A woman kayaking on Lake Mary on a sunny day, where to stay in Mammoth Lakes

Where to Stay in Mammoth Lakes in 2023 (Best Areas & Places)

With world-renowned skiing and snowboarding, pristine alpine lakes, and hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails, the question isn’t whether to visit Mammoth Lakes, but rather where to stay in Mammoth Lakes.

I’m a California local, and I’m here to guide you to the best places to stay in Mammoth Lakes. We’ll go through the best neighborhoods and areas and help you decide which place is right for you. Of course, you want to be near the best things to do in Mammoth Lakes, but besides that, it can be hard to know where to look without some guidance.

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Best Places to Stay in Mammoth Lakes

Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Mammoth Lakes? Here are my top picks: 

Ok, let’s do a deep dive of the best areas and neighborhoods in Mammoth Lakes: 

4 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Mammoth Lakes

View of the heavy snow at the ski lift system in a resort in Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes is a small Californian mountain town that packs a big punch in terms of natural beauty and outdoor activities. Skiers and snowboarders flock to the town during winter to take advantage of some of the best slopes in California. Meanwhile, campers, hikers, and outdoor lovers enjoy the trails and beautiful alpine lakes in warmer months. 

Because of its year-round beauty, Mammoth is popular with visitors and, as such, there are tons of hotels in Mammoth Lakes.

In general, Mammoth Lakes is divided into four areas: Downtown, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Mammoth Lakes Basin, and Old Mammoth. These areas are all close to one another, so you can’t go wrong staying in any of them. 

That said, there’s a lot to say about staying close to the mountain for ski access, near the lakes basin in summer, or close to downtown for restaurant access.

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area

View of the skiers with a scenic view of the snow-covered mountain in the background
Mammoth Mountain is a winter wonderland, especially for avid skiers and snowboarders

👉 Best Area For Ski Slopes | ✨ Best Mammoth Mountain Hotels: Juniper Springs ResortMammoth Mountain InnWestin Monache ResortThe Village LodgeMammoth Mountain Chalets

Mammoth Mountain is one of the top ski resorts in California, so visiting during ski season means spending as much time as possible taking advantage of the 3,500 skiable acres. Direct access to the lifts from the hotel, ski resort, or lodge is a huge plus for staying on or at the base of the mountain. It means that you avoid wasting valuable slope time waiting in the traffic that often forms on the road to the lodge parking lots.

Many of the hotels and resorts near the mountain also have events and activities that give them a fun, celebratory atmosphere that keeps the fun rolling into the evenings. During winter and early spring, the mountain is undeniably the place to be in Mammoth.

Pros of Staying in Mammoth Mountain:

  • Many of the hotels offer ski-in ski-out convenience
  • During ski season, hotels have events and celebrations
  • Ski resorts often offer ski packages and shuttles

Cons of Staying in Mammoth Mountain Ski Area:

  • Hotels and resorts can be expensive during the ski season
  • Can get very busy

📚 Mammoth Mountain Ski Area Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Skiing and Snowboarding
Google Map

Downtown Mammoth Lakes

View of the snowing Village Gondola
The Village Gondola connects downtown Mammoth with Mammoth Mountain and offers stunning views of the scenery (photo: PradaBrown / Shutterstock)

👉 Best Area For Central Location | ✨ Best Downtown Mammoth Lakes Hotels: Obsidian ResidenciesMammoth Creek InnEmpeiria High Sierra HotelCinnamon Bear Inn

Mammoth Lakes has much more to offer beyond its premier skiing and snowboarding. Between its stunning alpine lakes, miles of hiking and biking trails, historic landmarks, and national forest, Mammoth is a year-round destination. Downtown Mammoth Lakes is the perfect central location to be able to easily hop around between all of the sights and attractions.

Being in town also means that you’re close to the grocery stores, coffee shops, restaurants, and bars located on Main Street. Staying in the heart of town has tons of advantages for those who have their eyes set on more than the mountain and the hotel hot tub.  

Pros of Staying in Downtown Mammoth Lakes:

  • Close to restaurants and bars
  • Easy to drive to all of Mammoth’s sights and attractions
  • Many hotels offer shuttles to ski slopes
  • More budget hotel options in Downtown Mammoth than right at the mountain

Cons of Staying in Downtown Mammoth Lakes:

  • No ski-on ski-off access
  • Must drive to all of the attractions

📚 Downtown Mammoth Lakes Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Central Location
Google Map

Mammoth Lakes Basin

A woman kayaking on Lake Mary on a sunny day
Kayaking around the turquoise waters of Lake Mary in Summer was a highlight of our trip

👉 Best Area For Lake Activities | ✨ Best Lakes Basin Hotels: Tamarack Lodge and ResortCrystal Crag Lodge

During warm summer months when the snow melts to reveal Mamoth’s gorgeous forest, trails, and lakes, Mammoth Lakes Basin is the prime spot to spend time. 

The basin contains five pristine mountain lakes of varying seclusion and size that are perfect for cooling off and enjoying summer activities like swimming, hiking, and mountain biking. Lake Mary has kayak and standup paddle board rentals and the fishing at all of the lakes is superb.

Staying near the lakes allows for quick and easy access to all of these activities and means you can enjoy the incredible natural beauty right from your bedroom.

Pros of Staying in Mammoth Lakes Basin:

  • Close to lakes and hikes
  • Showcases the beauty of mountains and alpine lakes

Cons of Staying in the lakes basin:

  • Further away from restaurants and bars
  • Harder to access in winter

📚 Lakes Basin Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Lakes and Hikes
Google Map

Old Mammoth

View of an old building with a scenic view of the snowy mountain in Old Mammoth
The mining history of Mammoth Lakes is hidden in plain sight throughout the town

👉 Best Area For Experiencing History | ✨ Best Old Mammoth Hotels: Snowcreek ResortEdelweiss Lodge

Mammoth Lakes’ beginnings date back to the 1887 gold rush when prospectors set up a mining operation along what is now Old Mammoth Road. Nowadays, you can still appreciate much of Mammoth’s vibrant mining town history, especially in this historic part of town. Old Mammoth has a quaint, mountain town atmosphere that gives it a sense of timelessness.

In addition to its unique architecture and history, Old Mammoth is a great home base for day trips to the lakes, mountains, or any Mammoth adventure. Its central location means that it’s easy to get around and there are plenty of restaurants and shops nearby making it a perfect spot for families.   

Pros of Staying in Old Mammoth:

  • Close to mountains, lakes, and downtown
  • Quaint mountain town atmosphere
  • Close to Snowcreek Golf Course

Cons of Staying in Old Mammoth:

  • Fewer hotel options

📚 Old Mammoth Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Historical Immersion
Google Map

Tips for Staying in Mammoth Lakes

Book in Advance for Ski Season

View of the skiers at a ski resort
(photo: jannystockphoto / Depositphotos)

The best ski resorts book up well in advance during winter months, so be sure to make your reservations early to ensure getting a room and the best rates. 

Get Your Rentals at the Village

There is a conveniently located rental store in The Village that always services far fewer skiers and snowboarders than the rental facility on the mountain. I recommend you head there to save some serious time.

Consider Camping During Warm Months

A group of friends playing cards at the camping site in Mammoth Lakes
My friends and I at our Mammoth Lakes campsite

Mammoth Lakes has tons of incredible campgrounds that allow visitors to fully appreciate the natural beauty of the Eastern Sierras. Plus, camping tends to be cheaper than hotels. Just make sure to reserve a campsite in advance since they book up quickly.

In fact, one of the best campgrounds in California is just outside of Mammoth Lakes. Head over to Brown’s Owens River Campground to fully experience the great Californian outdoors.

FAQs About Where to Stay in Mammoth Lakes

How many days do you need in Mammoth Lakes?

Three days in Mammoth Lakes will give you ample time to ski or snowboard, hike the trails, or sightsee around Mammoth.

What is the closest city to Mammoth Lakes CA?

June Lake Village lies about 25 minutes or 20 miles north of Mammoth Lakes via the 395. June Lake is a beautiful mountain town situated on a stunning alpine lake and is home to a great California RV park.

Is it easy to drive to Mammoth Lakes?

During warm months without snow, Mammoth Lakes is easily accessible by car. However, road closures around Mammoth can occur in the winter during heavy snowfall.

How far is Mammoth Lakes from Mammoth?

The town of Mammoth Lakes is only a few miles across. Driving the two miles from downtown Mammoth Lakes to Canyon Lodge takes less than ten minutes.


Thanks for reading my guide to where to stay in Mammoth Lakes! The good news is that with so many unique hotels, lodges, cabins, and inns, finding the perfect accommodation for your trip is possible. For more fun, check out this epic list of places to go in California.

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