Mammoth Mountain – a Review on the Top Of California


Often referred to as the top of California, Mammoth Mountain offers some of the best snowboarding in the country.  Mammoth has long been a weekend destination for Southern California thrill seekers.  The mountain is right in the heart of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and is home to incredible snowboarding, views, and nightlife.

Mammoth Mountain

A View From Above

The Peak of Mammoth Mountain sits at 11,056 feet above sea level, making it among the highest peaks in the state. Take a gondola ride to the top of the mountain and you will see why they call it the top of California. You are welcomed with an incredible 360 degree panoramic view of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. While the views are breathtaking the whole reason to get up to the top is for the ride down.

Ride Straight Down the Climax

The snow at Mammoth can be very light and fluffy, much like the snow in Utah, thanks to its high altitude. On the particular day I was there this was most defiantly the case. Climax, one of the many routes off the top, was in pristine condition only two other tracks down the face. All it took was about ten of the best turns I have had all season and I was out of the steeps and on to the park. A very unique component to Mammoth is that even on a powder day you can make some insane powder turns off the top and go straight in to one of the best parks in the world, all in the same run.

World Class Parks and Pipes

To say the park and half pipe at main lodge are big is a bit of an understatement. If you are not quite up to some of the big jumps there is defiantly a jump out there that is just right for you. Mammoth has seven parks with two world class half pipes, all built for different levels and abilities of snowboarding. I really enjoy riding the 22 foot super pipe at Main Lodge. It is almost always groomed to perfection as it is a training ground for many of the best snowboarders in the sport, including some Olympians. On any given day you will see professionals filming and perfecting tricks at the Main Lodge Park.

One Mountain Unlimited Terrain

While personally I prefer the steeps and big pipe, there is terrain and instruction for any snowboarder from expert to novice. Beginners have access to certified instructors for any ability level. I learned to snowboard at Mammoth and can tell you first hand that you will get skilled professionals that will help you learn the basics and progress very quickly from the bunny hill to the steeps.

Après Ski

After a long day on the hill it is always fun to head out and see what the town has to offer. A beautiful village was built at the base of the mountain about ten years ago and is now home to a bustling night life. Practically every weekend there is some sort of special event taking place. See your favorite band playing at Canyon Lodge or catch a movie outside in the square. Whether you just want to take the kids out to dinner or stay out clubbing all night there is something for you at the village.

What to Bring

While Mammoth does have many more sunny days than not, it is very important to be prepared for anything. I grew up in Mammoth and I can tell you that the weather can change suddenly and drastically. The weather is important to consider when packing your snowboard gear. Be sure to include snowboard clothing that has decent waterproofing and breathability. It is also important to bring appropriate layering, gloves and snowboard goggles. If you make sure that you have the proper snowboard equipment then you will have an incredible trip snowboarding, enjoying the views and clubbing it up.