FOR over half a hundred years, Angelinos have flocked to this particular secluded corner of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. It’s easy to understand why. In spite of the 8,000-foot altitude, homes for sale mammoth lakes ca sprawl of splashy condos and strip malls carries a distinct La feel. Although the surrounding frozen lakes and granite peaks, immortalized through the photographer Ansel Adams, are decidedly un-L . A ., and may hold their particular with any landscape in Colorado or Canada. Along with expanded daily flights from your San Francisco Bay area and La, along with a flurry of brand new après-ski offerings, Mammoth is seeking to draw skiers from beyond the Golden State.
1) SIBERIAN SPA
Imagine an extensive white expanse of the things appears to be frozen Siberian tundra, dotted with natural hot springs and flanked by soaring peaks. Hilltop Hot Spring is popular with locals, however, you can take part in, too. You will find no formal signs or footpaths – just adhere to the S.U.V.’s beyond the airport 5 minutes east of Mammoth Lakes and revel in a steaming soak, free of cost. For additional privacy, cross the direction to Wild Willy’s, a much more secluded spring, which requires a 20-minute trek and a pair of snowshoes.
2) Through The FIREPLACE
On the reverse side of town is Tamarack Lodge and Resort (163 Twin Lakes Road, off Lake Mary Road; 760-934-2442; tamaracklodge.com). The rustic log cabin, having its bark-wood ceiling fixtures and 1920s-era fireplace, also happens to have an impressive wine collection as well as the area’s best chef: Frederic Pierrel (cheffrederic.com). The intimate Lakefront R Restaurant serves up a mixture platter of elk medallions, grilled quail and pork marinated in wine on the bed of spicy mashed potatoes ($30). Prior to being seated, possess a mulled wine ($5) or hot cider ($4) from the fire.
3) PANCAKES AND BISCUITS
Before showing up in the slopes, fill up on pancakes and black-and-white memorabilia in the Stove (644 Old Mammoth Road; 760-934-2821), a cozy spot with long wooden booths and old pictures of cattle ranchers on its walls. In excess of four decades, the Stove has served hearty meals such as the Sierra Sunrise (a heap of fried potatoes, peppers, onions and ham topped with eggs and cheese for $9.95). On the road out, grab a homemade pie ($13.95) – apple, apricot, cherry. Arrive there early since the place fills up fast.
4) BLACK TIE SKIING
Experts from Black Tie Ski Rentals (760-934-7009; blacktieskis.com) should come to your condo and fit you for skis or snowboards. Heck, when the boots don’t feel snug by midday, Colin Fernie and his team will meet you on the slopes and exchange your gear, or switch your snowboard for a set of skis. Not bad for under $40 (at least for beginner skiers).
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5) FRESH TRACKS
With over 3,500 acres of trails, Mammoth has more variable terrain than most mountains (mammothmountain.com). There are actually three lodges: Eagle, Canyon and Main. Skiers trying to find soft powder and fresh-groomed runs begin with Eagle and follow the sun up to Main or the backside in the mountain (in order to avoid lift lines, reverse the order). Or use the gondola from Main towards the summit, 11,053 feet above sea level, where you can find a soothing spot for hot cocoa. Marvel with the daredevils who ski off Hangman’s Hollow. Or brave the steep and icy chutes of Dave’s Run or Scotty’s. A safer alternative is Santiago, from the summit’s less crowded backside, that offers scattered glades as well as gorgeous views of the Minarets, a majestic combination of jagged granite peaks.
6) SOUTH In The BORDER
Lunch on Mammoth typically involves Mexican fare. In the event you can’t obtain the new Roving Mammoth, a bright orange snowcat that doubles as being a food cart, serving up burritos ($5.50) – you can also track the snowcat’s whereabouts on Twitter – you will find pulled-pork nachos ($11.42) with the Mill Cafe (760-934-0675), a festive après-ski spot in the base of Chair 2 (in true California fashion, its entrance is scattered with beach chairs). Or, for overflowing plates of nachos and fish tacos, visit the Yodler (10001 Minaret Road; 760-934-2571), a Swiss-style chalet off the Main Lodge. Gomez’s (100 Canyon Boulevard; 760-924-2693; gomezs.com), a Mexican place with over 200 tequilas and fittingly mammoth margaritas, relocated into a spot during the village this past year.
7) ART PARK
Take Chair 10 as much as ski down a few wide-open runs like Easy Rider or Solitude that stay powdery through the day. Or try Quicksilver, a well-groomed trail with gently sloped glades and variable terrain. Snowboarders should go to the new terrain Art Park, which made its debut in December and showcases funky artworks affixed to the rails and steel structures. Mammoth also recently opened the Stomping Grounds, a terrain park loaded with jumps, jibs plus an Acrobag – which resembles a giant blue moon bounce – to rehearse flips. Nonsnowboarders should go ahead and take newly carved Village Ski Back Trail, a scenic path that meanders past pine trees along with the backyards of condos, linking the mountain with the village.
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8) GROWLERS AND PASTRIES
Thankfully, après-ski at Mammoth does not involve bad cover bands. If anything, it involves its eponymous microbrew. Insiders make their way to a warehouse converted a few years back in a beer-tasting room for that Mammoth Brewing Company (94 Berner Street; 760-934-7141; mammothbrewingco.com). Still in ski gear, they down free samples before filling up their growlers with IPA 395 ($13), the local favorite, or grabbing kegs and cases to travel. Another favorite spot among Mammoth’s growing international crowd is Shea Schat’s Bakery (3305 Main Street; 760-934-6055), which feels, and smells, much like the within a gingerbread house. The shop serves up steaming hot chocolate and stocks rows of pastries – cinnamon nut bread, ginger cakes and bread pudding.
9) MIDMOUNTAIN DINING
This winter Mammoth remodeled its swanky restaurant Parallax (800-626-6684; mammothmountain.com), that can take up nearly half of your cafeteria at McCoy Station, a midmountain gondola station up from your Main Lodge. Its modern décor and Asian-themed trimmings, including white bark walls, would not look unnatural in downtown Manhattan, save, perhaps, for the tacky TV Yule log fireplace. Yet at 9,600 feet, it really is reachable by only snowcat, which picks people up on the Mammoth Mountain Inn (10001 Minaret Road; 760-934-2581; mammothmountain.com). Hop aboard a heated snowcat that feels as though a spaceship as you may gaze up at the mammothllakes through its glass roof. Then feast on dishes starting from a rack of New Zealand lamb to grilled chicken with risotto (meals are prix fixe at $89, including snowcat ride). For optimal views, arrive as night falls.
10) ROCKIES MEETS HOLLYWOOD
Never mind the gondola D.J. booth and vintage lanterns above the bar. Hyde Lounge (6201 Minaret Road; 760-934-0669; sbe.com/hydemammoth) lives approximately its Sunset Boulevard forefather. There are actually bottle-service-only booths (from $200), lasers everywhere and Mammoth’s version of the strict door policy (“No snowboard gear”). The crowd sipping pricey cocktails is a mixture of slovenly clad snowboarders and dressed-to-impress partygoers, all crammed within its fire-engine red walls. Warm-up by using a burning mango ($12), a jalapeño and vodka concoction, and settle in for an evening of men and women watching.
11) OLYMPIC WORKOUT
In recent years, Mammoth Lakes has developed into a year-round hub for Olympic and pro athletes attracted to the high altitudes and easygoing ethos. A nice byproduct will be the state-of-the-art facilities on the Snowcreek Athletic Club, which resembles a giant barn just outside town. The club recently opened the Double Eagle Spa (51 Club Drive; 760-934-8511; snowcreekathleticclub.com), with earthy massage rooms, Vichy showers plus a yoga studio. You might even bump into the New York Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi training from the weight room.
12) MOUNTAIN MAN
To appreciate the Sierra Nevada range’s jaw-dropping beauty, drop by Vern Clevenger’s gallery (220 Sierra Manor Road; 760-934-5100; vernclevenger.com) in the city. His color photos (prints start at $149) of nearby canyons, lakes and mountain vistas are ubiquitous out and about, as it is the guy himself. Vern’s scruffy yellow jacket and unruly hair are already a familiar presence at Mammoth since the early ’70s. He is a modern day-day version of Ansel Adams, who more than anyone put this corner of California about the map.