An Insider’s Guide to the Holidays in Mammoth Lakes

As the holiday season gains momentum in Mammoth Lakes, the town undergoes an almost magical transformation. This most wonderful time of the year sees the natural beauty of the Eastern Sierra converging with festive celebrations.

Whether you’re drawn to the thrill of winter sports, the charm of small-town holiday lights, or the warmth of cozy cabin vibes, Mammoth Lakes offers holiday experiences to make the season truly memorable.

Table of Contents

Photo by Miles Weaver via VisitMammoth.com

Exploring Mammoth Lakes During the Holidays

As the town of Mammoth Lakes dons its winter cloak, enveloped in powdery snow, it transforms into a paradise for winter sports enthusiasts. The Sierra peaks, majestic against the clear blue sky, offer not just breathtaking views but also exhilarating skiing experiences.

But the holiday season, especially between Christmas and New Year’s is particularly special with festive holiday lights and trimmed trees around town creating a sense of enchantment.

A Feet-first Experience (even in winter)

The town maintains its walkability, even in winter. Well-maintained sidewalks that wind throughout the town and wide boulevards along Main Street invite visitors to explore foot, whether you prefer leisurely strolls or lively holiday shopping.

Just outside your door at Sierra Meadows Ranch, the tranquil country road is ideal for quiet walks under the starlit sky. With the sun setting early behind tall mountain peaks, evening strolls offer a peaceful end to adventurous days, while still allowing for an early night’s rest, if desired.

Photo by Christie Osborne, Mountainside Media

Dining Out During the Holidays

Dining out during this time of year becomes an experience unto itself, with restaurants transforming into cozy havens that offer both warmth and delectable cuisine. From fine dining establishments set against the backdrop of stunning winter landscapes to local favorites bustling with cheerful holiday spirit, Mammoth Lakes presents an array of options to satisfy any palate.

Fine Dining with Cozy Vibes

The Brasserie: (0.4 miles from Sierra Meadows Ranch)
Known for its classic French onion soup, The Brasserie is a go-to spot for those seeking comfort food with a gourmet touch. The rich, savory flavors of the soup make it a popular choice among both locals and visitors.

Lakefront Restaurant at Historic Tamarack Lodge: This restaurant provides an intimate dining experience with a stunning view of Twin Lakes. The atmosphere is one of rustic elegance, where warm lighting and wooden interiors create a cozy, inviting ambiance. As for the menu, The Lakefront known for featuring refined dishes that highlight local ingredients. A must-try is the pan-fried local trout, known for its freshness and delicate flavor.

Restaurant Skadi: Specializing in Scandinavian cuisine with a modern twist, Skadi (pronounced “skah-dee”) offers a unique culinary experience in Mammoth Lakes. The interior, inspired by Scandinavian design, is both sleek and cozy, providing an ideal setting for a memorable meal. The menu often features dishes that incorporate locally sourced ingredients, with an emphasis on seasonal flavors. The restaurant’s inventive approach to traditional Scandinavian dishes makes it a culinary gem in the town.

Due to the popularity of dining out during the holiday season, making reservations in advance is highly recommended. Many restaurants get booked quickly, especially for dinner service. For a truly local experience, don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations from the staff at Sierra Meadows Ranch or local residents, who often have the best insights into hidden gems and new culinary hotspots.

Dish Bistro | Image via VisitMammoth.com

Easy-Going Local Favorites

Each culinary experience in Mammoth Lakes offers a glimpse into the heart and soul of the local community. The following local favorites combine convenience with exceptional taste. From the iconic Mammoth Margaritas at Gomez’s Restaurant to the cozy ambiance of The Stove’s homestyle breakfasts, these beloved spots cater to a variety of palates. Whether you’re craving gourmet comfort food, a quick but satisfying breakfast on the go, or a warm cup of coffee paired with irresistible donuts, Mammoth Lakes has you covered.

      • Dos Alas (onsite at Sierra Meadows Ranch): We would be remiss if we didn’t mention our onsite restaurant, Dos Alas, conveniently located steps from Sierra Meadows Ranch. Cristi Quesada-Costa, an “island girl born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico,” is the vision behind bringing Caribbean fusion to Mammoth Lakes. Dos Alas offers a dining experience that captivates both the palate and the eyes. The restaurant, celebrated for its unique blend of Spanish, Cuban, and Puerto Rican flavors, also boasts breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Guests can indulge in fresh, tropical, and Caribbean-inspired cuisine while soaking in the picturesque beauty of the area.
      • Mammoth Margaritas at Gomez’s Restaurant: Located in The Village, Gomez’s Restaurant is famous for its Mammoth Margaritas. These generously sized drinks can be customized with a selection from the restaurant’s extensive tequila collection, making each Margarita a unique creation.
      • Mammoth Rock N Bowl: (0.4 miles from Sierra Meadows Ranch) Mammoth Rock N Bowl offers a delightful fusion of casual dining, embodying the bold flavors of California cuisine. Mammoth Rock N Bowls also has plenty of entertainment options, from its state-of-the-art bowling lanes to its thrilling indoor golf simulators. It’s the perfect place for locals and visitors alike to unwind, savor delicious food, and have some fun.
      • The Stove: (0.3 mile from Sierra Meadows Ranch) Sit down for a hearty breakfast that will keep you well-fueled all morning, The Stove’s biscuits and gravy are a local favorite. The dish is known for its homestyle feel, providing a filling and satisfying start to a day of mountain adventures.
      • Stellar Brew: More than a coffee shop, Stellar Brew is perfect for those on the move, offering grab-and-go breakfast burritos, homemade muffins, and delicious smoothies.  If you’re looking for something delicious and convenient for a day out in the snow, this is it.
      • Mammoth Coffee Roasters: Becoming famous for its donuts, this is the place to indulge in sweet treats paired with expertly brewed coffee, the treats at Mammoth Coffee Roasters are ideal for warming up on a chilly day.

Photo by Snider Dakota via VisitMammoth.com

Unforgettable Holiday Events in Mammoth Lakes

The holiday season is alive with events that celebrate this season of joy. Visitors can continue to enjoy the outdoors even in winter at The Villiage with plenty of outdoor dining options under heated lamps. Live music and fire pits with comfy chairs create a relaxing holiday ambiance for apres-ski activities late in the afternoon.

But there is one traditional holiday activity that locals and visitors alike look forward to each year: The Night of Lights.

Photo by Josh Wray via VisitMammoth.com

The Night of Lights at Mammoth Mountain

The Night of Lights at Canyon Lodge is truly the highlight of Mammoth Lakes’ holiday events. Typically scheduled for the second Saturday of December, this stunning display features fireworks that illuminate the night sky, complemented by live music and a festive parade of ski professionals bearing torches as they swoosh down the mountain.

Because this is an outdoor event, be sure to layer up to stay warm and consider arriving early for convenient parking. Classic winter treats like hot chocolate are available, adding a warm, festive touch to the experience.

Photo by Snider Dakota via VisitMammoth.com

Holiday Tree Lighting

The tree lighting events are held at two prominent locations: Footloose Sports and The Village.

The Holiday Tree Lighting at Footloose Sports

The ceremony at Footloose Sports offers a cozy, family-friendly atmosphere, lighting up the tree and the faces of the community with joy and anticipation. This is the original spot for the Town holiday tree, and the tradition lives on today. If you missed the annual tree-lighting ceremony, you can spot this beacon of holiday spirit on the corner of Old Mammoth Road and Main Street.

Photo by Snider Dakota via VisitMammoth.com

The Holiday Tree Lighting in The Village 

Meanwhile, The Village hosts a more grandiose affair, where the tree lighting ceremony becomes a centerpiece for the area, complemented by live performances, seasonal treats, and festive activities.

The magnificence of the holiday tree in The Village is enjoyed long into the winter season. It draws locals and visitors alike to take fun photos or admire the twinkling lights from the nearby firepit, creating a focal point for holiday celebrations and gatherings.

Photo by Snider Dakota via VisitMammoth.com

New Year’s Eve in Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes offers a variety of celebrations to ring in the new year surrounded by snow-covered peaks and tall pines. NYE events offer a blend of family-friendly activities and vibrant nightlife, ensuring that everyone can find a perfect way to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Mammoth Lakes. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away or enjoy a cozy family meal by the fireplace, you’ll love ringing in the New Year here. l.

      • New Year’s Eve Dinners: Several restaurants in Mammoth Lakes host special New Year’s Eve dinners. For instance, The Lakefront Restaurant at Tamarack Lodge often offers intimate prix fixe dinners with seatings at 5:30 PM and 7:00 PM, including a champagne toast at 9 PM. Another option is Smokeyard BBQ & Chop Shop, which hosts a prix-fixe menu, DJ entertainment starting at 10:30 PM, and a midnight champagne toast​​​.
      • Family-Friendly Celebrations: The Village at Mammoth hosts a free family fun event with live music and a spectacular firework show at 9 pm. This celebration is perfect for families looking to enjoy a memorable evening together. Additionally, the New Year’s Eve Sunset Snowshoe Tour at Tamarack is a unique experience that involves a guided snowshoe tour over moderate terrain to Panorama Dome, departing between 3:00 and 3:30 PM​​.
      • Late Night Celebrations: For those looking to party into the new year, a number of local hotspots host festive parties with DJs Lamont spinning tunes into the New Year. Lakanuki in the Village is a popular spot for late-night revelers. Another is Mammoth Rock ‘N’ Bowl, featuring a DJ and dancing starting at 10 PM​​​​.

Photo by Snider Dakota via VisitMammoth.com

Making Your Own Special Memories

If you can make it to a holiday tree lighting or the Night of Lights, consider creating your own mountain traditions. They can be as simple as a family snowshoeing adventure, a group ski lesson, or an evening spent playing board games at Sierra Meadows Ranch.

These moments, whether outdoors in the crisp mountain air or indoors in the cozy warmth of your cabin, are sure to become cherished memories.

For those seeking a guide to these experiences, local websites and the Super Hosts at Sierra Meadows Ranch provide tips and suggestions for the best activities and services in the area, ensuring every moment of your stay in Mammoth Lakes is filled with joy and wonder.

Photo by Patrick Griley via VisitMammoth.com

Getting Around Town in Winter

Navigating Mammoth Lakes during the holiday season can be a part of the adventure. The town is well-equipped to handle the influx of visitors, with a range of transportation options that make getting around both convenient and enjoyable.

Public Transportation and Shuttle Services

Mammoth Lakes’ public transportation system is expertly tailored to accommodate the needs of holiday travelers, providing a convenient and stress-free way to explore the town. The free shuttle service, a cornerstone of this system, connects major points of interest such as ski resorts, shopping districts, and dining areas. Not only do these shuttles offer a practical mode of transport, but they also allow passengers to appreciate the scenic beauty of Mammoth Lakes without the distractions of driving.

Mammoth All Weather Shuttle (MAWS)

In addition to the regular shuttle services, the Mammoth All Weather Shuttle (MAWS) is an invaluable resource, especially when the weather takes a turn. MAWS is designed to operate efficiently in snowy and icy conditions, ensuring safe and reliable transportation even during the harshest winter days. This service is highly recommended for those days when the weather might make driving challenging, providing a safe alternative for getting around town.

Mammoth Taxi

For evenings out, particularly after enjoying the local pubs and nightlife, Mammoth Taxi offers a convenient and safe way to return to your lodging. Operating late into the night, these taxis are a responsible choice after a night of revelry. Opting for a Mammoth Taxi is not only a way to ensure your safety but also a means to support local businesses.

With so many transportation options, you can navigate Mammoth Lakes with ease, regardless of the weather or time of day. These services not only add to the convenience of your holiday experience but also contribute to a safer and more enjoyable trip. Whether you’re heading out for a day on the slopes, exploring the town’s dining scene, or enjoying a night out,

Parking in Mammoth Made Easy

In Mammoth Lakes, leaving your car behind and hopping on a free shuttle is often the best way to explore. However, for those who prefer to drive, the town provides various parking solutions. There are designated parking areas across the town, including free public parking across from The Good Life café and paid parking in the Village. These options offer convenience and proximity to many of the town’s attractions.

It’s important to respect local businesses by avoiding parking in their lots, such as at Vons, Mammoth Brewing Company, or the Post Office. Not only is it considered impolite, but it’s also against Mono County’s vehicle code and could result in getting towed. Instead, visitors are encouraged to use the designated public parking spaces provided.

For those parking a bit further from the main attractions, consider a short walk or taking a shuttle ride to your destination. This approach not only eases parking concerns but also provides an opportunity to experience the town’s vibrant atmosphere up close.

Photo by Patrick Griley via VisitMammoth.com

Winter Driving Tips

Navigating the roads of Mammoth Lakes in winter requires a bit of preparation and awareness to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey. Winter driving in this mountainous region can be a unique experience, especially for those not accustomed to snowy and icy conditions. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

      • The Importance of Proper Tires: One of the most critical aspects of vehicle preparation for winter driving is ensuring you have the right tires. All-weather tires can provide adequate performance in various conditions, but for optimal safety and handling in snow, snow tires are highly recommended. Even all-wheel-drive vehicles can perform poorly in snow without the proper tires. Snow tires are designed with deeper treads and specialized rubber compounds that remain flexible in cold temperatures, providing better traction and handling on snow and ice.
      • Visibility is Key: Keep your windows, mirrors, and lights clear of snow and ice. Use a de-icer and a proper scraper to remove frost or snow. Good visibility is crucial for safe driving in winter conditions.
      • Drive Slowly and Steadily: Winter roads can be unpredictable. Reduce your speed and allow extra time to reach your destination. Avoid sudden movements, as they can cause your vehicle to lose traction and potentially lead to a slide or spin.
      • Increase Following Distance: The stopping distance on snowy or icy roads is significantly longer than on dry pavement. Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you to allow ample time to stop.
      • Know How to Handle Skids: If your vehicle starts to skid, remain calm. Gently steer in the direction you want to go and avoid slamming on the brakes, as this can exacerbate the skid.
      • Four-Wheel Drive Caution: While four-wheel drive vehicles offer better traction, it’s important to remember that they don’t necessarily allow you to drive faster or stop quicker on snow and ice. Overconfidence in a four-wheel drive vehicle can lead to risky driving behavior. Always adjust your speed to the conditions of the road, regardless of the type of vehicle you’re driving.
      • Stay Informed: Keep an eye on the weather forecast and road conditions. In Mammoth Lakes, conditions can change rapidly, so it’s important to stay updated.

By following these winter driving tips, you can ensure a safer and more comfortable journey through the snowy landscapes of Mammoth Lakes, allowing you to fully enjoy the beauty and excitement of the holiday season.

Holiday Gifts from Mammoth Lakes with Love

For those who cherish the slow travel lifestyle and natural beauty of Mammoth Lakes, we’ve curated a selection of unique gifts that will bring a piece of this tranquil mountain paradise into their homes.

It’s hard to go wrong with locally crafted art pieces. These creations capture the essence of our beautiful town and are perfect for decorating any cozy cabin.

Looking for something practical yet stylish? Consider gifting quality outdoor gear from Alpine Approach. Their collection ranges from thermal wear to snow boots – all essentials for enjoying winter nights under the stars at Sierra Meadows Ranch.

Art by Maggie Deluc via Mono County Arts

Gifts by Local Artists and Craftspeople

Mammoth Lakes has become a hub for creatives drawn by its breathtaking landscapes. The talented local artists and craftspeople who call Mammoth Lakes home deepen the cozy vibe of our charming mountain town. Their unique work can be found throughout town and helps you bring the spirit of the mountains back home with you.

      • Wrap your Loved Ones in Cozy Handmade Textiles: Whether you want authentic hand-knit beanies and mittens from a mountain craftsperson, artfully dyed scarves and textiles, or exquisitely designed woven wall art, Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern Sierra are home to several award-winning textile artists as well as hidden gems.
      • Bringing Home the Range of Light. Susi Bains is the stained glass artist and owner of Owl Moon Studios. Her stained glass art is a testament to her deep connection with nature and skillful craftsmanship. Each piece she creates is a unique reflection of the breathtaking landscapes she encounters in the Eastern Sierra and Montana’s Flathead Valley. Her art captivates with its vibrant colors and intricate designs, bringing a piece of the great outdoors into any space. Whether you’re an art collector, a nature lover, or simply seeking a beautiful and unique addition to your home or office, Susi Bains’ stained glass creations are a must-see. They are not just art pieces; they’re windows into the serene and majestic beauty of nature.
      • Pottery Pieces That Echo Nature’s Beauty Ceramic artist Carol Long creates detailed ceramic sculptures that capture the essence of nature. Her work features organic forms with elements like twisting spouts and swirling handles, often taking the shape of insects and wildlife. The intricacy and homage to flora and fauna in her pieces make them an extraordinary addition to the pottery enthusiast in your life.
      • Mixed Media for Eclectic Tastes: explore the vibrant and abstract world of Daniel Wiener. Celebrated for his intense sculptures and diverse artistic mediums. Wiener’s work is a kaleidoscope of vivid colors and fluid shapes, evoking whimsical landscapes and dreamlike states. With a career spanning over four decades and a Guggenheim Fellowship to his name, his pieces blend 2D and 3D elements, challenging traditional art boundaries. Each creation is a testament to his unique ability to provoke thought and stir emotions, making his art a perfect pick for those with eclectic tastes. Discover Daniel Wiener’s intriguing mixed media art – a blend of fantasy, abstraction, and bold form, ideal for adding a touch of artistic flair to any space.
      • Jewelry for Every Journey.  Notable artist, Cathy Enright creates jewelry under the brand StoneBlossoms Jewelry. Her work is inspired by nature and handcrafted in the beautiful landscapes of California’s Eastern Sierra, including areas such as Mammoth, Crowley Lake, and Bishop. Cathy Enright’s art jewelry reflects her belief that art, in its many forms, tells a story – a story that is seen through the lens of the artist and interpreted through the perspective of the audience.
      • Eco-Friendly Candles To Set The Mood  NESW WAX CO// is a notable creator of eco-friendly candles. Their “Mammoth Lakes” candle line, inspired by the scents of fresh apples, vanilla, maple, bourbon, and cinnamon, offers a sensory tribute to the natural beauty of the area. These hand-poured soy candles come in 8 oz or 16 oz lidded mason jars, with each size offering a substantial burn time (40 hours for the 8 oz and 75 hours for the 16 oz).

We believe that supporting local artists and craftspeople is not just fun; it’s essential to preserving the unique character of this region. When you fill your gift-giving list with art and handcrafted items, you’re guaranteed to delight your loved ones with gifts brimming with character, crafted with love, and that foster a deeper connection to Mammoth Lakes itself this season.

Photo by Christie Osborne via Mountainside Media

Extra Cozy Gifts for Your Loved Ones

The holiday season in Mammoth Lakes is synonymous with coziness, and what better way to share this warmth than through thoughtful gifts? Imagine wrapping your loved ones in the comfort of classic Hudson blankets, each thread weaving the story of mountain adventures. Or consider smarter wool socks, a practical yet heartwarming present, perfect for those chilly winter evenings.

And let’s not forget the aromatic candles, their scents reminiscent of towering pine trees and the crisp mountain air, turning every home into a Mammoth Lakes haven. These items are not mere gifts; they are a warm embrace during the winter months.

Carved wooden bear with santa hat looks at new mountain bike in sports shop

Photo by Sarah Wallock via VisitMammoth.com

Where to Find Unique Treasures

Mammoth Lakes is home to unique stores that offer more than just products; they offer pieces of local culture and artistry.

      • Ridge Merino : A haven for those seeking comfort and style, Ridge Merino offers a selection of apparel that perfectly blends functionality with the cozy charm of mountain life.
      • The Cactus and the Hawk: Step into a world where eclecticism meets local flair. This store is ideal for those who cherish uniqueness in their gifts, offering a range of items that are as diverse as they are beautiful.
      • Smoketree Massage & Apothecary: For the wellness enthusiasts in your life, this shop is a treasure chest. From natural tinctures and salves to aromatic oils and teas, each product is a nod to nature’s healing powers. Their monthly subscription box is a gift that keeps on giving, offering a continuous experience of Mammoth Lakes’ natural bounty.

Photo by Patrick Griley via VisitMammoth.com

Give the Gift of Experience

Beyond tangible gifts, Mammoth Lakes offers unforgettable experiences that can be gifted to your loved ones. These experiences not only provide joy but also create lasting memories in this enchanting mountain town.

      • Ice Skating Rink Passes & Rentals: Glide into the holiday spirit with passes to the Mammoth Ice Rink. Nestled amidst breathtaking scenery, it’s an ideal gift for families or couples seeking a magical ice skating experience in the new, Olympic-sized ice rink that is the mountain home of the LA Kings Hockey Team.
      • Ski/Snowboard Lessons: For the adventure seekers, nothing beats the thrill of skiing or snowboarding down Mammoth’s pristine slopes. Gift a day of lessons at the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, where beginners can learn the basics while more experienced enthusiasts can sharpen their skills, all under the guidance of expert instructors.
      • A Cozy Meal at a Local Fine Dining Restaurant: Culinary delights are a cornerstone of the Mammoth Lakes experience. Consider gifting a dinner at “The Restaurant at Convict Lake.” Renowned for its exquisite cuisine and ambient setting, it offers a perfect blend of fine dining and mountain charm. Another excellent choice is “Skadi,” which is lauded for its unique Scandinavian-inspired dishes and intimate atmosphere, making it an ideal spot for a memorable meal.

Each of these experiences provides a different facet of Mammoth Lakes, from the exhilaration of winter sports to the delight of culinary exploration, ensuring that your gift is cherished and remembered.

A glass of High Sierra Whiskey next to a bottle

Photo by Christie Osborne via Mountainside Media

Local Food and Drink for Your Holiday Festivities

Mammoth Lakes is a treasure trove of local gourmet delights. From the locally grown hops of its craft breweries, the aroma of freshly roasted coffee, the sweetness of local honey, to the refined spirits of its local distillery, every product tells a story of the town’s commitment to good taste and natural abundance. Whether you’re a foodie, a coffee aficionado, or a spirits enthusiast, Mammoth Lakes has something special for you.

Local Craft Beer: A Brewing Haven in the Mountains

Mammoth Lakes’ brewing scene is a testament to the town’s craft and creativity, even with its modest population. While Mammoth Brewing Company is the OG of the Eastern Sierra, JLB and Distant Brewing have proven that Mammoth is a true beer town, and the more locally crafted beer, the better as far as locals and guests are concerned.

      • Mammoth Brewing Company: Offering a variety of beers that embody the essence of the High Sierra, with favorites like ‘Epic IPA’ and ‘Double Nut Brown’.
      • Distant Brewing: Known for its artisanal beers that incorporate local ingredients, showcasing the unique flavors of Mammoth Lakes.
      • JLB (June Lake Brewing): A local favorite with a cult following (if you know, you know), JLB is renowned for its diverse range of craft beers, each brewed with a touch of mountain authenticity.

Want to savor a taste of Mammoth Lakes long after your trip is over, pick up a growler or two to take home. You can return or refill the containers on your next trip to Mammoth Lakes.

Local Coffee Roasts: Mountain Aromas in Every Cup

Mammoth Lakes’ coffee roasters bring the spirit of the mountains into every brew. And what’s better on a frosty morning than a warm cup of hand-roasted coffee to warm your hands, your belly, and your soul? Pick up extra bags of coffee and a fun mug from Graphic Conclusions for an easy holiday gift for co-workers and friends.

      • Black Velvet Coffee: Offering a selection of robust and smooth blends, roasted right in Mammoth Lakes.
      • Stellar Brew & Natural Cafe: Known for its focus on organic and fair-trade beans, served in a cozy, mountain-inspired setting.
      • Mammoth Coffee Roasters: A local gem, they roast their beans to perfection, ensuring every cup captures the essence of the local landscape.

Locally Distilled Spirits: Mammoth Lakes’ Hidden Gem

Eastern Sierra distilleries are a new but exquisite addition to the artisan food and beverage scene in the area. Nestled amidst stunning landscapes, these distilleries blend traditional craftsmanship with a distinctly local flair, offering an exceptional experience for spirit enthusiasts. A bottle and a some fine glassware will put a smile on any connousuir’s face.

      • Devil’s Creek Distillery: Known for their small-batch spirits, they craft everything from smooth whiskeys to unique flavored vodkas, using pure mountain water and locally sourced ingredients.
      • Shelter Distilling: This boutique distillery is a haven for craft spirit lovers. Shelter Distilling takes pride in its innovative approach, producing a diverse range of spirits including artisanal gins, complex rums, and bold, barrel-aged whiskies. Their commitment to quality is evident in every sip, showcasing the richness of Eastern Sierra’s natural resources.
      • Owens Valley Distilling Co.: The award-winning spirits from Owens Valley Distilling Co. specializes in small-batch, handcrafted spirits, including meticulously distilled bourbons and ryes. Their spirits are a tribute to the rugged beauty and rich history of the Owens Valley, making each bottle a unique expression of the region.

Holiday Sweets Even Santa Will Love

Have a loved one with a sweet tooth? Want something special for Santa? We have you covered with these delectable sweet treats, lovingly made by locals. From local honey capturing the essence of the area’s flora to festive holiday cookies and artisan marshmallows, Mammoth Lakes has tantalizing sweets to brighten your holiday season.

      • Made-from-Scratch Holiday Cookies and Pastries: Schatt’s Bakkery is a cherished local gem, renowned for its made-from-scratch holiday cookies and pastries. During the festive season, the bakery transforms into a wonderland of sweet aromas and delightful treats. Each cookie and pastry is a beautiful piece of art, infused with traditional flavors and the warmth of holiday cheer, making them a must-try for anyone visiting during the holidays.
      • Organic Locally-Made Marshmallows: Dessert’d is a unique sweet spot that specializes in hand-crafted, organic marshmallows. Perfect as a stocking stuffer or to enjoy in a mug of hot cocoa, these marshmallows are a gourmet upgrade to any winter beverage. Crafted with care and high-quality ingredients, they are a testament to the creativity and passion of Mammoth Lakes’ local artisans.
      • Local Honey: Baxter Honey produces high-quality, local honey that is a true testament to the region’s diverse flora. Their honey varieties, each distinct in flavor, embody the unique essence of Mammoth Lakes’ natural beauty. Whether you enjoy it in a seasonal cup of tea or drizzled on a morning slice of toast, Baxter Honey offers a sweet and pure taste of the mountains.

Infusing the Holidays with Flavors from the Sierra

Did you know that both Juniper berries and pine nuts are local to the Mammoth Lakes region? As you plan your holiday feast in the charming setting of Mammoth Lakes, consider adding a touch of local flavor to make your gathering truly exceptional.

Juniper Berries: Elevate Your Gin Cocktails & Beyond

Juniper berries are renowned as the key ingredient in gin. But their distinct and vibrant flavor lends itself to a variety of culinary uses beyond the realm of spirits.

Innovative chefs and mixologists alike can use the slightly piney and peppery notes of juniper berries to add depth and a hint of wilderness to their creations.

In the realm of mixology, juniper berries are not just confined to gin; they can be infused into syrups or muddled in cocktails to introduce a subtle, woodsy essence, elevating the drink experience.

For a creative twist on classic gin cocktails like the martini or gimlet, simply add a few fresh juniper berries to your drink. Their aromatic and flavorful profile imparts a distinctive character that elevates your libations to a new level of sophistication. However, it’s worth noting that juniper berries pack a potent punch of flavor, so a little goes a long way.

You can conveniently source juniper berries from your favorite health food or Whole Foods shop, ensuring a safe and legal approach to incorporating local flavors into your cocktails.

In cuisine, they can be used as a spice rub for meats, particularly gamey varieties like venison or duck, infusing them with a unique, earthy flavor. They also pair well with root vegetables, offering a refreshing contrast when roasted together.

Pinenuts: A Local Super Food

Typically associated with pesto in Italian-inspired dishes, pine nuts have a rich history and cultural significance to native peoples of the Great Basin. Pine nuts served as a dietary staple, and the annual harvest of the pinon, as it is traditionally known, played an important cultural role cultural for more than 10,000 years.

These small, nutritionally dense, flavor-packed nuts are a versatile ingredient, often incorporated into various dishes to add texture and a nutty, subtly sweet flavor.

Beyond pesto, pine nuts can be sprinkled over salads for a crunchy texture, baked into bread or stuffing for added depth, or even used as a garnish on top of creamy soups, adding a contrasting texture.

In desserts, they can be incorporated into cookies and pastries. They can also be toasted or candied and sprinkled over ice cream, providing a delightful crunch and nuttiness that complements the sweetness.

To source local pine nuts, stop by Manor Market in Bishop on your way to Mammoth Lakes.


What winter activities are near Sierra Meadows Ranch?

Sierra Meadows Ranch is located just 2 miles from the lifts, and with a complimentary Black Pass in your hands, you can skip the lift line.  Our location also offers easy access to a variety of classic winter activities, including miles of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing terrain, snowmobile adventures, and family fun activities like sledding and snowball fights, most of which are right outside your door.

Is a winter environment kid-friendly?

Yes, winter in Mammoth Lakes is very kid-friendly. Mammoth Mountain, for example, is a world-class ski resort that offers lessons for all ages and abilities, making it an ideal place for children to learn skiing or snowboarding. The resort has beginner-friendly slopes, and there are also activities like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling tours, gondola rides, and Woolly’s Tube Park, which is specially designed for children with tubing lanes and a magic carpet. Additionally, natural hot springs like Wild Willy’s Hot Springs are popular among families.

What should I pack for winter weather?

When packing for winter weather in Mammoth Lakes, it’s essential to include thermal top and bottom layers, a fleece top, a lightweight vest, waterproof pants and jacket, ski or snowboard socks, waterproof gloves, a neck gaiter or balaclava, and a helmet. Additionally, pack goggles, personal skis or snowboards (if not renting), ski poles, boots, cozy loungewear, warm sweaters, jeans, sturdy winter boots, a warm jacket, scarf, hat, gloves, slippers or cozy socks, and a swimsuit for après ski activities. Don’t forget sunscreen, lip balm with SPF, moisturizer, sunglasses, and a camera to capture the memories.

Is Mammoth crowded during the holidays?

Mammoth Mountain does experience crowds, especially during peak holiday periods like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and President’s Day. To avoid crowds, it’s recommended to choose travel dates during the shoulder season or mid-week days. Additionally, arriving early in the morning for activities can help beat the crowds. The mountain is less crowded in the afternoon, after the peak morning hours

What are some other ways to beat holiday crowds in Mammoth Lakes?

For a tranquil holiday experience, consider visiting the week before Christmas when the slopes are less crowded. Skiing on Christmas morning is a peaceful, almost private adventure, perfect for those seeking quiet moments. To enhance this experience, services like Black Tie Ski Rentals offer the convenience of outfitting you at your cabin, avoiding the long lines and waits at local ski shops.

Is Uber or Lyft Available in Mammoth Lakes?

While these ride-sharing services are “technically” available in Mammoth Lakes, they’re rarely available. It’s best to plan on using one of our local taxi or shuttle services.