Looks like in my last post I went into some detail about Lake Tahoe experience and what we had done after checking out of our hotel. On our way out of town, we checked out a little swap meet which was filled with so many neat different items. A nice little break before heading back onto the road yet again! We are now on our way to Mammoth Mountain. We weren’t sure what we were going to do over there yet but figured we may have to wing it. Travis had planned for us to camp but once making it to the top of the mountain there was just so many things to see and incredibly cool cabin hotels. We had a good drive ahead of us and ready to get on the road.
The first stop after driving a good distance along was Mono Lake. Now neither one of us have heard of Mono Lake so we thought it looked pretty and maybe the kids could take a break and play on a beach. Funny thing is so many other people thought the same thing! Come to find out after we walked the entire dock without a place to get in the water my curiosity got the best of me. I couldn’t understand why we were not allowed to play like so many other lakes. Digging around online I found this lake is called ” Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve”. It is over a million years old and one of the oldest lakes in North America. It is not touched by a man from 4/1 to 8/1 as it is a habitat to 1-2 million birds that feed, rest and lay eggs here. This lake is almost two and a half times as salty as the ocean too! It was beautiful to see and to take the time to walk on the boardwalk to read the information. The tufa towers were like nothing we have seen before. The self-guided tour also shows you how low the lake is now vs back in 1941. That part was so crazy to think about when walking down the trail. If you have the time, I highly suggest giving it a go!
After our stop at the lake we packed back up in the car a little disappointed but glad we took the time to stop and look around before heading up to Mammoth Mountain. The drive up the mountain was beyond pretty! The weather was amazing, the trees were beautiful and thick, and the smell of pine is my favorite! Once at the top there was so much to do. Lots of little restaurants, activities for kids, bike trails, gondola rides up the mountain, and hotels. Once we parked and we walked up to find the information on the gondola rides and decided to go for it. This is the scariest thing I have done. It was a little hard to ride in a glass cart all the way up the mountain to the top of 11,000 feet and be slightly scared of heights. It was definitely rough but was awesome at the same time. The views around you were clear and beautiful. Also, near the mountaintop had a fire that was burning you could see in the distance – which was crazy. The gondola ride was about 15 minutes long and stopped at the top so you could get out and walk around before heading back down. It had all sorts of information and spots to take photos too!
After the gondola ride, we decided that we wanted to try to stay at one of the hotels instead of camping for the night. After the last hotel, we honestly all wanted a place that was much better this go around. I jumped on hotels.com and secured us a hotel room at the Mammoth Mountain Inn. This place was incredible. The kids were shocked even entering the main lobby. The location was perfect, the hotel room we got had a king bed, and a loft upstairs with a queen for the kids. They loved this place. Each room had their own balcony and you could open the screen door to let in the cool crisp air. My favorite thing out of all of it is the way the towels were folded in the rooms like mammoths, such a cute touch.
This hotel was so amazing and we were all so happy to have a nice clean hotel to stay in for the night. Since we arrived earlier than expected, we were able to walk around and get some down time before being rushed to do something else. That part is incredibly nice. We walked down to the restaurant to eat dinner and the food was delish! We ordered a 3lb pretzels for Travis and me to share along with some drinks! It was a nice change of pace for all of us. After eating, the kids wanted to go down to the spa and play in the pool. Travis and I were excited to sit in the indoor hot tub area as they had 4 separate ones for use – score! Today was a fun and relaxing day. It was going to be hard to beat in the future. We had so much fun just hanging out together as a family with lots of laughs and memories. The kids were excited for tomorrow as we are on our way to Las Vegas!