Finding cooler weather, beautiful scenery in Mammoth Lakes

So you want to get out of the heat and you don’t have a lot of time, and you don’t have a lot of money.

Well, I have just the right place to try.

I am creating a travel series, and I am starting by using Pahrump in the middle of the map and drawing a circle around our town which extends out no more than a five-hour drive. I think I will call it “Inside 5”.

Back to our first trip information. Traveling north to Mammoth Lakes, where the average high temp this time of year is around 75 … sound good?

There’s all kinds of lodging … camping is the least expensive but they also have condos and motels. I love the smell of the forest.

Have you ever thought that we give off CO2 when we breathe and the trees give off oxygen?

With that many trees around I think you get high off that much oxygen (maybe the altitude has something to do with that, just under 9,000 feet) … just saying! There’s plenty to do when you get there.

Hiking, biking, golf (, horseback riding, fishing, water sports, nice restaurants ( and what a view.

You know this year they had a lot of snowfall and the lakes are full again and the streams and waterfalls are everywhere you look. My first thought was “are we in Switzerland?” Great photo ops are in every direction. The people in town are very helpful and friendly.

But it is California so the gas is a little more expensive.

When I left I just put enough in the tank to get me back to Tonopah and filled up there. What an easy drive. As you change elevation the drive becomes very scenic.

Of course, we start with the desert but went to chapparal and then forest. The Owens Valley was so majestic.

The valley itself is very green with the Owens River running through it, meandering like a snake, and the Sierra Nevada mountains are towering above the valley with some unmelted snow in patches near the tops.

There are several ways to get there so I went up one way and came back a different way. I will definitely go back because it was a great trip and it is … “Inside 5.”

Gary Bennett is a freelance writer living in Pahrump.