Now that it is almost October, it is the perfect time to discuss what it is like to visit Mammoth in the Fall. People tend to avoid our area in September, October, and early November because the Mammoth Mountain Bike Park is closed, the Ski Resort is not open yet, and the heat of mid summer has passed. There are a number of reasons that you would still want to visit Mammoth Lakes this time of year, below are a few of them.
One of the biggest upsides to visiting Mammoth in October or early November is the cost. Demand is super low because the majority of tourists want to go skiing or snowboarding. They tend to wait until we have snow on the ground and the ski lifts are running to make the trip. This allows you to book Airbnb units in Mammoth at a steep discount. You can see in this screen shoot that you can get a nice condo for around $100 or just over that. These same condos will rent for $500+ per night in the winter.
Leaf peeping in the Eastern Sierra is awesome! If you like to see the fall colors, there is no better place on the West Coast to view them than Mammoth Lakes California. The weather is nice for the most part and you can still do all the hikes around town. The Aspen and/or Birch tree leaves in the area turn amazingly beautiful with light greens, yellows, oranges, and browns blending together with the green of the pine trees.
The weather is still awesome and the hiking is still great. There are thousands of miles of trails in the Eastern Sierra and dozens of tails are accessible from within a few miles of Mammoth Lakes. You more than likely won't get hit with an 80 degree day allowing for more comfortable hiking weather. It can get chilly in the evenings and at night, so keep your eye on the weather if you plan to do any backpacking. Temps usually drop to the 30's every night in the Fall and get down to single digits if we get a cold front (and it can also snow). Make sure you bring the proper equipment if you plan to spend the night in the wilderness. The good news for day hikers is that daytime temps tend to be in the 60-70 degree range, which is great for hiking.
Another perk to visiting Mammoth in the Fall is that there are no crowds. If you have ever been in Mammoth Lakes on the 4th of July or the week of Christmas to New Year, then you know the nightmare of trying to get groceries at Vons or going out to eat. It is darn near impossible to get a seat at your favorite restaurant when it is peak season. In September, October, or November you can walk right into any restaurant in town and get a seat immediately. Be aware that some places shut down completely for "shoulder season" (aka Fall), so do a little research before making the trip if you have a specific place you want to visit.