Welcome to my guide on how to Elope at Mammoth Lakes in California! This string of picturesque lakes is on the eastern edge of the Sierra Mountains. I couldn’t believe the easy access and incredible views that each of these pools offer. Coming from Colorado, I was expecting to have to hike to get views like these. But I found I could drive right up to them. This is great news if you are considering inviting your family to part of your elopement day. Of course, many great hikes are possible too in this backpacker’s paradise!
More than just Lakes
The eastern Sierras around Mammoth Lakes are full of amazing diversity. Ancient volcanic activity in this area created calderas, cinder cones, stone pillars, hot springs, postpiles, waterfalls and the unique saltwater Mono Lake. These mountains are some of the most beautiful and accessible on our continent. Home to the lower 48’s highest mountain, Mt. Whitney, these are formidable peaks. Further south, the Sierras give way to the desert landscape of Death Valley. You can and should spend several days exploring this amazing area.
June Lakes Elopement Locations
Grant Lake, Silver Lake, Gull Lake and June Lake make up the June Lakes loop north of Mammoth. It is essential to plan a morning and or weekday elopement here. Finding parking is hard enough! June lake has a big beach for swimming, making it one of the busiest spots. My favorite of the four is Silver Lake, which is perfectly clear and has a colorful stone bottom. Hiking from there to Gem lake offers incredible opportunities for a hiking elopement in this wild landscape. The easy hike around aspen-lined Gull lake is spectacular in fall and there’s even a swing into the water.
Mammoth Lakes Elopement Locations
There are so many lakes here, it would be impossible to list or rank them all. In the summer these areas are extremely busy, but a 1-5 mile hike will reward you with great views and.. more lakes! There are waterfalls and spires and colorful wildflowers. Spring is the best time if waterfalls are your jam; Fall is incredibly idyllic as well. In the winter, some of the roads close, so a 2 mile hike will be added to any plan. The nearby ski resort is a huge attraction, so this could be a great snowy elopement location. You can rent paddleboards, canoes, kayaks, and cruise boats. You could even get married on a boat for an unforgettable experience!
Are you hooked yet? This is just a taste of how to elope at Mammoth Lakes and the amazing surrounding areas in Mono County. The Eastern Sierras are full of campgrounds, lodges, and boating activities. To get a more in depth view of the places to stay, eat, and adventure, please be in touch! You can download my custom map of photos and details to start exploring and dreaming of your perfect elopement!
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Here is a sample timeline for a great adventure elopement near Mammoth Lakes.
5:00 Begin Sunrise hike
6:30 Change into wedding clothes
6:45 First look as dawn approaches
7:00 Exchange vows alone at sunrise at the lake
7:30 Picnic breakfast – granola parfaits and coffee
8:00 Begin hike down
9:30 Hammock naps in the shade
12:00 Five star lunch
1:30 Spa for couples massage
3:00 Swim in the lakes, hike to a waterfall or rent a canoe for an adventure
6:00 Sunset first dance at the Stone Columns
7:00 Private chef dinner with family at Airbnb