The secluded town of Mammoth Lakes emerges from the shadow of Mammoth Mountain on the edge of the Long Valley Caldera in Sierra Nevada. It's settled on a geologically active basin which is also home to several sparkling blue lakes.
The town of Mammoth Lakes makes for an ideal basecamp and a good jumping-off point for adventures and excursions into the surrounding wilderness.
Begin your day with a look at the stunning sunrise at the ominously-named Convict Lake. Watch the golden rays light up the peaks of the Sherwin Range in the backdrop.
You won't be able to hike far from Mammoth Lakes without eventually stumbling upon another lake. Dip into the inviting blue water for a quick, refreshing splash.
Next on your tour of the Mammoth Basin's lakes should be the gorgeous Twin Lakes, approximately 3 miles from the town.
Each lake has several locally known fishing holes waiting for you. So, you should never venture out of town without your trusty fishing rod!
You'll find yourself drawn to explore just about every lake in the area: Lake Mary, Lake Mamie, Lake George, and others. A good way to go about this, is by renting a canoe and going kayaking at each lake.
In Mammoth Lakes, there's much more than only a bunch of lakes to explore. You can hike the epic Pacific Crest Trail as it cuts through the wild.
For the most dramatic view in all of Sierra Nevada, hike over to the San Joaquin Ridge to get a glimpse of the toweringMinarets of the Ansel Adams Wilderness.
If your idea of a vacation doesn't involve a lot of walking, just opt for a guided horseback tour to the Panorama Dome and the Red Mountain.
If you have an afternoon to spare, don't miss out on the stunning spectacle which is the Rainbow Falls.
Near Rainbow Falls, you'll spot this surreal, naturally-formed structure: Devils Postpile - made of 60 feet long basalt columns.
Book yourself a seat on the Mammoth Mountain Gondola ride. It's the only view that rivals the view from the top of Mammoth Mountain itself.
Back in town, attend the annual Bluesapalooza festival - for a taste of locally brewed beer and good music.
Looking for the next-level biking experience? Come winter, you should try fatbiking on the snowmobile trails that are all around Mammoth Lakes.
A winter trip to Mammoth Lakes would be incomplete without snowboarding or skiing on the white slopes of June Mountain and Mammoth Mountain.
After a cold day of fun in the snow, nature has the perfect way of warming you up: Check out the hot springs at Mammoth Lakes' Hot Creek.