Wyatt Rydstrom                 February 2020

Mammoth Mountain embodies the relaxed, fun-loving character of California ski culture, initially envisioned by Dave McCoy when he opened the first rope tow in 1942. The name Mammoth certainly fits. The resort sits atop the high Sierras, and boasts a wide array of terrain throughout its 3,500 skiable acres. Whether you are in search of steep chutes, tree skiing, or well-groomed trails, Mammoth has it all. It also has one of the longest seasons in the U.S., with an average of 400 inches of annual snowfall - there is opportunity to ski from November through June. The lift system here is incredibly efficient - between the 28 lifts it is easy to avoid crowds on a busy day. The majority of lodging is located just 4 miles away, in the town of Mammoth Lakes, and ranges from quaint motels to luxury condos. The area has the atmosphere of a very small town feel, but with the amenities of a world class resort. While it is possible to squeeze in a weekend trip to Mammoth, we recommend spending at least 3-4 days. Mammoth is a member of the Mountain Collective and provides unlimited access with the Ikon Pass.

RESORT FEATURES

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PASSES
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CONDITIONS

Quick Take

 LET'S GO 
INSIDER TIPS
  • On windy days, the chairs out of Eagle and Canyon Lodge are often the most sheltered. If you are looking for more challenging terrain when the top is closed, definitely head to Chair 22

  • On a powder day, the trees under chairs 12 and 14 retain snow longer than most other spots

  • Try to book lodging ahead of time. Lodging at the base areas is limited and goes quickly. Fortunately, there are more condos and houses in the broader Mammoth Lakes area  (~10 minutes away). Try Airbnb or Booking.com for last minute deals for weekend getaways

  • For lessons, always try to book ahead of time and pick up your rentals the day prior. Lines can be long and rentals can sell out. Lessons and rentals are offered at all three base areas (Main, Canyon, and Eagle)

  • To increase your chances of finding fresh snow, skip the weekend crowds and head over to June Mountain, ~30 minutes North. Mammoth Passes also apply here, but its much quieter and the fresh snow tends to last all day!

HESITATIONS
  • Crowds. With the most snow and terrain in Southern CA this is not surprising, particularly on powder weekends and holidays - try to plan accordingly (e.g., come mid-week, if possible)

  • Accommodations near the base areas are limited and expensive. Head to the nearby town of Mammoth Lakes (~6 miles away) for more variety

  • It can be very windy. The top of the mountain is highly exposed, leading to frequent closures during storms 

  • On mountain dining is primarily limited to cafeteria style food

  • Getting there will require a 3-5 hour drive, unless you fly into the smaller, Mammoth Yosemite Airport

  • Uniquely amazing weather conditions. Where else can you find 300 days of sunshine/year and consistently deep snow?

  • Don't hesitate to bring the kids. Mammoth offers reasonable lesson packages and those 4 and under ski for free. Off-mountain, there's plenty to do - tubing, bowling and more

  • The atmosphere is very laid back, but there are a variety of higher-end accommodations (e.g., Westin Monache)

  • Outstanding terrain variety. Beginner and intermediates will feel at home. Experts will be challenged

  • Terrain parks. Mammoth consistently ranks at the top of the list for having the best terrain parks in North America

 

GETTING TO &  AROUND

Mammoth Mountain is a ~5 hour drive North from Los Angeles via the scenic CA-395. While we recommend having a car to get here, the area is easy to get around and Mammoth Lakes has free public transportation. Base area parking lots are free but tend to fill up quickly. The Village is the hub of the shuttle bus system and offers a gondola connection to Canyon Lodge.

The Lay of the LAnd

Coming soon - easy navigation with all of the key spots highlighted 

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