Mammoth Mountain California - Fun in the Sun
Mammoth Mountain California recently became one of my favorite places to ski. The huge size of the mountain, all the trails that you can explore, the number of lifts, as well as the long season and the sunny Californian sky, make Mammoth one of the best ski resorts in North America.
Mammoth is a great resort for skiers of all abilities - from beginners who like to explore to experts. While the upper reaches of the resort are marked primarily for experts, beginners and intermediate skiers can ski off many of the chairlifts, navigating from lift to lift from one side to another of the mountain.
Keep a trail map with you and in your paying attention to the trail map since there is only one green run from the top of many of the chairlifts, particularly those higher up on the mountain.
Eagle, Canyon and Main Lodges all have an area dedicated to beginners with nice soft green runs. For beginner skiers, the best runs to try are Easy Rider and St. Moritz (Green) and Stump Alley (Blue) from Main Lodge. There are few other easy trails that you can try from Canyon Lodge and Eagle Lodge - but keep in mind that not all areas are open in spring.
If you are an intermediate skier and you want to make it to the top of the mountain, the easiest way down is Upper Road Runner (Blue). You can also try Cornice Bowl and Scotty's or Dave's Run (all Black). For experienced skiers, from the top the best way to go is Climax or Huevos.
Face Lift Express and High-Five Express also have some nice Black runs that are worth exploring.
If you are at Mammoth for the first time, I suggest to take a trail map with you and explore the mountain going from lift to lift. Of course, always check the conditions and verify what lifts are opened.
Don't forget the sunscreen and stay hydrated :). The Ski Octopus skied in a swimsuit and he became a lobster - so don't do like me. Click HERE for more pics from Mammoth.
Where to stay at Mammoth?
It all depends on your budget and what are you looking for. The Ski Octopus is a cheap octopus... so he stayed at the Moderne Hostel. If you are looking for a clean cheap place to stay with no frills try it out. The hostel is collocated together with a motel, so if you are looking for your own room... you stay at Holiday Haus.
There are many other places to stay - so search for more options HERE.
What else to do at Mammoth?
You can browse around Mammoth - see the likes, enjoy the views and have fun in the sun. The ski octopus went around Mammoth Lakes and you can see some of his pictures HERE.
Where and what to eat?
There are 2 places that the Ski Octopus recommends if you are on a budget:
- Pita Pit for dinner located in the Village at Mammoth (next to the Gondola Square at 6201 Minaret Rd #149, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546, USA) - you can have a wrap starting at $6.80 + tax
- The Old New York Deli & Bakery Co. for breakfast located in the Village at Mammoth as well (6201 Minaret Rd #105, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546, USA) - the Ski Octopus recommends John's Famous B.O.A.T. breakfast special (includes a medium coffee) for $7.99.
There are plenty of other options... so look around. It all depends on your budget.
How do you get to Mammoth?
Unfortunately Mammoth is not as easily accessible as other ski resorts. There is a small airport in Mammoth Lakes, but the number of flights is limited and the cost of flying into Mammoth Lakes is high.
The cheapest way to get to Mammoth is to drive. You can drive from Reno and it will take you about 3.5 hours. The road is really scenic and you will can see many interesting spots along US Route 395.
To name a few:
- Topaz Lake
- Mono Lake Basin and the Tufa's
You can stop to eat in Carson Valley (Nevada) next t Carson City (which also happens to be Nevada's Capital) at one of the casino resorts and fill your gas tank as well (gas is much cheaper in Nevada than it is in California so take advantage of it).
The Ski Octopus.