Skiing and Snowboarding at Mammoth Lakes

snowboard Mammoth Lakes

After you spend a little time in Mammoth Lakes, you’ll soon realize that there are enough mountains to climb, streams to fish, and trails to bike for a lifetime. In fact, according to, Mammoth Lakes receives 1.3 million visitors in the winter and 1.5 million in the summer (see fact link below).

At this point you’re probably wondering why we are telling you that more people visit Mammoth Lakes during the summer when you’re looking for information about skiing and snowboarding at Mammoth Lakes.

The reason is that despite all of the awesome things to do in Mammoth Lakes year-round, the skiing and snowboarding here are so good that Mammoth Lakes is undoubtedly a ski town. Continue reading to find out why!

Basic Mammoth Mountain Skiing and Snowboarding Facts

It doesn’t matter if you think gondolas are just boats in Venice or you’re a professional skier looking to prepare for a trip to the Olympics, Mammoth Mountain has something for you on its 3,500 acres of skiable terrain.

If you’re visiting Mammoth Mountain for the first time, here are the basics.

  • Mammoth Mountain has three base lodges called Canyon, Eagle, Main, 150 named trails, and all kinds of terrain like groomers, trees, cliffs, chutes, and even a backcountry- style terrain park.
  • Mammoth Mountain is home to the world-famous Unbound Terrain Parks which are known for innovative features.
  • Mammoth Mountain’s base elevation is 7,953 ft with the summit rising up to 11,053 ft, so you must prepare your body for high altitudes.
  • Mammoth Mountain averages 300 days of sunshine per year while also averaging 400 inches of snow per year, so when snow falls it means business.
  • Mammoth Mountain experiences high winds throughout the winter, so be prepared to protect yourself from wind especially in below average temperatures.

Mammoth Mountain for Beginners

Got all that?
If you’re new to skiing or snowboarding, then all the information above may have your head spinning. Don’t worry, Mammoth Mountain is an excellent place to begin your skiing and snowboarding journey.

Mammoth Mountain has excellent ski and snowboard schools that will help you get your legs under you in no time, so we absolutely recommend lessons with the Mammoth Mountain professionals if you’re learning, even if a friend offers to teach you. Don’t forget your helmet! Visit Mammoth Mountains ski and snowboarding school website here.

If you don’t need lessons but are still getting comfortable on your skis or snowboard, then the runs that suit your skill-level are centered around the main lodges at the base of the mountain. Specifically, the best ski-lifts for beginners are Eagle Express at Eagle Lodge, Schoolyard Express at Canyon Lodge, and Discovery Chair at Main Lodge. You can see the locations of the lodges, trails, and lifts on the Mammoth Mountain Trail Map.

Mammoth Mountain for Intermediates

40% of Mammoth Mountain’s runs are rated for an intermediate skill level, so if you’re an intermediate rider or skier then you have plenty of options.

Most of the intermediate runs start around the middle of the mountain, so lifts like Chair 12, Gold Rush Express, and Chair 14 on the backside are just a few runs that offer access to plenty of intermediate runs. There are also several terrain parks designed for intermediate riders. If you want to experiment in the terrain park for the first time, check out Forest Trail Park, Jibs & More, and Disco Playground.

Once you’re comfortable with the intermediate runs, take advantage of all the lifts and trails and avoid the crowds at the base of the mountain!

Mammoth Mountain for Experts

If you’re a seasoned skier or snowboarder, then you know the most challenging terrain is typically concentrated around the summit, but there are plenty of expert runs all over Mammoth Mountain.

For steep tree runs with plenty of snow, head over to Dragon’s Tail or The Hemlocks on the back side of the mountain. For steep chutes, go to the summit and traverse over to Kiwi Flats and the surrounding runs. For a little bit of everything, take Chair 22 or Chair 25 and explore the cliffs and trees nearby!

See Mammoth Lakes, CA fact sheet here.

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