In California, we are so lucky to have snow just a few hours drive away and the beach at our disposal. Living in Orange County, there are several places to choose from for skiing and snowboarding. There is Mt. High, which is about an hour away; Big Bear, just under 2 hours away; and then there’s Mammoth, about 5 to 6 hours away. There is also Lake Tahoe, but that’s for another day.
So you want to have a mini road trip to Mammoth? Here are some awesome places you can stop by to make your road trip feel less of a drive.
When I told my car we were going to Fossil Falls, they initially thought “COOL! We’re going to see fossils… or waterfalls…” but I must warn you, you won’t be seeing either of those. Instead, you’ll be looking at rocks sculpted by water erosion. Absolutely awesome if you’re into rocks and climbing rocks. However, be careful because the rocks are smooth and can be slippery. Don’t worry though, if you fall, it’s not a long drop from the top so you will probably still survive. Only thing is, it’ll probably ruin the trip so don’t risk it.
If you’re not into geology, it could at least make a great Instagram photo! It is a quick stop off of the 395 freeway with free parking, free entrance, restrooms available, and just a short 5-10 minute (.21 mi) walk to get to this spot. The trail is clearly mapped out with beautiful scenery surrounding you on your journey. Don’t forget to sign the guestbook on your way out!
Take your western outfit and head on over to Alabama Hills in Lone Pine where many known movies were filmed here, some of which include Django Unchained, Gladiator, and Iron Man. You will be greeted by piles of rocks on one side and the other, beautiful mountain landscape.
Take a hike! Arch Rock is truly gorgeous with the mountains peeking through the back. Although it is a loop, we got lost getting to the Arch Rock as we thought another arch was this arch rock. We were first disappointed because it didn’t look like the pictures but lo and behold, we found it and it was worth the trip! Low risk, High reward! I definitely recommend checking out Arch Rock when you’re in Alabama Hills.
Copper Top BBQ
Whether you’re heading to Mammoth or from Mammoth on your way home, be sure to stop by Copper Top BBQ for lunch! I had Copper Top BBQ on the way back from Mammoth and it was delicious. Try the St. Louis spare ribs, caramelized to perfection. Also get the Green Chili as a side.
Erick Schat’s Bakkery
Have a lunch stop in Bishop at Erick Schat’s Bakkery, Home of the Original Sheepherder bread. We stopped here to grab a bite to eat and I got the Mule Kick. It’s big enough to share between 2 people for a light snack before reaching Mammoth.
Mahogany Smoked Meats
Go down the street for some beef jerky! Get all the samples you want, they’re nice about it. It ranges from Beef, Buffalo and Boar jerky. I personally enjoyed the Habanero flavor, great flavor with a small kick. I got 1 piece and it was close to $4, they price it by the ounce so it was about $2.51 per oz.
From there, you’re just about 40 minutes away from Mammoth. Remember to fill up gas in Bishop before entering Mammoth Lakes, it could be more expensive there!