The Best Things to Do in Mammoth Lakes During the Fall

There’s never a bad time to get outside in Mammoth Lakes but fall just might be the best time.

Mammoth Lakes’ cool and comfortable fall weather, stunning fall colors, and multitude of ways to spend your time outside are bound to make you fall in love with the outdoors. If you don’t believe us, then the ASO Mammoth team has a perfect way to see what we mean for yourself. Check out our list of the best things to do in Mammoth Lakes during the fall below to find the perfect activity for you before your next fall trip to Mammoth Lakes!

Fall Colors

The Eastern Sierra’s fall season isn’t famous because of the terrain and colors alone. The season starts late in September when temperatures at high elevations start to drop. As the leaves at higher elevations change colors due to the cold air, the cool weather spreads to lower areas throughout October and November. The result is a wave of fall colors that spreads throughout the region instead of a splash of colors like most places get. The gradual spread of cool fall air is the reason that the Mammoth Lakes area peaks around the middle of October while the trees surrounding Bishop show color all the way into November.

Fall Fishing

Just like the leaves on the trees, the trout in the waters around Mammoth Lakes respond to the cooler temperatures by changing colors and behaviors. Not only will the Brown Trout change the color of their bellies, but they’ll also become more active during fall as it is their mating season. During the fall brown trout like to breed in waters with gravel bottoms that they can easily cover their eggs with like creeks and the shallow inlets of lakes, so you can focus your fishing trips there.

A few of our favorite places to fish during the fall are Silver Lake, Convict Lake, and Lake George thanks to the fish and the spectacular beauty of the landscape.

If you need to rent fishing gear, ASO Mammoth have fishing gear for rent here!


Hiking and fall colors go together like skiing and snow, so we’ve listed a few of our favorite places to hike around Mammoth Lakes here for you to explore!

McGee Canyon

McGee Canyon is just over 20 minutes outside of Mammoth Lakes and the full trail is 14 miles long, but don’t let the distance scare you away. You can walk as much or little of the trail as you want and still enjoy spectacular fall colors. Plus, you might just walk further than you thought you could after one glimpse of the trees and mountains that run alongside the trail!
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Reds Meadow Valley

Reds Meadow Valley is a great area to explore and experience the beautiful fall colors thanks to the fact that you can camp, fish, hike, or all three combined. For example, within Reds Meadow Valley you’ll find a campground, streams, Rainbow Falls Trail, and of course Devils Postpile National Monument. There are several trails in the area to hike and see Mammoth’s best fall colors in Reds Meadow Valley, so make sure you choose the best trail for you ahead of time so you don’t lose anytime outside!

Mammoth in Fall Rainbow Fall

Horseshoe Lake Loop

For an accessible and family friendly adventure, try Horseshoe Lake Loop in the Lakes Basin. Horseshoe Lake Loop is a 1.7-mile trail that circles around Horseshoe Lake with a wide path free of rocks and other obstructions. Plus, Horseshoe Lake Loop is surrounded by other trails, so if you complete the loop and are looking for more then you’ll only be a few steps away from other great hikes!
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Find more things to do in Mammoth in fall here.

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