Mammoth, California: Snow + Fun + Food

Frozen-over Lake Mary, one of the Mammoth Lakes, rimmed by the eastern Sierra Nevada

High up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, on the eastern side of Central California, the Mammoth area is like a perfect storm for winter vacationers: enormous mountains, brilliant sunshine most of the time, and relatively mild temperatures. It’s the kind of place where you’re likely to run into New Englanders disappointed by their home-peak elevations and Europeans fed up with the biting cold back on the Continent.

Mammoth is also a magnet for L.A.-area folks who drive here with their SUV trunks full of groceries, hunker down in their condos, and hit the slopes all day. Little has tended to draw these folks and their wallets into town, as Mammoth has long had only a few lodges, bars, restaurants, and shops. City folk and locals don’t tend to engage a lot, and there’s a distinct have/have-not townie vibe.

In other words, it’s a mountain town in California.

Home to some of the most stunning peaks in the state,  Mammoth has never been what you’d call a foodie destination. But now that’s starting to change. 

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