Considering a trip to Mammoth, California? You're in luck! From the best flights to how to save on skiing and where to après, we've left nothing out of this How-To-Go Guide for Mammoth-bound vacationers. Check out these 5 trip planning and travel tips we compiled with a help from our insider friends at Mammoth Lakes Tourism.
1. Getting There
With the Mammoth Lakes Airport a short 10-minute drive from town, once you grab your luggage, you can easily be on the village gondola headed to the slopes within 15 minutes of touching down. The town of Mammoth Lakes also offers free shuttle service timed with each flight’s arrival and departure, so there’s no need to rent a car.
> From Australia: Fly from Sydney to Mammoth Lakes with one connection at LAX via Qantas and Alaska Airlines.
> From Germany: United Airlines flies to Mammoth Lakes from San Francisco (SFO). With Lufthansa as a partner, you can leave Frankfurt and Munich and get to Mammoth Lakes with just one connection.
> From within the U.S.: Daily domestic flights into Mammoth Lakes originate from Los Angeles International (LAX) on Alaska Airlines. Star Alliance member United Airlines also offers seasonal service from San Francisco (SFO) and San Diego (SAN) throughout the winter.
> Flight status updates are available on the Visit Mammoth website, and additional routes will potentially be added for winter 2014–2015.
2. Where to Stay
A comprehensive list of lodging options in Mammoth Lakes, including discounts and specials, is also available via the Visit Mammoth website. No matter what the season, there’s an option in town to suit every visitor, from the most high-end, luxury seekers to the most budget conscious.
For more lodging options, check out the OnTheSnow Mammoth lodging page to see hotels and other accommodations that are top ranked on TripAdvisor by fellow travelers.
3. Lift Ticket & Lesson Deals
Planning ahead is the best way to net savings on lift tickets. You can save up to 20 percent by purchasing tickets directly through MammothMountain.com 14 days in advance.
Lessons from one of Mammoth Mountain’s outstanding team of professional AASI/PSIA certified instructors would create a lifelong skier/rider out of you. The Mammoth Mountain website is also the best way to book a lesson. Whether individual or part of a group, there’s an option for every age and ability level, from half-day lessons to 10-week development courses.
4. Best Après & Eats
Mammoth's cuisine and nightlife scene has no shortage of fresh spots mixed with old standbys to please a spectrum of palates.
> Mammoth Brewing Company opened a new tasting room in April, 2014 in the heart of the Village at Mammoth. A local institution since it first opened, a tasting at Mammoth Brewing is the quintessential après activity.
> The Clocktower Cellar is where the locals do après. Located beneath Petra’s Restaurant (a great dining experience all its own), across the street from the Village at Mammoth.
> Relatively new to the Mammoth Lakes dining scene are Jimmy’s Taverna, offering delicious Greek cuisine, and Mammoth Tavern, the local gastropub.
> Check out the new après scene at the Yodler via the Untz bus.
5. Off-Mountain Must-Do's
Mammoth Lakes is perhaps best known for big mountain skiing and riding, but there’s plenty to do off the slopes in winter.
> The new Mammoth Rock ‘N’ Bowl is a great off-the-slopes option. Featuring quite possibly the best views of any bowling alley in the world, Mammoth Rock ‘N’ Bowl also serves up a virtual golf center and delicious food and drink.
> Don’t miss tubing at Woolly’s Tube Park and Snow Play, where snow activities abound for little ones and adults alike. With six groomed tubing lanes, outdoor heaters, hot cocoa and lifts to whisk you to the top, the whole family will enjoy this modern twist on a classic adventure.
> Tamarack XC Ski Center—19 plus miles of freshly groomed skating, classic and snowshoe trails await cross-country skiers and snowshoers of all abilities at Tamarack in the Lakes Basin. Experience the Sierra in a way few others do: come play in the woods.
> The annual Night of Lights at Mammoth Mountain is a spectacular display of light and merriment on snow.
> Care to see the Eastern Sierra from the air? SkyTime helicopter tours will give you a whole new perspective on the size and grandeur of the mountains that Ansel Adams made famous.
> And don’t forget to check out Mammoth Lakes in the summer as well. Hiking, biking, fishing and camping are just a few of the things to do in the two million acres of Inyo National Forest land that Mammoth Lakes calls its backyard.
For more info when planning a trip to Mammoth Lakes as well as upon arrival, the VisitMammoth app is another great resource. It’s available for download on both iOS and Android and features up-to-date deals, a calendar of events, suggestions for sightseeing, dining, shopping, hiking, and turn-by-turn directions to help you get where you want to go.
One last word to the wise: don't forget to pack powder skis or snowboard and sunscreen. Mammoth Lakes offers one of the longest ski seasons in North America, with an average of 300 days of sunshine.