While the snow-capped mountains surrounding Mammoth Resort in California are breathtaking, the appeal of the town itself is mainly in its cozy bars and restaurants which are famous for their giant steaks and fresh baked goods of all kinds. As a result, many people have a love-hate relationship with the area – depending on how busy the season is, they either enjoy it or they long for the return of the warmer months. But how big is the resort itself? Is it possible to go for a walk there and not feel as if you’ve taken a wrong turn and wandered into the middle of nowhere? What is the layout of the town and how does one navigate a first visit? This article will answer some of these questions while also giving some tips on how to make the most of your time spent in this magnificent place.
The Size Of The Resort
When most people think of ski towns, they automatically think of the famous resorts like Aspen, St. Moritz, or Verbier, but the reality is that many smaller resorts are just as appealing. In fact, smaller resorts are often the ones that a person decides to visit when coming to the United States – often times it’s the change in altitude which gives the skier some feeling of déjà vu as he travels through the thin air to the top of the mountain. While the bigger resorts usually get all the attention and are the places that people go to first, the smaller ones are where the real charm of the ski experience lies.
The size of the resort will depend on what type of skier the area is known for attracting. For example, a beginner will have a different experience than what a seasoned snowboarder would have. If you’re looking for an intermediate resort, there are plenty of options out there which are compact in size but offer a lot of fun and exciting downhills and freeride terrain.
The Layout Of The Town
When approaching the town of Mammoth from the south, one will first see the high-end condos and boutiques which line Oak Street before making a right turn onto Main Street, the historic center of town. The next stop will be the Chamber of Commerce where you can get a map and get familiar with the lay of the land – more specifically, Main Street which is the hub of the town and where nearly all the restaurants, bars, and hotels are located. From there, one can make a left onto Hill Street, which will take you to the top of the mountain where the condos and hotels are located.
If one approaches the town from the north, the first street one will come across is Main Street, also known as State Street or Mountain Street in some areas. The road will take you past the Mammoth Mountain Hotel, which started life as the Stanley Hotel and was the place where you could meet Alan Ladd before the turn of the 20th century. But the main attraction will be the shops and galleries which line the street. It’s considered the art gallery row of the whole town – if you’re into art, antiques, and history, this is the place to be. Another interesting fact about this part of town is that it was featured in an old Warner Brothers movie called “North By Northwest” – it was used as New York City and reminded viewers of how elegant the 1940s were back then.
After turning onto Main Street from the north, one will find oneself in a residential neighborhood with large, family-friendly yards and well-manicured bushes. One can then walk toward the base village, which is located in the center of town and has a small hotel, a gas station, bars, restaurants, and more, making it the perfect place to stop for the night. The nearby streets are also lined with restaurants, bars, and hotels, making it a popular local attraction.
Arguably the most recognizable landmark in Mammoth is the snow-capped peak known as Mt. Big-tooth which is situated at the southern end of the town. What makes this mountain even more attractive is that it was the place where the original settlers of the town stayed and it gave its name to the whole thing. One of the reasons why this ski resort is so appealing is that it’s filled with California natives who know how to have a good time – even in the summertime, one can often find people on the mountain, playing in the water park or hitting the pool at the Mammoth Mountain Casino. During the winter, the mountain and nearby lakes are filled with skiers and snowboarders who come from all over the world to enjoy some of the best skiing in North America.
Bars And Restaurants
There are numerous bars and restaurants in Mammoth which serve various cuisines – from fast food to seafood and steak houses, there’s something for everyone. One of the town’s main attractions is the Sunset Inn Brewery & Restaurant, located in the heart of downtown. Locals and tourists alike flock to this place for delicious microbrews and European-style fare. If one is into sports, one can watch big-screen TV’s and play pool with friends at the nearby Gold Mine Bar and Grill, which also serves food. For those who want to linger over a drink, the Village Pub is a perfect spot where one can listen to live music or play pool with locals.
One of the best things about Mammoth is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously – there are plenty of locals who enjoy the beauty of the place and aren’t intimidated by the size of the resort, instead seeing it as an opportunity to have some fun.