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:
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.