Located in Mono County, California, Mammoth Lakes enjoys a secluded location in an Eastern Valley of Sierra Nevada, while staying in the center of everything. It is only five hours drive from Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco and only two hours from Lake Tahoe.
We drove five and a half hours from Newport Beach (about 40 minutes from Los Angeles) along the 341 km CA-203 beyond the Sequoia National Forest, Death Valley National Park and the forest. Inyo National Council. Imagine the sensational landscape along this route.
We paused in the quiet, dusty town of Lone Pine (140 km from Mammoth Lakes) to visit the Museum of Western History – the history of filming in the area from the beginning of Round Up to to modern Blockbusters like Iron. Man.
Mammoth Lakes is best known for its ski resort, but when the snow melts finally, you get a bustling village, covered with woods, which is just not picturesque. It is surrounded by lush forest and borders Ansel Adams and the wilderness areas of John Muir. You can see the hills and peaks of the minaret on the sky line and, on the near horizon, the dizzying Mount Mammoth (11,053 feet), which invites you to explore. The mountain is actually a volcano and you can even see how the steam escapes from its summit from certain points of view.
There are only 8,000 people in Mammoth Lakes and they do not seem impressed by its 2,500 meter elevation and leaner air. They spend their time in marathons, bike rides (bicycles can be rented), kayaking, hiking, climbing or other climbing when they are not working. In the evening, there are outdoor film screenings in the village, live music and weekends, a summer market festival.
I’m not sure that the term bunk potion exists and that he is alone in participating in so many summer activities.
The best way to start exploring is to take a ride on the Panorama Gondala at Mammoth Mountain. A steep climb of 3,368m to the summit of Mammoth Mountain is an exciting experience, offering a joyful 360-degree view of snow-covered Sierra Nevada. Even in June, there is still a lot of snow, safe enough to build one or two snowmen.
From there, some mount the Knights Range, which culminates at 4003 meters of altitude, in the desert of Ansel Adams. It’s a Grade 2 climb, which means it’s mostly vertical. I chose to read about the geology and history of the region at the Eleven53 Interpretation Center.
Devil Postpile and Rainbow Falls
The Mammoth Center is a 20-minute shuttle service to the Devils Postpile National Monument. There are several stops in lush landscapes of 324 acres. We were told that we could spot a black bear. We did not do it.
But we got lost in the middle of the firs and pines of Jeffrey (we stopped scratching the boats to release his famous scent of butterscotch) and the sound of the voices of birds that came back only when we saw tiny chipmunks and pines.
It’s hard to believe that Devil’s Postpile was created by fire and ice. It is a basalt column formed almost 100,000 years ago by lava flows that cool and divide, forming vertical and symmetrical columns 18 meters high that form an almost perfect hexagon. The columns were made shiny and smooth by glacier ice.
Further along, Rainbow Falls, a waterfall in the middle of the San Joaquin River Fork, takes a breathtaking 31-foot (31-foot) jump. This is the highest waterfall in the region. In good weather, a beautiful rainbow is suspended in the mist caused by the waterfall.
Rainbow is falling
An information board indicates that the platy rhyodacite rocks in the surrounding cliffs were formed by lava eruptions around 75,000 years ago. These are eroded by the precipitation of water and repel the waterfall. When I arrived, he was already shrugged. So, do not say where it will be when you are there.
Bodie – a ghost town of the Gold Rush
Rightly, the wind should be dropped and a cold wind blown through the ghost town of Bodie. The former gold mining town is 8400 meters high and is 65 km north of Mammoth Lakes.
The gold diggers arrived in 1858, which led to the Bodie boom from 1878 to 1882. The population reaches 10,000, making it one of the five largest cities in California. He even had his own China Town, a bowling alley and two churches.
You may think that’s good, but the main street was home to some incredible bars and gambling dens, which made it a rather lawless place. With a 90% male population, anyone could shoot someone in the background to cheat cards or flirt with a “working girl” they thought of and get away with. Basically, you had to be great to live here. And those who would survive would participate in the gold mining of nearly $ 34 million.
There are 200 more buildings (originally 2,000, but most are burned), including a bank and a prison, and they still have their property. The citizens left everything and left. Furniture, kitchens have cutlery and schools have homework for children. Even dealer stores have products on the shelves. There is a frightfully scary snapshot in life here.
Some say there are real ghosts patrolling the dirty streets and hiding in their century-old buildings. The best known is Rosa May, an angry worker. Guides are available to guide you through the city after sunset and even meet you.
Mysterious Mono Lake
South Tufa Grove is just off Highway 120 East and this road leads to the southern end of Mono Lake. This bizarre desert lake has a stealthy and quiet existence in which nothing moves, but alkaline flies float around the lake. No fish can certainly survive.
Turquoise water, two and a half times saltier and 80 times more alkaline than the ocean, has no way out. It can escape only by evaporation. But this vast expanse of water has existed for over a million years.
White rocks – composed of calcium carbonate and limestone, known to geologists as tuf (too-fah) – often emerge from water – some large and strangling, others larger but still unusual in shape. The Osprey live here and I watched the clear water and saw tiny white shrimps on underwater rocks.
We entered Yosemite from the eastern side of picturesque Tioga Park. It covers an incredible 1,200 square miles and 95% is considered wild. The other five percent are easy to cross thanks to modern roads.
The highest peak in the park is Mount Lyell, which rises to 13,114 feet and the lowest point to 2252 feet. This means that in one park you’ll experience breathtaking elevation differences of 11,000 feet and see old redwoods, especially in Mariposa Grove, the deepest valleys, waterfalls and vast meadows.
Environmentalist John Muir arrived here in 1869 as a shepherd. He mapped the park and was the first to discover that a large part of the park was made up of glaciers. We saw polished granite that looked as polished and polished as the countertop of my kitchen.
A sad note is that the area was once full of California grizzly bears. The last was killed in 1925 and the only way to see one is on the California flag.
Where to eat in Mammoth Village
Toomeys: This is a great place to have breakfast. Pancakes, eggs on request with potatoes and sourdough and excellent coffee.
Restaurant Skadi: The first impression is not always true, as evidenced by the intimate and refined restaurant Skadi. It seems almost hidden behind an industrial-looking building, but once in the scene is a Swiss-style cottage decor with only ten tables, a small stool counter and a Norwegian menu. Chef Ian Algeroen describes his menu as California Sierra Alpine Food with a Scandinavian touch. For example, a smog table made of Gravalax, smoked trout and horseradish, confit pork belly and roasted and spiced fillets.
Smokeyard: A fun and casual gaffe where hamburgers and patties are served. These are huge portions and I wondered if anyone had really finished. The waiters always offer a dog bag.
Old New York Deli: For a snack or a picnic (we bought here for our picnic at Rainbow Falls), this place is awesome. Bagels galore with a vast selection of toppings, even egg whites and spinach.