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.
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!
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).
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!
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!