Four Must-See Destinations Near Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes is a true bucket-list destination.

The Inyo National Forest encircles Mammoth Lakes, and two national parks, a national monument, and state parks are close by. Outside of these major sightseeing adventures, there’s also plenty of space to get off the beaten path and explore.

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is full of spectacular sights, and since it is only 45 minutes from Mammoth Lakes, it is a popular attraction. Tuolumne Meadows, Half Dome, Bridalveil Falls, El Capitan, and the Giant Sequoias are all within reach during this day or multiple day ventures.

The entrance to Yosemite melts out in early summer and the road tends to stay clear through October. (Be sure to check the road conditions prior to traveling.) The park is impacted by people in July and August. September gets quieter, and October is quieter still. If you plan to travel during July and August, we recommend taking a guided tour or taking public transportation to avoid the stress of driving and finding parking.

Photo Credit: Josh Wray

Guided Tour

Deciding where to start and how to get the most of our experience can be daunting. We recommend booking a private tour with Mammoth All Weather Shuttle (MAWS). They plan the trip, pay the entrance fee, and do all the driving while you and your friends and family relax and take in the sights. They also offer tours of Mammoth Lakes and points north!

Public Transportation

Yosemite Area Regional Transit (YARTS) offers day trips to Yosemite National Park during July and August and on the weekends outside of these months. You can jump on and off the bus and talk the free Yosemite transportation as well. YARTS offers discounts for seniors and vets and kids under 5 ride for free!

To get to the YARTS bus stop, you may drive 1.3 miles to Mammoth Mountain’s Eagle Lodge parking lot to park and ride.

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest (open in summer and fall) is worth the 80-mile drive to see. This forest is home to the bristlecone pines, the oldest trees in the entire world. Some are over 4,000 years old! They are known for their twisting shapes and beautiful wood color.

When you get there, stop at the visitor center at Schulman Grove. Pick one of the self-guided trails that works for your experience level. Patriarch Grove is 12 miles to the north on an accessible dirt road and has the largest bristlecone pine, known as the Patriarch Tree. Make sure you get an early start if you plan on seeing this attraction!

bristlecone forest

Bodie State Historic Park

60 miles north of Mammoth Lakes is Bodie State Historic Park (open in summer and fall). Bodie was once a bustling gold-mining town, home to 10,000 people. An impressive amount of buildings and infrastructure remain with interiors still stocked with goods!

Photo Credit: Josh Wray

Mono Lake

Saline Mono Lake (visible year-round) spans more than 70 square miles and is home to trillions of alkali flies and brine shrimp (but has no fish). The focal point of the lake is the limestone tufa towers that rise up along the shoreline. Every year, migrating birds – which come by the millions – can be seen all around the lake!

Photo Credit: Josh Wray

Guided Tours To Bodie & Mono

Mammoth All Weather Shuttle (MAWS) offers a gorgeous guided tour of the Bodie, Mono Lake, & the June Lake Loop. Again, this locally owned guide company will plan the trip, pay the entrance fees, and do all the driving while you and your friends and family relax and take in the sights. They also offer tours to Yosemite National Park and Mammoth Lakes!

Plan Your Trip

Our condos provide the perfect space to relax and unwind after long days of exploration.

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