Hola lovers! I’m back to share a bit of our most recent 5 day adventure in the Sierra Eastside! If you’re not familiar with Mammoth, Lake Mary is part of Mammoth Lake’s Basin. It sits just above Twin Lakes and is fairly easy to get to – just drive through town. The campsite itself is busy, but almost always inhabited with kind, seasoned campers. So, if you camp here, you’ll for sure meet new people.
James and I went in the beginning of Fall when the weather was so good, and the bears were active. I saw a bear for the first time and she was “healthy”, “plump”, even kind of cute. But it’s also worth mentioning that if you camp in Mammoth, you’ll need to add a bear-proofing routine to your nighttime ritual. Do not mess with the bears, and absolutely – do not feed them!
That being said, I wanted to share some of the fun day-trips around this popular campsite. There is so much to do, but three things James and I recommend to do in Mammoth are as follows…
1. Climb On – Bouldering season peaks in July-August in Mammoth and we came near the tail end of the rush. It’s not very common to see other climbers (from our experience).
For the climber who wants to hike very little: There’s Hartley Springs, and June Lake Loop (just a short drive away).
For a climber who will hike for a good session: Go to TJ Lake! The hike is pretty gnarley but so gorgeous and you can find the trailhead behind Lake Mary’s true southside.
2. Everything to do with water – Okay, so, you hiked a crazy trail and then climbed some crazy rocks. You took in an amazing view and practically rolled back down the mountain because it was so steep! Chances are, you’ve also acquired a new best friend – dirt! And dirt is a great guy and all, but he’s a little clingy; time to wash off the day! I am 100% addicted to tubing and swimming in mountain lakes. So, I’ve had my fair share of from-the-water views. Swimming away from the banks at Lake Mary provides one of the greatest feelings I have ever had in my life! When one is floating on a lake enclosed by snow-capped mountains,
one gets a sample of heaven.
But, what if you go when the water is too cold to enjoy? Or, you have other reasons to avoid water (there are many; ahem, INJURIES are common amongst our little family)? Head to the boys at Pokonobe and rent a boat. Any kind of boat. Take some beers. Take your camera (since it’s safer inside a boat). Take turns rowing or driving. Then stop, anchor, and relax in the center of the lake – again – surrounded by giants!
One of my adventure maxims is that I will never let nature’s beautiful water be wasted. I will always enjoy this amazing part of nature. So, don’t just tan next to it – get in it!
3. Chase A Sunset – A new morning has begun. Imagine that you’re all psyched for this new day and you have a day hike planned. You realize that you’ve woken up early because you’re on nature’s time; the sun rises and so do you – so naturally, as the sun descends, you’ll find your energy diminished. I find the best way
to fully enjoy a whole day of camping is to include a sunset session of some kind. James helps me chase sunsets, we find new spots to photograph, climb, or swim during golden hour. Sure, you may say “sounds like a bunch of hippy crap”, but actually it’s not. When we’re camping we go to sleep so much earlier than at home. And we always feel like the days are shorter, so we extend our days into the night. Adding a sunset sesh elongates our day of adventure. While we see most families begin to settle in, our backpacks are packed with beer and towels so that we can enjoy another great moment together.
Two photos below show our amazing day trip to Saddlebag Lake, but the subsequent photos are immediately after our hike there and you can see the bright day turned to dusk (just after a short drive). It seemed to pass so quickly! So, we took advantage of the sunset sesh. A few times.
Horseshoe Lake, Lake Mary, and lake McLeod.
Finally, I recommend two guidebooks for Mammoth : Mammoth Bouldering has great guides to crags that ultimately lead you to wonderful swimming holes, and even greater hikes!
An older guidebook with waterfalls and hikes can be found here: Sierra Nevada Adventures Guide
Thanks for reading! I included some phone-shots from our most recent trip, just to prove I’m not always a photo-nazi. Also, our wedding is in 25 days, and a lot of excitement has been going on! I think I’ll see most of my readers at the wedding, but if not, I’ll definitely share some moments on this blog. I was hoping to write some advice/thoughts/ideas for other DIY-Brides because I’ve seen a lot of engagement rings lately! And, I wished I had more advice throughout this process – so why not help, right?
Peace and Love to all y’all. I gotta date with a dog park!