Mammoth Mountain Ski Area
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area
Mammoth says it all. Its broad-shouldered conical peak sits just over 11,000 ft in elevation, and gets covered with some of the deepest snow in the Sierra Nevada from November through June. Mammoth is a monster. In an active volcanic zone in the Long Valley Caldera, abutting the saw-toothed Minaret Peaks, this huge resort is the highest in California and one of the highest in the country. It straddles the Sierra Crest, its north and south shoulders dropping down to 9,000 ft, and its western and eastern slopes plunging more than 3,000 ft down to the San Joaquin Canyon on one side and the village of Mammoth Lakes on the other. Standing on the top on a clear day, look east to see the highest peaks in Nevada; look west to see the coastal range, at the edge of the Pacific Ocean, 200 mi away. On some weekend days, 10,000 to 12,000 skiers pack the slopes, most enduring a five- to six-hour drive from Southern California, contributing to Mammoth’s reputation as one of the busiest ski areas in America. With 300 sunny days a year, it’s not hard to understand why. Mammoth can easily accommodate the crowds on its more than 3,500 acres of skiable terrain, and because of its efficient network of high-speed lifts, there’s rarely a wait. This is the favorite ski area of Los Angelenos, and just as in L.A., Mammoth has no real town center, only a gridwork of streets, many four lanes wide. Hotels, restaurants, shops, and bars are strung out along a mile of Main Street, and at times the traffic can resemble Hollywood Boulevard at rush hour. Accommodations at the resort are limited, so the town of Mammoth Lakes is where the majority of people bunk. The town is a sprawling development of condos, the bulk of which sit about 4 mi from the ski area and are served by the Mammoth Area Shuttle. In 2001, an international real-estate developer began construction on a new village at Mammoth. The pre-fabricated, albeit attractive, cluster of multi-use buildings is to include lodging units (set for completion in 2003 or 2004) and retail space (expected to open in 2003). The best feature of the new village may be a gondola that carries skiers to Canyon Lodge. Despite its ersatz efforts to be charming, Mammoth Lakes does have genuine charm in the stunning scenery that surrounds it and from the youthful vibrancy of its 5,000 permanent residents. This chapter contains a thorough description of the resort including how to get there, mountain statistics, trail profiles, lodging, dining, nightlife, and entertainment.
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Directions to: Mammoth Mountain Ski Areaprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Nearby City||Mammoth Lakes|
|Elevation Gain||3,100 ft|
|Skill Level||Novice 30%, Intermediate 40%, Expert 30%|
|Trailhead Elevation||7,953 ft|
|Top Elevation||11,053 ft|
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