Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip to Mammoth Lakes, CA

September 15, 2012 6:00 AM

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When the dry, desert party atmosphere in Las Vegas leaves you longing for a trip into woody nature, a weekend trip to Mammoth Lakes can be just the thing to get your forest fix. Once your road trip into the mountains is over, you can relax by the fire in a luxurious ski lodge, explore the California wilderness or partake in one of the fine dining restaurants at the local ski resorts. The available activities in this area depend heavily upon the season; in the warm season, you can hit a roller rink or bike park, and when the weather turns cold, go ice skating or hit the slopes for an epic ski sesh.

Getting there

Mammoth Lakes is just over a six hour drive from the Las Vegas Strip. To get there, start out going North on the I15. Take the 95N/Veterans Memorial Highway for about 88 miles, then turn left to head South on the 373. Once you enter California, this freeway will turn into the CA-127S. Turn right on the CA-190W, from here, the famed Death Valley is about 55 miles. Continue on the CA-190W approximately 60 miles until you reach the 136W, where you should head straight to take the 136W for about 17 miles, where you will reach the city of Lone Pine. Take a right to get on the 395N/S Main St./Three Flags Highway, which curves to the left at Bishop. Around 40 miles from Bishop, take the CA-203W toward Mammoth Lakes for about four miles to reach the center of this mountain settlement.

Where to stop

Stovepipe Wells Village
California 190
Death Valley, CA 92328
(760) 786-2387

About three hours into the drive on the way to Mammoth Lakes, the Stovepipe Wells Village at Death Valley is an interesting place to stop, rest and grab a bite to eat on the road. Stovepipe Wells offers gourmet dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Toll Road Restaurant and Badwater Saloon. This location also has a general store and gift shop. From this area, you can also take a quick trail hike through the canyons of Death Valley before moving on to Mammoth Mountain.

Related: Getaway Guide to Lake Powell, UT

Where to stay

The Village Lodge
1111 Forest Trail
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

Travelers booking a high-end, extravagant trip seeking some of the most highly-renowned location and amenities Mammoth Mountain has to offer, should consider a stay at The Village Lodge. Each room is a condo featuring free wireless internet, a kitchen and dining area and a fireplace and balcony. The Village Lodge grounds boast five hot tubs, a heated pool and an arcade. This hotel also has a ski rental shop and direct ski trail access to Mammoth Mountain. Room prices generally range from about $190 to $275 per night.

Sierra Lodge
3540 Main St.
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
(760) 934-8881

For a more budget friendly lodging option with full-service amenities, try the Sierra Lodge. This  downtown-located hotel has free wireless internet, a free shuttle to the mountain ski areas, and private bathrooms. This hotel also has on-site laundry services, a hot tub and a place to BBQ. This hotel’s room prices are usually between $125 and $175 per night.

What to do

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area
1 Minaret Road
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
(760) 934-2224

When most people head to Mammoth Mountain, especially in the winter season, they want to go skiing, but the main recreational area near Mammoth Lakes actually has a lot of activities to offer adults and families staying in Mammoth Lakes. In addition to its plethora of ski trails, this recreational area also has swimming pools, bike trails, gondola rides and golfing.

Mammoth Skating Rink
416 Sierra Park Road
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
(760) 934-2505

For families who want to take a break from skiing, Mammoth Mountain also offers the opportunity to go skating. The Mammoth skating rink is the Mammoth Roller Rink in the summer and the Mammoth Ice Skating Rink in the winter. This facility has public skating periods, lessons, and hockey games. The open hours and dates at this facility depend on the season, so you need to check with the Mammoth Lakes recreation department to find out the cost and skate times.

Where to eat
Nevados Restaurant
6024 Minaret Road
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
(760) 934-4466

This slow-food-atmosphere restaurant is well-known among locals for its fresh ahi and sourdough bread. The food here is mainly Italian-style, though it does have some sushi and Chinese-style dishes. An evening at this restaurant will run about $70 per person with appetizers, dinner and drinks.

Related: Best Spots for a Picnic in Las Vegas


Heather Bliss is a writer living in Las Vegas. Before she wrote about the Las Vegas area, she wrote articles about news, politics, movies and music in California. Heather holds a Bachelor of Arts in the Visual and Performing Arts from CSU San Marcos and studied Journalism at Moorpark College, where she received her A.A. degree. Her work can be found at

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