Within easy striking distance of Mammoth Lakes, you can visit bubbling hot springs, stroll along the teeming shores of Mono Lake and swagger up the dusty streets of the Old West’s most authentic and best-preserved ghost town, or pause at the crest of Tioga Pass and gaze at the spectacular granite domeland of Yosemite’s Tuolomne Meadows. A drive along Hwy 395 – north or south – will lead you to some truly unique locations nestled in the Sierra.

Bodie State Historic Park ghost town with abandoned car and buildings
Bodie was once a bustling Wild West town with banks, a Chinatown, a red-light district, a school, churches, and many saloons. Producing $100 million in gold, it thrived until much of it burned in 1932 and was later abandoned. Named a National Historic Landmark in 1961 and a State Park in 1962, Bodie is preserved in "arrested decay" – artifacts are dusty, but buildings are maintained. Note: Camping and collecting are prohibited.

DIRECTIONS: Hwy 395 north (44 miles) to Hwy 270, then 13 miles to the park.
June Lake
June Lake Loop
June Lake is a tranquil fishing village with stunning glacier-carved scenery. Along the Loop, you'll find three natural lakes: June, Gull, and Silver. June Lake's eastern shore boasts a great beach for swimming and lounging. North of Silver Lake, Rush Creek flows into Grant Lake, a reservoir managed by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The Loop reconnects with Hwy 395 at the Mono Craters.

DIRECTIONS: Hwy 395, 14.6 miles north and turn left onto the June Lake Loop (Hwy 158).
Mono Lake reflection and tufa formations with pink clouds
Mono Lake & Lee Vining
Mono Lake, among North America's oldest lakes, holds remnants of a vast ancient sea. Praised by early explorers and named for its people, the "people of the flies," it's teeming with life like alkali flies. Though extremely salty and alkaline, it's far from lifeless. In Lee Vining, enjoy treats at Mono Cone or savor fish tacos and mango margaritas at Whoa Nellie Deli. Don't miss this unique stop near Yosemite!

DIRECTIONS: Hwy 395 30 miles north.
Driving on Tioga Pass in Summer.
Yosemite National Park, just an hour from Mammoth Lakes, is a must-visit for adventurers. Relax by the stunning Tenaya Lake, watch climbers scale granite domes, or tackle the grand hike to Clouds Rest for breathtaking views of Half Dome and Yosemite Valley. Don't miss a leisurely stroll through Tuolumne Meadows, surrounded by Yosemite's High Country peaks and domes. Yosemite Valley, accessible via Olmstead Point and Crane Flat, is about a 2-hour drive each way from the east entrance gate. Make sure to stop at Tioga Pass Resort for their famous homemade pie and classic American comfort food, a tradition since 1914.

DIRECTIONS: Hwy 395 north to Hwy 120 west (25miles), then 12 miles to the park entrance.

Two Ideas for an Awesome Day

Scenic Day

7:30 AMBreakfastGrab coffee and a bite at Old New York Deli Co. in The Village.
8:00 AMBoating on Twin LakesHead towards the picturesque Lakes Basin for a 2-hour leisurely float or some fishing with a kayak or paddleboard rental – available lakeside at Tamarack Bike & Paddle.
10:30 AMMammoth Scenic LoopHead towards Mono Lake via the Scenic Loop for a winding forested drive out to Hwy 395.
11:00 AMMono Basin Visitor CenterLearn about the lake's mysterious tufa towers, as well as the geology, ecology, and human history of the picturesque Mono Basin. Insider tip: check out the South Tufa Trail to experience the strange towers up close.
1:00 PMLunch with a ViewStop at the Whoa Nellie Deli inside the world famous Tioga Gas Mart for Mono Lake vistas and the most gourmet food found at any gas station.
2:30 PMTuolumne MeadowsHead up Tioga Road (Hwy 120) into Yosemite to explore the dome studded sub-alpine meadow and Tuolumne River. Reservations may be required, and fill quickly when in effect. Check the National Park Service website (nps.gov) for current information.
4:30 PMTenaya LakeContinue a few miles up Tioga Road to dip your toes in the crystal waters, hang out on the beach and watch the climbers on the rocks above.
5:00 PMOlmstead PointA few more mils up Tioga Road, catch a glimpse of Half Dome, Clouds Rest and other prominent Yosemite peaks.
6:00 PMJune Lake LoopReturn to Mammoth with a detour on Hwy 158, passing through the quaint fishing village and Grant, Silver, Gull and June Lakes.
6:30 PMDinnerGrab a table on the patio at Vulcania in The Village for authentic Italian cooking with a modern flare complimented by a carefully curated wine and cocktail list.

Adventure Day

7:30 AMBreakfastFuel up for a full day of fun at The Stove on Old Mammoth Road–Mammoth's legendary breakfast joint.
9:00 AMMountain CenterGrab your tickets and bike rentals in The Village, then take the Bike Park Shuttle up to the mountain.
10:00 AMBike ParkHit the beginner trails for a 2-hour family ride through the Discovery Zone. Return your gear at the Adventure Center.
12:00 PMScenic Gondola RideTake in the Sierra sights on a ride up to the summit at 11,053 feet. Kids 12 and under ride free.
12:30 PMLookout LunchPull up a chair at the Eleven53 Café and enjoy lunch with 360º views.
1:00 PMExplore Mammoth Experience
Start at the Eleven53 Interpretive Center, then visit the on-mountain learning stations via the Panorama Gondola.
3:30 PMDevils Postpile National MonumentBoard the shuttle (fee required) at the Adventure Center to Reds Meadow for a short hike to witness the unique natural wonder from its base.
5:30 PMAdventure CenterAfter returning from Reds Meadow area, catch the Bike Park Shuttle back down to The Village.
6:00 PMDinnerCheck out the newest joint in town, The Patty Shack, for one of some smash burgers, crispy fries, and mouthwatering milkshakes.