Blog Issues & Bumming Around Mammoth Lakes, CA
I’ve had a tumultuous couple of days. Some of you might have noticed my blog went down on the 22nd for ~6 hours. At around the same time I realized my mobile plugin (for the blog) wasn’t working consistently meaning I no longer comply with the new Google Mobile Friendly rules. So no blog, no compliance. To follow this my hosting service, who had a caching bug in their system (which I’ve since confirmed), tried to blame their server crash on the size of my measly blog database (it took tweets to their CEO to get that one resolved). Finally to top it all off one of our car tires sprung a leak (4 leaks in fact) which couldn’t be fixed so now we’ve got new car $$ tires too.
KABOOOM! Talk about explosions….
This little maelstrom of issues has caused me to fall a bit behind on my blogs, so I hope you’ll forgive me. Also, in order to fix some of these problems I’m going to have to make some pretty major and painful changes on the blog going forward, so I hope you’ll forgive me (in advance) for those too. Blogging is fun, eh?
But enough about me. I need to bring you up to date on what we’ve been doing. Our last week on Hwy 395 we spent our time bumming around Mammoth Lakes. For those of you not familiar with this area Mammoth is high country, located at ~7,880 feet (2,400 m) and it’s a cute, albeit somewhat pricey resort area (both for winter skiing and summer hiking/camping/exploring). I’m so-so about the actual town, but I LOoooooVE the area that surrounds it. According to Wikipedia:
“Mammoth Lakes lies on the edge of the Long Valley Caldera. The area around the town is geologically active, with hot springs and rhyolite domes that are less than 1000 years old.”
Hot springs? High Mountains? Cool eruption remains? Oh yeah baby!!
We’ve been here many, many times before and it’s yet another of our favorite spots on 395. In fall this area explodes with stunning aspen yellow and has produced some of my absolute BEST Fall photos. We’ve experienced our coldest nights (EVER) in our RV up here and we took our one and only ever naked blog picture here too (wheeeee). Plus of course, this is where you find magnificent Mono Lake. Believe me the beauty here is well worth the extremes.
We’d been watching the weather in this area for weeks before coming. It was fickle, highly fickle running from well below freezing to storms of snow to high winds to rare warm, sunny days. The whole thing was cycling faster than we could keep up with it and we kept delaying our departure out of Bishop to catch a break. Finally we saw a gap of a few days which, albeit still below freezing looked calm and clear, so we all just decided to make a go for it. Here’s some of what we got up to:
Soaking In Hot Springs
The area south of Mammoth Lakes (around Benton Crossing Road & Whitmore Tubs Road) is a geologically active area that hides sprinklings of excellent, and totally free hot springs. It’s probably one of the most scenic places I know to take a soak and it’s a long-time favorite of locals and visitors alike. Of course it’s also clothing optional which means you may run across the occasional “natural beauty” (or eeeeek “natural beast”, depending on circumstances).
Given how much we love the area we just HAD to take the Wandertopia boys there, and we all enjoyed a perfectly ideal soak on a chilly afternoon. Of course, given my intro you cannot help but ask if we decided to go in the buff or nay? A good girl never tells, so you’ll just have to decide for yourselves 🙂
Note/ The Hot Springs are on BLM land and 100% dog-friendly
Mammoth Lakes Brewing is a long-term local favorite and is a cute and fun spot just up the hill from downtown. They specialize in beers with creative local flavors (sage, lavender etc.) and do a very decent job. Some of their brews are too “out there” for me (the porters & stouts did not earn my vote), but their seasonal Saison and Dos Osos were both excellent. Plus they offer outdoor dog-friendly seating.
A completely new entry to the area is June Lake Brewing, and I have to admit these guys were a treat to discover. Airy, warehouse-style interior with super relaxed feel (dog-friendly to boot) they offered a lovely array of brews. Some of their beer still needs development, but their Smokin Porter, Not So Hoppy Holiday Ale and Hutte Double IPA were all excellent. We’re definitely coming back here!
Note/ As mentioned above both breweries are dog-friendly. June Lake allows dogs inside the brewery too.
Hiking To A Lake
The area around Mammoth/June Lakes has outstanding hiking, as you’d expect for the high Sierra’s. We’ve hiked many good trails here in the past, including one of our all-time favorites Virginia Lakes (which IMHO rivals Little Lakes Valley in terms of scenery and beauty). This area is also the intersection between the fabulous John Muir Wilderness and the lesser-known Ansel Adams Wilderness, both of which contain endless miles of high-mountain trails. You could literally hike here for days and months and rarely see a soul.
This time of year many of the higher trails are still covered in snow, so we opted for a leisurely ~4 mile round-trip at slightly lower elevation to Parker Lake. This wonderful little trail combines the perfect mix of workout (just enough elevation change to make you sweat), fabulous scenery (panoramic vistas almost all the way) and soothing water (babbling streams & a superb lake at the end). Plus it’s not far from June Lake Brewing for a little après-hike indulgence (hint, hint). Doggies and humans both loved it.
Note/ The Ansel Adams Wilderness and Parker Lake Hike are both 100% dog friendly.
That just about brings you all up to date. We are now hanging in our favorite Reno state park at the “end” of our Hwy 395 spring route with both our buddies Wandertopia and Island Girl as neighbors. In a few days we part ways, which is going to be a sad day indeed (including for Polly…her and Frances have become tight-as-thieves-buddies-for-life-doggie-love-bestest-friends). Then we’ll start our drive to Oregon. As with all RV partings it’s more of an adieu than a real goodbye. We know we’ll meet again and in the meantime we are but momentarily apart on the road. See you all in the next state!
Post Post EDIT -> RV Camping In Mammoth Lakes?
Lots of cool and inexpensive spots to camp around Mammoth. During the main season there is a fabulous Forest Service campground called Oh Ridge! on June Lake (for my review click HERE). There is also “beast-friendly” free camping just north of Mammoth at Glass Creek (for my review click HERE). Finally there is legal boondocking in the forest on practically the entire East side of Hwy 395 from south of the airport (around the hot springs – click HERE) to north of Mammoth Lakes. There are also multiple private campground (FHU) options in the area.
- Friends & Fall Colors – Mammoth Lakes, CA
- First Inklings Of Fall Colors – June Lake, CA
- Fall Colors & Hidden Hot Springs (Oh, And A Naked Man Pic…) – Mammoth Lakes, CA
- 5 Awesome Outings In The Eastern Sierra’s, CA
- Lessons in Cold-Weather Dry-Camping = Our Sierra Nevada Week-end
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this blog post may be affiliate links, so, if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a commission. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. WheelingIt is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
You may already know this and possibly used the FMCA Michelin Tire Program for your tow vehicle. This program was added in Dec 2014 which includes Michelin and BF Goodrich tires for RV’s and tow vehicles.
Excellent! Yes, we’ve used the program for our RV tires in the past. Great to know they’ve expanded it.
I HATE tech issues, I’m glad things are back in order. More importantly, look at all those MEN in the hot springs!!! 🙂
Yeah, I still have to move my blog onto a new mobile-friendly theme which I’m deep in the process of coding at the moment (paaaaainfull!), but at least it’s up and running again. And yes, I’m a lucky woman to be able to travel with such fine menfolk 🙂
Steve & Gari says
Nina and Paul, you two will always be our heros. Thank you for all that you have shared. Sending good lovin’ to fix any ills. Please continue to be well. Your loving blog followers from not so far away. 🙂
Thank you much. All the blog-lovin’ fix vibes are much appreciated 🙂
You make it seem sooo easy! Like every time you see a great shot; the battery is charged (and installed). And the computer grimlins never get by the watchdog. We love your blog and you so just saying THANKS.
Well thank you! I try to take things in stride, but I admit these past few days have been exceedingly frustrating. In the end it’s just blog trouble…nothing life-threatening, so it’ll get resolved over time.
Beautiful photographs. I am wondering why the Green Street Church is famous.
Well it’s a bit of a local iconic spot. Everyone knows the “green church”, and if you ask for directions to the hot springs everyone will tell you to turn at the “green church”. I’ve tried like crazy to find more history on it, but I haven’t been able to dig much up. It’s certainly famous, but for what exactly I admit I do not know!
I can only imagine what a pain the tech issues are, so I hope you’re able to get it worked out with nerves still intact. 🙂
I really enjoyed the writeup about the Mammoth Lakes area, but the photos are absolutely gorgeous. I just love those kind of places.
Enjoy your stay in the Reno area!
I have to admit the mountains are so scenic it’s easy to get a good shot. I always go camera crazy on this road.
Jim Hummel says
Stunning mountain scenery!!
Ed@Chasing Sunrises and Sunsets says
Ya, the other night she says “would you happen to know why I can’t on the Wheeling It site?” I checked and said “Looks like it’s at their end”. For awhile, I thought she was gonna go on suicide watch.
We’re sorry about your troubles. Glad the fixes are in order. It’s only time and money, right?
As for Mammoth, we feel the same way as you about the actual town. But WE LOVE the area. There is SO MUCH to do. After at least 30 years of going there, we still have NOT seen or done all that is there.
Well you gave me the best chuckle I’ve had in days LOL. I’m glad we ALL made it through this last downtime 🙂
The only consolation that these beautiful mountain vista photos are coming to an end is that there are….wait for it…LIGHTHOUSE PICS just around the corner! 😉 I sure have enjoyed your trip up 395, more so than ever. The photos have been stellar. The crisp mountain air has been palpable.
As a self-hosted WP blogger, I have to ask…how did you know you were non-compliant? (gulp!)
You can check your blog here:
Yeah lighthouse pics a-coming!!
We will be heading up 395 in about a week. You have given us much to keep us occupied. Another excellent post Nina, with beautiful images.
Enjoy the trip! The weather is only getting better. You’re gonna love it!
Ohhh….those hot springs look divine! And that last image of the path leading into the mountains is wonderful. What a fun journey you’ve had traversing 395 with friends. Hope your blog issues will soon be behind you. I admire your skill and tenacity with technology. When I encounter blog issues, I have to pay someone to help me fix them. 🙂
I had to hire a little help this time around too. Things got complicated. Most stuff I can figure out on my own though..and I enjoy learning to code even if I’m not very good at it.
Jim and Gayle says
Good to see you found a couple breweries to help ease the pain of your recent problems!
The breweries were much needed medicine. Turns out Reno has quite a few decent ones too.
Karen @ Sock Monkey Trekkers from NM says
Parker Lake photo is outstanding!
Thanks! It was a really fun black/white to do. Lots of harsh light that day, but the pic worked.
I’ve always loved the look of your blog and its set up. I’m too non tech savy to do anything but simple and easy. Now maybe I’m just the least bit glad. Doesn’t sound like fun dealing with providers who deny they have the problem. Glad you got it worked out so I can see this very cool place that is another on my list of “Nina Recommends” that I just HAVE to get to “some day”. You are a pro at keeping me envious. Really wonderful pictures every single one. I tried to pick my favorites and kept changing my mind so forgetaboutit.
Thanks for the lovely compliment. I wrote a little more about this whole Google Mobile thing today, so hopefully even non-techies can understand.
Jim at Growing Faith says
Thank you for the update, and photographic eye candy. I hope the rough patch is behind you now!
It’s getting there. A few more days and I’ll hopefully have fixed all the issues 🙂
Jennifer Nealy says
Ugh – sorry about the blog issues. You are way more tech savvy than I am – I still use the free WP themes, but I just redid mine and it was soo frustrating! Hope you get all the issues worked out easily. And love the photos – I can’t wait to get back to that area!
Yup re-doing themes is a bear. I’m deep in the process right now so I totally feel you.
Jodee Gravel says
All the pics are so beautiful and I really love the sunburst over the water and the sky behind the bus……heavenly. We take for granted being able to open your blog and dive into your adventures, so I’m truly sorry for the hassles! Your efforts are very appreciated.
Thanks Jodee. It’s really not that bad…mostly just frustrating stuff. Hopefully I’ll be up and running with the final fixes soon.
What are you coding in? Let me rephrase, are you writing native html? Ruby on Rails? What? I have no idea how to do these things, which is why I’m on blogspot. I was a formidable FORTRAN coder, but that was the end of the line for me. Maybe you could do a post on this, inquiring minds are curious.
FORTRAN…oh yeah, I totally remember those days! I’m coding CSS mostly. Basically I bought a theme online and I’m customizing it with CSS. It takes a bit of learning, but I’m enjoying it.
sorry for the blog problems…thanks for the photos….we will be heading there in mid may….can’t wait…hopping to have great weather…
I think it’s going to be PERFECT for you guys! Can’t wait for you to experience it.
I am glad you are back in working order.
As you know Highway 395 does not end at Mono Lake. As a matter of fact, the stretch from Mono Lake to the Oregon border and to John Days is very lovely as well. Once in John Days it is a short trip to the Painted Hills.
Enjoy your trip.
Very true. We did that EXACT stretch of highway last year….and John Day Painted Hills was one of our absolute highlights of that trip. In case you missed the post:
John Day Fossil Beds Part II – Painted Hills Visions
Mister Scott says
I love this blog! Thanks for the time and effort you put in. Miss Kate and I are still in the RV shopping stages and just trying to soak up as much information as we possibly can… so, finding this site was kind of like finding gold.
Dogs, cats, beer, and freedom… you have a new fan.
We’ve lived in the Sierra Nevada for the past 15 years in Placerville. We’ve been on the road 11 months now and oh, how I’ve missed them! I’m looking forward to some hiking along Hwy 88 which is my absolute favorite!! If you’ve never been to Placerville along Hwy 50, you should go! Quaint old western historic town, wineries, breweries, you pick fruit & veggie farms.
We’ve never actually been to Placerville and it looks like we’ve missed out. Western history, wineries, breweries…oh my! I’m adding this spot to the “list” for sure!
We are going to give route 395 a try.,,coming from Fallon and loneliest
highway. Do the little towns along 395 have any farmers markets or
places to stock up on veggies (this will be October so greens should
be around)…or grocery stores (not picky…more important to find
For sure! The farmers markets along 395 tend to be small affairs (only a few stalls), but there are plenty of spots to stock up. Both Bishop and Mammoth have excellent supermarkets. I highly recommend Manor Market in Bishop since they focus on local produce and are just an excellent little store. In Mammoth Lakes there is a very nice Von’s in town with lots of fresh veggies. And of course once you get to Carlson City/Reno there are no end of options.
Most of the other towns along the way (e.g. Lone Pine) do have stores, although veggie selections may be more limited.
Thanks so much appreciated. Gotta have them green smoothies.
Vanesa Misitano says
Love your photos! Do you have recommendations on specific RV sites for Mammoth Lakes area (either near the hot springs you mention or another favorite place) and Mono Lake? We are heading there in a few weeks.
There are several RV parks and forest service sites in the area, depending on what you’re looking for.
We’ve dry-camped at Glass Creek and also at Convict Lake and June Lake (Oh Ridge!). These are all forest service so there’s no hookups, but they’re all in great locations. Of the three, our fav is Oh Ridge!, for the views. I’ve got reviews of all of them on the blog here:
We’ve never stayed at any of the private parks in the area, but there are several which offer full hookups, if that’s what you’re looking for. There’s a nice park in Mammoth proper called Mammoth Mountain RV Park. It’s pricey, but in an awesome location right by town and gets decent reviews online. Another decent-rated park with hookups is further north at Lee Vining, called Mono Vista RV Park. It’s right by Mono Lake, as the name implies. Friends of ours have stayed here and liked it.
That should give you some options.