A Winter Guide to Visiting Mammoth Lakes, California

Mammoth Lakes is an outdoor adventure wonderland. We love to visit throughout the year, but winter might be our favorite time to travel to Mammoth because of the family-friendly winter sports. We’ve included a list of must-see and must-do activities to consider for your next trip.

To get more inspiration before your visit, check out Visit Mammoth on Instagram.

Playing in the snow outside our cabin at Tamarack Lodge


We love to camp, but during the winter there’s nothing like cozying up next to your own fireplace. Our favorite place to stay is the Tamarack Lodge because each of their cabins has a gas fireplace. We love that these cabins are perched on the shores of Twin Lakes. The cabins have direct access to groomed cross country ski and snowshoe trails, plus kids can play in the snow right outside your door. Tamarack includes a great breakfast with your stay!

Staying cozy fireside at Tamarack Lodge

Mammoth Mountain

Mammoth Mountain offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world, but also offers great options for beginners. Our daughter took her first snowboarding lesson at Canyon Lodge, and absolutely loved it! We also took a ride up on the panoramic gondola to the top of the mountain to see epic views of the High Sierra. This was our 3 year-old’s favorite experience of the entire trip. She was in complete awe!

Mammoth Mountain offers lots of kid-friendly runs

Cross Country Skiing

The Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center, right on property at the Tamarack Lodge, is a must-do! Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a pro to try it out. There are a variety of trails that range from beginner to expert, all of the trails travel through secluded, gorgeous mountain scenery around the Mammoth Lakes Basin. They even have skis for children. Our 3 year-old always loves to get her own pair of skis to cruise the trails. If kids aren’t quite ready to try cross country skiing, they also offer pulk rentals to pull kids right behind you on the trails (looks like a bike trailer but with skids for snow).

Tamarck Ski Center offers great trails for beginners


Mammoth offers a variety of options to snowshoe. There are trails that start at the Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center with the option to head up to Lake Mary. Our favorite snowshoe trail in the Mammoth area is Minaret Vista, which starts from the main lodge at Mammoth Mountain. It’s a 2.5 mile round trip trek on a groomed road through a peaceful forest. The hike is family-friendly. The views from the vista are some of the best in all of the Sierra.

Minaret Vista

Getting here

We love the drive up to Mammoth from San Diego. Driving up 395 along the Eastern Sierra is one of the most scenic drives we’ve ever taken. If you prefer to fly, Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH) offers flight service from Carlsbad, Burbank, or Hawthorne. Or if you are traveling in from outside California, the Eastern Sierra Region Airport/Bishop (BIH) offers commercial flights.

We hope you enjoy Mammoth as much as we did!

Our trip to Mammoth Lakes was sponsored by Visit Mammoth. All opinions remain our own.

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