Updated: Dec 7, 2020
If you decide to travel to Mammoth Lakes, California, for a socially-distant getaway, have no fear that your trip will be any less enjoyable than it would have been pre-COVID-19. There are still plenty of fun-filled entertainment options that you can enjoy and allow you to stay safe, compliant, healthy, and happy during your stay in the High Sierras.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the best items to add to your holiday itinerary, including places to go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowy winter excursions, and, of course, COVID-safe grocery delivery options and takeout spots. Afterward, we’ll cover some of the general COVID-19 winter protocols to ensure that you stay fully informed and prepared for when you hit the slopes.
Get Off the Beaten Path
Inyo Crater in Long Valley Caldera
This area, approximately 12 miles wide and 18 miles long, was formed by a volcanic eruption about 760,000 years ago. For sweeping views of the landscape, beginners can snowshoe to the Inyo Craters, starting off the Mammoth Scenic Loop. Follow signs and orange diamonds through the pine forest to the crater trailhead. There’s less snowmobile traffic midweek, making that the perfect time to embark on the 0.8 mile trip.
Shady Rest Park Trails in Mammoth Lake Area
There are three primary loops that begin at the Mammoth Ranger Station or Shady Rest Park winter trailhead. To reduce congestion, they’re only open to non-motorized traffic, including snowshoeing and cross country skiing. There’s also an open field at the park and recreation area that makes for a great place to get your bearings as a beginner on snowshoes.
West Loop Trail at Obsidian Dome
Take this 6 mile loop, meant for beginners and intermediate snowshoers and skiers, located west of Hwy 395, north of Deadman Summit. Obsidian is one of five domes on the Mono-Inyo Craters volcanic chain, and its trailhead allows access to a network of other trails in the Inyo National Forest. To get there, follow the Obsidian Dome Road until the T-junction, turn left and follow the trail south along the northwest face. After about 1.2 miles, you will loop, heading north for 2 miles. From there, it’s about a mile to the start of the loop.
If you want to arrive at your rental property with a pre-stocked refrigerator, Mountains of Groceries offers store-to-door delivery service. You can choose to have your food put away when you arrive or not. Make your getaway a stress-free one that doesn’t require you to step foot in the grocery store or risk getting exposed to COVID-19.
When it comes to takeout, you’ve got quite a few options in the Mammoth Lakes area, but to help you narrow things down, we’ve compiled a list of the best spots.
Open from 7am to 2pm, The Stove is the perfect choice for breakfast and lunch. They have all the classics, including some healthier fare as well. But if you really want to go all out, tuck in for their “sinful” homemade sweets.
If you’re looking for large portions and delicious gourmet options, try Toomey’s for dinner. They have great wings, burgers, and buffalo meatloaf, as well as baked brie, crab cakes, and seared Ahi tuna. Give them a call from 11am-9pm.
If you’re craving pizza, Giovanni’s offers both pickup and delivery services. Lunch is served between 11am-2pm and dinner goes from 5pm-9pm. Get a famous meatza pizza, stromboli, or even pesto pasta with garlic bread and a side salad. Is your mouth watering yet?
Winter Protocol on the Slopes
The pandemic has changed how things operate when you hit the slopes in Mammoth to ski or snowboard. Even though you’ll have to plan ahead for your trip, we assure you that the resort has spent countless hours making this process stress-free and seamless. Although, take into consideration that most resorts are operating at reduced capacity, requiring distanced lift lines, and relying heavily on advanced bookings. Some are also making pre-booking for lift tickets mandatory.
Because equipment rental operations don’t want last-minute business or any sort of crowd to gather, a good option for gear reservation and delivery is Black Tie Skis. They accept reservations online or by phone and deliver sanitized equipment to 41 resorts, including Mammoth Mountain.
Keep in mind that outdoor and distanced dining is becoming more popular with tents, bubbles, and yurts. Some resorts are claiming no indoor dining at all, so be prepared to gear up and enjoy a romantic dinner in a unique setting or possibly enjoy your meal from the comfort of your vacation rental when you choose the takeout or delivery option. Please note that tailgating outside of a restaurant or public space is not an option at this time, and the local police will be monitoring parking lots more closely.
If you’re coming to Mammoth Lakes, CA to ski or snowboard, reach out to Mammoth Mountain Resort to hear about the most current and specific protocols and precautions. Once you’re flying down the mountainside with the wind in your face, COVID-19 and its many safety parameters will feel like a distant dream.
Rent with Nomadness
If you’re ready for a much-needed getaway to Mammoth Lakes, explore our numerous rental properties. We thoroughly clean and disinfect so you can relax, put your feet up, pre-book your lift ticket, and order in pizza. Contact us with any questions or concerns.