpile was formed. A short trail leads to the top of the columns, where the distinct hexagonal pattern of the Postpile is easily visible, polished to a shine by later glacial activity.

Take the easy 1.5-mile walk to Rainbow Falls from the Red's Meadow area and enjoy the beautiful rainbows of color as the San Joaquin River gushes over a steep 101-foot drop.

Three miles south of Mammoth Junction you will find Hot Creek, a natural wonder of live hot springs and fumaroles (gas vents) which heat a cold mountain stream. Visitors need to be careful around the pools and seeps as they contain scalding water, and the temperature in the creek fluctuates greatly. Swimming is not allowed.

Convict Lake is located 10 miles south on U.S. 395. It is the site of the 1871 gun battle between escaped convicts and a sheriff's posse. It offers camping, hiking, boating, fishing, and horseback riding.

Mono Lake is located about 30 miles north and is known for its bird population, scenic value, and delicate tufa formations. Take one of the tours of the shoreline, nature walks, or slide shows that the Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve offers.

Twin Lakes, Lakes Mary, George, Mamie, and Horseshoe are located along Lake Mary Road. These lake beds were scooped out of solid rock by glaciers and are popular for boating, fishing, and photography. Horseshoe Lake is the only lake where swimming is allowed. The other lakes supply domestic drinking water.

Bodie is located 35 miles north and 13 miles east on Hwy. 270. It used to be a gold-mining town in the late 1800's, and is considered one of the wildest mining camps of the Eastern Sierra. Nominal fee charged. No food or water services provided.

Located about one hour away, Yosemite National Parl is open to visitors once the snow is cleared from Tioga Pass in late spring. An additional two hour drive through the spectacular Tuolumne Meadows brings you to the Valley floor and Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls. The Park charges an entrance fee.

One of the last volcanic events in the Mammoth-Mono area, about 550 to 600 years ago, resulted in Inyo Craters, just north off the Mammoth Scenic Loop. In the explosion, the pasty mass stayed well below the surface, heating rock and groundwater to a dangerous degree and causing a large blast. Today, rainwater and melting snow form small lakes at the bottom of two of these huge pits, one is 200-feet deep and the other 100-feet deep. The third crater is on top of Deer Mountain, located 400 yards north of the middle crater.

Lookout Mountain rises to 8,352 feet and is located near the northern edge of the Long Valley Caldera. It provides a 360° panoramic view of Crowley Lake, the White Mountains, Glass Mountain, Mono Craters, Mammoth Mountain, and the crest of the Sierra Nevada.

Located a few miles south of June Lake Loop along Hwy. 395, near Deadman Summit is Obsidian Dome, is a mile-long mound of black glass, reaching up to 300-feet high. You can climb up the mound and see the different composition of the obsidian, which is not a consistent black. The rock can be quite sharp and it is the same material used by the Paiute Indians to sculpt arrowheads, spearheads, and knives.