» mammoth mountain
I don't think skiing can get much better than what we experienced at Mammoth: light, knee-deep powder, no lift lines, great terrain, amazing scenery, cool accommodations, and great company. It felt like being in a ski movie, bouncing through the powder like you were floating on clouds or skiing a steep run and getting followed down the slope by a small avalanche.

It snowed constantly for the first day and a half we were there making it hard to see but the fresh powder more than made up for that. On our last day it was mostly sunny so we got to enjoy the scenery. Unlike many ski resorts I have been to where you have to wake up early or hike to get fresh powder, it was all around and easy to find here, all the way through our last day.

Shortly after we left, another big storm rolled through Mammoth, making this ski season the all-time snowfall record holder with over 50 feet of total snowfall. It's April and they have a 20 foot base.

The view to the Northwest from Mammoth.

Interesting clouds above the Glass Mountains.

Me skiing (taken by Megan), and Megan skiing.

Silver Peak and some others, from the top of Mammoth.

The top of Mammoth, and another peak that had some good steep runs off it.

A closer look at the Minarets, Mount Ritter, and Banner Peak. Scale is lost in this picture, but these peaks are very impressive in person.

Clouds resting on the mountains east of Mammoth.

Snowy trees, mountains to the south, and Kate & Steve.

Megan staying a comfortable distance from the edge.

On our first day it snowed continuously and when we came back to the car after skiing, it was buried in snow. In the village, snow was piled as high as the houses with driveways surrounded by walls of snow 10-20 feet high.

Lake Mary from Mammoth.

» tamarack cabins, mammoth
I highly recommend staying here, unless you are opposed to shoveling snow and/or trudging up a steepish snowy hill to get to your cabin. You've got to realize though, this is all part of the experience. How can you appreciate the snow without waking up to waist deep snow blocking your door or burying your car? You just can't.

Our cabin, buried in snow, and the tunnel to the door.

Our view through the windows was of snow, and one morning we awoke to 2-3 feet of fresh snow in the doorway.

Nearby Crystal Crag.

A trail near the cabins.

I wandered around the trails near the cabins one evening and ran into some friendly skiers who were hiking up this mountain to do some backcountry powder skiing. I hiked with them for a bit but had to quit and return home before someone reported me as missing.

» highway 395
395 runs right along the Sierra Nevada Range, home to the tallest mountains in the US outside of Alaska. The snowy peaks are quite a contrast to the desert-like valley floor and mountains to the east. These pictures were taken from the car at 70mph, making me realize that they shouldn't be making cellphones with built-in cameras, they should be making cars with built-in cameras. Yeah I just got the new Honda Civic cameracar with 7 megapixels of resolution and 4x zoom.

I believe this is Mount Tom, just outside of Mammoth.

The Sierra Nevada range near Mount Whitney.

The view to the east from 395, and to the west from 395.

» san diego

A view from the cliffs.

Sunset at Torrey Pines Beach.


< Back to Photos & Trip Reports

» all photo reports from the eastern sierra
Duck Lake, California
July 2018
A quick hike in the Sierras, near Mammoth Lakes.
Lake Tahoe, California
August 17 - 19, 2012
Hiking Maggies Peaks near Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe.
Around California
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From San Diego to Yosemite to Lake Tahoe.
Mono Lake, California
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Checking out the south side of Mono Lake.
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Hiking to Thousand Island and Garnet Lakes in the Ansel Adams Wilderness, starting from Agnew Meadows.
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Hiking to Treasure Lakes in the Little Lakes Valley near Bishop/Mammoth Lakes, and driving south along the Eastern Sierra.
Mammoth Mountain, California
March 21 - 23, 2006
Skiing Mammoth Mountain and driving Highway 395 back to San Diego.
Lake Tahoe, Nevada/California
January 24 - 29, 2006
Skiing some of the resorts around Lake Tahoe (Heavenly, Squaw Valley, Diamond Peak).
Yosemite, California
July 2018
A day in Yosemite, mostly the high country.
Tenaya Canyon, California
August 16, 2012
Hiking from Tenaya Lake to the top of Pywiack Cascade in Yosemite National Park.
Yosemite, California
August 5, 2010
Passing through Yosemite and enjoying some sights along the way.
Little Lakes Valley, California
August 4, 2010
Hiking through Little Lakes Valley in the Eastern Sierra.
Mount Agassiz, California
September 2, 2006
Hiking to the summit of Mount Agassiz in the Bishop Creek area, starting from the South Lake trailhead.
Yosemite, California
July 23, 2006
Checking out Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, Tuolumne Meadows, and driving over Tioga Pass.
Yosemite, California
March 18 - 20, 2006
Camping in Yosemite, skiing to Glacier Point, and exploring the valley.