The Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort markets themselves as the best in California for skiing and snowboarding. This may not be a unique claim amongst CA resorts but in Mammoth’s case it’s hard to argue against them!
There’s not much this mountain doesn’t have – except maybe short lift lines on the weekends so if you can get there on a weekday you’ll have more space to take advantage of one of the best in the world.
With a resort elevation of 3,369m (11,053ft) this mountain is seriously high. It’s the highest elevation in California – and the highest elevation of all the resorts profiles on this website so far. That being said, I haven’t looked at anything in Colorado yet, where you’ll find most of the highest ski resorts in North America.
Still that’s pretty high – and the advantage of that is a good consistent annual snowfall and snow that tends to be of a better quality (or so it is said) – on top of all that snow they also get 300 sunshine days – I’m not sure when there is time for all that sun and snow – or if that sunshine days stat is a bit misleading.
Either way it sounds like there’s the opportunity for many bluebird days. Add that to the awesome terrain on offer, and you can’t go too wrong visiting this gem.
|Mammoth Mountain Stats|
|Resort Elevation: 3,369m (11,053ft)|
|Vertical Drop: 945m (3,100ft)|
|Ride-able area: 3,500 acres|
|Annual Snowfall: 400” (10.2m)|
|No. of Lifts: 28 (3 gondolas, 22 chairlifts, 2 Platters, 1 Poma)|
|No. of trails: 150|
38 (25%) Beginner (Green)
60 (40%) Intermediate (Blue)
32 (21%) Advanced (Black Diamond)
20 (13%) Expert (Dbl Black Diamond)
|No. of parks: 7 parks with 3 pipes|
|Night Riding: No|
Free-riding and Trails
With 3,500 acres of ride-able terrain, accessed by 28 lifts there is definitely no shortage of terrain. If you like to stick to the groomers you definitely won’t be disappointed – Mammoth has 150 named runs of varying difficulties.
Every ability level is well catered for too.
If all this variety of groomed trails isn’t enough to satisfy your hunger for adventure, then you are not left out either. There is plenty of room for freeriders to let loose with bowls, trees and natural hits a plenty.
Head up to the top elevation on the Panorama Gondola where you will find the most challenging terrain both on the front side and backside of the ridge.
Home turf for, amongst others, the best women’s half piper of all time (IMHO) Kelly Clark, and upcoming freestyle riding sensation Chloe Kim (recent Gold Medalist at the 2015 Winter X games half pipe competition), it’ll be of no surprise that the facilities for freestylers are second to none.
This is where Mammoth really shines and might just be the best freestyle mountain anywhere.
Mammoth boasts 7 parks – 3 of them with pipes, including a mini 8’ pipe, an 18’ pipe and a 22’ pipe.
Unbound Playground is a beginner park featuring small features designed for those just starting out in the park.
The Unbound Main park has all the extra large features and is for expert freestyle riders only. This is the most advanced park with the biggest features that Mammoth has to offer.
South Park has heaps of jumps and jibs and is geared towards intermediate to advanced riders. The top of the park features the 18’ (5.5m) Superpipe.
Next to South Park is Jibs Galore – and, like the name suggests, this is loaded with nothing but boxes, rails etc to hone your jibbing.
The 22 foot Superpipe is 550 feet (168m) long and a great place for pros to practice – hence why so many train at Mammoth.
Forest Trail is an Intermediate park and the perfect next step after you have nailed the smaller parks.
The Wonderland Park is a beginner’s park that features an 8’ mini pipe. A great place to learn the freestyle trade.
Disco Park is another beginner’s park that is just that little step above the likes of the Unbound Playground. The features get progressively larger as you head through the park – but don’t get too big by the end.
All parks are easily accessed by one or more lifts.
The one thing Mammoth doesn’t have is night riding. I think we can forgive it that, given its myriad of other awesome qualities.
Usual opening date
Mammoth usually opens early to mid November. However, it wasn’t spared this season’s early season woes that most have been enduring in the West, with an opening date in Mid December. Snowmaking facilities can only do so much when Mother Nature doesn’t co-operate.
Past 5 years opening dates:
2010/2011 Season: November 11, 2010
2011/2012 Season: November 10, 2011
2012/2013 Season: November 8, 2012
2013/2014 Season: November 7, 2013
2014/2015 Season: December 17, 2014
Usual closing date
Mammoth tends to have long seasons – its longest coming in the 1994/95 season which lasted a whopping 10 months! With operations opening in October and ending in August!
Usually closing date is around End of May to Start of June.
Past 5 years closing dates:
2010/2011 Season: July 4, 2011
2011/2012 Season: May 28, 2012
2012/2013 Season: June 1, 2013
2013/2014 Season: May 18,2014
2014/2015 Season: Yet to close
Lifts operate daily from 8:30am to 4pm – weather permitted of course. All lifts may not be in operation on any given day depending on conditions.
There are heaps of ticket options for Mammoth – so many so that I won’t bother trying to cover it in a table here as I normally would. Check out the ticket page at the link below for Mammoth ticket details. They have “reload” cards so you can buy online and top up your card so you can head straight for the lifts when you get there – always handy!
What’s your Experience with Mammoth?
It would be awesome to hear from those that have had the pleasure to ride this mountain. Just leave a comment below. Any other comments, feedback and questions always welcome too.