In the early 1900s Mammoth Lakes was a popular summer vacation destination, known for its warm days and cool nights (average day temps 70-80F; evenings 40-50F), hunting, fishing, and backcountry camping around the amazing lakes and meadows of the eastern High Sierra. In the ’40s and ’50s skiing in the area exploded and the wealth of summer offerings took a back burner, at least in the minds of travelers. But Mammoth has always been a great summer getaway, now enhanced with upscale resort facilities as part of a major redevelopment effort that aims to bring it to the level of alpine destinations such as Aspen, Vail, or Whistler. Only 250 miles from the East Bay, Mammoth Lakes is about a five-and-a-half-hour drive in the summer when Tioga Pass (Hwy 120) is open through Yosemite. Local attractions include the Minaret Vista, Devil’s Postpile (a basalt rock formation of cooled lava), Rainbow Falls, Red’s Meadow, the Hot Creek hot springs and fish hatchery, and nearby Crowley Lake for water sports. Both horseback riding and backcountry horse-packing trips can be arranged to take you to places usually seen by only very experienced hikers. Those who aren’t satisfied with outdoor activities can find something to do at the new Village at Mammoth, which features shopping, gourmet dining, and luxury condominiums.
But who cares where you’re bunking when Yosemite is only a 45-minute drive or ultra-convenient “YARTS” shuttle ride away, John Muir and Ansel Adams wilderness areas surround you, the ancient bristlecone pine forest beckons, and Bodie Ghost Town and the strange tufa towers of Mono Lake beg to be explored. Mammoth Mountain Adventure Center opens June 27, with over eighty miles of mountain-bike terrain, gondola rides to the 11,053-foot summit that provide access to hiking and biking trails, and the Climb & Zip (a climbing rock and zip line) for the kids. The new Sierra Star Golf Club is California’s highest elevation eighteen-hole course. For info on festivals and events, see VisitMammoth.com, mammothmountain.com, or call 1-888-GOMAMMOTH. — Annika Dukes
Make dad sweat
Don’t give Dad a boring old tie this Father’s Day. And don’t stuff him full of tamales and tequila sunrises on his big day. Do something to help the old guy get in shape — register him in the Fremont Bank Fathers Day Spirit Run in Pleasanton. The event is broken into a “Kids’ Challenge,” a 5K (walk or run), and a 10K, all of which start under the arch in downtown Pleasanton beginning at 8 a.m. Registration for all events is $25 on race day, $10 for kids’ challenge. Proceeds go to scholarships, and $1,000 will be awarded to the school with the most participants. www.active.com or 209-795-7832. — Kelly Vance
Tee Off for Young’uns
Each year, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland provide two thousand deserving kids with a safe place to learn and play, and in so doing offer them hope as well as character development. That’s the “Purpose” in Monday’s fourth annual Fun with a Purpose Golf Tournament at Sequoyah Country Club in Oakland, which raises funds to support the clubs’ programs. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. Monday, with a shotgun start at 11:30. Entry fee is $250, with sponsorships starting at $1,500. To learn more, phone Mikki Funnie at the Boys & Girls Clubs, 510-444-8211. Sequoyah is at 4550 Heafey Rd., Oakland. — Kelly Vance
Wild in the Country
Sick of urban life? Split for the wilderness. It’s all around you, and Berkeley REI’s Wilderness Weekends seminar can help hook you up with the great outdoors. Wednesday evening at 7, Matt Held shows slides and dispenses trip tips for wilderness destinations within a three-hour drive of the Bay Area. Then on Thursday (7 p.m.), Martin Dickinson explains Backpacking 101: Fast & Light , including how to layer your clothing for maximum comfort and the old essential: how to bear-proof food. Both seminars are free as you’ll soon be. REI is at 1338 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. For more info, call 510-527-4140. — Kelly Vance