In winter, check the On the Snow website or call the Snow Report for information about Mammoth weather conditions.
June Mountain Ski Area. In their rush to Mammoth Mountain, most people overlook June Mountain, a compact, low-key resort 20 miles north of Mammoth. Snowboarders especially dig it. Two freestyle terrain areas are for both skiers and boarders, including a huge 16-foot-wall super pipe. Best of all, there's rarely a line for the lifts—if you want to avoid the crowds but must ski on a weekend, this is the place. And in a storm, June is better protected from wind and blowing snow than Mammoth Mountain. (If it starts to storm, you can use your Mammoth ticket at June.) Expect all the usual services, including a rental-and-repair shop, ski school, and sports shop, but the food quality is better at Mammoth. Lift tickets cost $72, with discounts for multiple days. 3819 Hwy. 158, off June Lake Loop, June Lake, CA, 93529. 760/648–7733 or 888/586–3686. www.junemountain.com. 35 trails on 500 acres, rated 35% beginner, 45% intermediate, 20% advanced. Longest run 2½ mi, base 7,510 feet, summit 10,174 feet. Lifts: 7.
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. One of the West's largest and best ski areas, Mammoth has more than 3,500 acres of skiable terrain and a 3,100-foot vertical drop. The views from the 11,053-foot summit are some of the most stunning in the Sierra. Below, you'll find a 6½-mile-wide swath of groomed boulevards and canyons, as well as pockets of tree-skiing and a dozen vast bowls. Snowboarders are everywhere on the slopes; there are three outstanding freestyle terrain parks of varying technical difficulty, with jumps, rails, tabletops, and giant super pipes (this is the location of several international snowboarding and, in summer months, mountain-bike competitions). Mammoth's season begins in November and often lingers into May. Lift tickets start at $79. Lessons and equipment are available, and there's a children's ski and snowboard school. Mammoth runs free shuttle-bus routes around town and to the ski area, and the Village Gondola runs from the Village complex to Canyon Lodge. However, only overnight guests are allowed to park at the Village for more than a few hours. The main lodge is dark and dated, unsuited in most every way for the crush of ski season. Within a decade, it's likely to be replaced. Minaret Rd., west of Mammoth Lakes, Mammoth Lakes, CA, 93546. 760/934–2571; 800/626–6684; 760/934–0687 shuttle. www.mammothmountain.com. 150 trails on 3,500 acres, rated 30% beginner, 40% intermediate, 30% advanced. Longest run 3 mi, base 7,953 feet, summit 11,053 feet. Lifts: 27, including 9 high-speed and 2 gondolas.
Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center. Trails at the center, adjacent to Tamarack Lodge, meander around several lakes. Rentals are available. The all-day inclusive rate is $55. Lake Mary Rd., off Hwy. 203, Mammoth Lakes, CA, 93546. 760/934–5293 or 760/934–2442. www.tamaracklodge.com.
Ski Rentals and Resources
Footloose. When the U.S. Ski Team visits Mammoth and needs boot adjustments, everyone heads to Footloose, the best place in town—and possibly all California—for ski-boot rentals and sales, as well as custom insoles. 3043 Main St., at Mammoth Rd., Mammoth Lakes, CA, 93546. 760/934–2400. www.footloosesports.com.
Kittredge Sports. Advanced skiers should consider this outfit, which has been around since the 1960s. 3218 Main St., Mammoth Lakes, CA, 93546. 760/934–7566. www.kittredgesports.com.
Mammoth Sporting Goods. This company rents good skis for intermediates and sells equipment, clothing, and accessories. 1 Sierra Center Mall, Old Mammoth Rd., Mammoth Lakes, CA, 93546. 760/934–3239. www.mammothoutdoorsports.com.
Snow Report. For information on winter conditions around Mammoth, call the Snow Report. Mammoth Lakes, CA, 93546. 760/934–7669 or 888/766–9778.
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