Wow was this road trip incredible! My boyfriend and I decided to take a spontaneous trip up to Mammoth on New Years Eve. New Year’s Day was his 26th birthday, so the plan was to go snowboarding because he gets a free lift ticket. However, that idea didn’t quite go as planned, because the cost of my lift ticket wasn’t free, and it was about triple the price due to it being a holiday (poor thinking on my part).
We left the Coachella Valley around 6:00 P.M. and drove up to Big Pine; a small little town that you’d almost miss if you blinked too long. We decided to stay in Big Pine because it was only about an hour from Mammoth Lakes and the cost of a hotel on New Year’s Eve there was ridiculously cheaper than it would have been to stay in Mammoth. After we checked into our hotel we wanted to find food and realized that the town only had about three food options, all of which were closed. We ended up driving 15 minutes to Bishop to get dinner. When the clock struck midnight, and 2019 began, we were actually sitting in a little Mexican food Restaurant called El Ranchito’s, where there was live mariachi music, and people from the town slow dancing. I can definitely say that I’ve never rung in the New Year quite like that before!
In the morning we got up fairly early and headed to Mammoth! Our first stop was the ski resort, because Jordan couldn’t resist watching the snowboarders coming down the mountain. I’ll admit, I was pretty bummed we couldn’t go.
From there we explored the adorable town for a bit and got to look at a few of the lakes. One of my favorites was Twin Lakes because it was completely frozen over. Below is me laying in the middle of a frozen lake….HOW COOL IS THATT?! (I’m from the Coachella Valley so that was a sight I’ve never come close to seeing before)
After the lakes we got a bite to eat and grabbed coffee from a cute little coffee shop called Black Velvet Coffee. From there we headed to another lake called Convict Lake. My pictures don’t even compare to how beautiful (and cold) it was in person.
After Convict Lake, we headed to one of the most amazing places I’ve ever experienced: Wild Willy’s Hot Springs. If you look up Wild Willy’s Hot Springs on Google Maps, you’ll most likely find yourself a bit confused when you’re driving on a road to nowhere and the directions tell you that you’re 30 minutes away, but also tell you that you should be prepared to park your car. To get to these hot springs, you park you car on the side of the road, and walk about 1-2 miles before arriving. It was about 20 degrees outside and we were walking along this trail, with towels around our necks, and our bathing suits on under our layers of warm clothing.
I’ve never experienced anything like it. When we got there we ended up joining a group of people who were soaking in one of the hot springs. We were seriously sitting in a hot spring that was about 100 degrees surrounded by snow. It was unreal.
After Wild Willy’s Hot Springs, we drove about an hour into Lone Pine; another small town along the 395, where we got a hotel for the night. The next morning it was time to head back home. We decided to take the scenic route home by driving through Death Valley National Park. There’s nothing really out there but…well…valley. Driving through it intrigued me to look up why they decided to make it a National Park. From what I gathered, it only recently became a National Park in 1994. I read that Death Valley was discovered by groups of settlers coming for the California Gold Rush. Groups would get lost and die in the valley, thus giving it the name Death Valley.
What an incredible way to celebrate Jordan’s birthday and kick off 2019. I am sure looking forward to many more epic adventures like this one.