Discover sightseeing in the Mammoth Lakes area. Yosemite National Park, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake, Devils Postpile National Monument, Hot Creek and Rainbow Falls are unsurpassed in their scenic, historic and geologic wonder.
Devils Postpile National Monument:
The formation of Devils Postpile began when basalt lava erupted in the valley of the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River. As lava flowed from the vent, it filled the valley near the Postpile to a depth of 400 feet. Recent radiometric dating of rocks thought to correlate with basalt of Devils Postpile suggest an age of less than 100,000 years.Approximately 10,000 years ago, glaciers flowed down the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River. This moving ice easily overrode the fractured mass of lava and quarried away one side of the Postpile, exposing a sheer wall of columns 60 feet high.
Many fallen columns now lie fragmented on the talus slope below. A hike to the top of the Postpile reveals not only a cross section of the posts, but the most interesting effect of the ice - polished tops on the basalt columns. Here, the column ends are exposed like a tiled floor and exhibit parallel striations where the glacier dragged rocks across them.
Two miles downstream from Devils Postpile, the San Joaquin River tumbles over an abrupt 101-foot drop, sending rainbows of color into the mist. After the easy, 1.5 mile walk to Rainbow Falls from the Red's Meadow area, the roar of the falls and the refreshing mists invite you to stay awhile and enjoy a picnic lunch. Be sure to bring your camera-midday, when the sun is highest, is the best time capture rainbows in the mist.
The Devils Postpile and Rainbow Falls / or Reds Meadow is located 10 miles past Mammoth Mountain Ski Area's Main Lodge, on Hwy. 203. A mandatory shuttle bus is required during the busy summer months and is available at the Mammoth Mountain Main Lodge area.
This inland sea is known for its bird population, scenic value and delicate tufa formations. The lake is located off U.S. 395, 30 miles north of Mammoth Lakes. The Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve offers interpretive tours of the shoreline, nature walks, slide shows and other activities.
Bodie State Historical Park:
A gold-mining town of the late 1800's. Bodie's silent streets and vacant structures offer guests a glimpse into the past of one of the wildest mining camps of the Eastern Sierra. Bodie is located 35 miles north of Mammoth Lakes and 13 miles east on Hwy. 270. A nominal fee is charged to enter the park. Bring water and a picnic lunch to bodie, as no food services are provided.
Yosemite National Park/Tioga Pass:
The entrance to Yosemite National Park is approximately one hour from Mammoth Lakes. The spectacular sights of the Park are available to eastside visitors when snow is cleared from Tioga Pass in late spring. (East of Tioga Pass is typically closed due to snow from mid-November through May.) An additional two-hour drive through the dramatic Tuolumne Meadows high country of Yosemite brings you to the Valley floor and such spectacles as Half Dome, El Capitan and Yosemite Falls. With an early start, both Tuolumne and the Valley floor can be seen in one day. The Park has an entrance fee. YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System) offers an affordable way to visit the Park without having to drive your own vehicle.
Mammoth Lakes Basin:
Twin Lakes, Lakes Mary, George, Mamie and Horseshoe are located along Lake Mary Road with elevations starting at 8,540 ft. to 9,008 ft. These lake beds were scooped out of solid rock by glaciers and are popular for fishing, boating and photography, Picnic areas are available at several locations.
The site of the 1871 gun battle between escaped convicts and a sheriff's posse. Here rugged mountain scenery with sheer cliffs of highly colored and folded rock meet a natural lake formed behind debris left by receding glaciers. The oldest rocks in the Sierra Nevada range were discovered here. Great area for picnicking, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, boating and camping. Convict Lake is located 10 miles south of the Mammoth Junction on US 395, then two miles west.
A man-made lake located 10 miles south of Mammoth Junction. Popular with fishermen and water-skiers. First formed in 1940 as part of the Los Angeles Aqueduct system. Crowley Lake Fish Camp charges a fee at the entrance.
Three miles south of Mammoth Junction on US 395 and three miles east of the airport (the last 1.5 miles is unpaved). Hot Creek is a phenomenon of live hot springs and fumaroles (gas vents) which heat a cold mountain stream.
Parking lot and restrooms are available. Open sunrise to sunset; no charge. Hot Creek is Closed to Swimming, due to varying temperatures of the water.
View information from the USGS
Hot Creek Fish Hatchery:
Three miles south of Mammoth Junction and one mile east of US 395 is a California State Fish Hatchery. The warm springs of Hot Creek provide ideal temperatures for incubation of trout eggs and continual development of trout to planting size. Visiting hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. No charge. For more information, call 760-934-2664.
Sightseeing Tours with Mammoth All Weather Shuttle
June Lake/ Mono Lake Visitor Center / Bodie Ghost Town - 5 1?2 hour tour
Guided Tour Leaves at 8:30 a.m. where we visit the June Lake loop, stopping for pictures, then head over to Mono Lake visitor center. Next, we will go back in time and explore the remains of Bodie, a real ghost town. We will have you back to your lodging by 2:00 p.m.
Half Day - 5 1?2 hours tour
Guided Tour leaves at 8:30 a.m. and stops first at the Tuolumne visitor center and meadow. The next stop is Tenaya Lake, then an incredible view of Half Dome. We head back to Mammoth and be back by your lodging at 2:00p.m.
Full Day - 9 hour tour
Guided Tour leaves at 8:30 a.m. and stops first at Tuolumne Meadows. The next stop is Tenaya Lake, then an incredible view of Half Dome. Next the Yosemite Valley Loop with scenic views of waterfalls and granite monoliths. At 2:30 p.m. we departure back to Mammoth, stopping at Tuolumne for a snack, and delivering you back to your lodging by 5:30 p.m.
Mammoth Lakes - 4 1?2 hours tour
Guided tour leaves at 8:30a.m, starting from your condo or hotel, we will take a tour of the lakes basin showing you all lakes , and then you head over to the famous Inyo Creators and lastly Hot Creek, a geological wonder . We will have you back at your lodging by 1:00 p.m.
For more information on Mammoth All Weather Shuttle Tours call 760-709-2927 or go to www.mawshuttle.com