The Hypnotic Energy of the Eastern Sierras

With the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games just around the corner, athletes like Shaun White, Greg Bretz, and Chloe Kim have been taking advantage of the epic conditions and deep fresh powder on Mammoth Mountain this season.

The Eastern Sierras; Photo by Richard Bilow; courtesy of ETG

Mammoth Mountain

This winter, Los Angeles received much needed rain, and it’s been a great year for winter sports enthusiasts to head to Mammoth Mountain. With over 500 inches of snow, there is still a lot of time to head up to the mountain and have some fun. I find that any chance I have to get away from my busy life in Los Angeles allows me to come back fully recharged and refreshed, ready to jump right back into my active schedule.

Mammoth Mountain is a serious mountain. As its name suggests, it’s big. For expert skiers and snowboarders, this vast terrain offers all the challenges an athlete could ask for. Although you will not find me on those expert runs, I travel with several athletic companions constantly looking for their next adrenaline rush…and Mammoth never seems to disappoint.

Mammoth Mountain; Photo by Richard Bilow; courtesy of ETG

Mammoth Mountain Village

Dave McCoy is the visionary ski industry pioneer responsible for the successful year-round destination. He maintained control over the mountain operations for most of his life but eventually made a deal which resulted in upscale improvements for both the mountain and the town. High speed chair lifts, a central village filled with shops and restaurants, and newly-built luxury properties have all added to making Mammoth a popular go-to destination. The new restaurants and bars are wonderful, but I still can’t resist stopping to eat at an old favorite restaurant called Burgers, as we pass through town after a long day on the mountain.

Cross country skiing is another popular activity and is much more my speed. The slow steady process allows me to step into a meditative state away from the day to day stresses of my deadline-oriented career. Being surrounded by the beauty of the Eastern Sierras grounds me on an even deeper level.

Mono Lake; photo by Richard Bilow

Nearby Destinations

Mammoth Mountain is situated in the Eastern Sierras which also includes picturesque destinations in the Owens Valley. Between Mammoth and Lone Pine, you will find Devil’s Postpile, Mono Lake, the Bristlecone Pines, and the Alabama Hills, just to name a few of the beautiful destinations you may want to visit.

Down the hill from Mammoth is a beautiful spot called Five Bridges, just outside of Bishop. It’s a great place to walk or hike around the Owens river. It offers a panoramic view of the river surrounded by the White Mountains to the east and the Sierras to the west. This is a great spot for any photographer or lover of nature.

Another great spot near Bishop; Photo by Richard Bilow

There are also numerous lakes that can be appreciated from the side of the road. You can also take long hikes into the back country. The colors and textures of the Owens Valley are a sight to see. Visit during and just after sunrise, when everything glows in the magic hour. Down by the Owen’s River, you can feel the hypnotic energy of the earth . Stand still listening to the silence all around you. I had a heavenly experience during one of my many visits. I was all bundled up, and stopped by the river, to take it the view. The snow covered mountains were so beautiful after a super cold storm covered the valley floor in white.

Palisades Glacier, shot from the Owens River; Photo by Richard Bilow

Big Pine

Further south on the 395, Big Pine is a sleepy town which has become a haven for me. While there, I cannot resist partaking in a meal at Copper Top BBQ. I appreciate the view of Palisades Glacier just across the highway. CLICK HERE to find out more about Copper Top BBQ and other Big Pine eateries. CLICK HERE to find out about Hiking and walking tours in Mono & Inyo counties.

If you are an athlete, a photographer, or just need a break, head to the Eastern Sierras.

For additional info about this area, visit these websites:

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