We spent a nice extra long weekend up in the Sierras before preschool started again and wow, I have missed it up there. Summer is such a perfect time to visit with small children. We’ll be putting Dash on skis for the first time this winter and that will be a whole different sort of adventure, but it was so nice to explore Mammoth without snow too.
There are big time perks to potty training with boys. The world is your toilet! Also big time perks to having an older brother show you the ropes. Mama is not sad to be (mostly) done with diapers.
As you can see we played in this creek quite a bit.
Puzzles with grandma and grandpa, watching woodpeckers from the deck.
Our first big hike as a family. Okay, maybe big isn’t the right word. But certainly our first real hike. Dash was such a trooper and Forrest was pretty happy snoozing in the backpack on our way past Devil’s Postpile and down to Rainbow Falls.
Lunch just tastes better outside after a long morning on the trail.
Mammoth is such a sweet town. It’s high up in the Eastern Sierras so the landscape is spectacular, especially if you’re able to take longer day hikes. But even if you stick close to town there’s beautiful scenery and exploring to be had. It just *smells* great in the mountains, you know? I’m trying to figure out how we can spend a month up here next summer.
This is a wildly incomplete list, but here are a few of our favorite spots.
Stay: Rent a house or condo, of course! Before my parents bought their house, we stayed at Snowcreek in the summers. It’s right on the meadow and includes access to community pools and a nice athletic club, with tennis, golf, and classes. There’s lots of camping options too, and a lodge and cabins near the lakes if that’s your thing.
Ride: Bikes! Rentals are available, including trailers, throughout town. We rented from Footloose because we’ve been renting stuff from them for forever. Also ride the town Trolley everywhere. It’s free and cute. The guys and I rode the entire loop just for fun a bunch of times. Boys and buses. You can’t go wrong.
Hike: Take the shuttle from the Main Lodge down to Red’s Meadow where you can access trails to all sorts of hiking and picnicking spots. Devil’s Postpile is neat and there are a few lakes to visit too. We hiked from Devil’s Postpile Campground to the bottom of Rainbow Falls and then took the shuttle back from the Red’s Meadow store. There are also a bunch of gorgeous, long day hikes from the valley up into the higher elevations. Minaret Lake and Thousand Island Lake in particular. Though these would be for those not dragging the children along.
Fish and Boat: Above town at the Twin Lakes. We rode bikes up the pass one afternoon which was awesome, but you can also take the trolley if that’s more your speed. Or take the trolley up and ride down. There’s lots of camping and cabin options up there too. And access to more beautiful day hikes as well: Mammoth Crest Trail and Duck Pass are favorites.
Eat: We mostly eat at home when we’re up here, but we had a delicious dinner at Campo in the Village and loved their patio with a Bocce court. Parents drink and eat, children throw things in a contained environment. Win! The Stove for the biggest, most popular breakfast in town. Mammoth Brewing Company pours delicious pints every day of the week. And there’s a sweet little natural foods market in town too. (There are loads of other options too, including some lovely higher end restaurants. But do we go there these days? Nope.)
Play: The meadow at SnowCreek. Mammoth Creek Park. The Adventure Center at the Main Lodge. The Mountain Bike park. Our cul-de-sac for high altitude scooting. Also golf and fly fishing and there are loads of summer “festivals” up there throughout the season. Plus the Village usually has games out for kids and hosts free movie nights too. And don’t forget the hot springs outside of town.
I suppose I could go on forever, but this is a good start, I think. We haven’t been up in the Summer for years and it was so awesome to see how fun and busy the town has become during the warmer months.