MAMMOTH LAKES is one of the many ideal destinations for both skiing and camping for most California residents. It offers world-class ski resorts along with stunning, crystal clear blue lakes surrounded by mountains and aspen trees. It's worth the hefty drive from Los Angeles or San Francisco and the drive from either city offers stunning scenery along the way. From Los Angeles, the easiest route is the 4.5 hour drive along the 395 which situated directly next to the picturesque Eastern Sierras.
CAMPING at Mammoth Lakes includes an incredible array of campgrounds all over and, of the many options, Twin Lakes Campground was one of the few campgrounds still open for the autumn season this time around. Twin Lakes is a rather large campground with plenty of first-come-first-serve spots, though, you're also able to reserve ahead on Recreation.gov. During this camping getaway, we lucked out with staying at Campsite #60 right near the shoreline. It was a worthwhile search to get the campsite since waterfront camping is always a remarkable experience at all times of the day.
PRO-TIP: If you're planning to camp outside the summer months, be sure to check the campground to ensure it's actually open before planning your trip. Most are closed by October with a select few (Twin Lakes) still open until the end of October.
When camping any where in BEAR COUNTRY, it's beyond important to be smart with your food. During our trip, the neighboring campsite left all their food out while they relaxed by the fire -- totally harmless if you're not camping in bear country -- and out of the shadows came a full-grown black bear looking for food. After multiple failed attempts of scaring off the bear, the handsome creature eventually took off after it downed the campers' Cheetos and a loaf of bread. Remember, when you see a black bear, keep calm and make lots of noise while trying to make yourself appear as large as possible. Also, keep your food stored in the bear boxes, if provided, and don't leave unattended food out for any type of animals to eat.
Be sure to read up on the best-practices for camping or hiking in bear country. It's important to know the basics so you don't act reckless and get yourself or the bear injured during your adventure.
HIKING TRAILS are in ample supply all over Mammoth and you can't go wrong with choosing one. Mammoth Crest Trail is a healthy option along with Duck Pass Trail and both provide epic vistas to enjoy. They also have various lakes to explore along the trail or at the end of the hike. Be sure to pack your hiking shoes and don't forget the bug spray in the warmer months.
Have you been to Mammoth Lakes? If so, share your tips and/or suggestions below in the comments section.
Till the next adventure.
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Always pack out what you pack in and leave absolutely no trace of your stay when you leave any campsite.
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