Spring at Mammoth Mountain: How to Ski It

With 300 days of sunshine a year, plus an average snowfall of 350 inches, Mammoth Mountain is no doubt the top spring skiing destination in California, maybe even the world. Freezing temperatures at night and warm sunshine during the day, turn the wintery snow to “corn.” The granular snow is perfect for carving turns, riding fast, and enjoying the arguably best season in Mammoth Lakes.

The ideal spring skiing day includes riding the entire mountain and chasing the sun for the best conditions. Here’s how to have the best day of spring skiing at Mammoth Mountain.

Before you Hit the Slopes for Spring Skiing

Start with a quick breakfast in town at Stellar Brew & Natural Cafe, or grab a bite at the Old New York Deli & Bagel Co. in the Village at Mammoth before starting your day at Canyon Lodge (accessible via the Village Gondola or Blue Line shuttle).

Spring Skiing at Mammoth Mountain’s Canyon Lodge

Since spring skiing is all about chasing the sun around the mountain, ride Canyon Express up and ski down the forested intermediate run, Roller Coaster. At the bottom, take Roller Coaster-Chair 4 up and cruise the mellow beginner run Easy Rider to the base of High-Five Express-Chair 5. This mid-mountain chair takes you to an east-facing intermediate run, Solitude (perfect for when the sun hasn’t quite warmed up the western-facing slopes). From Solitude, you can ski past the base of the chair to Easy Rider and all the way to the Mill Café. Stop in the lodge for a quick sip of water and a bathroom break if you need it.

From the Mill Café, head up Stump Alley Express-Chair 2 and burn a lap back down the chairlifts namesake run, Stump Alley. Head back up the same chair, but this time ski over to Face Lift Express – Chair 3 located near the McCoy Station-Mid Chalet. Ride up Chair 3 and either test your advanced skiing on the face or wrap around the back on Saddle Bowl. Either way, head back up the chair again, but take Saddle Bowl to St. Anton on the next lap all the way to the bottom of Main Lodge. From here you will get on the Lower Panorama Gondola.

Spring Skiing at the Top of Mammoth Mountain

You are warmed up and ready to take a lap off the top. Enjoy the scenic ride. Once you take a photo at the summit of Mammoth Mountain, put the skis and snowboards on and head to Cornice Bowl, the most popular black diamond run on the mountain. Proceed with caution and rip some steep and fast turns all the way to the McCoy Station where you will get back on the Upper Panorama Gondola.

From here, take Road Runner, the intermediate cat-track to the backside of the mountain. Drop into the trees in one of the Outpost Glades, or stay head down the wide-open groomer Arriba to the Chair 14 Outpost. Grab lunch from the grill at Outpost BBQ and enjoy the sunshine on the deck. Next, ride Chair 14 and walk up to the top of Scotty’s. Ski the black diamond run to St. Anton and down to Broadway Express-Chair 1. From the top, head down Stump Alley then veer left to Mambo and back to the Mill. Take Goldrush Express-Chair 10 up and ski Solitude. Stay right following signs to Canyon Lodge to get back to where you started.

Monica Prelle

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

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