There is something magical about a heavy snowfall that blankets the earth and turns it into an entirely different place. With snow falling at its highest elevation, Mammoth Mountain is one of those places you must visit during winter. From skiing and snowboarding to snowshoeing and ice skating, Mammoth Mountain offers a variety of winter activities to suit both the novice and expert adventurer.
For those looking to experience the best of winter in this stunning location, this ultimate guide to exploring winter activities at Mammoth Mountain is the perfect place to start. Here, you'll find information on the best snow sports, the best places to stay, and where to eat in the winter wonderland. With the right preparation and knowledge, you can make the most of your time in this stunning mountain range. So let's dive in and explore the best of Mammoth Mountain!
Mammoth Mountain is open for skiing and snowboarding every day of the week until the end of winter. With a peak elevation above sea level, this ski resort is perfect for winter activities, so strap on your skis or snowboard and head up to the mountain. Here is what you need to know about winter activities at Mammoth Mountain and all you need to know before you go:
Check the weather before you go
If you’re planning a trip to Mammoth Mountain in the winter, you want to check the weather ahead of time. If there are severe weather warnings in your region, it’s a good idea to cancel the trip or reroute. You certainly don’t want to get stuck in a storm at a ski resort in the Sierras, especially if you’re traveling with kids. The main winter weather concerns at Mammoth Mountain are snow, winds, and fog.
If you’re visiting in December or January, you might be lucky enough to experience the rare and beautiful phenomenon known as “snow in the air.” This snowfall occurs when moist air travels over a snow-covered surface, causing the snow to evaporate and create a foggy haze. For trial & snow reports, you can call the hotline at 760-934-5293 ext 5. You can also view the Tamarack Cam for snow conditions.
When will Mammoth Mountain be open?
While the exact dates are subject to change, Mammoth Mountain typically opens for ski and snowboard season in November and closes in April. This year the opening day is November 10, 2023. For the summer hiking season, which typically lasts from July to September. Specific dates are available on the official website.
What to wear while visiting Mammoth
When planning your winter vacation, it’s important to keep the weather conditions in mind. Mammoth Mountain is in a high-elevation area, so temperatures are significantly cooler than in other lower-elevation areas. The average high temperature in January is between 34 to 39 degrees Fahrenheit, so you’ll want to pack warm clothing, including gloves, hats, snow suits, and sturdy boots.
Bring multiple layers so you can keep your body temperature regulated depending on your activity. You’ll also want to bring sunglasses and sunscreen, as UV radiation can be harmful at higher altitudes.
Activities and things to do at Mammoth Mountain during winter
Besides skiing and snowboarding, Mammoth Mountain has plenty of activities to keep you and every member of your family busy during the winter. Here, we have listed all the activities for kids and adults at Mammoth Mountain:
Skiing & Riding
At 11,053 feet, Mammoth boasts the highest lift-served summit of any California resort, making for deeper, better snow and beautiful vistas. A child lift ticket for one whole day starts at $40, depending on the day of the week. Your lift ticket is valid for the number of days you choose. For young adults, tickets start at $73, and for adults from $89, depending on the day of the week. The Quad Pack+ allows you to shred any 4 days you choose for approximately $129 if you book by November 13.
Scenic Gondola Rides
Take an aerial ride up to Mammoth's summit at 11,053 ft to take in all the views and explore all the fun at the top. At the top, snap a selfie at the summit sign, enjoy lunch with panoramic views at the Eleven53 Café, and discover the history and wonder of the Sierra at the interpretive center. The Scenic Gondola will operate November 10–12 for opening weekend. Daily service starts on November 18, 2023, weather and conditions permitting.
Tickets for young adults and adults are anywhere between $29 to $39 depending on the day of the week. Up to two kids (ages 12 and under) can ride for free with each paying adult. Seniors over 80 ride for free as well. Package deals are also available on the site.
Woolly's Tube Park
Skip the hiking, catch a lift to the top, then bomb down as fast as you dare in one of the high-speed snow tubes. Woolly's Tube Park is the favorite amongst families and kids. Woolly’s Tube Park is fun for all ages with a large snow play area and a heated deck with a snack bar offering hot cocoa and beverages. Tube Park riders must be 42" tall to ride the tubes. Height will be verified at check-in.
Even the littlest ones will find big fun in the snow play area where they can ride the merry-go-round tubes, build a snowman, shred on a surf sled and even hang out with everyone’s favorite fuzzy mascot, Woolly.
You are highly encouraged to reserve your time slot at Woolly’s Tube Park to guarantee your ticket. Woolly’s often sells out, especially on holidays and weekends. You should plan to arrive 30 minutes before your start time midweek or 45 minutes on weekends and holidays.
Woolly's Tube Park is at 9000 Minaret Rd, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546. Opening Day for Woolly's Tube Park is scheduled for November 24, 2023. Using the Red Line shuttle stop #19 on weekends is recommended as parking can be limited. For frequently asked questions about Wooley's Tube Park, click here.
Explore the scenic Lakes Basin on Nordic skis or snowshoes for a family adventure or some butt-kicking fun across 19+ miles of secluded, groomed world-class trails. Rentals, lessons, guided tours, and season passes are available from the Tamarack Cross-Country Ski Center, located at Tamarack Lodge. Tamarack Cross-Country Ski Center is scheduled to open this winter season on November 18, 2023.
Mellow cruisers and hard chargers alike will enjoy exploring tree-lined trails and huge meadows on a guided excursion. The snowmobile Adventure tours are 1.5 hours. This tour takes in the beauty of the surrounding forests and geological formations and offers incredible views of Mammoth Mountain. Opening Day is Scheduled for December 15, 2023.
Ski & Snowboard Lessons
Whether it's your family's first day on the slopes or looking to take your skills to new heights, you’ll be turning heads before you know it with a lesson from ski and snowboard instructors. Private and Group Lessons are available to book online for reservations starting November 10, 2023. Check the website on how to book for the 23/24 Winter Season.
Kids Group Lessons
Small group lessons ensure that young skiers and riders are grouped according to their age and ability level so that they can get off to a great start. Small class sizes ensure that students get the personal attention they need to have fun and learn to love the slopes, as well as build sound skiing and snowboarding fundamentals, confidence, and mountain etiquette through our specialized teaching methods and dedicated learning zones. Group lessons are available for different age groups, starting at 3 years old and with different skill levels. Kids Group lessons start at $170 for 2 hours.
Lesson + Child Care
If your littlest ones aren’t ready for a full day on the hill, the Lesson + Child Care Packages. After the lesson, the group heads to the Mammoth Child Care facility for lunch, rest, and playtime for the remainder of the day. The Lesson + Child Care Package is a full-day program, whereas Group Lesson is only a half-day lesson. Suppose your child struggles on the hill or no longer wants to participate in the program. In that case, they will be escorted back to the Mammoth Child Care facility for play until pickup allowing parents to continue skiing. Drop your kid off in the morning at the Canyon Lodge Mammoth Kids location at 9:45 am, then pick them up by 4 pm at Mammoth Child Care in The Village. Check the website on how to book for the 23/24 Winter Season.
Adult Discovery Group Lessons
Learn the basics or build confidence on green runs with a small group of other skiers or riders at your same ability level. 4 and 2-hour lessons are available for beginners to help build a solid foundation for skiing and riding. The adult lessons are for 13+ and start at $175 for 2 hours of lessons.
Adult Intermediate & Advanced Clinics
These clinics are for anyone over 13 who can ski or ride on easy blue runs. Whether you're looking for more confidence on groomers or you want to master techniques to take you off-piste, you will be with a small group matched to your skill level. These clinics practice form techniques, and drills that will get you to the next level.
Private Lessons & Guides
Private lessons allow you to customize your experience, whether you're a beginner in need of patience and care, an intermediate skier seeking to conquer bumps, or just seeking a guide. With one-on-one attention, your instructor will customize the lesson to your needs. You'll have priority lift access, allowing you to ski more laps, take more lessons, and enjoy more riding.
All private lessons will meet on snow at the base lodge you choose on your reservation. Make sure to check the location you reserved your lesson before arriving. If you are a beginner, we highly recommend the Main Lodge. Main Lodge has the ideal beginner lift and terrain for first-time skiers and snowboarders. To book your private lesson, click here.
Clinics & Season-Long Programs
Multi-day clinics or season-long development programs are available if you are serious about improving your skills. Each clinic can be tailored to your needs. Most clinics start in January and March 2022.
Mountain Rangers Program
The Mountain Rangers Program is for kids 5 to 10 years old and taught by Ski & Snowboard School pros. This program runs from early December until late March. In this program, Mountain Rangers helps kids build strong mountain friendships while developing all-mountain skiing and riding skills. The Winter 2023-2024 program kicks off on December 3, 2023. You need to register online in advance.
Ski & Snowboard Rentals
A wide range of equipment is available for rental, and experts will get you all set up with exactly what you need. Several slopeside locations offer the benefit of quick adjustments, swapping out your gear, free overnight storage, and drop-off wherever it's most convenient for you. Adult ski and snowboard packages start at $71, and kid's packages at $41 per day. You can save up to 15% on single-day rentals when you book 14+ days in advance. You can also purchase a Season-Long Standard Rental package, rent once, pick up your equipment, and keep it with you all season long.
If you love snow and you are going to visit the mountain throughout the winter, you should consider purchasing a season pass and rack up as many days as you can in all your favorite activities. Mammoth Mountain offers a variety of season pass options for all ages to keep you and your family adventuring all year long.
If you are traveling with little kids who won't be able to join for the snow activities, child care is available at the mountain for a structured day filled with activity and fun for kids 2 to 6 years old. The ratio of children to staff is approximately 7 to 1.
Where to eat at Mammoth Mountain
There are dozens of restaurants at Mammoth Mountain, so you’ll never have to worry about not finding a place to eat. You can select the restaurants by location and type on the Mammoth Mountain website and mobile app. Mobile Ordering is available for to-go orders. Ikon Pass holders can save up to 15% at select dining venues. You need to show your pass at the time of purchase. For Happy hours at select restaurants, click here.
Where to stay near Mammoth Mountain
Hotels and cabins fill up fast during winter, so you’ll want to book them as soon as you have a date. Here, we have listed some family-friendly stays that are near Mammoth Mountain. Another popular option is Vrbo, which offers a wide selection of vacation rentals.
The Village Lodge
Located just steps from the best shopping and dining in town, year-round entertainment, and direct gondola access to the slopes in winter, The Village Lodge is Mammoth’s premier all-access property offering luxury and convenience in the heart of it all. The property features year-round access to heated pools, hot tubs, a fitness center, and secure equipment lockers. The property is on the free seasonal town shuttle system.
The Villas at Obsidian
Exclusive 4-bedroom tri-level Villa at Obsidian sleeps up to 9 guests. Located alongside the 10th fairway of Sierra Star Golf Resort, the Villas at Obsidian townhomes are the newest development in the exclusive gated community of Obsidian Residences. Situated in the heart of Mammoth Lakes at Meridian and Minaret, the Villas is just minutes from Eagle Lodge, the Village at Mammoth, and the town center. This newly built 4-bedroom luxury townhome has an open floor plan, a gourmet kitchen, 4.5 bathrooms, and a great room with large picture windows. Property amenities include a private two-car tandem car garage, full gourmet kitchen, expansive deck with golf course views, private hot tub, washer/dryer, and enhanced privacy in a gated community.
Mammoth Mountain Inn
Located in Mammoth Lakes, Mammoth Mountain Inn is near Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort and Sierra Star Golf Course. Near Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort, Mammoth Mountain Inn provides a grocery-convenience store, a rooftop terrace, and shopping on-site. The hotel offers ski-in/ski-out access, downhill skiing, and a ski shuttle. For some rest and relaxation, visit the 4 hot tubs. It also features an on-site restaurant, The Mountain Side Grill.
Hillside Highland Townhomes
This luxury townhome is just steps from the village At Mammoth. Relax and connect with friends and family in these newly constructed townhomes adjacent to The Village at Mammoth. Only a short two-minute walk to dining, shops, and the Village Gondola, these townhomes are the perfect location for your next getaway. Hillside Highlands has three buildings with different units.
The Lodges at Snowcreek
These contemporary 2-bedrooms with loft tri-level lodges at Snowcreek sleeps up to 8 guests. Adjacent to a 449-acre nature preserve, The Lodges at Snowcreek Resort are a few minutes from the town center and ski lifts. Located along the fairway of Snowcreek Golf Resort, The Lodges have expansive views of the Sherwins and Mammoth Mountain, and a quick walk to the town's free shuttle system.
The Heron at Obsidian Residences
A 4-bedroom contemporary home, the Heron at Obsidian Residences sleeps up to 12 guests. This modern, sophisticated 4-bedroom, two-story private home is located in the gated community of Obsidian Residences. Adjacent to the 10th hole at Sierra Star Golf Course and minutes from ski lifts, shopping, and restaurants, Obsidian Residences feature heated stone floors, custom wood accents, and floor-to-ceiling include windows for a perfect pairing of contemporary mountain luxury and local convenience. Property amenities include a gourmet kitchen, home theatre, deck with private hot tub, and two 1-car garages.
The Kestrel at Obsidian Residences
A mountain contemporary 5-bedroom home, the Kestrel at Obsidian Residences sleeps up to 14 guests. Located in the exclusive gated community of Obsidian Residences, this tri-level 5-bedroom home features a private hot tub, elevator, and home theatre room. Home overlooks Hole 10 of the Sierra Star Golf Course and is a short drive to ski-lifts, the Village at Mammoth, the town center, and the free town shuttle route.
The Westin Monache Resort
Located in Mammoth Lakes, The Westin Monache Resort is connected to a shopping center and near Sierra Star Golf Course and Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort. The onsite restaurant, Whitebark Restaurant, features fusion cuisine. The resort features an outdoor pool with sun loungers, and the rooms have fireplaces, and premium bedding, as well as separate dining areas. Guest reviews highly rate the comfortable rooms at this property.
Juniper Springs Resort
This family-friendly resort delivers all the comforts of home with ski-in, ski-out convenience. Eagle Lodge next door delivers all your ski resort needs, and in the warmer months, you can hit the links at the Sierra Star Golf Course nearby. The property features year-round access to heated pools, hot tubs, a fitness center, and secure equipment lockers. The property is on the free seasonal town shuttle system.
Ski Resort Information
Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort is located at 10001 Minaret Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546. You can call 800-626-6684 for additional information or visit Mammoth Mountain's official website. For trial maps of the resort, click here. To find other ski resorts in North America & Worldwide, click here.