First Timer’s Guide to Skiing and Snowboarding at Mammoth Mountain

First Timer’s Guide to Skiing and Snowboarding at Mammoth Mountain

It’s hard to ride all of Mammoth Mountain’s 3,500 acres of skiable terrain in one trip. It’s even more difficult to make the most of your Mammoth Mountain trip if you haven’t been here before, so we’ve put together a short guide to skiing and snowboarding at Mammoth Mountain for the first time. Keep reading to learn how to make the most of your first visit to Mammoth Mountain, and then make your trip happen by getting the best lodging and rentals in Mammoth Lakes with Mammoth Bound!

Ride to The Summit at Least Once

Anytime you go to a mountain, you should always try to make it to the summit. However, Mammoth Mountain’s summit is not only the highest lift serviced summit in California, but it also has a spectacular view with terrain to match heading down.

Even if you aren’t ready to ride a black diamond, you should take a trip up the Panorama Gondola to see the view, hang out at Eleven53 Café, and enjoy even more mountain beauty as you ride the gondola back down. Road Runner, a blue that runs from the summit all the way down the backside of the mountain, is also an option for any skiers or snowboarders who aren’t ready to ride a black diamond yet.

If you are ready to ride a black or double black though, then you’ll have plenty of options to get down from the summit. Climax and Huevos Grande are the double blacks closest to the summit, but Cornice and Kiwi flats are two of the most popular trails on the entire mountain.

Check for High Winds Ahead of Your Visit

Mammoth Mountain’s elevation guarantees snow and long seasons, but it also brings high winds.

The backside of the mountain and the lifts running to the summit are the most likely to be affected by high winds, so if you want to ride those areas specifically then check the weather forecast before your visit so you’ll know if there’s a chance they are closed.

Hit Chair 22 For Challenging Terrain and Deep Snow

Since it’s located in the middle of the mountain Chair 22 isn’t affected by high winds as much as the lifts closer to the summit, but the terrain there is just as challenging and fun as any you’ll find on Mammoth Mountain.

There are several expert runs serviced by Chair 22 with steep tree runs and deep snow, and to make things even better the lift picks riders up just at the base of them all, making Chair 22 one of the best on the mountain. 

Check out the Backside of the Mountain on Crowded Days

The backside of Mammoth Mountain has a high concentration of intermediate trails and generally sees less riders than the rest of the mountain, so if you’re looking for space to ride then it should be your destination. 

On top of several lifts to keep riders on the move, the Hemlocks, a backcountry style terrain park, is also on the backside of the mountain, making it a must visit for any backcountry riders.  

Lastly, with how large Mammoth Mountain is, it’s easy to avoid crowds around the base of the mountain. Find a lift you like halfway up and avoid the crowds around the three base lodges!

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