7 Spots for a Scenic Winter Picnic

Oct 20, 2020

The outdoors not only inspire us to set foot in the wild and take a great adventure, but also to relax and enjoy the view with some good food and company. Fill your picnic basket with good food and hot beverages, bring some warm clothes, a small shovel to clear your picnic table, and something waterproof to sit on. Whether it’s an adventure with friends or a romantic evening with your partner, take your date to one of our top spots for a winter picnic in Mammoth Lakes.

Winter Picnic Spots in Mammoth Lakes

Minaret Vista

It’s a 2.5-mile trek along Minaret Vista Loop to get to the Minaret Vista in the winter, but the lookout point’s picnic area has arguably the best view in the Eastern Sierra. Fill your backpack with all your favorite picnic fixings, and head up the summer road on cross country skis or snowshoes. You’ll work up an appetite and feast at 9,200-feet with unobstructed views of the Minarets and Ritter Range.

For the ultimate winter picnic at Minaret Vista, check out Mammoth Mountain’s guided snowcat tours to Minaret Vista, which offer a ride to the vista in a heated snowcat, complete with wine, hot chocolate and a charcuterie board.

Shady Rest

The covered picnic area at Shady Rest Park in Mammoth Lakes is ideal for picnicking in a snowstorm. An open grassy field is blanketed with snow in the winter and the surrounding pine trees create a real-life snow globe-setting. Build a snowman, have a snowball fight and enjoy your picnic outdoors snow or shine.

Mammoth Creek Park

Just steps from town, Mammoth Creek Park is a nature escape that’s set on the shore of the creek. Both sides of the park have panoramic views of Mammoth Mountain and the Sherwin Range. Pull up and have a tailgate picnic, or grab a creekside picnic table with a view.

Winter Picnic Spots Just Outside of Mammoth Lakes

Sherwin Creek

In the winter, you may have to travel over the snow to get to Sherwin Creek, but the day-use area is one of the best in Mammoth’s backyard. From Old Mammoth Road, drive down Sherwin Creek Road, the road is plowed for a short distance. In winter, you may have to hike the rest o f the way to the picnic area located in an aspen grove along Sherwin Creek across the road from the Sherwin Creek Campground.

Winter Picnic Spots Just Outside of Mammoth Lakes

Convict Lake

The shore of Convict Lake is a favorite spot for sightseeing, and the picnic area makes it a top destination for year-round picnicking. When you arrive at the lake, go left to the end of the road, and follow the short footpath to the picnic area on the shore. Enjoy the views of the Mountain Morrison and Laurel Mountain.

Hot Creek

The geothermal vents at Hot Creek create spectacular steam in the winter. The overlook from the parking area is a fantastic spot to picnic and enjoy the view. Cars can access the road in the winter depending on the level of snow. Be prepared to walk down the paved Hot Creek Trail to the creek to work up your appetite.

June Lake Beach

The sandy beach at June Lake might be the best spot for relaxing on a blanket, picnicking, and enjoying the rugged mountain scenery. Bring a tarp in the winter in case there is snow on the ground, so you can kick back comfortably. Carson Peak towers over the lake offering a stunning backdrop for your picnic.

Monica Prelle

Monica Prelle is an outdoors, wine, and travel writer who would rather be running, climbing, or mountain biking. See more of Monica's posts here, read more of her work at monicaprelle.com and connect on twitter @monicaprelle

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