An Ikon Pass Adventure to Mammoth + June Mountain

Hey guys!

As promised, here is the last installment in my February road trip series. Some of you may remember my stories from this trip, but if there’s one thing I can say to sum it up is: SNOW. And LOTS of it.

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I have honestly never seen so much snow in my life! At the Main Lodge, we were measuring it by car height (as in…the snow banks were 3 1/2 Jeeps high...let that sink in!). The season total currently stands at 456” at the Main Lodge, and 675” on the summit! On the day of our arrival, road travel was the only way to get into Mammoth Lakes. Like most days, the snow made air travel impossible, and all flights coming in were canceled (keep this in mind for particularly snowy seasons!). After checking into our cozy quarters at the Village Lodge and getting my rentals sorted, I hopped on a chairlift at the nearby Canyon Lodge for my first experience of skiing in California. Like Solitude in Utah, these were conditions I’ve never encountered out east. EVERY RUN - and I mean EVERY - was a powder run. That’s how fast the snow fell! The near whiteout conditions made it hard to capture the vastness of Mammoth, but here’s a look at some of my favorite moments!

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Our first “official” day on the slopes started the day after arriving in town. We hopped in the car and made our way to nearby June Mountain. Both Mammoth and June are on the Ikon Pass, which opens up even more possibilities for adventure! June is a great mountain for a family trip, but still has enough variety and challenge for all skill levels! My personal favorite trails were Matterhorn and Sunset - the latter being one of several bowl trails. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to such open trails after growing up skiing in the east! Our lunch break in the June Meadows Chalet offered a brief glimpse at the surrounding vista (and the first of many cups of cocoa).

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On our way back to Mammoth, we stopped at nearby Mono Lake. This beautiful landscape is just one of numerous natural wonders that lie right outside of the village. The area is also well known for having an abundance of hot springs! We didn’t get a chance to visit any this year - because of the towering snow banks - but I was able to enjoy one last year when V and I were passing through. The following morning, Allee and I took advantage of the rare clear skies to visit another beautiful spot, Convict Lake. After an afternoon of skiing back on Mammoth, we made our way over to the Main Lodge for a snow cat tour! On a clear day, the tour provides a wonderful view of the Minaret Vista. While the snow fell too hard to see it for ourselves, we still made do with playing in the snow and seeing a bit more of the mountain than the ski trails offer. Plus, the cups of cocoa, mulled wine, and snacks made it the perfect après ski activity!

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My last day was a bit of a surprise, as I was supposed to be on a plane flying back to New York. But the snow had other plans for me, so I had an extra day to explore the slopes. I spent it trying to get from one side of the mountain to the other - starting at Eagle Lodge and working my way over. If you’re new to the area like I was, having a physical map is super handy! The mountain is MASSIVE, and every run was unique for me. I ended the last day with a soak in one of the hot tubs at the Village Lodge. It was so magical with the falling snow! If you’re looking for a place to stay, I can’t recommend this place enough. Located right in the village, we were steps from the rental shop, boutiques, and tons of restaurants. Of course, there’s tons of great options outside of the village, too (my favorite was the very cozy Tamarack Lodge).

Even with my extra day, my time in Mammoth felt too short. Luckily, they’ve announced that the Main Lodge will be open until at least July 4th, so hopefully I’ll be back for a round two! So thankful for Ikon Pass for making this my favorite ski season yet. Will be sharing more ski adventures soon!

xo

J.

Road tripping through Utah

Hi guys!

Apologies for the unintentional break I took from this space. Between life on the road and then getting sick almost as soon as I got back east, this space was pushed a bit from my mind. Anyway, I’ve officially been back home for a bit after a whirlwind three weeks on the road. It felt SO GOOD to be back out in my element; hiking, skiing, and just daydreaming on endless stretches of highway. After meeting up with my friend, Allee, in Arizona, (and our brief detour in Colorado!), we set our sights on Utah.

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I first visited some of these places a couple winters back, but that didn’t make them any less amazing the second time around. If anything, I was more excited, as I knew the cold temps would make them less desirable to visit. Pro tip : if you’re looking to have hiking trails in the southwest to yourself, visit in the winter! Even at sunrise, I’ve always shared hiking trails - especially national park trails - with other people. While there were a couple other brave souls out enjoying the sights, it was nothing like summer time with hoards of people!

Our first stop in Utah was Monument Valley. This time around we car camped nearby, but my first time visiting this place, we stayed at The View hotel, which looks right out over the infamous buttes. It was a bit overcast, but we had a small window of clear sky that made for a perfect sunrise. Like most southwest spots, you’re going to want to plan around where you’ll be for sunrise or sunset. That’s when the landscapes truly seems to glow.

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This section of the trip was definitely about car camping - aka saving money on lodging! - and we continued the following night at Dead Horse Point State Park. Using the ioverlander app, Allee was able to find a camp ground in the park, just a short drive from where we’d be shooting sunrise the following morning! With the recent snowfall, we couldn’t pass up a visit to nearby Arches National Park. Like I mentioned earlier, this place is a ghost town in winter! We had entire trails to ourselves, and got to explore the snow covered red rocks to our hearts content.

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From Moab, we continued our journey north in search of a little sunshine. I’ll be the first to admit, as much as I love Winter, the goal for this trip was definitely to embrace the sun and some WARMTH. We were able to find both at our next stop - Mystic Hot Springs. This place is a trip, I loved how unique the individual tubs are! Once we we were closer to Salt Lake City, we hiked to a natural hot spring (I personally preferred the natural pools. Can’t think of a better reward after a hike).

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I knew I couldn’t leave SLC without at least ONE ski day, and fortunately my long-time friend, JJ, was able to meet up with me to make it happen. We spent the day at Solitude Mountain, where I was able to use my Ikon Pass (have I mentioned lately how much I love this pass?! I’ve skied more this season than any other because of it! More on that in my next post). Solitude is unlike any mountain I’ve ever experienced. I’ve never skied in powder so deep in my life! It was such a fun day, and truly has me dreaming of more winter trips to the area. There’s certainly no shortage of mountains - Brighton, Alta, and Snowbird being a stone’s throw away.

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On our final night, our friend, Kevin, brought us out to nearby Antelope Island for a sunset campfire. If we had gone nowhere else in Utah, this place would be enough. It’s INCREDIBLE. Roaming buffalo scattered throughout, and mountain vistas that made me feel as though we had been transported to southern Alaska. It was a dream.

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Can’t wait to share the last leg of this trip with you guys! Promise it will be soon.

xo

J.

A Colorado Snow Day with New Frontier Outfitters

Hi from the road, guys!

A few days back, we found ourselves in a very snowy situation right outside Telluride, Colorado. After holing up for the night to let the storm pass, we ventured out to the mountains. On this trip, I had the pleasure of working with outdoor lifestyle brand, New Frontier Outfitters.

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Based in the Appalachian mountains, New Frontier Outfitters sells adventure-inspired apparel and accessories - perfect for road trips! In fact, one of my favorite pieces of theirs is the Winter Van Sweater. All the wanderlust vibes, and SO SOFT. Not gonna lie, this is probably one of the softest sweatshirts I own!

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My friend, Allee, threw on their NFO Winter Badge Crew before we headed out, which has an awesome vintage look to it. After tossing on our very suitably named Aspen beanies, we definitely felt like we were reading for the slopes! A very snowy drive later, we made it to town and hopped right on the gondola. Even at 10,000+ feet, we stayed snuggly warm!

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New Frontier Outfitters has tons of great winter apparel and accessories on their site right now, so be sure to check them out! At the moment, they also have a 30% off sale with code “snowman”. Head over to check out their Winter collection !

xo

J.

This post is in partnership with New Frontier Outfitters.