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Mammoth Lakes in June

North West England...
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Mammoth Lakes in June

In June we will be coming from Death Vally.

We have 1 night before going on to Yosemite.

We're staying at Mammoth Mountain Inn.

So what are the places we must see?

At the moment I am thinking we stop at Lone Pine and Big Pine en-route. Will we naturally be able to see Mount Whitney.

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest (is this in/at Big Pine)?

Are these places (big pine and lone pine) huge in their own right?

In my ignorance I am just thinking about pulling off the highway, having a quick look at some stunning views, few photos, move on.

I dont mean to offend by saying that.

Please tell me the error of my ways (ignorance).

Please also advise if there are other places I should stop at on the way.

Whilst in Mammoth Lakes (and I guess we'll only have an afternoon and evening);

The main places to see seem to be the mountain, Mono Lake, Devils Postpile, Obsidian Dome and Hot Creek..

Will get chance to see all of these?

If time is short, I am half thinking we could go to Mono Lake en-route to Yosemite?

I want to see as much as possible... but also make the most of our time.

So all advice is welcomed.

Thanks.

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1. Re: Mammoth Lakes in June

Yes, as long as the weather is clear, you will have a view of Mount Whitney from Lone Pine. If you want to get closer to it, you can drive up Whitney Portal Road to Whitney Portal. There you will feel like you are close enough to pick up a rock and throw it at the summit, but of course you are still pretty far away and 6,000 feet or so below the summit. But it looks close. You will be able to see it clearly from Lone Pine if the weather is clear. Morning is best to see it; at sunset it is just a silhouette. At the least, drive west out of Lone Pine 5 minutes to the picturesque Alabama Hills, just west of Lone Pine. Many movies have used the rocky formations as a backdrop; in fact there is a museum about those movies in Lone Pine.

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is located in the White Mountains east of Big Pine. You take Highway 168 east from Big Pine. It should be open by June unless snow is too heavy or there is a storm. These are the oldest trees in the world that reproduce by seed. I think it costs $3 per person up to a maximum of $6 per car. Directions and more info is at http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/!ut/p/c4/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gDfxMDT8MwRydLA1cj72BTJw8jAwjQL8h2VAQAzHJMsQ!!/?ss=110504&ttype=recarea&recid=20272&actid=50&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&position=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&navid=110160000000000&pnavid=110000000000000&cid=FSE_003714&pname=Inyo+National+Forest+-+Ancient+Bristlecone+Pine+Forest+Visitor+Center

Devil's Postpile National Monument is west of Mammoth Lakes and probably will be open in June, but there will likely still be a lot of snow on the ground so hiking may be limited. Read the directions and requirements on the monument's web site (you will probably be required to take a shuttle bus part of the way). There is a nice waterfall called Rainbow Falls, at 100 feet tall is is nowhere even close to the gargantuan waterfalls of Yosemite, but it is a pleasant, relatively easy hike to it, if the trail is open. For more information on Devil's Postpile, see http://www.nps.gov/depo/index.htm

All the towns along the 395 are small towns. There are no big cities. You will have a view of the Sierra Nevada mountains on your left (west) pretty much the entire way from Lone Pine to Lee Vining, where you will turn west on the 120 to go up into Yosemite. The Sierra Nevada mountains rise up slowly on the west side, then drop off suddenly on the east side, forming an escarpment which is basically 400 miles long. You will see mountain peaks on your left almost the whole way from Lone Pine to Lee Vining, and they will still be snow-capped. You will not even really need to stop anywhere, but there rest areas and other possible locations you can get off the Highway and look and take photos.

I would recommend driving the June Lake Loop as a short detour off the 395 instead of the 395 the entire way. This will add a few miles, but it will be worth it as you will pass 4 lakes (the prettiest of the 4 is Silver Lake). It's possible to hike from the Silver Lake area up into the Ansel Adams Wilderness, though it still may be very snowy, that is one possible hike but it would require a full day.

You could visit Mono Lake if you want to see it, or even Bodie State Park to the north of Mono Lake if you want to see a ghost town. With the limited amount of time you have, you will need to pick your sights and stops carefully. You could spend a whole week in the area between Death Valley and Yosemite National Parks and still not see everything. There is much more to see in that area than I have not mentioned yet. This post barely scratches the surface of what is available to see and do. In June, some of the roads leading up into the mountains will still be closed to snow, including possibly Tioga Road (120), your route up into Yosemite. So you should have a backup plan for going from Death Valley to Yosemite in case Tioga Road (120) is closed when you are there. There are other threads on this forum about that issue.

In any case, there is a lot to see in this region and you should study sites about the region to help you decide which sights you want to see the most and in what order. Here are some web sites you can study for more information to help you decide. With such a short period of time you have in the area, you really will only be able to see 2 or 3 at most. http://www.thesierraweb.com/index.cfm http://www.395.com/ http://jrabold.net/mammoth/ and http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/!ut/p/c4/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gjAwhwtDDw9_AI8zPwhQoY6BdkOyoCAPkATlA!/?ss=110504&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&cid=FSE_003853&navid=091000000000000&pnavid=null&position=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&ttype=main&pname=Inyo%20National%20Forest-%20Home

Edited: 11:40 am, February 25, 2011
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for Yosemite National Park
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2. Re: Mammoth Lakes in June

bw ~ URLs with a "?" in them won't hyperlink on TripAdvisor. You chose some doozies! (Yes, I'm sure that akaZimmerman will cut & paste just to see some of your excellent links.)

How about writing a Traveler Article with all your great info? You, tet, and FriscoRoadrunner should collaborate on something!

Santa Monica...
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3. Re: Mammoth Lakes in June

How about skiing?

The mountain will still be open for skiing in June, most likely this year through July 4, although no announcement has been made yet. You'll have a great view of the skiers from your hotel, but that hotel is remote if you're not skiing, to the places you list.

California
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4. Re: Mammoth Lakes in June

If you are able to take the shuttle down to the Devil's Postpile trailhead it's a very short walk to the actual place. Some years that road opens really late. One year we went in late July. The snow had finally melted and the wildflowers were beginning to bloom. Wow!

5. Re: Mammoth Lakes in June

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