The Best Season to Visit Mammoth Lakes

The Best Season to Visit Mammoth Lakes.

You’re gearing up to finally make that trip to Mammoth Lakes, California. The excitement is building, and adventure is right around the corner, but the weather in Mammoth Lakes will either make or break your joyful attitude. Is it really the best season to visit Mammoth Lakes? So, before you start planning your trip, you should familiarize yourself with what the climate is like in Mammoth Lakes, CA, throughout the year with the advice from a local Mammoth Elopement Photographer.

For the purpose of our chat today, we’re just going to be talking about the BEST season to visit Mammoth Lakes (it’s autumn) and what you can expect (and do) during that time.

Mammoth mountain in the distance with snow on the slopes.
river with mountains in background.

What Will the Weather Be Like During Your Visit to Mammoth Lakes, CA

Of course, the best time to visit Mammoth Lakes depends on what you’re visiting for. The weather in Mammoth Lakes is pretty well distributed throughout the seasons and fall is our favorite.

In spring (March to May), you’ll run into pretty chilly weather + sunny days paired with the occasional rain shower. 

In summer (June to August), the weather is at its hottest, but it is still very pleasant to spend all day outdoors.

In autumn (September to November), the temperature will start to drop (not too much), and the leaves will become ultra-vibrant.

In winter (December to February), snow will be plentiful, and the temperatures will be a bit varied. Some days might feel warm-ish, and other days will be absolutely freezing. 

mammoth mountain wedding

In case you missed the hints, we feel like autumn is the best season to go to Mammoth Lakes.

What Visitors Can Expect in Mammoth Lakes, CA

Each time of year comes with its own personality, so to speak. Imagine yourself wrapped in a cozy sweater, basking in the gentle sun, sightseeing the natural wonders of the Sierra Nevada- tourists at a minimum. This is what autumn feels like in Mammoth Lakes. 

September to November are considered an off-season because the area is not super busy. Summer is packed full of tourists taking advantage of the warm weather, and winter is packed full of skiers, snowboarders, and the like.

Aside from minimal tourists, expect a golden landscape in the fall too. The stunning leaves are what make this season so special. With a quiet town, calm weather, and colorful surroundings, what could be better?

Top Things to Do During Your Visit to Mammoth Lakes, CA

Mammoth Lakes is every outdoor enthusiast’s dream. There’s plenty of activities to enjoy no matter the time of year. Autumn is especially perfect for sightseeing, hiking, fishing, biking, horseback riding, and enjoying what the town has to offer (events included).

Bodie State Historic Park

This is a real, genuine, unrestored ghost town that was once a haven for miners. Think “Wild Wild West” and you have Bodie Ghost Town. Bring your cameras! 

Looking down a road toward Bodie state park.

Mono Lake

Experience the unique nature of this 700,000-year-old lake. The water is made of salt 2x saltier than the sea! Swimming probably isn’t a good idea, but gazing at the tufa towers (columns of calcium carbonate) is worth it. 

Mono Lake tufa's with Nevada in the background.

Reds Meadow

Reds Meadow is home to Devils Postpile National Monument, Reds Meadow Resort, and a cute little general store. This area is a gorgeous place to hike, picnic, bike, and fish in the autumn. 

Devils Postpile National Monument basalt pilars.

Now, get out there and explore! Feel free to share your latest adventures and tips in the comments. 

  1. Oh my gosh you have me absolutely CRAVING a trip here! The ghost town and Mono Lake look especially epic!

  2. Leo says:

    This is such a great blog to share, thank you! We’ve had the hardest time choosing a season and this really gives us an idea of what we’re getting into, thanks!

  3. David Tam says:

    I was wondering when I’d see something about Mammoth and the surrounding area! I absolutely love this party of California, especially in the Autumn months! The colour of the foliage is just so bright and intense!

    In between Mammoth and Bishop are a few natural hot springs as well! Google “Mammoth Hot Springs Green Church”. It’s an absolutely gorgeous spot and best visited in the Fall before the snow hits. I’ve gone in the late winter and had to hike across the ice field to get to the springs… in my sandals because I forgot my hiking boots.

    • Jaymie Shearer says:

      that sounds chhhiilllyyyyy! so glad you’ve been able to experience Mammoth and it’s surrounding beauty!

  4. This is so great! Ive never been to Mammoth but Im dying to go. looks like such a rad place to shoot.

  5. Kathleen says:

    What a great, informative blog post!! I’ve never been to Mammoth Lakes but now it’s on my list! Thanks 🙂

  6. Lucy says:

    This is such awesome information! I’m gonna save it for my own personal travels. ?

  7. Kat says:

    Ahhhh I love Mammoth! So many great places for shoots–great info here.

  8. […] prefer to come in the Fall or Winter seasons. There is something for everyone out here! Click here to find the best season to visit Mammoth […]

  9. Danielle says:

    Mammoth looks like an epic place to shoot elopements! Great guide!

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Jaymie is a Mammoth Lakes & Zion Photographer. She specializes in documenting small weddings & elopements.