Is the Volcano that Formed Mammoth Mountain Still Active?

Is Mammoth Mountain an Active Volcano in Mammoth, CA

There are roughly 1,300 potentially active volcanoes around the world, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. And, yes, one of them is Mammoth Mountain. However, this doesn’t mean you have to cancel your plans to come to the popular resort perched on what’s actually considered a lava dome complex. Read on to see why you can breathe a sigh of relief, put on some comfy Mammoth apparel, and feel free to enjoy all Mammoth Mountain has to offer.

Learn Some Brief History about Mammoth Mountain

Mammoth Mountain was formed after a series of eruptions occurred in the area nearly 60,000 years ago. When the lava cooled and settled, Mammoth Mountain was born. Over the course of thousands of years, the area developed some stunning natural features. The higher elevations also created perfect conditions for skiing, which is what inspired Dave McCoy to develop the Mammoth resort.

A Major Eruption Hasn’t Happened in a Really Long Time

As briefly mentioned above, Mammoth Mountain is still technically an active volcano. However, the last major eruption happened about 700 years ago. Mammoth also rests at the south end of what’s referred to as the Mono-Inyo Craters. These are volcanic craters nestled along the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada range over by Mono Lake. But it has also been a really long time since these craters have been significantly active, although the magma source for Mammoth is different.

There Are Still Minor Flare-Ups

Active volcanoes aren’t entirely predictable. For instance, Yellowstone is supposedly long overdue for a massive eruption, but there are no signs it’s on the way anytime soon. At Mammoth, there have been some minor flare-ups in more recent years. The most recent one of note was in 2006. Unfortunately, there were some ski patroller fatalities when this occurred. This wasn’t due to a volcanic eruption in the traditional sense, though. High snowfall totals during the ’05–’06 season created potentially hazardous conditions in an area where hot gases and vapors escaped from vents in the mountain called fumaroles, and the patrollers perished from carbon dioxide suffocation. There have also been instances of trees being killed by minor gas releases from Mammoth Mountain.

Mammoth Mountain Is Well Monitored & Safe

The folks in charge at Mammoth Mountain are very good at monitoring conditions. State officials also keep an eye on things in volcanic areas with high-tech equipment, which provides an added level of protection and peace of mind. The resort routinely checks all publicly accessible areas as well. If there are any potentially risky situations, you can assume access to the affected areas will be restricted or prohibited.

Feel Free to Enjoy & Explore

The upside of having a resort perched on Mammoth Mountain is being able to enjoy the many natural wonders and visual delights here. An easy way to see what Mother Nature created is to take a scenic gondola ride along the mountain so you can scope things out for yourself in comfort. There’s even a café at the summit.

If you’re a geology buff, Mammoth Mountain and the surrounding area has plenty of terrain for you to explore, so grab your hiking gear, throw on one of your favorite Mammoth t-shirts, and find out for yourself why Mammoth is such a popular destination for people of all ages and interests. Mammoth Bound is your one-stop shop for t-shirts, gaiters, hats, beanies, and a variety of logo wear. Stop by on your way to the mountain or contact us at [email protected].

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