What You Need to Know About Skiing and Snowboarding in the Mammoth Lakes Backcountry

mammoth backcountry

Untouched powder. No lift lines. All the beauty of the mountains to yourself and whoever you choose to share it with.

We aren’t talking about some fictional paradise, nor are we about to tell you that you can have all these things if you simply buy your own ski mountain. No, all these things and more are possible if you explore the backcountry surrounding Mammoth Lakes. Riding the Backcountry isn’t all fun and games though. There are no lift lines because there are no ski lifts and you have to earn your turns by walking to the top of the hill, but most importantly backcountry snowboarders and skiers must always be aware of avalanches and other backcountry dangers.

To help you decide if or how you should ride the Mammoth Lake’s backcountry, we’ve put together some basic information below. Check it out and get on the snow!

Do You Have the Experience and Gear?

If you can’t answer this question right away, then the answer is most likely no.

The backcountry is pretty similar wherever you go. You need to know your limits, your gear, and how to avoid dangerous features such as tree wells and accidents like avalanches. The good news is that once you have those requirements under your belt you can ride just about anywhere.

If you’re beginning your journey into backcountry skiing or snowboarding, we recommend taking lessons with licensed and experienced instructors such as those you’ll find at Mammoth Mountain or Sierra Mountain Guides. The backcountry guides at Mammoth Mountain are top notch and offer two different classes based on the participants’ skill level, but Sierra Mountain Guides are also experts and also provide the safety gear needed that many beginners may not have or be familiar enough with to buy.

Where to Backcountry Ski and Snowboard in Mammoth

One of the most popular places in the Mammoth Lakes backcountry isn’t miles away from civilization but is instead right next door to Mammoth Mountain. The Hole In The Wall is scenic, accessible, and only a short trip away from Mammoth Mountain. Accessing this feature is dangerous and difficult though, so if you go out to find it make sure you’re with someone who has been there before.

Hole in the Wall - Mammoth Mountain - April 2016

A few other options are the Sherwin Bowls, Solitude Canyon, and Duck Pass. If you’re willing to go outside of Mammoth Lakes then there are even more backcountry options like White Wing off 395 near Glass Creek.

Where to Find Backcountry Guides

Mammoth Mountain

Mammoth Mountain offers guides to show guests around the backcountry near the mountain.

Visit Mammoth Mountain website

High Sierra Tours

If you want to venture further out then you can book with High Sierra tours.

Visit High Sierra Tours website 

International Alpine Guides

Another option for courses and tours is International Alpine Guides who pride themselves on their attention to guest safety as well as how much their skills progress over the tour. International Alpine Guides offer courses and tours all over the world, so check out their Mammoth Backcountry Skiing tours.

Visit International Alpine Guides website

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