Mountain Range: Eastern Sierra
Average Snowfall: More than 400 inches (33 feet)
Flight Time from Heathrow: 11.5hrs to LA + 1hr to Mammoth Yosemite Airport
It may not enjoy the reputation of Vail, Colorado, or Jackson Hole, Wyoming, but Mammoth Lakes certainly has celebrity pull. Former skateboarding legend Tony Hawk has a house here, while the Kardashians, George Clooney and Will Ferrell are all regular visitors. No surprise perhaps, given that the ski resort is just a one-hour flight, or five-hour drive, from LA (choose to take Highway 395 and you’ll behold the pink and yellow hues of the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range and pass through a section of Death Valley National Park).
During winter, Mammoth Mountain, at the centre of the resort, receives an average 33ft of snow. Happily, the resort also boasts over 300 days of sunshine a year – making for plenty of bluebird skiing and some excellent al fresco après ski.
The resort offers some of the best runs in the US – 150 of them to be precise. More than 3,500 acres of skiable terrain is accessible via 28 chairlifts and three gondolas. Away from the slopes, there is a vast wilderness to explore, covering expansive valleys, crystal clear mountain lakes and natural hot springs.
A 45-minute drive from Mammoth, Mono Lake is one of the oldest lakes in the western hemisphere. The lake is hauntingly beautiful, surrounded by snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains and inhabited by bald and golden eagles.
Mammoth Lakes is situated on the edge of an ancient volcanic caldera. Some 760,000 years ago, a volcano exploded leaving behind a network of natural hot springs. With more than 100 hot springs in the Owen’s Valley Basin, many of these hot springs are easily accessible, and pose the ideal activity for non-skiers wishing to explore the region. Don’t miss Wild Willy’s - one of the easiest and most rewarding springs.
Learn about the area's history at the Eleven53 Interpretive Centre. Located at the top of the mountain - at 11,053ft - the restaurant and gallery offers some of the most striking 360-degree views in North America.
Where to Stay
The Village Lodge
Established in 2005, The Village Lodge is a 3 Diamonds AAA rated hotel located in the heart of Mammoth Lakes village, offering guests the luxury of a ski-in and ski-out experience. Located just steps away from the charm of Mammoth Mountain village, enjoy access to some of the best shopping, dining and entertainment in town. Rooms are quaint and comfortable and most come with a kitchenette and an open fire – a delight after a hard day’s skiing.
From £150 per night, thevillagelodgemammoth.com
Where to Eat
Home to the Mammoth Margarita – a homemade, traditional take on the Mexican classic – a trip to Mammoth Lakes is not complete without dining at Gomez’s. Operating for more than two decades, this Mexican eatery is home to one of the largest destination Tequilerias in the world, boasting a collection of more than 600 Tequilas and Mezcals. Sip on a margarita and enjoy some of Gomez’s legendary soft shellfish tacos.
Petra’s Bistro & Wine Bar
Head chef Radisson Williams utilises local ranchers and farmers of the area to uphold a commitment to only using naturally raised and sustainable meats and seafoods. What results is a menu that highlights some of the freshest and finest food in the Eastern Sierra.