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Mammoth in July with small children

California
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Mammoth in July with small children

We have been offered the use of a condo in Mammoth July 7-14 and all we have to do is pay the cleaing fee (110 dollars!). The condo is in the Winterset complex, which I'm told is a very central location.Not being one to look an almost gift hourse in the mouth I immediatley accepted and invited some family members to join us. The party will consist of:

DH and myself, late 30's

5 and 8 year old girls

60-ish aunt and 75-ish uncle, both very fit and active.

I've been doing some reseach and have coem up with the following activities:

Gondola ride up the mountain, lunch, museum, walking about up there. Thought about biking, but better put this off until my little one is ready.

Bodie/Mono Lake- Is this worth the drive. Enough to keep the kids interested?? The kids do love history. (Long drive day)

Reds Meadow/Rainbow Falls- looks like we shoudl take the shuttle and just get off at the various stips that interest us. Should we pack a lunch or is the cafeteria there decent?

Tuolomne Meadows (second long drive day) We have done Yosemite Valley with the kids, but they haven't seen this side of the park. Recommended kid friendly hikes or other activities? Little one is too young for horseback riding.

Horseshoe Lake- Thinking about packing a lunch there and spending a day just swiming and hanging out on the beach. Couldn't find much info on whether this is feasible, I read this is one of the few lakes that aloows swiming. Kids are both *avid* swimmers.

That's 5 days. Anything else to suggest? Keep in mind, I'm trying to keep driving to a minimum since the kids will already have the long drive up from Orange County, and at their age they are much more interested in DOING than SEEING if you know what I mean.

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California
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1. Re: Mammoth in July with small children

We have been going to Mammoth every summer for 10 years now. Though swimming is allowed at horseshoe lake you won't find many people there. High levels of carbon dioxide has killed the trees and vegetation around the lake. There are warning signs around the lake not to spend too much time there. It is an interesting place to visit but we have never stayed long and the kids did not want to swim there. There is no shade and the sun is super hot in the summer. Here's a link to a picture of the lake:

…webshots.com/photo/1078436464035499876kZFJVj

You can also read more about it on Wikipedia for mammoth mountain.

We rent a condo with a pool and the kids seemed happy enough with that. You'll find the area is geared to fishing at the lakes and most other activities have to door with other various outdoor activites like biking, hiking, etc. Not so much of the typical lake activities like boating or swimming.

I canl write more late.

Santa Clarita, CA
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2. Re: Mammoth in July with small children

Vicki,

You can swim up at June Lake. There's a nice swimming beach there. Take Oh! Ridge road to get there. The June Lake loop is a nice diversion from 395. Great place for a picnic by a lake (I believe there are 5 lakes on that road).

PT

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3. Re: Mammoth in July with small children

Thanks! We have a pool at home in our association so the condo pool won't be a big thrill for them, but they've never swum in a lake, so that will be.

California
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4. Re: Mammoth in July with small children

LOL we have a pool at our house but it gets pretty warm in Mammoth so having a pool on sight is a big plus.

Bakersfield...
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5. Re: Mammoth in July with small children

We took our 5 year old to Mono Lake on a guided tour. She enjoyed it for the most part, but the tour was a little too long for her. She got bored near the end.

Something else she really liked was the trout farm. You can see them at all different sizes and even feed them. There's also a hot spring you can see (but not touch) near there.

We stopped at the visitors center there when you first get into Mammoth Lakes. The people there were very friendly and helpful and recommended things for our family that our daughter might enjoy, too. They have lots of brochures. Stop in and check it out!

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6. Re: Mammoth in July with small children

Oh, I almost forgot! I don't know which way your route takes you, but if you go through Bishop check out Schat's Bakery. They have the BEST breads!

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Bishop
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7. Re: Mammoth in July with small children

We went camping every year in the June Lake Loop and Mammoth Lake Area...since I was 6 months old. Missed a year here or there but if I were a kid ....

Please take me swimming at June Lake at noon. Its super cold but if you have an innertube and a great beach towel, once we're brave enough, it will be hard to keep us out.

Take me to Gull Lake Loop and take me fishing. I also want lots of time to play on the swings, the great playground equipment, and have fun. Also, take me out on the paddle boats...and once done, let's have a picnic and run around some more.

Take me to the back of Silver Lake Store (again on June Lake Loop by Silver Lake). There's a neat pond in back with super big fish...but better yet there are wooden bridges that I can walk across over a little creek (very safe for me!) And fun.

Take me to Lee Vining and buy me ice cream - -and if you do go as far as Bridgeport, do get me a Jolly Cone. I've heard its the best.

Take me to Bodie ....I want to see what's its like to go to the school way back when, and let me stomp about and see this and that. Bring along some drinks and eats...as it can get warm!

I also want to see Huge and Lots of fish...take me to the Hot Creek fish hatchery just south of Mammoth Lakes. What big fish!

Take me for a walk around Convict Lake..and tell me stories about the Old West! Its a pretty easy walk and can get windy; but fun!

Take me for a hike up to Parker Lake..if I'm 5, bring my favorite toy (my favorite used to be a Smoky the Bear stuffed bear.). Its on June Lake Loop east of Grant Lake.

Take me to the wierd lake at Mammoth Lakes that disappeared due to the sulfur there...wierd, wiered....

I like Devils Postpile - and see what big mess he sure did make with all those rock piles! Its a short walk...and the bus shuttle down not so much fun (but its close...)

Take me swimming and play table tennis close to the condos...

Rent some bikes and bike the flat area of Mammoth Lakes...no, not quite ready for the steeper bike park...but riding around town sure would be fun.

Take me to see the horses at the stables....even though we're not old enough to ride, it sure is fun to see the horses snort! and play around!

Rent a boat and take us across the lake....

Build a huge campfire at night (and make shadows! and tell stories! and roast marshmellows!)

All of these will become life-long memories of wonderful times in the Sierras.

Take me to Grumpys at Mammoth Lakes and Tiger Bar at June Lake! and do bring me some of those cookies from Schatt's (and make me some sandwiches with the Fisherman Bread from Schatt's Bakery).

And if you have time, take me swimming in the natural hot springs just east of Mammoth Lakes....

Not that interested in Toulumne Meadows....the scenery is neat...and we did enjoy digging a big hole and burying some supplies for my brother once who was doing a back-pack trip, but all I remember is the mosquitos. So bring some repellant. As I grow older, hower, its become one of myh favorite places, so the older ones in the family will enjoy it.

Have fun....

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8. Re: Mammoth in July with small children

Your post brings back a lot of great memories with our kids, and grandkids. But it's been a few years now...

We have enjoyed Rainbow Falls, and it's a easy hike. Do it first thing in the morning. When we got to the falls, the kids wanted to go down the steps to the falls, and that was a lot of fun. Uncle and aunt may want to watch from above. From there we went to Reds' Meadow and bought cold drinks and sat outdoors for awhile. We've had pie there once, but you may want to bring some snacks along.

There is a picnic area at the Devil's Postpile stop - kids like to play in the river, throw rocks, etc.

Minaret Summit has beautiful sunset views of the mountains. You turn right just before the entrance station and drive1/2 mile to the viewpoint.

The fish hatchery the kids loved too - feeding the fish, and there are BIG ones in there. The hot springs are interesting, and smelly. There are a lot of stairs to go down, and back up. Also, while you are that way, you may want to cross hwy 395, and take a short trip to Convict Lake and just check it out. Just a few snacks and cold drinks, and you can have a great time exploring this area.

June Lake - swimming, beach day was always fun. Another highlight at June Lake was an ice cream cone - don't know if the place is still there. We also went a little farther to the park at Gull Lake. They have a playground there, and boat and paddleboat rentals. Beautiful scenery.

Mammoth - you are centrally located. On Old Mammoth Road just before the curve (just past The Stove - another must for breakfast) is a nice playground. You can rent bicycles on Old Mammoth Road, and pick up the bike trail (easy) and go under the road and continue on the trail. Kids like to look for pine cones in that area, too. Or, walk the paved trail.

Horseshoe - in the past it was great, now it's just a drive through to see the desolation.

Lake Mary - we like to park along the road, and walk down to the lake and the kids like to fish, or just play around the water. There are boat rentals there, too. At the end of Coldwater Campground, there is a trailhead for Emerald Lake. Easy 3/4 mile hike, kids, grandma, and other families have done it. All these trails will be available at the Forest Service Visitor's Center just before you enter the town. Kids just seem to find little things along the way to entertain them.

Twin Lakes is a nice little lake - walk across the bridge, kids enjoy it. If you cross by the bridge near the store to the campground, you can turn left and follow the lake and get up close fairly close to the waterfalls. You have to step over a few rocks, maybe get your feet wet, etc..but it's part of the fun.

If your girls decide they want to fish, we went to Kittredge Sports, near the post office, and they put fishing poles (3) together so the kids could go fishing. (Dad was too impatient.)

Bodie will be very warm in July, and you will need to bring water, etc. The place makes you thirsty just to look at it. Mono Lake is interesting - a little gooey down by the water. Just going down Tioga Pass road is scenic, and again - there are streams and kids like to play near water. Saddlebag Lake (gravel road) is a beautiful spot. Mosquito repellent is a necessity in that area. You may see some rock climbers in that area also.

The gondola will be fun, and there are a few other kid activities up at Mammoth Mountain Inn, too.

You will find plenty to do - we did for 25 years!

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9. Re: Mammoth in July with small children

We have been going to Mammoth for a few years and do enjoy a visit to Horseshoe Lake. It is great lake for dogs if they like to swim. They have the whole lake to themselves as there aren't any fisher people.

We have also been told by the US Forest Service that the lake is not dead and is coming back to life. Not to mention that one side of the lake has lots of trees. It is also a great lake for bike riding as there is a trail around the whole lake. From this lake you can also hike to another lake at a little higher elevation. Just leave you car in the large parking lot and head on up to the higher lake.

Mammoth is a great place if you like to hike and if you have a dog. It is a very dog friendly town.

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10. Re: Mammoth in July with small children

We only have a cat and fish and they will all be staying home. :-)