More than half a hundred years, Angelinos have flocked for this secluded corner of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. It’s easy to understand why. In spite of the 8,000-foot altitude, mammoth homes for sale sprawl of splashy condos and strip malls features a distinct Los Angeles feel. But the surrounding frozen lakes and granite peaks, immortalized with the photographer Ansel Adams, are decidedly un-L . A ., and can hold their very own with any landscape in Colorado or Canada. Along with expanded daily flights through the San Francisco Bay area and L . A ., not forgetting a flurry of brand new après-ski offerings, Mammoth is hoping to draw skiers from beyond the Golden State.
1) SIBERIAN SPA
Imagine an extensive white expanse of what looks like frozen Siberian tundra, dotted with natural hot springs and encompassed by soaring peaks. Hilltop Hot Spring is loved by locals, however, you can join in, too. There are no formal signs or footpaths – just adhere to the S.U.V.’s beyond the airport a few minutes east of Mammoth Lakes and revel in a steaming soak, cost-free. For further privacy, cross the direction to Wild Willy’s, a far more secluded spring, which needs a 20-minute trek and a pair of snowshoes.
2) From The FIREPLACE
On the opposite side of town is Tamarack Lodge and Resort (163 Twin Lakes Road, off Lake Mary Road; 760-934-2442; tamaracklodge.com). The rustic log cabin, with its bark-wood ceiling fixtures and 1920s-era fireplace, also happens to have impressive wine collection and also the area’s best chef: Frederic Pierrel (cheffrederic.com). The intimate Lakefront R Restaurant serves up a mixture platter of elk medallions, grilled quail and pork marinated in wine on the bed of spicy mashed potatoes ($30). Before being seated, have a mulled wine ($5) or hot cider ($4) through the fire.
3) PANCAKES AND BISCUITS
Before striking the slopes, fill on pancakes and black-and-white memorabilia with the Stove (644 Old Mammoth Road; 760-934-2821), a cozy spot with long wooden booths and old pictures of cattle ranchers on its walls. For more than 4 decades, the Stove has served hearty meals like the Sierra Sunrise (a heap of fried potatoes, peppers, onions and ham topped with eggs and cheese for $9.95). On the road out, pick up a homemade pie ($13.95) – apple, apricot, cherry. Arrive there early as the place fills up fast.
4) BLACK TIE SKIING
Experts from Black Tie Ski Rentals (760-934-7009; blacktieskis.com) should come to your condo and fit you for skis or snowboards. Heck, in case the boots don’t feel snug by midday, Colin Fernie and his awesome team will meet you on the slopes and exchange your gear, or switch your snowboard for a set of skis. Pretty good for under $40 (no less than for beginner skiers).
Continue reading the key story
Keep reading the key story
5) FRESH TRACKS
With 3,500 acres of trails, Mammoth has more variable terrain than most mountains (mammothmountain.com). There are three lodges: Eagle, Canyon and Main. Skiers in search of soft powder and fresh-groomed runs begin Eagle and adhere to the sun over to Main or perhaps the backside from the mountain (in order to avoid lift lines, reverse the order). Or take the gondola from Main to the summit, 11,053 feet above sea level, where you can find a relaxing spot for hot chocolate. Marvel on the daredevils who ski off Hangman’s Hollow. Or brave the steep and icy chutes of Dave’s Run or Scotty’s. A safer alternative is Santiago, off the summit’s less crowded backside, which provides scattered glades and also gorgeous views of your Minarets, a majestic number of jagged granite peaks.
6) SOUTH OF THE BORDER
Lunch on Mammoth typically involves Mexican fare. In the event you can’t find the new Roving Mammoth, a bright orange snowcat that doubles as being a food cart, serving up burritos ($5.50) – you may also track the snowcat’s whereabouts on Twitter – you will find pulled-pork nachos ($11.42) in the Mill Cafe (760-934-0675), a festive après-ski spot on the base of Chair 2 (in true California fashion, its entrance is scattered with beach chairs). Or, for overflowing plates of nachos and fish tacos, visit the Yodler (10001 Minaret Road; 760-934-2571), a Swiss-style chalet off the Main Lodge. Gomez’s (100 Canyon Boulevard; 760-924-2693; gomezs.com), a Mexican place with 200 tequilas and fittingly mammoth margaritas, relocated into a spot in the midst of the village this past year.
7) ART PARK
Take Chair 10 up to ski down a couple of wide-open runs like Easy Rider or Solitude that stay powdery each day. Or try Quicksilver, a nicely-groomed trail with gently sloped glades and variable terrain. Snowboarders should go to the new terrain Art Park, which made its debut in December and showcases funky artworks affixed to the rails and steel structures. Mammoth also recently opened the Stomping Grounds, a terrain park packed with jumps, jibs along with an Acrobag – which resembles a huge blue moon bounce – to practice flips. Nonsnowboarders should consider the newly carved Village Ski Back Trail, a scenic path that meanders past pine trees and also the backyards of condos, linking the mountain with the village.
Keep reading the main story
Every Saturday, get travel tips, destination coverage, photos from around the world and a lot more.
You accept to receive occasional updates and deals for The The Big Apple Times’s products and services.
8) GROWLERS AND PASTRIES
Thankfully, après-ski at Mammoth does not involve bad cover bands. If something, it revolves around its eponymous microbrew. Insiders make their way to a warehouse converted a couple of years directly into a beer-tasting room for the Mammoth Brewing Company (94 Berner Street; 760-934-7141; mammothbrewingco.com). Still in ski gear, they down free samples before completing their growlers with IPA 395 ($13), a local favorite, or grabbing kegs and cases to go. Another favorite spot among Mammoth’s growing international crowd is Shea Schat’s Bakery (3305 Main Street; 760-934-6055), which feels, and smells, like the on the inside of a gingerbread house. The shop serves up steaming hot cocoa and stocks rows of pastries – cinnamon nut bread, ginger cakes and bread pudding.
9) MIDMOUNTAIN DINING
This winter Mammoth remodeled its swanky restaurant Parallax (800-626-6684; mammothmountain.com), which can take up almost half from the cafeteria at McCoy Station, a midmountain gondola station up from your Main Lodge. Its modern décor and Asian-themed trimmings, including white bark walls, would not look out of place in downtown Manhattan, save, perhaps, to the tacky TV Yule log fireplace. Yet at 9,600 feet, it can be reachable by only snowcat, which picks people up in the Mammoth Mountain Inn (10001 Minaret Road; 760-934-2581; mammothmountain.com). Hop aboard a heated snowcat that is like a spaceship while you gaze up with the mammothllakes through its glass roof. Then feast on dishes which range from a rack of the latest Zealand lamb to grilled chicken with risotto (foods are prix fixe at $89, including snowcat ride). For optimal views, arrive as night falls.
10) ROCKIES MEETS HOLLYWOOD
Never mind the gondola D.J. booth and vintage lanterns above the bar. Hyde Lounge (6201 Minaret Road; 760-934-0669; sbe.com/hydemammoth) lives as much as its Sunset Boulevard forefather. There are actually bottle-service-only booths (from $200), lasers everywhere and Mammoth’s version of your strict door policy (“No snowboard gear”). The competition sipping pricey cocktails is a mixture of slovenly clad snowboarders and dressed-to-impress partygoers, all crammed within its fire-engine red walls. Warm up with a burning mango ($12), a jalapeño and vodka concoction, and settle set for an evening of people watching.
11) OLYMPIC WORKOUT
In recent times, Mammoth Lakes has changed into a year-round hub for Olympic and pro athletes attracted to the high altitudes and easygoing ethos. A fantastic byproduct may be the state-of-the-art facilities at the Snowcreek Athletic Club, which resembles a giant barn just outside town. The club recently opened the Double Eagle Spa (51 Club Drive; 760-934-8511; snowcreekathleticclub.com), with earthy massage rooms, Vichy showers along with a yoga studio. You may even bump in the New York City Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi hitting the gym within the weight room.
12) MOUNTAIN MAN
To appreciate the Sierra Nevada range’s jaw-dropping beauty, drop by Vern Clevenger’s gallery (220 Sierra Manor Road; 760-934-5100; vernclevenger.com) around town. His color photos (prints start at $149) of nearby canyons, lakes and mountain vistas are ubiquitous out and about, as they are the man himself. Vern’s scruffy yellow jacket and unruly hair happen to be a familiar presence at Mammoth considering that the early ’70s. He is an advanced-day version of Ansel Adams, who a lot more than anyone put this corner of California about the map.