A true year-round outdoor playground is a place called Mammoth Lakes, CA. The scenery is stunning any time of year and there are so many options for adventurous travelers!
Mammoth Lakes is a fairly compact town at the base of Mammoth Mountain Resort which means getting around town can be done fairly easily. There is a free shuttle system throughout town that runs year-round and efficiently transports guests from town to areas such as the Main Lodge, which is the jumping off point for the summer shuttle to Devil’s Postpile National Monument and Reds Meadow, or over to Twin Lakes and other lakes beyond for fishing, hiking, and more outdoor pursuits. And, of course, in winter, a shuttle ride is offered to both alpine and cross country ski areas.
While in Mammoth Lakes last week, I made it a point to check out The Village Lodge, which is part of the Mammoth Mountain Resort properties. While the condos are all individually owned, the Resort manages most of the condos as vacation rentals. That means you have access to these spacious and comfortable condos, can stay in one of the best locations in town, and enjoy the many amenities at the Lodge!
The Village Lodge is in the heart of the Village at the base of Mammoth Mountain. In the winter, the gondola runs right out of the village and gets you onto the mountain!
There are 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom condos available, all with full kitchens. The number of bathrooms in each unit matches the number of bedrooms. Perfect for each room getting their own bathroom!
Spring break, 2018, and we packed up the van and headed down Hwy 395 for some backcountry ski touring, the kids' first ski touring trip!
I love the drive on Hwy 395 - incredible views of snow-covered peaks, idyllic ranches, canyons, rivers, and lakes.
We camped near Virginia Lakes, halfway between Bridgeport and Mono Lake. After settling into our home-away-from-home and taking care of dinner, we now had some quality family time to spend together!
We brought two games with us and it worked brilliantly! A deck of cards and BANANAGRAMS.
The kids played the classic Go Fish card game while the parents were busy with camp set up. And, they were also able to play their own version of Banagrams. Kids excited to spell words correctly - love it! OK, so there were a few imperfections, but, they were still excited about spelling.
Banagrams also serve as handy chips for a cut-throat game of poker!
Bonus! You can play poker and spell words at the same time! We anted up words such as "rage", "deer", and "cash".
Another successful aspect of the trip was a "for real" ski tour with the kids! Our intrepid leader found a wonderfully wind-protected gully and we kept the pace appropriate for our some-what novice backcountry skiers. A few gummy bears helped the spirits soar. At the top of the saddle, we took in the views, transitioned quickly, and smiled all the way down in the lovely spring corn snow!