Many mountain ranges have ski towns focused only on one time of year. The High Sierra is very fortunate to offer an assortment of mountain towns featuring fun & adventure all year round. Don’t believe us? Here’s 3 perfect mountain towns to visit in the High Sierra ANY time of year.
Just like a proud parent, we think all the towns & communities surrounding the Lake Tahoe region are amazing and we can’t say one is better than the others. But for those looking for an enclave filled with shops, boutiques, & lakefront restaurants that are right on the crystal clear waters of North Lake Tahoe, then you may want to consider Tahoe City. In the winter, you’re located mere minutes from an assortment of ski resorts like Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows, Homewood Resort and Granlibakken Ski & Sled Hill. In the summer, you’re just steps away from fun. Just walk down the stairs to Commons Beach for a dip or listen to some free, live outdoor music. September’s “Secret Season” boasts leaf peeping hikes, high-altitude training and races, including the World Championship Spartan Race; locally-sourced menus and the renowned Autumn Food & Wine Festival. Let’s just say the fun never stops… it just evolves based on the time of year.
This list wouldn’t be complete without including this adventure mountain town. Nestled in the eastern side of the High Sierra, when it comes down to outdoor mountain fun, Mammoth Lakes is the champion. Mammoth’s ski season typically starts in early November and runs up to July 4th or even longer. Mammoth Mountain covers over 3,500 acres and often boasts some of the deepest annual snowpack in the country. During the summer, the ski area morphs into a mountain bike haven offering over 80 miles of lift-accessed singletrack, kids adventure center, a Via Ferrata and serves as the gateway to Devil’s Postpile National Park and the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park . Couple that with hot springs, thousands of acres of wilderness to explore (Yosemite, Ansel Adams, & John Muir Wilderness areas), and events like the Bluesapalooza & you can’t go wrong.
For some, going on vacation is to get away from it all. For others, it’s about getting inspired. Why not combine them both into one! Not too far from the cozy town of Angels Camp is a quaint cabin that some of the GREATEST literature of the American West was written, by the likes of Bret Harte & Mark Twain. It’s also home to the annual frog jumping jubilee & is one of the most picturesque downtown’s your eyes will ever see. You can stroll the main street or head out to New Melones Lake for hiking, mountain biking, & even amazing fishing. In the end, you’ll come home reenergized and inspired to make something as everlasting as Bret Harte & Mark Twain themselves.
As you can see, there’s no wrong time to visit these destinations. Come any time to these mountain towns in the High Sierra. They are the perfect option to explore ANY time of year.
Author: Alex Silgalis
Alex Silgalis is an outdoors travel writer who enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, or having a cold one from a local mountain brewery. See more of Alex’s work at https://localfreshies.com
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