Mammoth Lakes has activities and adventure all year-round. For some people, there is a constant debate of which season is the best. Summer allows for kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing, canoeing, and hiking. Fall is known for array of outdoor recreation in addition to its vibrant color scheme as the leaves change. Winter. It can be brutal, but most love to hit the slopes with amazing ski and snowboard opportunities (Mammoth Mountain is considered to be a semi-active volcano but has been the choice spot for many California skiers). When spring finally comes, the snow melt allows for fishing, and gorgeous treks through Devils Postpile National Monument or the iconic Yosemite National Park. Standing at 7500 feet above sea level, this scenic town offers an assortment of resort events any time of year. Mammoth Lakes, the town, was named from the 100+ lakes nearby. All of the lakes in the area were formed from glacial activity. The basin itself was carved by ice and rocks stuck to the bottom of the glacier scraping and grinding the earth’s surface. Some of the lower lake basin lakes include: Lake Mary, Lake George, and Horseshoe Lake. Duck Lake, Shelton Lakes, and Deer Lakes help make up the upper basin.
Twin Lakes (Elev. 8,540 ft.)
The first in the group of lakes is located three miles from the village. At the far end of the lake, Twin Falls tumbles 300 feet into Upper Twin Lake.
Lake Mary (Elev. 8,920 ft.)
The largest lake in the Basin is nearly a mile long. This is the popular lake for fishing, boating and sailing. At the upper end is Coldwater Creek, where the John Muir Duck Lake Pass trail starts.
Lake Mamie (Elev. 8,898 ft.)
Another very popular site for fishing and boating. Only the fisherman know where the best catch is! There are picnic areas overlooking the spillway to Twin Lakes.
Lake George (Elev. 9,008 ft.)
Short hikes to Crystal and Mammoth Crest or T.J. Lake along trails that lie in bowl-shaped depressions called glacial cirques. Several small streams and lush meadows provide spectacular displays of wildflowers during early summer.
Horseshoe Lake (Elev. 8,950)
This is the only lake where swimming is permitted. Other lakes supply the domestic drinking water. Trail over Mammoth Pass leads to McLeod Lake and Red Cones, or more strenuous hikes lead to Red's Meadow and Devils Postpile National Monument. There is a bizarre phenomenon occurring near Horseshoe Lake. For many decades, the large concentration of dead and dying trees all around Mammoth Mountain volcano has had many scientists concerned. Since the trees were first noticed in 1990, about 170 acres of trees have perished. The soil was surveyed in 1994 for containments. Scientists found extremely high concentrations of carbon dioxide gas. Theories for likely sources of the high gas causes include:-Magma that intruded beneath Mammoth Mountain during an earthquake swarm in 1989-Limestone-rich rocks beneath Mammoth Mountain that were heated by the hot magma. (For more information, see US Geological Survey information about monitoring carbon dioxide gas at Mammoth Mountain.)
The oldest rocks in the Sierra Nevada range were discovered here. This is a beautiful spot tucked against the Sierra Range. This is a nice place for picnicking, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, boating and camping. Convict Lake is located 10 miles south of the Mammoth Junction on US 395, then two miles west. Not in the lakes basin but with a great history is Convict Lake
A man-made lake located 10 miles south of Mammoth Junction. Popular with fishermen and water-skiers, but the water will be cold. First formed in 1940 as part of the Los Angeles Aqueduct system. Fee at entrance.(For more information, see Mammoth Lakes Basin. http://www.cityconcierge.com/mammoth-lakes/activities/lakes-basin.asp)**Written By: Emily Hauck