Most people see wildlife in Mammoth Lakes in the summer and fall, but the local fauna are around year-round. Mammoth Lakes is home to bears, coyotes, deer, mountain lions, and more. Keeping yourself safe and practicing good wildlife etiquette will help keep the animals safe.

We regularly hear about animals having to be put down because of humans intervening with Mother Nature. You might have heard about Yellowstone tourists putting a bison calf in their car or trying to ride a deer. And in California, wild animals are falling victim to death more because of access to food and garbage.

Bear Safety

The Town of Mammoth Lakes uses bear-proof dumpsters. If you’re using one, always be sure to clip the bear-resistant latch when you’re done. Don’t leave anything scented (even lotions, sunscreen, gum, mints, etc.) in your car — bears have great noses and have been known to pry car doors open to get to scented items. They can do quite a bit of damage once they’re inside your car too.

If you’re camping in the Eastern Sierra, you’ll need to properly stash your food and trash as bears and other animals are attracted to anything edible or smelly. Most established campgrounds in the Eastern Sierra have beer-proof storage boxes at each site. If you’re backpacking, you’ll need to take a bear-proof food canister with you. Always clean up and properly store food and garbage immediately after meals. Bears can smell food cooking from 3-4 miles away.

If you have children, teach them what to do if they encounter a bear. Never approach or touch a bear, even a bear cub. If you see a bear, don’t run. Instead, just let it be. If it sees you and still comes toward you, face the animal, make noise, and try to appear as large as possible. The black bears that call Mammoth home are typically afraid of people and prefer to leave you alone. If you see a bear cub, move on — you don’t want to be between a mother and her cub.

“There’s more misinformation about black bears than accurate information,” says Steve Searles, a local bear expert, in an article from a few years ago. 

Black bears subsist mostly on seeds, berries and other vegetarian items — don’t leave bird seed out as this is a major draw for them. They’re generally gentle creatures, and you’re much more likely to be struck by lightning than be attacked by a black bear. There aren’t any grizzly bears or brown bears in the Sierra Nevada, although the resident black bears may be brown or blonde in color. There’s no need to carry bear spray in this area, and it’s actually prohibited in Yosemite National Park and some other areas. The biggest concern with bears locally is their desire to get into your food.

Other Wildlife Safety

Photo by Josh Wray for Visit Mammoth

The Eastern Sierra is home to many mule deer, and you might see them while hiking or driving through the area. Keep an eye out for signs on Highway 395 about migrating deer. Drive extra cautiously and always keep your eyes on the road, especially when you see these signs. When hiking, remember that mule deer can be spooked easily, so give them plenty of space, and never try to touch or feed a deer.

In the high alpine, the Eastern Sierra is home to bighorn sheep, but these beautiful creatures are rarely spotted. If you see them, give them plenty of space too.

You’ll probably never see a mountain lion, but if you do, don’t run. The National Park Service has good information about mountain lion encounters. It’s much more likely that you’ll see a coyote. Leave coyotes alone and give them plenty of space, but if they approach you, make loud noises, and if you’re on skis or have poles, bang your poles together.

 

Most visitors and residents in Mammoth Lakes have no issues with wildlife. If you practice proper food storage and give wild animals plenty of space, they’ll happily coexist with us. Be sure to take a moment to appreciate a wildlife encounter if you have one!

 

More resources:

I know so many people who have only visited Mammoth Lakes in the winter. I love the beautiful, snowy winters here as much as anyone else, but I always encourage my friends and family to visit this area in the spring, summer and fall as well. Since moving here, I’ve fallen even more in love with year-round mountain life. Here’s why:

1. You get to enjoy all four seasons.

Each time a new season begins, I say “this is my favorite season.” Then another season comes along and I say, “no, spring is my favorite season.” Then “no, summer is my favorite season.” All the way back to winter. I love each of our distinct seasons here — and it’s not just because I get to have a different wardrobe for each one (although that’s definitely a perk). It’s because each one offers such a different and amazing way to experience Mammoth Lakes.

2. It’s easy – and expected – to live an outdoorsy, active lifestyle here.

Hiker overlooking a blue mountain lake in Mammoth Lakes CA framed by pine trees

If we don’t schedule out what we want to do, we run out of time. My favorite activities are hiking, cross country skiing and road biking. I used to golf, but there are so many other things I want to do that I can’t fit it all in. Making it even better, I get to hear about my friends and acquaintances going on crazy adventures at all ages — rock climbing, mountain biking, motorcycle riding. The list goes on and on.

3. There’s endless small town charm.

Muffin and cup of coffee at Stellar Brew coffee shop in Mammoth Lakes CA

We only have five stop lights in town, and I love it. I love going to the post office and to Vons to get groceries. The more crowded, the better — it’s a social experience and so much fun to see people I know when I go out. I love that Mammoth Lakes hardly has any chain restaurants, and I love interacting with our passionate, entrepreneurial local business owners.

4. You get solitude and security.

Cabins on a bluebird winter day with feet of snow on the ground at Tamarack Lodge in Mammoth Lakes CA

I love the peace and quiet of Mammoth Lakes. Even when it’s busy in town, you can easily find solitude. Less-traveled roads and just a few minutes on a hiking trail lead to complete quiet and solitude. I love that I always feel safe in Mammoth Lakes. I only lock my front door for two reasons: to keep bears out and to keep my dog in.

5. It’s endlessly beautiful.

View of yellow trees and mountains from the Snowcreek Golf Course in Mammoth Lakes CA

Amazing beauty, blue skies, sunshine, mountain vistas… what more could you ask for? Every day I thank God for the amazing beauty all around us. Mammoth Lakes makes it easy to be grateful and present in my life. I am in constant awe of this place. I loved visiting Mammoth Lakes, but getting to see the changes in the landscape from day to day is something I’ll never take for granted.

Learn more in my Ultimate Home Buyer’s Guide. If you’d like to talk, call me at (760) 914-4664.

Photos by Josh Wray for Visit Mammoth

Photo by Perfect Zero

Where else can you play a round of golf in the morning and take a Gondola Ride to 11,000 feet to share in the spectacular views?  In Mammoth Lakes of course!

Below are nine great activities that you can do any fall day around the area.

  1. Go fishing – anglers will tell you that fall is their favorite time of year to fish in the Eastern Sierra.  Fishing in fall is phenomenal! Try Twin Lakes, Lake Mary and Lake Mamie from the shore or by boat.
  2. Go for a hike – hiking in and around Mammoth Lakes are sure to get you some great viewing spots.
  3. See the fall colors at June Lake – Take Highway 395 north to the June Lake Loop, Highway 158. The 16-mile road passes through town, winds its way around the lakes and through alpine canyons.  Enjoy the scenic overlook at Oh Ridge.  Continue around the lake past Gull Lake to Silver Lake, which is sure to offer a color spectacle in the fall.
  4. Play a round of golf – Pick up the Fall Unlimited Play Pass for Sierra Star Golf Course and you’ll be playing in the fall foliage every day.
  5. See the falls at Reds Meadow and Devil’s Postpile – $10 per car to drive directly to the trailheads. Parking lots fill up by 11am, so be sure to get there early, or go later after 2pm.
  6. Enjoy the Autumn Beer Fest at June Lake – crafts, craft brewers, stunning views and fall foliage at Gull Lake are sure to impress.
  7. Gondola Rides for spectacular views – what better way to see the views than from 11,000 feet. Take a ride, enjoy the once in a lifetime view, at least if you’re visiting.
  8. Watch the sunset at Minaret Vista – grab a snack box of gourmet items at Bleu Handcrafted Foods and head up to 9,265 feet and watch the amazing views as the sun sets.
  9. Kayak on Lake Mary – paddle around the perimeter of the lake where you’ll see Crystal Crag towering high above the Mammoth Crest, and the fisherman along the shore.

Fall in the Eastern Sierra is amazing — the colors are to die for. If you haven’t had the chance to explore yet, we’re giving you a helping hand. Below is the Eastern Sierra Fall Color Guide and where to go for the best colors.

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eastern sierra fall color guide

Things to do in Mammoth Lakes - Labor Day, sonjabush.com

Labor Day is upon us, some kids have gone back to school, others are preparing to.

With one last burst of Summer fun, here are some of the events going on in and around Mammoth Lakes this weekend:

Mammoth Rock n Rye

September 2-4:

As part of Outside on the Eastside – a colorful fall celebration of arts, culture and recreation – Mammoth Rock n Rye is three days of free live music, two tastings, 30 distilleries, 15 craft breweries and endless fun. Rock out to some of the nation’s finest Americana music for free in the beautiful Eastern Sierra.
Buy Your Tasting Ticket!
One Day – $50
Two Day – $85
VIP Reserve – $120
Just want to listen to music and hang out in the Village at Mammoth? That’s FREE!

Exit Laughing at Edison Theatre

September 1,2,3,4,8,9,10,11:

As part of Outside on the Eastside — a colorful fall celebration of arts, culture and recreation — Exit Laughing is a theatre production written by Paul Elliot and directed by Juliana Olinka. The Golden Girls meets Magic Mike in this heartfelt, laugh-out-loud comedy about life and death. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $18 for seniors and students, and $10 for children and starts at 7 pm.

Cam Zink Ride MTB Ride Session at MMSA

September 3:

With an impressive list of wins and accomplishments in the mountain biking world, Cam Zink is no stranger to the dirt. Spend a weekend hitting the trails of Mammoth Mountain’s famed bike park with personalized coaching from Cam himself. Improve your skills with one of the most down to earth, knowledgeable riders and spend some time on the USA Cycling Nationals Dual Slalom Course.

Bike Park ticket or pass and own equipment is required.  Rental equipment is available from the Adventure Center at Main Lodge. Must be an experienced intermediate to advanced downhill mountain bike rider to participate.  Space is limited to 20 riders – sign up early.

CALL 800.MAMMOTH TO SIGN UP

Minaret Vista Instameet

September 3:

Join the Visit Mammoth team, locals, visitors and everything in between to shoot photos with people that share the same passion. Making friends and being creative is what it’s all about. We’ll be shooting photos of the sunset over the Minarets and then diving into night sky photography. The fun starts at 5:30 pm and continues until 9:30 pm. It’s a new moon, so the stargazing and photo opportunities will be exceptional. This Instameet is free and open to everyone! Bring warm layers.

The Village at Mammoth Summer Movie Series

September 1:

This is your last chance! Take your favorite blanket and grab a chair in The Village this Thursday for a fun movie under the Sierra sky. The movie will be viewed on a large outdoor screen in the plaza, showtime just after sunset.
This Week’s Movie: Star Wars The Force Awakens

Mammoth Market Sidewalk Sale

September 2-5:

Check out sidewalk sales from many businesses in Mammoth Lakes during three weekends of the year – Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day. These are the only weekends of the year to catch sales like these, so keep an eye out for them and steal some sweet deals on your Mammoth Lakes vacation!

Labor Day Festival of the Arts

September 2-5:

As part of Outside on the Eastside, Mono Arts Council presents the Annual Labor Day Festival of the Arts held in the unique forest setting of Sam’s Wood Site. Set high among the pines, this world class festival provides fairgoers a beautiful viewing and buying experience.

Campfire Program

September 2:

Join a local naturalist for a free, fun, family-friendly evening program on topics ranging from Eastern Sierra wildlife to the night sky. Program begins at 7 pm and all are welcome to this free 1-hour event!

Park in the lower parking lot at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center (a California Welcome Center) at 2510 Main Street. Follow the wide dirt trail to the New Shady Rest Campground Amphitheater.

Woolly’s Summer Saturdays

September 3:

Join Woolly for his last Summer Saturday with a bike ride down the Discovery Trail followed by family fun at the Adventure Center. After the bike ride, Woolly will hang out for face painting and a frozen summer treat. Woolly’s Summer Saturdays is for kids of all ages.

12:45 pm – Meet Woolly at the bottom of Discovery Chair 11 for the ride. A ticket is required to participate in the ride. Each child receives a bike race plate for the ride and medal afterwards.

1 pm – Ride with Woolly

1 pm – Face painting, balloons and frozen treats at the Adventure Center

2 pm – Farewell to Woolly

Live Music at the Adventure Center

September 3-4:

Go chill on the grass of the Adventure Center at Main Lodge for some mountain views and afternoon tunes from Ryan Hiller on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Let the kids loose on the climbing wall, zipline and Eurobungy or grab a bite at the outdoor deck at the Yodler restaurant and bar.

Mono Lake Canoe Tours

September 3,4:

The Mono Lake Committee leads guided canoe tours on Mono Lake on Saturdays and Sundays from late June through Labor Day weekend. Meet at Navy Beach Road Lee Vining, CA 93541. Tours begin at 8, 9, and 11 am and last about one hour. The $25 tour is an amazing way to get up close and personal with the iconic Tufa Towers.

Ambush at the Lake: Fall Fishing Derby

September 5:

As part of Outside on the Eastside, the Ambush at the Lake fishing derby costs $15 to enter and includes a commemorative pin and a chance to win. Competition runs sunrise to sunset, and all fish caught 14 inches or longer are eligible to be registered. Each person with a registered fish will be entered into the prize drawing for the derby. Prize winners will be posted within 30 days of the last day of the derby.

How much more exciting could things get here in Mammoth Lakes?

According to Josh from Mammoth Lakes:

Mammoth Mountain has just announced that they will stay open for top to bottom skiing until July 4th! Take advantage of the awesome weather this month and ski, bike, golf in the same epic day. Ski on amazing spring snow in the morning then hop on your mountain bike in the afternoon for the ultimate mammoth day.

The month of June is the perfect time to adventure in the mountains. Use Mammoth Lakes as your base camp and take a trip to one of the stunning national parks and scenic hotspots close by. Access to Yosemite National Park is now available and Bodie State Historic Park is open and ready to give you a true wild west experience. Mono Lake and the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest are also close by.

Longer days mean more fun in the sun enjoying the wildflower bloom while hiking or hanging out at some of the best events in California. Don’t miss events like the action packed Monster Energy Motocross and the premiere Mammoth Half Marathon and 5K. June has also been dubbed as “Learn to Fish” month, so it’s time to get out on the water and cast a line for the first time.

If that’s not enough to keep you here or make you want to come for the summer, I don’t know what will.

Come on and enjoy the festivities with us!

How much more exciting could things get here in Mammoth Lakes?

According to Josh from Mammoth Lakes:

Mammoth Mountain has just announced that they will stay open for top to bottom skiing until July 4th! Take advantage of the awesome weather this month and ski, bike, golf in the same epic day. Ski on amazing spring snow in the morning then hop on your mountain bike in the afternoon for the ultimate mammoth day.

The month of June is the perfect time to adventure in the mountains. Use Mammoth Lakes as your base camp and take a trip to one of the stunning national parks and scenic hotspots close by. Access to Yosemite National Park is now available and Bodie State Historic Park is open and ready to give you a true wild west experience. Mono Lake and the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest are also close by.

Longer days mean more fun in the sun enjoying the wildflower bloom while hiking or hanging out at some of the best events in California. Don’t miss events like the action packed Monster Energy Motocross and the premiere Mammoth Half Marathon and 5K. June has also been dubbed as “Learn to Fish” month, so it’s time to get out on the water and cast a line for the first time.

If that’s not enough to keep you here or make you want to come for the summer, I don’t know what will.

Come on and enjoy the festivities with us!

The Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) will be stocking Mono County for the first time this season next week and they’ll continue to stock weekly until the end of the season. The DFW will be planting over 600k pounds this year in the Eastern Sierra!

Fishing Events

May 1 – June 16: “Round-up at the Lake” Spring Fishing Derby
May 27 – June 27:Crowley Lake Perch Derby 
June 3 – 5: “Hangman’s Bonus Derby” Convict Lake
June 20-21: Fred Hall Father’s Day Fishing Tournament
Find more events at VisitMammoth.com/Events

Where To Fish:

Twin Lakes

Towards the end of last season, 400 pounds of beautiful fish were stocked in Twin Lakes. Those fish are up there waiting to feed on what you have to offer them. Head out early in the morning and launch your float tube to secure the best spots on the lake. Dress warmly but remember you can always take a quick break and pop into Tamarack Lodge for a hot coffee and snack. 
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Crowley Lake

Crowley Lake is considered one of the best still water trout fisheries in the country, and it’s for good reason. Hire a guide, take a boat out and have an incredible experience fishing Crowley Lake all while taking in the beauty that surrounds. 
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Owens River

The longest river in the Eastern Sierra is also the most famous: the Owens. While folks have been fighting over the rights to the water for generations, people have been fishing here even longer. The Upper stretch of the Owens River is a popular spot to fish for a tackle box full of reasons.
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Convict Lake

Convict Lake has completely thawed and water levels are considerably high. The boats have been detailed and are ready for you to buzz them out to the deepest parts of the lake in search for that big ol’ trout. Stop by the Convict Lake general store and fill up on snacks and goodies before your long day out on the water.
More

Wouldn’t you know Mother Nature is still surprising us!

For a little while longer, you can still ski, fishing season is opening, and bike all the beautiful trails in and around Mammoth Lakes!

Scroll down this page to see all the events happening in May: http://www.visitmammoth.com/events.

Weather Forecast for the remainder of the week:

Thursday Rain and snow showers likely, mainly after 11am. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 52. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming southeast in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
Thursday Night Rain and snow showers likely before 11pm, then a chance of snow showers. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 34. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.
Friday Snow showers likely. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 49. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Friday Night Snow showers likely. Some thunder is also possible. Cloudy, with a low around 33.
Saturday Snow showers likely before 11am, then rain and snow showers likely. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 51.
Saturday Night Rain and snow showers likely. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 35.
Sunday Rain and snow showers likely. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 53.
Sunday Night A chance of rain and snow showers. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 35.

For the most up-to-date snow information, visit: http://www.mammothmountain.com/winter/ski-ride/mountain-information

Don’t forget to plan your Memorial Day activities in Mammoth.

See you around town!

The brand new 2016 Mono County Visitors Guide is out!

There is so much to tell you about California’s Eastern Sierra that they had to expand the Mono County Visitor Guide by an additional 16 pages with great new content!

Check out the new Trip Itineraries to make sure you see the highlights!

They also added top spots for wildflower viewing, additional fishing tips, wedding and group event ideas, and information on Mono County’s museums and cool historic sites.

Be sure to check it out here, and download your own copy.

Mono_County_Visitor's_Guide
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