We are heading to Mammoth with a 5 month old and staying at Tamarack Lodge Resort. We are also planning on visiting Yosemite National Park. Any tips and recommendations on things to do, where to eat will be very helpful. This is our first family trip with our son.
You'll have a blast!
Here's a couple things to see while up there.
On the way up 395, we like to stop at the Mount Whitney Fish Hatchery. It's not an operating fish hatchery anymore, but they still keep up the pond in the front where you can feed some giant trout. Kids love it. Just before the fish hatchery you can stop a the Alabama Hills Cafe for a bite. they bake their own bread and make some solid sandwiches. Pro tip: call in your sandwiches ahead of time, pick them up and eat them at the picnic tables at the fish hatchery.
If you want to explore some noteworthy things along 395, you can go up into the mountains to see some lakes. South Lake is a large one but nearby there is Lake Sabrina cool too. also very scenic Convict Lakebut i'm really not sure how the levels are due to the drought.
June Lake is a great side trip. The lake is small, but you can rent a little boat and putt around if you want. Also, on your way there from Mammoth you'll pass the June Lake Scenic Loop which will take you past Silver Lake and Grant Lake. It's a pretty drive.
Mono Lake will obviously be on your list of things to see. Make sure you stop at the Whoa Nellie Deli. it's great grub (best in the area)!! It has outside picnic tables with great views of Mono Lake. And yes... it happens to be in a gas station.
From Lee Vining, you'll take the Tioga Pass into Yosemite. It's a beautiful drive and even if you don't make it down into the Yosemite Valley, the high altitude meadows up there are beautiful and worth the drive. Tuolumne Meadows is the main area up there. Very pretty.
When you're in Mammoth, if you want have a nice dinner with a local feel, I like Nevados. American cuisine with a strong local vibe.
Around Mammoth you can check out the Devils Postpile National Monument as well. Although i haven't seen it since I was little kid so i can't say too much about it.
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You definitely wanna try the Twin Lakes. There are some nice hiking trails around and near the place.