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Trip to MAMMOTH in August -- Travel Tips Appreciated!

Pittsburgh, PA
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Trip to MAMMOTH in August -- Travel Tips Appreciated!

My college-aged son is staying in Mammoth this summer to run in the mountains (and to hopefully find a job). We will be visiting him in August -- flying into Reno, driving to Mammoth, and driving to L.A. We have 5 nights to spend in the Mammoth area and would like to use it as a home base. We've been to Yosemite and Sequoia but could always return. Suggestions on any aspect of this trip are much appreciated -- Sites to see b/w reno and mammoth; Overnites b/w mammoth and l.a.; Places to see, eat, or stay at; Son's summer job, etc. Thanks!

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1. Re: Trip to MAMMOTH in August -- Travel Tips Appreciated!

Mammoth will be a wonderful place to spend the summer, I highly recommend a meal at The Lakefront restaurant at The Tamarack Lodge, I have a review of our time there this past March when we stayed at The Westin for a couple of nights. The restaurant Whitebark there is also very good. If you like to shop there is a small outlet mall there, the have a Coach store!

Enjoy your time in Mammoth and Happy Mother's Day! :)

Santa Monica...
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2. Re: Trip to MAMMOTH in August -- Travel Tips Appreciated!

Reno to Mammoth is about 3 hours, there's nohwere to stop in between - except maybe the Mobil Mart (gas station) for fish tacos, which are legendary. Yes, there's a very good restaurant at the gas station. It's north of Mammoth about 30 minutes.

Yosemite is about 3 hours north of Mammoth, but for August is already sold out.

Mammoth to LA is about 5 hours and there's absolutely nowhere to overnight in between. You could do an overnight in Death Valley, but in August it will be 120 degrees + so it will be unbearable.

I recommend stopping at Manzanar just outside Lone Pine to see it. You could drive up to the portal of Mt Whitney. But these are things to do along the way to LA.

Mammoth as a home base? That's an odd way to put it. There's no base for it to be, other than for itself. There are plenty of things to do in the immediate area (hike, fish, rock climb), but nowhere to go for it to be a "base".

Places to stay in Mammoth? What's your budget per night? For eating, there are a few good restaurants but I don't know what will be open in August.

Newbury Park...
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3. Re: Trip to MAMMOTH in August -- Travel Tips Appreciated!

Day trips from Mammoth:

Bodie Ghost Town

Mono Lakes

Driving South towards LA - side trip to the Ancient Bristlecone Forest - Earth's oldest living inhabitant "Methuselah" at 4,767 years, has lived more than a millennium longer than any other tree.

Newbury Park...
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4. Re: Trip to MAMMOTH in August -- Travel Tips Appreciated!

In Mammoth - the hike to Devil's Postpile is easy and interesting. Also Rainbow Falls - more strenuous hike (all uphill returning - but worth it. You can also take the gondola up to the top and hike or just enjoy the views. Just south of Mammoth is Convict Lakes - they have cabins and camping - but also a very nice restaurant.

Santa Monica...
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5. Re: Trip to MAMMOTH in August -- Travel Tips Appreciated!

For what to do in Mammoth and surrounding area, with maps:

www.visitmammoth.com/summer-activities/

also:

forums.mammothmountain.com/viewforum.php…

Santa Monica...
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6. Re: Trip to MAMMOTH in August -- Travel Tips Appreciated!

And itineraries, with amount of time needed to allot:

www.visitmammoth.com/static/index.cfm…

Windsor, California
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7. Re: Trip to MAMMOTH in August -- Travel Tips Appreciated!

"Yosemite is about 3 hours north of Mammoth, but for August is already sold out."

Yosemite at Tioga Pass is about a 35-40 minute drive.

"For eating, there are a few good restaurants but I don't know what will be open in August."

???? Every restaurant is open in August.

Santa Clarita...
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8. Re: Trip to MAMMOTH in August -- Travel Tips Appreciated!

The "itineraries" website is excellent which yogachick mentioned. Lake Tahoe and Virginia City are possibilities, but they would require more time in miles and minutes than you are considering between Reno and Mammoth. You will have plenty to do, and if not - check out the Visitor's Center as you enter Mammoth.

Santa Monica...
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9. Re: Trip to MAMMOTH in August -- Travel Tips Appreciated!

Not every restaurant will still be in business in August, is what I meant when I said I didn't know what would be open. As you know, restaurants are closing one by one.

The heart of Yosemite is not the same as the entrance to the park.

Mission Viejo...
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10. Re: Trip to MAMMOTH in August -- Travel Tips Appreciated!

OP- The "Mobil diner" mentioned is Whoa Nellie Deli at the junction of Hwy 120 and 395 in Lee Vining. The other tips are good too (Bodie, Mono Lake to see the tufa formations, Manazanar, Devil's Postpile).

FYI, Mammoth has outstanding mountain biking. You can rent bikes, take the gondola to the top of Mammoth Mtn, and there are miles of trails back down ranging from "bunny" to double black diamond. There is not too much uphill on most trails. If that's not your thing, take the gondola to the top anyway on a clear day, there's a small visitor center with interpretive signs and videos at the top along with a cafe.

I don't know your budget but there are many rental condos around Mammoth and most are with the same central reservation system, making selection and booking easy. They have kitchen and laundry facilities in each unit; there is a Von's grocery store in town.

Here's a fun interactive guide to Hwy 395:

http://www.395.com/

Leaving for LA, Fossil Falls is a short distance off the highway, you can google it. On weekends I recommend using Hwy 14 instead of 395 into LA. There are sometimes massive bottlenecks on 395 at Kramer Junction and traffic can be slow from Johannesburg south to I-15. Hwy 14 becomes freeway south of Mohave (lots of civilian aerospace stuff and some exhibits if you're into planes).