Here’s the scoop on this high-altitude runner’s playground.
Located off 395 North about 40 miles from Yosemite National Park, Mammoth is a roughly six-hour drive both from Los Angeles and San Francisco. The Mammoth Yosemite Airport is a 10-minute drive from town. Alaska Air offers nonstop flights from L.A.; United Airlines offers nonstop flights from L.A., San Francisco and San Diego during the winter/spring season.
Where to Stay
There are many hotels and resorts to choose from, including the Westin Monache Resort (westinmammoth.com), Alpenhof Lodge (alpenhof-lodge.com), Snowcreek Resort (snowcreekresort.com) and Best Western Plus High Sierra Hotel (highsierrahotel.com). Alternatively, rentals for everything from studios to four-bedroom condos accommodating up to 10 people are available through Mammoth Premiere Reservations (mammothpremiere.com).
Places to Run
Need for speed? The Whitmore Track, located 6 miles south of Mammoth Lakes, was completed in 2012 as a joint public-private partnership between the town and the track club. Surfaced with thousands of recycled tires, the track is open year-round to the public.
Hitting the dirt? You’ve got tons of options with 300 miles of trail. Part of the John Muir and Pacific Crest trail network, the Devil’s Postpile National Monument, an extraordinary formation of soaring, 60-foot columns of basalt, lies along one of Deena Kastor’s favorite trail runs. Or you can start at Mammoth Creek Park and run the Mammoth Rock Trail loop, which rewards you for some steep climbing with a panoramic view of the town. For more information, visit mammothtrail.org
Going long? Benton Crossing Road, aka “Green Church Road,” is a popular spot for long tempo runs on the mostly flat pavement
Places to Eat
Best breakfast? The Good Life Café not only gets high praise for its eggs and pancakes, it offers tasty Mexican dishes too. Enjoy gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. mammothgoodlifecafe.com
Beer drinker? Mammoth Brewing Company has a tasting room with a mix of year-round and seasonal beers. Eatery by Bleu offers brew-pub fare that’s more on the creative side with a bison burger, bahn mi pizza and a pork belly reuben. mammothbrewingco.com
Fancy dinner? Whitebark Restaurant, located inside the Westin Monache hotel, offers sushi and a mix of seafood and meat main courses. westinmammoth.com