Don't be like your lame coworkers, sitting at a desk, scrolling through Facebook, day dreaming about the weekend. You're better than that. You're escaping to Mammoth Lakes, California, and you’re not waiting for any Friday to say TGI to.
If you make your break during the week, you get smaller crowds and better rates in all activities (midweek lift tickets can drop by as much as $30 if you're buying online and in advance and lodging can be up to $100 off). And if the boss catches you, just point her to the reasons below and she'll understand.
There's a map to the fun
You're playing hooky, and you don't have time to waste figuring out how to maximize your adventure. Even if it's your first time, this detailed visitor guide maps out everything you need to do around Mammoth Lakes.
30 feet of snow a year
Thankfully not all at once, but Mammoth Lakes gets tons of snow throughout the winter. That makes the region a great place for fun and sports, most of which involve moving across that powder at high speeds: down the slopes on skis (or sleds and tubes!), across the fields on snowmobiles and fat-tire bikes, or coasting above the whole thing in a helicopter like a rich guy.
But maybe you’re tired of speed, having just left the rat race behind. Slow it down; snowshoeing is fun, and cross-country skiing is plentiful with a dozen trails ranging from "easy, breezy" to "difficult, but still breezy, because it is winter on a mountain, gang."
In addition to heavier snowfall, Mammoth Mountain enjoys more occasions of snow, resulting in...
The longest ski season in California
It’s an actual winter wonderland, as in “I wonder how it’s always winter here.” Bring a date to a midweek getaway and dazzle them with more snow than they thought possible. And possibly twirl in a snowdrift as you hold hands? Yes! And no matter what time of year it is, lunch at the Main Lodge is so much better than lunch in the office kitchen.
Highest skiing and riding in California
Feed your Instagram audience's need for adventure with photos of yourself conquering an 11,053-foot-high towering peak. Mammoth Lakes already has your followers covered with #PTOmg. (Note: When playing hooky, wait till the weekend to post on social media. If you told your boss you were home with the flu, you’ll get fired. And nobody likes being fired.) When you return to your cubicle, all your coworkers will look at you like you’re Evel Knievel’s big brother.
Ease into the evening with a massage
Buddy, you didn’t work hard merely so you could play hard. Otherwise playing becomes work, which is what you skipped out on. You’re also going to relax hard... at least until those hard knots are worked out of your muscles. Thankfully, Mammoth Lakes is teeming with spas, massage boutiques and masseuses, all of them rated so highly they’ve got their own constellations. But on the off-chance you’re one of those people who hate massages and/or life, don’t worry, because...
Romance abounds on a moonlit, wintry mountain
Taking that special someone to Mammoth Lakes and looking to put the "woo" in "Woo-hoo!" ? The Lakefront Restaurant at Tamarack Lodge is "intimate fine dining," which are the three most important words in a romantic getaway. Follow it up with cross-country skiing by moonlight or a guided tour on snowshoes, and go down in dating history as the most romantic partner ever.
Or hey, maybe you'd rather rev up the engines with some excitement? In that case rev up the literal engines of a snowmobile and point it towards Rock Creek Lodge for a prix fixe dinner. (You can also commission a snowmobile-chauffeur to drive you there if you'd rather take in the scenery.)
Activities you can't do anywhere else (in one day)
Let's do a rapid fire run through all of your other awesome Mammoth Lakes options. Ice climbing. Parks dedicated entirely to tubing. (Free!) guided naturalist tours of the mountain. Back country ski tour of nearby June Mountain. Not to mention, full moon Minaret Vista tours. Convenient!
Why are you still reading? Most everyone else was already packing their bags at "ice climbing." See you at Lee Vining Canyon!
Camp it up
At Mammoth Mountain, you can revisit your youth with multi-day ski camp classes. No, you won't salute your shorts or earn any merit badges, but you will learn how to ride and ski like a champ in these intensive courses that will straighten out any errors in your ski style. And they're not just for novices, either. Specialty classes deal in terrain, different types of bumps and how to engage them, and even an all-women's class.
Oh, and just like the camps of your childhood, you'll make new friends for life when you schedule in advance to get matched with like-minded adventurers. Unless you go in for private lessons to swiftly ramp up your skills -- occasionally on actual ramps!
So practice that cough, and leave the boss a 2 am voicemail. You're going to Mammoth Lakes.