SAYING SOMETHING IS CLOSE... to something else in the Sierra Nevada? It's a bit relative, all told, given the massive-o-sity of this truly epic mountain range. Still, if you're staying in one place in the peaks or valleys, and you hear something is nearby, you'll know to weave in some extra minutes, or even hours, getting there, because it is sure to be a worthy sight. Oh, we sound confident, for sure, but if someone recommends something you should see, say, near Mammoth, you can bet it'll be one for the memory book. Thus you'll work in the extra time, the extra hike, the shuttle you need to take, the lunch you need to pack, all to experience. And the waterfalls that are within range of Mammoth Lakes? Yeah, you're there, and you're probably planning a full day, or even weekend, around seeing one or two. And springtime is waterfall time, the moment when everything gets gushy, around the Sierra, meaning that April or May will be downright divine the droplets-seeking category (make that many millions and billions of droplets).
WHERE TO GO? Look to Lundy Canyon, which is north of Lee Vining, for "a spectacular microclimate" and "a few cascading waterfalls" (oh, and so sweet: beaver ponds, too). Crater Creek Falls is described as "one of the least visited" by the Visit Mammoth folks, while Minaret Falls — The River Trail boasts a number of good views. As for Rainbow Falls at Red River Valley, which is sort of/kind of a neighbor to Devils Postpile National Monument? Oh, it is legendary for a reason: Rainbows have a way of emerging from the mist, once the sun has made its necessary and remarkable contribution to the whole rainbow-creation enterprise. For all the great waterfalls "near" Mammoth Lakes, check out this page, which details to must-knows and some solid tips. Spring is here, the water is flowing, and the Sierra, including the Mammoth area, is seeing its celebrated sparklers do that whole cascading-over-cliff-faces thing that they do so very well.