Making memories can be one of the most extraordinary things a person can do. It usually does not involve material items; no hand held gifts, or any fancy cars or clothing. It can however, bring unbelievable happiness and be extremely humbling. This describes my first time visit to Mammoth. Amazing and more! Here is my recap of a weekend in Mammoth Lakes, California.

Mammoth, with its neighbor being Yosemite National Park, is not only a place for such incredible outdoor activity and stunning natural beauty. It’s also a place where one might enjoy grazing across the lake in a fishing boat with your father and brother. Or indulging yourself in the fresh air as you and your sister reach the summit of a mountain trail. And even taking in those remarkable landscape and mountain views with your sweetheart.

Twin Lakes. Making Memories in Mammoth Lakes.
Twin Lakes | Make Memories In Mammoth!

The amazing beauty in Mammoth is what I remember only hearing about from friends. They told me how much fun there was to be had at Mammoth and where it is located.

The Wander Club.
The Wander Club

I’ve only heard about the incredible amount of activity that one can do there; such as hiking, biking, kayaking, skiing, boating, and immersing yourself with total nature! And of course, people were always bragging to me about how beautiful, quiet, and serene it is in those mountains.

The Mountains are calling!
The mountains are calling… John Muir Sign at Make Memories In Mammoth

Hence, the mountains are calling..(-John Muir) and then we go. A friend of ours had already planned her weekend road trip to Mammoth and she asked if we wanted to join her; and we said of course, we are all in! So we packed our bags and prepped the car and planned to maximize our weekend filled with incredible hikes, mountain vistas, and relaxing kayaking.

Mammoth Mountain itinerary.

Mammoth Lakes,California.

Seven Lakes Point Loop

  1. Seven Lakes Point Loop: Hiking Trail and Views
    A. Elevation: 2372 Feet gain, starting at Twin Lakes Campground, it will take you by the bottomless pit and Lava Tube. (This hike is considered risky and dangerous due to the soft and loose gravel).
    B. Spectacular views of at least 5 or so lakes.

A Weekend in Mammoth Lakes, California!
Hiking in Mammoth Lakes, California.

Lava Tube

2. Lava Tube: Making memories exploring, hiking and learning

A Weekend in Mammoth Lakes, California!
A Weekend in Mammoth Lakes, California!

Lava Tube is a conduit where lava once flowed, cooled and created a cave-like hole in the rock above Lower Twin Lake. This geologic formation is commonly referred to as “Hole in the Wall.”

A Weekend in Mammoth Lakes, California!
A Weekend in Mammoth Lakes, California!

Down In The Lower Valley Areas: Reds Meadow Valley
You will need to have access to the lower areas into the valley of Mammoth Mountain via shuttle down to these following areas. The shuttle route begins at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area’s Adventure Center and makes several stops throughout the valley and begins operating when the Reds Meadow Road opens in the summer, and continues through Labor Day weekend. The price per person is $8 / ticket per day. The Reds Meadow/Devils Postpile Shuttle has provided transit service into the Reds Meadow Valley and to the Devils Postpile National Monument for over 30 years! The parking area fills up quick.

Parking lot at the ski lift area in Mammoth Lakes,

The parking area leading to the ski lift adventure store at Mammoth.

Devils Postpile

3. Devils Postpile (Rainbow Falls hiking Trail) National Monument:
Devils Postpile National Monument is a National Monument located near Mammoth Mountain. The monument protects Devils Postpile, an unusual rock formation of columnar basalt. You will pass by Devils Postpile on your hiking path down to the Falls.

A Weekend in Mammoth Lakes, California!
A Weekend in Mammoth Lakes, California! Devils Postpile
Devils Postpile National Monument

Rainbow Falls

4. Rainbow Falls:

These falls are located in the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River.

A Weekend in Mammoth Lakes, California! Rainbow Falls.
Rainbow Falls | Make Memories In Mammoth

Additionally, as you continue your hike you may notice the Pacific Crest Trail merging into the trail while passing through this monument. And you will also notice the National Monument lies within the borders of the Ansel Adams Wilderness.

There is also the ‘Lower Falls’ that many folks do not venture further down below. This is a beautiful area where waterfalls are splashing into the stream of which some people enjoy a cool dip in the water or some are a little more adventurous and they jump off some of the lower rock formations. This area is a nice place to relax, enjoy a snack before the hike back up the trail to the top to catch the shuttle to return from out of the valley.

Lower Falls, Mammoth Lakes, California.
Lower Falls | Make Memories In Mammoth

Minaret Falls Trail

5. Minaret Falls Trail: Hiking Trail to Waterfalls. Minaret Vista

This is a moderate trail located near Lake Mary, California with scenic views. This hike is enjoyable and great for walking and nature trips and bird watching.

Steller's Jay. Mammoth Lakes, California.
FITLIFEANDTRAVEL.COM * Steller’s Jay birds in Mammoth
Waterfalls in Mammoth Lakes, California.
Waterfalls in Mammoth Lakes, California

The falls are very nice and can be a challenge climbing upward to be close to them.
Minaret Falls

The Minarets, Mammoth Lakes, California.
The Minarets, Mammoth Lakes, California.

Kayaking Convict Lake

East of Mammoth Lakes area.
6. Kayaking Convict Lake

Kayaking in Convict Lake. Mammoth Lakes, California.
Convict Lake

Kayaking on Convict lake is incredible as you can enjoy the calm and peaceful aspects of quiet and serene lake surroundings, as well as the outstanding views of Laurel Mountain that hugs the lake. This place has an interesting history attached to it as well. Back in the late 1800’s several prisoners escaped from a Nevada prison and fled towards an area now known as Convict creek.

Hot Creek Geological Site

7. Hot Creek Geological Site:

Hot Creek Geological site. Mammoth Lakes, California.
Hot Creek Geological site, Mammoth Lakes, California

Pretty but dangerous, this Hot Creek Geological site is an active hot bed of nature in action. Boiling water is bubbling up from the creek bed. Amazing to look at & ponder, but I keep a distance. Located at the bottom of a large volcanic basin, this is an interesting place to see and visit, but you must keep at a distance because the hot creek is dangerously hot and can contain arsenic and other natural substances that can be toxic.

The Village at Mammoth

8. The Village at Mammoth:

Enjoy a day of fun, shopping, music, and other events at The Village at Mammoth. Here you will find many events and fun! The weekend over the Labor Day, we attended the Rock N Rye event; of which we enjoyed a few live bands, vendors, morning yoga, and many other activities throughout the weekend! This area is the quaint downtown part of Mammoth and is the home of many highly visited restaurants. We had dinner at two restaurants located in this area (the tourist area), but we later learned that the really tasty dishes were found in food eateries located on the other side of town away from the tourist area.

The Village at Mammoth.
The Village at Mammoth

In Summary

In summary, if you think a collection of ‘things’ will give you the same reward of experiences of quality time with family or friends in a special place, think again. Memories can not be fabricated, bought, fall apart, or manufactured. I know I will always cherish this weekend with my wonderful husband, and our special friend; Sam who was so gracious in asking us to piggyback on her weekend trip that she planned out and arranged the kayaking reservation and other fun activities!


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  1. What a beautiful place! I thought I would want to do some of the activities you listed but I want to do all of them! I will have to get more tips from you when I can visit Mammoth!

    1. It is definitely a place of beauty! We enjoyed Mammoth so much! Had a blast! One of the days, we hiked about 9 miles between all the hiking trails, and paths leading to waterfalls. It was so awesome, weather was perfect, and the kayaking on Convict Lake was the icing on the cake. Hope you can go experience one day, on your trip to #CaliforniaDreaming! ha ha! lol!

  2. I can’t believe how gorgeous everything is! I’d love to see everything that you did, but I doubt I’m going to be hiking nine miles in one day, lol. You give me a goal to strive for. Beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing your memories!

    1. Aww, you can do it!! We were so excited that day, and wanted to see all the waterfalls, but you don’t have to hike that long, there are several hikes that are shorter and easy.. like a stroll in the park. LOL! Thank you for the compliment!!

  3. […] 7. Mammoth Lakes: With its neighbor being Yosemite National Park, Mammoth Lakes is an all-around place for incredible outdoor activity and stunning natural beauty. When you are not bundled up on the gondola to tackle the snow-capped mountains in the winter, it’s a place where one might enjoy grazing across the lake in a fishing boat with your father. Perhaps one indulging in the fresh air as you and your sister reach the summit of a mountain trail. You might even stumble upon an amazing waterfall and see rainbows. Read More: […]

  4. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful place. I especially like the sound of rainbow falls and lower falls. The Hot Creek Geological site reminds me of the geothermal activity we saw in New Zealand.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! Those Falls are spectacular! Oh yes, the geothermal area is similar to yours in NZ, except this one is toxic. But it sure is pretty! Thanks for reading Wendy!

  5. Wow! I’ve never visited mammoth during the summer months. It looks gorgeous! The geological formations are so interesting. What a great post. I’ll have to visit soon!

    1. Oh Lannie, yes, this place is amazing in the summer! All the activities you can do, kayaking, biking, hiking, exploring and more! You’d love it!

  6. […] Read More about Mammoth Lakes […]

  7. […] hiking trails, and hot springs around Mammoth Lakes; we made a change for this final day of our weekend road trip. Kayaking Convict Lake near Mammoth Lakes is no doubt one of the highlights of our weekend road […]

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