A Locals Guide to 5 Ski & Snowboard Resorts in MammothPublished on 05/05/2023 · 7 min readVisiting the Mammoth, California area this ski season? Be sure to check out these 5 ski areas and read through Snowboarding Expert Will Koons' insider tips!
Photo by Taylor Miles
tl;dr Mammoth Mountain and the town of Mammoth Lakes, located in central California, are a haven for ski and snowboard enthusiasts. With an array of fantastic ski resorts, unique apres-ski spots, and cozy coffee shops, there's something for everyone. Join us as we take you through a local's perspective on the best ski and snowboard resorts in Mammoth and the surrounding area, with insider tips to help you make the most of your winter adventure.
Skiing in Mammoth
Nestled in the breathtaking Eastern Sierra Mountains of California, Mammoth Mountain is a world-class destination for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. Mammoth boasts one of the longest ski seasons in North America, typically extending from early November to late May or June. Powder-seekers can look forward to a variety of terrain suitable for all skill levels.
Getting to Mammoth is a breeze! For the most convenient option, fly into Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH), just a short 15-minute drive from the mountain. Alternatively, you can fly into Reno-Tahoe International Airport or Los Angeles International Airport and embark on a scenic road trip, taking between 3 hours and 5 hours.
Mammoth caters to all abilities, from first-timers to seasoned pros. With over 3,500 acres of skiable terrain, 25 lifts, and 154 named trails, you'll find gentle slopes perfect for beginners and intermediate cruisers, as well as challenging steeps and bowls for advanced riders. Whether you prefer skiing, snowboarding, or both, Mammoth Mountain is your ultimate playground for an unforgettable alpine adventure.
Top Five Ski and Snowboard Resorts in Mammoth: 1. Mammoth Mountain: Best for all-around skiing and snowboarding 2. June Mountain: Best for families and a relaxed atmosphere 3. Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center: Best for cross-country skiing 4. Snowcreek Resort: Best for luxury accommodations and amenities 5. Crowley Lake: Best for backcountry riding
1. Mammoth Mountain Ski Area: Best for All-Around Skiing and Snowboarding
- Location: Mammoth Lakes, CA
- Key Info: 154 runs, 25 lifts; 7,953–11,053 feet in elevation; average annual snowfall of 400 inches
- Distance from Los Angeles: 5 hours drive
Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort is the crown jewel of Mammoth ski resorts, offering diverse terrain for all skill levels. With its high elevation, the resort boasts one of the longest ski seasons in North America. The Village at Mammoth provides a lively atmosphere with a range of dining, shopping, and entertainment options.
As a long-time rider, I love the variety of terrain at Mammoth Mountain. From the steep chutes of the upper mountain to the tree-lined runs in the lower areas, I’ve had some really sweet days riding here. Plus, the Unbound Terrain Parks cater to snowboarders and freestyle skiers with a plethora of features and jumps. Insider Tips:
- Sip on a delicious latte at Black Velvet Coffee in The Village.
- Indulge in a craft beer and a gourmet burger at Mammoth Brewing Company's tasting room.
- Experience an authentic Austrian après-ski vibe at Yodler Restaurant and Bar.
- Warm-up with a hot chocolate at The Mill Café, located at the base of Chair 2.
- For a unique dining experience, take a scenic snowcat ride to Parallax, a snowbound fine-dining restaurant at McCoy Station.
2. June Mountain: Best for Families and a Relaxed Atmosphere
Location: June Lake, CA Key Info: 41 runs, 7 lifts; 7,545–10,090 feet in elevation; average annual snowfall of 250 inches Distance from Mammoth Mountain: 30 minutes drive Just a short drive from Mammoth, June Mountain ski area offers a more laid-back ski and snowboard experience. With uncrowded slopes and a family-friendly atmosphere, June Mountain is a hidden gem that's perfect for a quiet getaway.
June Mountain's serene atmosphere and beautiful views make it one of my favorite places to ski. With fewer crowds than Mammoth, it's the perfect spot for families or those looking for a more relaxed day on the mountain.
- Grab a coffee and a homemade pastry at the charming June Lake Junction Café.
- Visit the June Lake Brewing Company for a tasty selection of local brews.
- Don't miss the stunning views of Mono Lake from the summit of June Mountain.
- Take a break and savor a warm meal at June Meadows Chalet, located at the top of Chair 1.
3. Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center: Best for Cross Country Skiing
Location: Mammoth Lakes, CA Key Info: 19 trails; 27 miles total; 8,600–9,000 feet in elevation; average annual snowfall of 400 inches Distance from Mammoth Mountain: 10 minutes drive Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center, located near the scenic Twin Lakes, offers an extensive network of groomed cross-country ski trails. With its serene atmosphere and beautiful surroundings, Tamarack is perfect for those seeking a peaceful winter experience away from the crowds.
Sometimes I enjoy a change of pace, and Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center is an ideal spot for a tranquil day in the snow. If the resorts are packed, it's nice to get out on the cross-country track for a day of peaceful exercise. The well-groomed trails, stunning scenery, and friendly staff make it an excellent choice for both experienced and beginner cross-country skiers.
- Visit the Tamarack Lodge for a warm drink or a hearty meal by the fireplace.
- Take a scenic snowshoe tour around the beautiful Twin Lakes.
- Attend one of the center's cross-country skiing lessons for beginners.
- Don't miss the spectacular views of the Mammoth Crest from the Tamarack trails.
4. Snowcreek Resort: Best for Luxury Accommodations and Amenities
Location: Mammoth Lakes, CA Accommodation: Condos, townhomes, and vacation rentals Amenities: Athletic club, spa, golf course, and more Distance from Mammoth Mountain: 10 minutes drive
Snowcreek Resort provides luxurious accommodations and world-class amenities in a serene setting. With its proximity to Mammoth Mountain and Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center, Snowcreek is an ideal base for your ski or snowboard adventure.
In my experience, Snowcreek Resort offers a fantastic combination of comfort and convenience. The well-suited accommodations, beautiful surroundings, and top-notch amenities make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
- Relax and unwind at the Double Eagle Spa, offering a range of treatments and services.
- Enjoy a delicious meal at The Bistro East, located at the Snowcreek Athletic Club.
- Take advantage of the complimentary shuttle service to Mammoth Mountain during the ski season.
- Play a round of golf at the Snowcreek Golf Course during the summer months.
5. Crowley Lake: Best for Backcountry Enthusiasts
Location: Crowley Lake, CA Distance from Mammoth Mountain: 20 minutes drive
Situated south of Mammoth Lakes, Crowley Lake provides access to stunning backcountry ski and snowboard terrain. With a range of slopes and chutes, it's an excellent spot for experienced skiers and snowboarders seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure.
I’ve found that Crowley Lake's backcountry is a rad playground for experienced skiers and snowboarders. The remote setting and diverse terrain make it a must-visit spot for those looking to explore the pristine wilderness of the Eastern Sierra. As with most backcountry areas, it is not easy to access and local knowledge of the area is a must. If you decide to get out in this area (or backcountry anywhere), I would advise hiring a local guide for your first time.
- Make sure to have the appropriate avalanche safety equipment and training before venturing into the backcountry.
- Hire a local guide to help you explore the best routes and terrain.
- Grab a coffee and a bite to eat at the Crowley Lake General Store before or after your adventure.
- Take in the stunning views of the Sierra Nevada and the White Mountains from the slopes surrounding Crowley Lake.
Chat With a Real Expert Before Your Next Trip
In conclusion, Mammoth Mountain and the surrounding area offer a diverse range of ski and snowboard experiences for all skill levels and preferences. From the world-class terrain of Mammoth Mountain to the serene beauty of Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center, there's something for everyone in this winter wonderland. Luxurious accommodations at Snowcreek Resort, family-friendly slopes at June Mountain, and thrilling backcountry adventures at Crowley Lake round out the list, ensuring unforgettable experiences for every winter sports enthusiast.
As you plan your next ski or snowboard trip to Mammoth, don't forget to gear up with the right equipment. For personalized advice and recommendationss, chat with the Skiing and Snowboarding Experts at Curated. Our knowledgeable team offers free, customized gear recommendations to help make your Mammoth adventure truly unforgettable. Now, it's time to hit the slopes and create lasting memories in the magnificent Eastern Sierra. Happy skiing and snowboarding!