We have been to some pretty incredible places on our journey in Red together, but so far nothing compares to our time spent in Mammoth Lakes. We arrived in Mammoth late one night in the rain, tired and hungry we popped into a pub to get some food. By the company surrounding us we immediately felt like we were in a ski town and we quickly realized we were going to like it here.
For the first time on our trip we paid for a camping spot at a state park campground. We stayed at Old Shady Rest Campground and really enjoyed it. We stayed at basic site with no hook ups, which was fine since we were used to dry camping, and we were walking distance to town which was perfect. We were suppose to spend 2 nights here but we extended our time to 3 nights because we just fell in love with mammoth, and here’s why:
Our first day in town we spent hanging around our campground setting up and that night we went to town to buy some groceries to cook fireside. On our journey to town we heard music and saw a bunch of people gathered so we decided to check out what was going on. Turns out we had stumbled upon a wine walk and entry price got you a wine glass and different samples from wine vendors from California wine country. We were in. The wine walk was hosted at what is known as The Village, a rather new looking hub for restaurants and shopping, so we got ourselves a glass of wine and explored the quaint shops while enjoying the live music. It didn’t take long till we made some friends and they let us know all the things to do and places to eat. Everyone we met was friendly and welcoming and were eager to make sure we had a good time in Mammoth. We also learned that Mammoth is a popular snow skiing vacation spot for those living in southern California and has only really gotten big within the last 10 years. The shops were cute and we ended up eating out 2 out of the 3 nights we were there because the restaurants were phenomenal. This is the first reason we loved Mammoth, experiencing good food, good wine, and good people while being out in the wild, staying in our camper. We should also add we were blown away by how kid and family friendly everywhere was. This is definitely a spot I can see us continuously coming back to even when we start a family.
The second reason we loved Mammoth was the Inyo National Forest. Not only was the forest beautiful, but most parks and forests are strict about not letting dogs on the trails but at the Inyo National Forest dogs are welcome on all trails and back country camping. On our second day we took the mandatory shuttle to the national monument, Devils Postpile, inside the Inyo National Forest, and Rosie was even allowed to ride the shuttle! Now, she did have to have a muzzle but once we were on the shuttle no one cared if she wore it or not. Devils Postpile, formed by lava and ice, was an incredible site and we had a blast exploring the area around it for the day. Rosie surprised us by taking a plunge into a stream to cool down, which is so unlike her. She usually hates water but I think she is really tuning into her adventurous side. I had read that the Inyo National forest was a hidden gem and its where the Park Rangers at Yosemite went to camp and it did not disappoint. All the beauty but half the crowds.
Mammoth lakes isn’t called Mammoth lakes for nothing. The third reason we loved Mammoth was June Lake. We had met more friends while at Devils Postpile and they recommended we check out June Lake. So, on our last day we went over there for lunch. We expected great views of a lake, what we didn’t expect was there to be a little beach and a bunch of people in the water! We could use a little dip so we ran back to Red and grabbed our suites. We both have a lot of experience with lake life back in Texas but this lake was like nothing we had ever seen before. The lake was crystal clear and our view was of mountains with snow still on the top. The water was the most refreshing thing ever and Rosie, again welcomed, even took a little dip. We ended the day with ice cream and then headed home to Red.
Our time in Mammoth went by quick and neither one of us were to happy about leaving. From the food to the forest we just enjoyed everything about Mammoth Lakes and are already planning on when we can go back.
Old Shady Rest Campground | no hookups | price: $21/night
wildlife spotted: chipmunks, deer, birds