A Guide to Getting Around Mammoth Lakes

Jul 14, 2021

One of the great characteristics of Mammoth Lakes is the community’s commitment to “feet-first” mobility, or the ability to get around town on foot, by bicycle, or by utilizing our comprehensive, free public transportation services instead of having to drive a car.  

Planning

Download the Official Mammoth Lakes Visitor Guide below and start preparing for your Mammoth-sized adventure. When you arrive in town, definitely stop by the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center, a designated California Welcome Center, at 2510 Main St. (open 8am-5pm daily, phone 760.924.5500) to pick up a copy of the town map, the latest transit schedules and other current information.

Multi-Use Paths

Biking is a great way to get around Mammoth Lakes and our growing trails system makes it easy to get where you need to go. Pedestrians are also welcome and encouraged to use the paths, just be alert for cyclists needing to pass. The Town Loop Trail spans 7.3 miles of multi-use path, bridges, and a few on-street sections throughout town. The 5.3-mile, paved Lakes Basin bike path begins near the Village, heads uphill into the Lakes Basin, and terminates at Horseshoe Lake. The path is also served by the Lakes Basin trolley.

Shuttles, Trolleys, and NextBus

Riding our transit system is a unique experience in itself! Kids really like the distinctive red and green trolleys serving the Lakes Basin, Red Line, and Night Trolley routes. The drivers are generally friendly and good resources for area information. Don’t be alarmed if they aren’t sure of exact stop numbers, they do know where they are going and tend to refer to the stops by their local landmarks instead. Many locals use the services regularly and can also give directions and recommendations to visitors. Dogs are welcome to ride, but must be leashed and muzzled or carried in a cage. The Lakes Basin Trolleys are equipped with large bike trailers, while other lines have bike racks on the front, and drivers may request that very small children’s bikes be brought onboard instead.

Several local transit routes are now served by the NextBus GPS-enabled service. You can access NextBus online, download the app to your smartphone, or send a text to 41411. Just write ‘nbus esta’ followed by your stop number, and you’ll receive a reply showing how many minutes until the next bus arrives indicating the route and direction traveling. Currently the service is available for the Red and Purple lines, the Night Trolley, and the Red’s Meadow shuttle.

Sample Itinerary from the Village Area

  • Start the day with a trolley ride up to the Lakes Basin and bike ride down. See Best Bets: Fantastic Family Biking in the Mammoth Lakes Basin
  • Take the Red Line trolley to Old Mammoth Road (Stops 11, 10, or 9) and have lunch at one of the restaurants along Old Mammoth Restaurant Row. Walk or take the trolley south to Mammoth Creek Park (Stop 64). Return to the Village via the Red Line trolley.
  • Optional addition: Take Town Loop path or the Gray Line to Trails End Park and Volcom Brothers Skate Park (Stop 61). Continue on the Town Loop path to the Welcome Center (Stop 29) and ride the Purple Line back up to the Village. Paid Service Routes

In addition to the free services to get you around town, there are a few fee-based shuttles to take you farther afield. The mandatory Reds Meadow Shuttle departs from the Main Lodge at Mammoth Mountain and provides transportation to the Red Meadow Valley and Devils Postpile National Monument area. The shuttle is tentatively scheduled to operate May 23-25, 2015 with daily service commencing June 13, 2015 (weather and road conditions dependent).

The YARTS regional transit to Yosemite National Park operates weekends throughout June and September, with daily service in July and August. This service travels from Mammoth Lakes to Yosemite Valley, with stops along the June Lake Loop, in Lee Vining, and at Tuolomne Meadows. Midweek transit is also available to the Whitmore Recreation Area. For a nominal fee, you can ride from town to the Whitmore track, sports fields, and pool from June 22-August 21, 2015.

All services are subject to change depending on the weather, season, traffic, and other factors.

I hope you enjoy some feet-first family fun in Mammoth Lakes this summer!

Betsy Temple-Truax

Betsy loves living and playing in Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern Sierra with her active family and friends. A passionate advocate for community recreation, Betsy never turns down an opportunity to swim, ski, paddle, travel or let someone else cook.

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