Weekend Getaway: NYE in Mammoth
There's so much pressure surrounding New Year's Eve. "What will you do? Where will you go? Who are you going with?" I can't wait for the day I can afford a ticket to a fancy hotel party with a Champagne toast, open bar, and tray-passed hors d'oeuvres, but until then I much prefer staying at home and watching the ball drop over paying skyrocketing Uber fees & getting bumped into and spilled on by people I don't know. That's why I was thrilled when I got the opportunity to take a generous coworker up on her offer of using her cabin condo in Mammoth for the weekend.
Apart from driving in the pounding rain through Los Angeles, the drive was so easy! I was expecting twisting turns & the need for snow chains, but it was effortless. After singing in the car the whole way there, David and I had arrived. It was Friday night & we spent most of the day in the cabin getting used to the altitude (I'll admit I felt a bit of altitude sickness – the town is almost 8,000 feet above sea level) and hitting the local grocery store for food. Warning: NEVER go to the local grocery store in a ski town on a Friday night. The lines were crazier than Trader Joe's on a Sunday evening.
We planned to snowboard on Saturday (New Year's Eve), but the weather forecast the night before warned us of blizzards. Because of that, we ended up sleeping in and when we opened the blinds in the late morning, the sky was clear! We were bummed and could have opted for a half day pass, but we decided to explore the town instead. The afternoon was spent walking around The Village, riding the gondola, and warming up at Side Door for Irish coffees and a late lunch. We spent our NYE watching movies & sipping Champagne – it was perfect!
Pit Stop in Lone Pine
On Sunday morning, we cleaned up the cabin, made breakfast, and headed back to Los Angeles. We made a pit stop along the way in Lone Pine, California to see the famous Mobius Arch. After making a turn on Whitney Portal Road and another right onto Movie Flat Road, we kept going until we were on a dirt road in the Alabama Hills. We admired the unique rock formations & the snowy peaks of Mt. Whitney until arriving at a fork in the road and turned right and then left into the small parking lot at the entrance of the Mobius Arch Loop Trailhead.
The loop takes about 15-20 minutes to walk, assuming you don't stop every few minutes for a photo (which we did). Mobius Arch was beautiful and from the best angle you can see the peaks of Mt. Whitney through the center of the arch. A few drone photographers offered to take our photo, so we gladly accepted! Besides a few human interactions along the trail loop, it was an amazing experience to witness nature in its purest form, without the buzz of cars or views of anything man-made, on New Year's Day. I can see why the Alabama Hills have been a prime filming location for Western movies over the years, including Django Unchained & Star Trek.
We can't wait to return to Mammoth someday soon. The drive was so quick & easy, the views were gorgeous, the town was well-equipped, and the people were so nice. Our one regret is that we didn't make it on the mountain to go snowboarding, but we made a pact that we'll go no matter what next time. So excited!
Where are your favorite places to ski or snowboard? We'd love to add your favorites to our bucket list!