Mammoth Lakes: Home To A Mammoth Ski Resort -

The High Sierra. It spells Mammoth Mountain at Mammoth Lakes, Calif., to several million skiers and boarders every year. The McCoy family, led by patriarch Dave McCoy, developed one of the most popular ski areas in the world.

Mammoth Mountain is traditionally among the first ski areas to open and often operates until the Fourth of July. The mountain receives over 400 inches of snow annually with an average of 300 sunny days a year.

Mammoth is surrounded by the protected backdrop of Mt. Whitney and Yosemite National Park. The town of Mammoth Lakes meets the mountain to create a distinctive and welcoming area for visitors and locals.

There are 3,500 skiable acres with a vertical drop of 3,100 feet and 150 named trails. There are 29 lifts in place, including two gondolas and two high-speed six-packs. The sprawling Mammoth Mountain Inn is at the base of Mammoth's main gateway. A famous badge of courage at Mammoth is to ski or ride off the cornice. It's not as hard as it looks for good skiers or boarders once you get your nerve up, but don't let it fool you.

Mammoth's sister resort, June Mountain, is about 15 miles as the crow flies, and offers a variety of good terrain in a bowl at the top of the face.

The best bet if you want to fly in for a destination stay is Reno and drive across the Carson Valley to Mammoth. There is a small little airport in Mammoth, but it's mostly for private planes. Most visitors drive.

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