The Hottest Spots At California’s Top Ski Resort
It is not just the snow and the slopes that attracts people to Mammoth.
There’s also the bars and nightlife.
Mammoth attracts a large amount of singles in season, though Fridays can be a slow because most visitors are just arriving in town.
Cover charges kick in on weekends, usually $3 on Friday and $5 on Saturday. “Drink ’em if you got ’em ” is at 1:30 a.m., with full bar closure at 2 a.m.
Because of its relatively close driving proximity from Southern California (around 5 hours from L.A.), people travel in groups to Mammoth, some even arriving by the busloads. People pile into condos and go out together, each person inspiring the other to greater heights of social euphoria.
Mammoth Ski Apres Bars
Even with a pub right at the base of the gondola in The Village,The Yodler remains the summit of the post-mountain party. An alpine-style pub at the base of the Main Lodge, it has a fireplace, a decent juke box and sometimes a band. These are also tables, which are prime real estate on busy weekends like President’s Day.
For those times, it’s best to convince a ski buddy to stray early from the slopes and save one for the group (aka, to be “the table bitch”).
Yet the best patio of all may be one of the least recognized, Chair 13 (on the back side of the hill). Just don’t linger too long because the The Yolder awaits!
Party time there starts at about 3, with the real rush beginning at 4. For the next two hours, The Yodler is the fun, and lively place to be in Mammoth. It can get quite noisy, especially after all those shots people are doing kick them into high gear. Drink prices are $5 for a good micro-brewed beer and $6 for a well-poured cocktail. Like all places in Mammoth, The Yodler does not skimp when making drinks.
Those looking for a ski partner for the next day (or Jacuzzi partner later that night) are best advised to lay the groundwork here. Once out at night, people tend to stay close to their groups making it a bit difficult to “break in.” The Yodler has a way of encouraging accommodating attitudes. Ring the bell by the fireplace and be the most popular person in the bar!
The Yodler’s biggest problem is its location. Yes, you can practically ski right to the door but the last shuttle departs the Main Lodge at 5:30 at the height of the party. After that, the lone option is the bus from the adjacent hotel – every hour on the half-hour – though the driver has been known to frown on people hauling skis and snowboards. Why doesn’t the shuttle simply run at least until 6:30 or 7:30? Oh, and the gondola from Canyon Lodge quits at 5, so pretty much forget about getting more than a single a post-slope cocktail at that bar.
Lately, though, the first stop has become Tusks. Bright and airy with a band with a band playing until 5 (we’ve heard a surf band there, which is a welcome surprise at a ski resort). It’s at the Main Lodge overlooking the Broadway ski run. On nice days, the deck is ideal. It’s not as cozy as the small bar it replaced but it does have several TVs and a few booths.
First, however, there are a bars to tend to ahead of the apres on the mountain. The Mill provides party potential while the long Stump Alley lift line sits stalled like gridlock on LA’s 405. Steeps Bar at McCoy Station is ideally situated just off the main Broadway run and is at the Main Lodge/top-of-mountan gondola stop.
It’s an ideal lunch-and-cocktail location, especially on sunny (and, if you’re lucky, warm) days from the patio. The view is looks right onto the hill and the staff may suddenly jump on the bar and lead a group toast. Canyon Lodge occasionally has bands outside during lunch.
Mammoth Bars& Nightlife
Lakanuki in the Village ($5 cover) is the most popular place in Mammoth for 20s dancers. There is a small dance floor and girls are allowed to jump up on the sturdy wood tables. This is the peak of Mammoth singles nightlife. The problem with Lakanuki is that the weather doesn’t suit the clothes, so to speak. It has a pub feel but acts more like a club. Instead of tiki tunes (Jimmy Buffett, Bob Marley or some surf stuff,) it plays a steady diet of dance music. That’s okay but we would like to hear some island tunes mixed in on occasion.
Dublins in now 53 Kitchen and Cocktails, and Hennesseys is now Gomez’s. The Village also has Campo, Smokeyard, Sushi Rei and Side Door. Mammoth Brewing Company’s Tasting Room is in the spot where Whiskey Creek stood for decades, and also includes food by The Eatery.
Locals can also be found hanging at the Clock Tower at the Alpenhof Lodge on Minaret Road. It has 25 imported and microbrews on tap and about 150 whiskeys and bourbons in a true casual and low-key bar. It does have last call at 11, however.
In what is called Old Mammoth (away from the Village), there’s Mammoth Rock ‘n’ Bowl and a Mammoth original club is still rocking, the A-framed Rafters.
Bleu Handcrafted Foods offers a wine and charcuterie tasting bar that is a lot of fun and Mammoth Tavern has excellent cocktails and gastropub-style food,