Known on the West Coast as the "Top of California", Mammoth Lakes offers a wide range of winter activities and recreation. Mammoth is known for its Mammoth Skiing and Snowboarding terrains and abundant snow fall. Novices to expert skiers and snowboarders can hit the slopes at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. Mammoth also has some of the most pristine Cross Country/Nordic skiing in the World. For those of you who enjoy Snowmobiling, the opportunities are endless with mountain terrains that stretch as far as the eye can see. Still need more winter options? No problem! Other Winter Activities include, Ice Skating, Ice Climbing, Dog Sledding, Snowcat Tours, Family Fun & Snow Play, Fishing, and Photography. With more than 300 days of sunshine, and 400 inches of snowfall annually, Mammoth Lakes is the place to be in winter. But don't let the calendar fool you, although it may be spring in other parts of the country, Mammoth can continue to get snow storms all the way through May, so always carry chains in your car. The California Welcome Center - Mammoth Lakes located at the entrance to town on State Highway 203 offers free winter trail maps and information on guide services, special events, current trail conditions and regulations. Ask for the Free Winter Recreation Map.
Cross country skiing is both easy and accessible - not complicated, not a lot of gear required - just good, healthy fun! Between the Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center and the public Mammoth Lakes Nordic Trail System, there are miles of trails and skating lanes for Nordic skiers. The Inyo National Forest has a wide winter trail system integrated into the surrounding mountains, forests and meadows. Ideal terrain for ski touring and telemark skiing is marked by blue diamonds. Some popular destinations include Inyo Craters, Obsidian Dome and Hot Creek.
Take a seat in a real, traditional dog sled. Mammoth Dog Teams provides authentic dogsled rides for families and people of all ages. Leave the modern world behind, cover up in a thick blanket and sit back while friendly huskies and malamutes pull you through the snow. In the winter the tremendous snowfalls and moderate temperatures create a fantastic winter wonderland.
Family vacations in Mammoth Lakes are as much fun for parents as they are for kids. There are boundless recreational and educational opportunities that involve exploring the outdoors. Go snow sledding, build a snowman, make snow angels, or go cross country skiing or snowshoeing. For indoor fun you can go see a movie, have an indoor picnic, make some popcorn and watch movies or visit Color Me Mine Paint Studio and make your own souvenir to take home.
There is year round, catch-and-release fishing in Mono County on three excellent fisheries. Hot Creek and the Upper Owens River are 3 miles and 7 miles, respectively, from Mammoth Lakes and the East Walker River is approximately 45 minutes north near Bridgeport and all are usually accessible even in moderate snowfall years. South of Mammoth, approximately half way to Bishop, you pass into Inyo County, which also has year round fishing in the "gorge", Pleasant Valley Reservoir and the Lower Owens River, which offer both catch-and-release and catch-and-keep fishing depending on which sections you fish. Being at lower elevations these areas are always accessible throughout the winter season. So, don`t forget to throw your rod and reel in the car along with the skis and snowboards before you head up the hill.
The Mammoth Ice Rink is an outdoor facility located in Town near the Library offering public skating sessions, hockey clinics, pick-up hockey, lessons and special events. Amenities include skate sharpening, skate rentals and snack and beverage services.
Winter mountain climbing is ice faces, ridges, rocks crags, rock faces, and lakes, icefalls and glaciers. Rock climbers move into winter terrain to try their hand at snow or mixed climbing and winter mountaineering. The winter environment presents a whole new bag of sights and experiences. All parties attempting a winter backcountry outing should be eperienced in winter mountaineering, avalanche forecasting and rescue. Obtain a current weather forecast before going out.
Winter brings out photography opportunities that are quite unique and completely different from the rest of the seasons. There are so many unique scenes available from the newly fallen snow and frozen water that every nook and cranny Mother Nature creates becomes a work of art. With the tool of photography, you can capture just a small snapshot of the remarkable beauty, vastness and dramatic scenery of this region.
What sets Mammoth Mountain apart is an 11,053 foot summit and over 3,500 acres of ski-able terrain that includes steep chutes, wide open bowls, tree skiing, bumps, gullies, and wide open, well groomed trails. An average of over 400 inches of snow is caused by weather patterns from the Pacific that form over the Sierra. Mammoth Mountain is traditionally among the first ski areas to open and sometimes operates as late as the Fourth of July.
Snowboarding began in the Eastern Sierra in the mid-1980s. Since then, Mammoth has become one of the top-rated ski resorts for snowboarding in the world. A world class mountain with expansive challenging terrain and outstanding terrain parks has created a paradise where even newcomers to the sport fall in love with the slopes. The Unbound Terrain Parks at Mammoth Mountain is seven parks, with three halfpipes in the mix and is spread across 90 acres of terrain on Mammoth Mountain.
Mammoth Snowcat Tours will whisk guests away in a luxury snowcat and embark on an unforgettable journey to Minaret Vista. En route, guests will experience the beauty and peacefulness of the Eastern Sierra backcountry during winter while listening to a narrated audio CD highlighting historical, ecological, and geological facts. Parallax snowcat dinners offers a dining adventure at 9,600 feet. Start the evening with a champagne reception followed by a luxury snowcat ride high on Mammoth Mountain to Parallax. The experience is completed with a snowcat ride back down the mountain for the most unique apres-ski adventure on, or off, the slopes.
Snowmobiling is one of the most exciting ways to experience the great outdoors in winter. Snowmobiling can be a fun and exciting recreation for people of all ages. With access to the 80 miles of groomed snowmobile trails and 75,000 acres of open expanse, the Eastern Sierra delivers some of the best snowmobiling in the West. With an average annual snowfall of nearly 30+ feet, it`s no wonder that people from all over come to experience snowmobiling at its best, with varying terrain that makes for exciting riding and spectacular scenery.