Guide to U.S. Snowboarding and Freeskiing Grand Prix at Mammoth
The U.S. Snowboarding and Freeskiing Grand Prix makes its third and final stop at Mammoth Mountain this year from February 1 to 4. Top American skiers and snowboarders will compete in halfpipe and slopestyle for a total $400,000 in prize money. The action packed week is also an FIS World Cup event and the first qualifier for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeong Chang, South Korea.
Where to Watch the U.S. Snowboarding and Freeskiing Grand Prix
The good news is you don’t need a lift ticket to watch the Grand Prix and spectating is free. The event will take place at Mammoth Unbound’s Main Park and 22-foot superpipe, which is fantastic for watching slopeside or from the sun deck at Main Lodge. If you plan to ski or ride during the event, you can catch a lot of the action from the Lower Panorama Gondola and Chair 6.
It’s best to watch live and in person, but the Grand Prix will also be televised nationally on NBC. Look out for Mammoth team riders including Olympians Kelly Clark and Greg Bretz, as well as Chloe Kim, Brandon Davis, Judd Henkes, Brock Crouch and Maddie Mastro.
For up-to-the-minute Mammoth Grand Prix news, follow Mammoth Mountain and #MammothGP on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. All awards ceremonies will immediately follow the event finals.
Things to Do in Mammoth While Visiting for the Grand Prix
If you are going to visit Mammoth Lakes to watch the Grand Prix, you’ll want to make a complete vacation of the trip.
Skiing and Riding Mammoth Mountain
Epic snow has been falling and the base is great. Purchase multi-day, single or half-day lift tickets and make some turns at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. While the Unbound Main Park will be closed for the competition, you can ski and ride any of the other 10 Unbound Parks around the mountain.
Shopping at the Vendor Village
On the snow between Chair 1 and Chair 6 at Main Lodge, the Vendor Village will feature top ski, snowboard and winter sport brands. You’ll have the opportunity to check out some gear, win prizes, pick up swag and maybe meet an athlete or two. Open Friday to Sunday, from 9 am to 4 pm.
Take a few hours off from spectating the Grand Prix and go on a snowmobile tour. Try DJs Snowmobile Adventures for guided trips departing from Smokey Bear Flat just north of Mammoth or enjoy a ride from Main Lodge with Mammoth Snowmobile Adventures. Both tour operators offer fully guided half- and full-day trips for beginners, families and experienced riders.
Sightseeing and Photography
Get out and about in the Eastern Sierra and see some of the natural beauty that surrounds the region. The steam from the geothermal vents at Hot Creek is spectacular in the winter and it’s a favorite spot for sightseeing and photography. Depending on the snow pack and road access, you can take a short walk from the parking area along the path for an up close look at the creek. If the snow closes the road, you’ll venture a few miles from the parking area to get a view from a scenic overlook.
Grand Prix Official After Party
Details are still in the works, but check Mammoth Mountain’s website for information regarding the after party celebrating the finale of the US Snowboarding and Freeskiing Grand Prix.
How to Get to Mammoth
The easiest, most scenic way to get to Mammoth is to fly. Located ten minutes from town, the Mammoth Yosemite Airport has year-round flights from Los Angeles and daily winter flights from San Diego and San Francisco. New this year, fly from Burbank to Mammoth on JetSuite X, a charter air service offering private flights. Check with your hotel for an airport shuttle, take a cab or rent a car from the airport.
If you are driving, Mammoth Lakes is located five hours north of Los Angeles and three hours south of Reno. Take Highway 395 and exit Highway 203 to Mammoth.
Monica Prelle is an outdoors, wine, and travel writer who would rather be running, climbing, or mountain biking. See more of Monica's posts here, read more of her work at monicaprelle.com and connect on twitter @monicaprelle...