Pet-Friendly Activities in Mammoth Lakes

Oct 15, 2020

Want to bring man’s best friend along on your trip? Here are some fun activities to do with your dog in Mammoth Lakes.

Winter Activities for Dogs

Mammoth Lakes’ winter is a distinct California mountain experience: ample sunshine, plenty of snow and plenty of room for you and your dog to play. The days may be shorter and colder, but winter shouldn’t prevent you and your dog from enjoying the outdoors. There are still fun things to do. 

Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing

One of the more popular wintertime options for dog-friendly activities is cross country skiing and snowshoeing. The Inyo National Forest allows dogs on all of their trails; however, they must stay off all groomed trails. If you follow a few simple rules, ensuring your dog is restrained at all times near groomed trails and picking up after them, then skiers and their dogs will be able to enjoy this fun-filled wintertime activity.


For most of us, winter is all about snow. If your dog loves to play with balls, they will love snowballs. Think of it as winter Frisbee. If you are near a hill, dogs love to chase snowballs down the hill and come back with mouths full of melting snow. Snowball fights are a lot of fun for most dogs, too. Don’t pelt your dog with snowballs, but throw them at someone else and let your dog play interception. You can also build snowmen and have your dog fetch sticks and pine cones which are, incidentally, much more fun when they are buried under snow.

Snow is also the perfect place to play Hide and Seek. Hide a biscuit, stick or toy, and then tell your dog to go find it. You can also hide yourself behind a tree and call your dog’s name to come find you. Calling your dog will not give away your hiding place; the tracks you left in the snow will!

You don’t want to create a situation in which your dog cannot find you, though. To make sure your dog has the maximum amount of fun, just watch him or her and see what they like to do. Most dogs are perfectly happy just rolling around in the snow.

Winter Care

In Mammoth Lakes, winters can be bitterly cold, snowy and wet. Pets are not much different from humans when it comes to handling cold weather, especially puppies and older animals. Don’t leave dogs outdoors. Having fur doesn’t mean you don’t get cold. No matter what the temperature, wind chill can threaten a pet’s life. A dog or cat is happiest and healthiest when kept indoors.  

Stay warm and have fun together this winter! 

Summer Activities for Dogs

Mammoth Lakes is bursting with life as summertime warms the Sierra. The days are filled with activities for your dog, all centered in the great outdoors.


Camping with a dog can be a joyous experience for both owner and dog. Dogs are thrilled with all the new smells and sights of a campsite. No matter how well-behaved you think your dog is, it is both impolite and dangerous to other campers NOT to have your dog somehow restrained at all times. 


Almost all dogs love to go on hikes, and the exercise is good for everyone. Start with short hikes to allow you and your dog to acclimate to the altitude and terrain. Dogs are allowed on the shuttle bus (leash and muzzle required) to Reds Meadow and on almost all the Inyo National Forest trails except bighorn sheep habitat areas. 


Take your dog for a swim in the brisk water of Horseshoe Lake. Throw a stick or a ball on the wide sandy beach. Don’t let your dog dig too far below the surface, where the CO2 level could be high. It is not recommended that dogs or other small pets enter the tree-kill area or adjacent roped-off area at all, as they are closer to the ground where CO2 concentrations are more dense.

Summer Care

Summer is a time for both you and your pet to enjoy the sunshine and outdoors, and Mammoth Lakes is a perfect place. Along with fun in the sun, it also offers situations that can endanger your pet. By taking precautions, you can decrease the chance of this happening. Never leave pets in a parked car for any period of time. On a warm day, even with the windows cracked, the temperature in a car can reach 120 degrees in a matter of minutes. Dogs and cats don’t have sweat glands. Take your dog to a daycare facility or hire a pet sitter for the day. If you absolutely have to leave your pet in the car for a short time, always leave at least two windows open in the car (for cross draft) and keep pets in shaded areas to prevent heatstroke.

Always supply plenty of fresh water. Make sure pets have adequate ventilation and cool, comfortable quarters where they can lie and escape the heat.  

Please be considerate and pick up after your dog, properly disposing of waste.

For more pet-friendly areas to explore, visit the Mammoth Lakes Trail System.