The Eastern Sierras in California have long been an outpost for adventure seekers looking for a respite from city life. People from Southern California make the trek up Highway 395 all winter and all summer to capture some outdoor fun. Ski season usually brings big mountain skiing at Mammoth Mountain but summer is when the full-fledged adventure really begins.
Mono County and the surrounding areas of the Eastern Sierra are the perfect getaways for any type of vacation. The family travelers can find bike trails and hiking opportunities. Adventure seekers can look for downhill adrenaline adventures on mountain bikes and rock climbing excursions on the local crags. Food and drink lovers can take part in food festivals and craft breweries.
The quick getaway to the mountains might be exactly what you need.
Check out these options for fun in the great outdoors of the Eastern Sierras:
Ride along on a brewery tour with Eastern Sierra Brewery Tours. The new tour company offers a four-hour tasting excursion with stops at June Lake Brewing, Mammoth Brewing Company, and Black Doubt Brewing Company. Tours include transportation via a luxury 12-passenger van, flights of beer, and lunch.
Eastern Sierra Brewery Tours, www.easternsierrabrewerytours.com
If you just need some good craft beer without a tour head into Mammoth Brewing Company. They have a large tasting room with the freshest beer in the Eastern Sierra as well as a patio to take in the sunshine. If you need a snack the Eatery serves small bites to be washed down with Golden Trout Pilsner or an IPA 395.
Mammoth Brewing Company, (760) 934-7141, 18 Lake Mary Road, Mammoth Lakes, Ca Open Daily 12 – Close
Drop a line into a lake and pull out dinner. Fishing is a huge draw in Mono County and Mammoth Lakes pulls in plenty of fishermen. Crowley Lake is perfect for a guided excursion and the streams and alpine lakes are right for a day-long journey for fresh trout. There are fishing derbies and events going on all summer throughout the county, and the newest is the Bridgeport Fish Festival on July 29-30. Hosted by Twin Lakes Resort in Bridgeport, this inaugural fest features a fishing tournament, barbecue, live music, raffles and poker run, with funds benefiting the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce. www.twinlakeresort.com
June Lake is a getaway that takes you back to the outdoors that is free of the overblown resorts and corporate culture that infiltrates cozy mountain towns. Silver Lake Resort celebrates its 100th anniversary this summer. The family-operated resort on the June Lake Loop has a long history as a beloved oasis of respite and adventure. The summer schedule is replete with events and activities, including a Fourth of July barbecue, live concerts and free fishing derby.
Making the drive to the Eastern Sierras from Southern California you can make a stop at a piece of history that is often overlooked. Manzanar National Historical Site chronicles the story of Japanese internment camps in a striking collection of artifacts and stories of a dark time in U.S. history. The setting is right in the location of an actual internment camp and the driving tour will take you out among the ruins of a camp that housed Japanese Americans at a time when their country turned their back on them.
Manzanar National Historic Site, 5001 Highway 395, Independence, CA, (760) 878-2194 nps.gov/manz/index.htm
Out in the hills, a short drive away from the rugged terrain of the Sierras is a tiny town that once was the focal point of a gold rush. Bodie State Historic Park is an actual ghost town and on any given day you can feel the eerie winds blow through the streets and the desolate feeling of a place abandoned after it was depleted of its treasures. The town is still somewhat intact and is kept up by the park service. There is a daily tour of the Stamp Mill where gold was pulled from the works and turned into bright bullion bars.
Bodie State Historic Park, (760) 647-6445, Summer hours 9am-6pm (March 18th to October 31st), Winter hours 9am to 4pm (November 1st to March 17th)