Mammoth Mountain – Half Day Itineraries

Take a gondola ride to the top of Mammoth Mountain to an elevation of 11,053 feet! There you will have spectacular panoramic views of over 400 miles of the Sierra Nevada Range. Explore the Eleven53 Interpretive Center with interactive displays on the area’s geology, hydrology and volcanic history. Grab a bite at the Top of the Sierra Café before you ride or hike the trails on Mammoth Mountain. The gondola ride is only a 15-minute ride from the Adventure Center at the base of the mountain. Dogs on a leash are welcome. Free maps are available at the Adventure Center. Fee required. For more information, contact Mammoth Mountain at 800-626-6684.

Minaret Vista: Approximately 2 miles up from the Mammoth Mountain Adventure Center is Minaret Vista, with breathtaking views of the Ansel Adams and John Muir Wilderness Areas. The jutting spires of the Minarets with Mount Ritter (13,157 feet) and Banner Peak (12,945 feet), the two tallest peaks in the range are clearly visible. Minaret Vista is a popular spot for stargazing, and during the summer months there are “Star Parties.” Restrooms and picnic areas are available. 

Earthquake Fault: The sizeable fissure is not an earthquake fault caused by a single quake, but was actually formed during a series of strong quakes. A more appropriate name for this fracture would be “Earthquake Fissure.” The fissure is up to 10 feet wide and 60 feet deep and cuts through volcanic rock, part of a glassy rhyolite lava flow from Mammoth Mountain that was formed by tectonic stresses in the earth’s crust. The age of the fissure is unknown, but some of the trees growing in it are 150 years old, indicating that the crack is at least that old. A short walking trail surrounds this natural phenomenon. Majestic red fir and Jeffrey pine trees make this a nice spot for a picnic. Restrooms are available. Closed in winter. Located off Minaret Road about halfway between the Town of Mammoth Lakes and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.