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Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes

Just south of Yosemite National Park in California lies Mammoth Mountain: A colossal mountain with the greatest consistent snowfall of any North American resort - an annual 32ft of powder snow. At over 11,000 feet Mammoth hogs the snow and does not give it up until most of us are hunting out the string bikini and slapping on the factor 15.

Skiers and boarders will happily lose themselves in the 3500+ acres of trails, parks and pipes. The mountain offers brilliant on and off-piste skiing/boarding for all levels. The summit veritably sparkles with double diamonds; couloirs and chutes which open out into vast bowls of "ski and ride anywhere you please" steeps and deeps.

At the other extreme is one of "Ski Magazines" top 10 North American ski and board schools with an innovative learn to ski/ride programme. The mountain and town also offer a variety of very good restaurants and plenty of other activities for non-skiers. You also have June Mountain 30 minutes away - smaller and more intimate than Mammoth, yet a gem of a resort in its own right boasting unsurpassed views over the lakes below.

This makes a good trip at weekends when Mammoth tends to get busier from its Los Angeles clientele and queues can build up.

The area is popular with all levels of skier and snowboarder throughout the winter and into summer. Mainly Americans, particularly weekending Californians from the coast. The combination of the "ski hard" mentality, sunny days and high altitude means that nightlife is quieter than in many European resorts, which may deter energetic teenagers.

The accommodation here is mainly simple roadside motels, a few full-service hotels and large numbers of self-contained, often privately owned, condominiums.

Locality:

Mammoth Lakes are situated in the west United States, roughly halfway down the state of California. Nearly 40 miles west of the border with the neighbouring state of Nevada. It is 40 mls SE of Yosemite National Park, 164 mls S of Reno and its airport, 360 mls E of San Francisco airport. Mammoth Lakes is set in a truly scenic and remote spot, in a slightly elevated position at the foot of whopping Mammoth Mountain, on the east slopes of the central Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is surrounded by extensive wilderness, high semi-arid desert, pine forests and numerous mountain lakes and rivers.