Summer Photo Ops That Will Make Your Friends Jealous

If you’ve checked out the Mammoth Lakes Instagram feed, you know the area is extremely photogenic. From ghost towns and thousand-year-old forests to serene alpine lakes and legendary artwork, Mammoth Lakes has millions of opportunities to make your friends and family jealous of your summer vacation. 

When sharing your unforgettable photos of this scenic natural playground in the heart of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, use the hashtags #visitmammoth and #nosmalladventure.

For Nature Lovers

When it comes to claims to fame, capturing a photo of yourself with the oldest living trees on the planet is a tough accomplishment to beat. With some tree reaching nearly 4,500 years in age, the shaggy-barked bristlecone pines of the White Mountains are truly ancient, and this region is one of the few places in the world where the trees thrive. With Mount Whitney in the backdrop to the west and several inspiring groves to explore, you can capture a unique and memorable perspective no matter which part of the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest you choose to expore.

Find these rare and photogenic trees just 1.5 hours from Mammoth Lakes along one of North America’s most spectacular stretches of highway.

For Rock and Roll Fans

Mono Lake has mesmerized generations of explorers, sightseers and artists with its majestic beauty and one-of-a-kind environment. Few famous photographs capture this scenery better than in Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here inside album cover, where Mono Lakes’ bleached tufa towers rise from the shimmering water of this huge desert lake. While it looks other-worldly, this location is only 30 minutes from Mammoth Lakes.

For a tribute, go for a swim and try doing a handstand like in the Pink Floyd artwork. The feat is much harder than you might think, as Mono Lakes is three times saltier than the ocean.

For History Buffs

Mammoth Lakes has a rich mining history, and no place better preserves this heritage than the easily accessible ghost town of Pine City, known today as the Mammoth Consolidated Mine. Found in the shadows of a lodgepole pine forest next to a clear mountain stream, this well-preserved museum in the forest — a small collection of ramshackle buildings and rusting mining equipment — is subject sure to draw the attention of your lens.

For a one-of-a-kind shot, hike the short upper trail for chance to capture the Lakes Basin panorama. With the now dormant cast-iron mining compressor in the foreground and alpine lakes and Mammoth Mountain as a backdrop, taking in this incredible view was a daily occurrence for miners working the claim into the 1930s.

For Classic Photographers

Sandwiched between Lake Mamie and Upper Twin Lake, the tumbling cascades above Twin Lakes are only minutes from downtown Mammoth Lakes in the Mammoth Lakes Basin. Bone-white waterfalls, alpine lakes, mountainous backdrops and deep green forests all contrast in a dazzling array of Mother Nature’s finest scenery, especially in the early summer when water levels over the falls are high.

There are several vantage points to marvel at the falls, allowing for a personalized perspective of this classic Mammoth Lakes landmark. Getting here is easy via the paved Lakes Basin Path, the free Lakes Basin Trolley from the Village at Mammoth or a 5 minute drive.

Jason Abplanalp

Jason Abplanalp first discovered the Eastern Sierra lifestyle six years ago and after brief tenures in Colorado and Idaho, Jason returned to the mountain town he truly loves, Mammoth Lakes, CA. As an avid skier, mountain biker, hiker, and fisherman, Jason believes there is no better place for his family to call home. Jason has…

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