This one is for all my nature lovers and hikers out there. Kevin surprised me with a spontaneous road trip to Mammoth Lakes, CA this weekend and it was so fun! It’s been awhile since we’ve gone on a last minute road trip and it reminded me of all the ones we did when we first started dating. (Except now we fart and burp with ease in the car hehe.)
Mammoth is located just south of Yosemite – easy to get to from the south, but for us in the North it’s a bit of a trek. From the Bay, you will either need to go through Yosemite or above and around. If you choose to drive through Yosemite you might want to spend one night in the park since you’ll have to pay the entrance fee ($30). And if you’re cheap like us then you can drive further north and around Yosemite and it will take about 15-20 extra minutes. Be sure to pull over for some amazing views and photo ops!
Where to stay
We were able to stay at the Westin Monache Resort, Mammoth and we found a great deal on HotelTonight! AND as an added bonus when we got there they upgraded us to a 2 bedroom suite! Perks of the hotel include dog-friendly rooms, close to city center and 30 minutes or less away from great hiking trails.
Mammoth Lake Activities
Natural Hot Springs
Mammoth Lakes has a bunch of free natural hot springs to enjoy. We visited the one called Wild Willy’s and its a great first stop to your day. I highly recommend getting there for sunrise as it is beautiful! We made it there around 6AM and the sun was already coming up over the mountains and there were a few groups already happily soaking.
If you choose to do the camping route – we saw a bunch of tents pitched beside the parking lot area of this hot springs. Obviously this will be the closest you can get to lodging near the springs, but the hotel mentioned above is only 12 miles away! Major major key: bring. bug spray. and spray it often. When we got there the bugs weren’t awake yet, but by the time we were heading out the bugs were awake and having breakfast (their breakfast was us). If you go in winter it may not be as bad, and I bet the warm water would feel AMAZING!
Some other hot springs:
- Pulkey’s Pool
Post hot spring soak, grab some breakfast (Tooney’s) in town and grab some snacks for the trail. We hiked the Crystal Lake trail since Leo is so small we wanted to do an easy 3 miler. However, since Mammoth is at a higher elevation (~8,000′) and the trail was so dusty – he ended up getting tired halfway up haha. Although the hike is short, its a pretty steep incline going up so it’s a good workout especially in 90 degree heat. When we saw the lake it was a sight to see and immediately set up our hammock, our best purchase of 2017 for sure. Leo also enjoyed it and we all took a cat nap in the shade.
Also, in the spring summer be careful of bears. Luckily some other hikers gave us a heads up that there was a bear ahead of us on the trail so we were able to avoid it. But it was kind of cool to see something like a wild bear from a safe-ish distance.
Leo’s pack here
Also if you’re looking for more hikes to do in the area check out my friend’s blog here for the trails she did with her doggo friend as well.
Hope you guys enjoyed this blog post as much as I enjoyed this spontaneous trip! Till the next adventure!
Pin this post below!