Mammoth Lakes, California

Twin Lakes MM007

Twin Lakes, two of the lakes at Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

Mammoth Lakes, Calif., has an elevation of 7,880 feet and higher and a population of just over 8,200. Mammoth Lakes began as a gold rush town in 1877. By 1880 the mining company had shut down and the population dwindled from a peak of 1,500 to 10. Nonetheless, by the early 1900s the economy of the town shifted from mining to logging and tourism. The first people to inhabit the area were the Mono people and the county is named after them. (Mono is pronounced with a long “o”.) Mammoth Lakes is located in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains near Yosemite National Park. The town is named for the woolly mammoth, remains of which have been found in the area. It is believed the woolly mammoth became extinct about the time the glaciers receded at the end of the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago.

MM010W Lake Mary & Boat

A motorboat on Lake Mary.

Silver Lake Canoes

Fishing boats for hire at Silver Lake.

The Mammoth lakes are a chain of glacial lakes above the town in the Inyo National Forest connected by plumbing — a system of pipes and faucets running down the mountainside regulated to provide water to the town and to California. It is somewhat disconcerting to be hiking in the Inyo National Forest when you round a bend to find a waterfall and, then, round the next bend to find a lake with big faucets, gauges and pipes leading to the next lake.

Lake Mamie & Lake Mary Boats 1

My friend Roland standing at Lake Mamie Dam, elevation 8,898 feet.

Lake Mamie & Lake Mary Boats 2

Lake Mary boathouse.

Lake Mamie & Lake Mary Boats

Lake Mamie and Crystal Crag.

Lake Mary & Crystal Crag + Motorboat

Lake Mary and Crystal Crag.

Lake Mary & Crystal Crag + Motorboat 1

Boat on Lake Mary.

Twin Lakes & Crystal Crag

Twin Lakes and Crystal Crag.

Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort is the primary economic sustainer of the town. Mammoth Mountain is a lava dome complex located in the Inyo National Forest. Dave McCoy founded Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort, when he, a member of the Eastern Sierra Ski Club, noticed that Mammoth Mountain consistently held more snow than the surrounding mountains. He borrowed a portable tow rope from the Ski Club in 1941 and the skiers hauled themselves up the mountain and skied down. The first ski lift was built in 1955.

Here are some of my photos of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area:

MMH Mtn Ski Area

MMH Mtn Ski Area 3

MMH Mtn Ski Area 1

MMH Mtn Ski Area 2

–Samantha Mozart




8 Responses to Mammoth Lakes, California

  1. I do love Mammoth, Samantha. The winter pictures here bring back memories, as I’ve only been up there in winter, and only for a short time, or so it felt…short. Love looking at the photos and reading the history, much or most of which I didn’t know.

    • sammozart says:

      Mammoth does have an interesting history, Silvia — colorful, like the histories of other places around the state. The gold rush aspect fascinates me. Those ski area photos are old and the sunlight was so bright at that altitude and on the snow, it was hard to get a good picture with my point and shoot camera. But it gives an idea of what the ski area looks like. It’s fun to look at different places in California, I think, even if only in photos at this point. I’ll do a couple more posts on the state.


  2. susan scott says:

    Just back after Susan Schwartz’s talk, and much to do Samantha. I normally spend several minutes reading/admiring your posts but this time because of lateness of hour and still much to do, I will not do it justice by rushing through it. I’ve admired the photos … and look forward on my return to reading properly! No wi-fi in Botswana .. no comms no nothing! Have got prescheduled posts up. xxxxxx

    • sammozart says:

      Safe and happy travels, Susans. And thank you Susan for coming by and dropping a line.

  3. Pat Garcia says:

    Looking at your photographs, I now know why I love California. If I had stayed in the United States, that’s exactly where I would be. Thank you for sharing so much beauty-. I have a big heart for California.

    Visiting from the A to Z Blog Challenge.

    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange

    • sammozart says:

      You and me both, Patricia — big hearts and preferred place to live in the States. Thank you.


  4. Gwynn Rogers says:

    I think I have mentioned that I have friends living in Big Pine and she talks about meeting her kids in Mammoth when they go snowboarding or skiing. It is fun actually seeing the area instead of guessing what it looks like.

    Great pictures and history. Thanks!!

    • sammozart says:

      Oh, Big Pine. Yes, I have been there. Beautiful area, close to Mt. Whitney. Makes me miss it now that you mention it. Thanks, Gwynn.