Other Things to Do During the Winter in Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern Sierra
While most of you will be coming up to spend all your free daylight hours on Mammoth Mountain, there are plenty of other things to do in the area during the snowy months. I know many people who want to come up but are not interested in skiing and snowboarding. Here are a few ideas of what else there is to do.
Scenic Gondola Rides: Riding to the top of Mammoth Mountain is a fantastic experience. The views are breathtaking as you ride up and beyond compare once your standing at the top.
At the top station, you will have a 360-degree view of the Eastern Sierra and the Sierra Nevada. You will also get a chance to get a picture of the famous Mammoth Mountain Sign at 11,000 feet.
There is also an interpretative center with more information about the Eastern Sierra, Mammoth Mountain, and the mountain peaks you can see from the 11,000-foot level.
Click here to learn more and view a video preview of the ride up to the top of Mammoth Moutain.
Snowmobiling is a blast in the Mammoth area. However, the fun is dictated by how much snow we have. During years of average and above snowfall, the amount of riding you will find is fantastic. If you’re new to the sport, you will want to take a 2-hour trip with Mammoth Snow Mobile Adventures, located out of the Main Lodge area.
When there is ample snow, you can access miles and miles of riding on groomed service roads.
Click here to learn more and view a video preview of a snowmobile ride with Mammoth Snowmobile Adventures.
Cross-Country Skiing: There are some incredible options for Cross-Country skiing here in Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern High Sierra. Your choices and where to go will be determined by the weather, snow, and the month of winter you come to Mammoth Lakes.
The best cross-country skiing will always be in the Mammoth Lakes Basin at the Tamarack Cross-Country Ski Center. As we get into winter, the snow levels and colder air move into the lower elevations. That will give you many options for Cross-Country skiing beside the Tamarack Resort in the Mammoth Lakes Basin.
Click here to learn more and view a video preview of the Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center.
Sledding: The Snowman loves Sledding, and snow play with the Family in Mammoth Lakes. On storm days when the hill is mainly shut down, Sledding can keep you and your kids occupied for hours. Our Family has come to love the sport of Sledding so much that we design and build our own courses in the yard.
Personally, I think almost nothing beats a couple of hours of sledding out on the hills around your yard, the town, or in the hills of the Eastern Sierra with the Family. Grab the kids, helmets, and a variety of sleds, and get ready for some major fun. Click here to learn more.
Ice Skating: There are several options for ice skating in the Eastern Sierra. The Town of Mammoth Lakes has a new Ice Rink at the end of the Old Mammoth Road commercial section at the Mammoth Creek Park. The ice rink is a multi-use facility, so they have activities to offer year-round for your Family or individuals.
During drier winters, there are many open bodies of water that are also skateable in the backcountry and at lower locations in the Eastern Sierra. A Google search will help you discover some of these hidden gems you can skate.
Hiking / Walking: Depending on the snow levels, you will find some fun hiking/walking options during the winter months. First, during the drier snow seasons, the Mammoth Lakes town trail system is an excellent option for a walk. The paved trails that start by the Blue Park off of Old Mammoth Road are the best places to venture as they’re the most likely paths to be free of snow and ice.
The second option is the Lower Rock Creek Trail, about 10 miles south of Mammoth Lakes, just past Toms places if you’re heading south of 395. This trail does hold ice and snow, so be prepared even if the terrain around is snow-free.
Winter Mountain Biking: For the hearty soul who knows how to layer up for cold biking, there are a ton of trails to ride during the winter months, depending on what elevation the snow line is at.
Near Mammoth, when the snow line is above 7500 feet, you can ride tons of forest service roads. You will find many unmapped single-track trails off these service roads to explore.
Rock Creek Canyon is amazing for downhill action using two cars so that you can shuttle back up from the bottom. During the winter you can ride back up the trail or use the road if you’re not able to shuttle, watch for ice on the road as it’s in the shade most of the winter months.
The Bishop area also has many trails you can ride during winter, and the temperatures are more favorable than in the high country. Check out my new Mountain Bike website, which has more information on where to ride; here is the link.
Winter Fishing: The Owens River and the Hot Creek area are open during winter. Yes, it’s cold, and your hands will freeze, so be prepared. Fishing the Owens River out of Bishop is my call for winter fishing. Here are a couple of links to read and learn where to fish in the Wintertime. Link 1 is to a Western Outdoor News post, and link 2 takes you to the Visit Bishop Winter Fishing Page.
Rock Creek Canyon Snow Park: 3 miles up from Toms Place, there is parking for access to snow play up in Rock Creek Canyon. Here is the USFS Information Page for the snow park.
Laws Rail Road Museum: I recommend everyone visiting the Eastern Sierra to experience this unique museum setting. You’ll find 11 acres of indoor and outdoor exhibits, including the original depot and steam locomotive, the Slim Princess. Experience what life was like over 100 years ago in the Owens Valley. Link: https://lawsmuseum.org/welcome-museum
Bishop City Park: Over the years, we have spent many hours at Bishop City Park enjoying the warmer climate and being out of the snow. This is a great place to have lunch and let the kids out to play without all the snow in Mammoth Lakes. You will see many Mammoth locals down here during the winter months trying to get a taste of winter below the snowline.
Mill Pond Park & Disc Golf: A great place to hang out just at the bottom of the Sherwin Grade. There is an entire 18-hole disc golf course to keep you busy for hours. Have you got Kids? The park has a playground for energy output.
Ski Ya Later Snowman