While Mammoth Mountain is primarily filled with man-made snow this early in the season, the white slopes still provide the picture-perfect scenery you’ve been dreaming about. But now that you’ve arrived in Mammoth Lakes, California, it’s time to stop dreaming and start exploring.
Though it’s tempting to set out for the mountain as soon as you get to Mammoth Lakes, an ultimate brunch sounds too good to pass up, so you’re off to The Stove for some country cooking and small-town vibes. Go with the country-fried steak and eggs or the breakfast burrito—stuffed with eggs, potatoes, bell pepper, and sour cream—for all the protein you’ll need to conquer your fears and experience the marvelous Mammoth Mountain. If you’re feeling more like lunch than brunch, order The Stove burger with a veggie patty, avocado, and sautéed mushrooms. But no matter what you get, make sure to end the meal with a slice of cinnamon-swirl French toast.
Fueled by adrenaline and a big breakfast, it’s time to rent a pair of skis (or a snowboard) and learn how to traverse the Mammoth Mountain ski area. Though the fluffy, powdered snow looks gorgeous from afar, it’s surprisingly intimidating to take in from the bottom of the hill. The idea of gracefully sliding and gliding down the mountain is vividly simple, yet the reality is much less put-together than it sounds. After several attempts to stay upright, plenty of flailing, and a few bruises, you finally get the hang of it. While you might not be joining the pros on the advanced slopes anytime soon, you can officially say that you’ve skied—and at California’s highest chairlift-serviced peak, no less.
Feeling accomplished and exhausted after all of that hard work, a large cup of hot cocoa is in order. Taking off the snow gear instantly makes you feel 10 pounds lighter, and as the chill of the snowy air hits your skin for the first time, the beads of sweat turn into goosebumps almost instantly. After warming up, the time has come to check in to your Mammoth Lakes lodging—but standing proves to be more difficult after working every forgotten muscle.
The Village Lodge is located in the heart of Mammoth Lakes, right near the city’s boutiques and eateries. While the enticing down comforters and luxurious fireplaces of the hotel call for attention, there is still a bit more to see before tucking in for the night.