Highway 120 to Tuolumne Meadows and Yosemite National Park generally opens in May for Memorial Day Weekend. The valley is the most beautiful at this time, because the waterfalls are full, flowers are blooming, and the mountains are still covered in snow.
In the summer there is no better way to really experience Mammoth Lakes natural beauty than at an eye-level hiking pace. You may find yourself adjusting your tempo to that of the trail. Stop a moment to watch a cunning little lizard cool itself with millimeter-high push-ups.
Notice the hawks swooping, the grouse scuttling, the way the aroma of sage is released when you lightly brush against it.
John Muir and Ansel Adams wilderness areas - lush alpine meadows and crystal-clear high-country lakes - are an easy day hike. Discover the natural beauty of this area on one of our popular Day Hikes.
Hiking around Mammoth Lakes in the fall is an experience not to be missed. This beautiful, though uncrowded, season brings crisp mountain mornings, warm days and the opportunity to experience the colors that comprise the palette of autumn. Aspen, willow and cottonwood trees light up the slopes during this very special time of year.
Fall is definitely photography season, so be sure to bring a camera and plenty of film. Once you're here, be sure to check out the local shops' extensive selection of guidebooks to Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern Sierra.
The backcountry is beautiful, but also primitive, and you'll be on your own. Inquire about weather forecasts and trail conditions when planning what equipment and clothing to take. In all seasons, always be prepared for severe weather. Wilderness permits are required for overnight camping.
There may be restrictions to bringing your pet along with you on your trip. Also, many people enjoy animal packing in the backcountry areas where it is permitted. Proper planning, with special attention to camp location and confining animals in camp, is needed.
Help ensure that future generations may also experience a pristine wilderness by using the "Minimum Impact - Leave No Trace" techniques.
For more information on backcountry backpacking please call the California Welcome Center - Mammoth Lakes at 760-924-5500 or go to their website at www.fs.usda.gov
The Sierra Nevada is bear country!
The use of bear-resistant food canisters is mandatory in most wilderness areas. Find out how to protect your food from bears and what regulations may apply to your visit. Contact the California Welcome Center - Mammoth Lakes for Trail Maps at 760-924-5500.