4 Winter Adventures (Besides Skiing) to Try in Mammoth Lakes
A mere five-hour drive from the palm tree lined streets of Los Angeles is the snowiest place in the United States. That’s right, after a record setting January with six monster storms, Mammoth Lakes has the largest snow pack anywhere in the country. Skiers and snowboarders are flocking to the mountain to shred fresh powder, but even if downhill adventures aren’t your thing, there are still dozens of ways to enjoy the fruits of Mother Nature. Here are our top four winter adventures to try in Mammoth Lakes:
While they may appear deceivingly simple in design, snowshoes are more than just waterproof boots that help you hiking in the snow. Snowshoes help you “float” above the snow and protect your knees and ankles from injuries. That means that snowshoeing can be enjoyed by practically anyone, no matter their age or their fitness level. While you’re in Mammoth Lakes, head out midmorning to Tamarack Lodge, where you can embark on some of your favorite summer hiking trails, like a six-mile snowshoe hike around the Lakes Basin (you can rent your snowshoes while you’re there). Frozen lakes, snow dusted trees and valley views make this one of the most picturesque adventures in the area.
Increasing the adventure level just a bit is cross country skiing or Nordic Skiing. You can hire a private guide from the Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center to take you around the Lakes Basin on trails only open to Nordic Skiing ticket holders. While it’s a little challenging at first, you’ll soon learn to glide through the trees and experience the silence of the winter wonderland.
Adding some speed to the mix, strap on a helmet and rev the engine to tear across the Mammoth Lakes in style. There are dozens of snowmobile tours in this area with various landscapes and backdrops. Looking to save a little dough? Snowmobiling mid-week can be significantly cheaper than on the weekends, which is just another reason to take a vacation day. Not ready to drive yourself? No problem. Rent a double and take in the speed without having to steer.
If you really want to impress your Instagram friends, book a guided ice-climbing excursion. While the adventure is intense, no experience is necessary to tackle the thick ice just east of June Lake. Your guide will show you how to maneuver the pick and where to place your feet so it’s as easy as rock climbing in a gym (but way cooler).