Completed this spring, Mammoth Mountain officials report that the Top of the Mountain interpretive center has already proved popular with visitors. When we took a ride up the gondola recently the Top of the Sierra was full of people eating lunch, taking in the views and learning from the many interactive exhibits there.
Environmental education coordinator for Mammoth Mountain, Maya Schwartz, explained that from the top a visitor can see the highest point in Nevada, tallest point in Yosemite, the San Joaquin Valley, and the Long Valley Caldera, plus you can see the best view of the Lakes Basin that you are ever going to see.
Schwartz says that before people could come to the top of Mammoth Mountain and see a great view, but now they can look through scopes aimed at the surrounding peaks, with nearby plaques that give the name and elevation of those peaks. There is also a virtual flyover touch screen computer system.
Schwartz says that there have been an awful lot of people who have come up to see this. Not only do you get this view, but you can fill up your stomach and also learn about the area.
Schwartz leads naturalist tours across the entire summit of Mammoth Mountain Thursday Friday and Saturday at 11:00 and 1:00. And right now, gondola tickets are available two for the price of one on the Mammoth Mountain website.