A lot of people are wondering what it is going to be like in Mammoth Lakes this summer with the record snowfall this past winter. Will there be hiking trails available? Will the Mammoth mountain bike park be open? When will the lakes basin open to access Lake Mary, Lake George, and Horseshoe lake? Is there any camp sites open in the Mammoth Lakes area? Well, the answer is that all these things will be delayed this year. Although the snow is melting quickly, there is still many areas around town with 10+ feet of snow on the ground.
The photo above shows the current end of Old Mammoth Road. There is still a ton of snow. It is a similar sight at the end of Lake Mary road near Twin Lakes. In a normal year these roads would be open in mid to late May, but not this year. If you are visiting Mammoth to hike, fish, or just enjoy the lakes, you are going to have to wait another month or two. We would be lucky to get the lakes basin open by 4th of July. That goes ditto for the Golf Courses and camp sites around town. Sierra Star and Snowcreek Golf courses will likely not be able to open until early July and the camp grounds near lake Mary, like Coldwater Campground, may not open until even later than that.
Some exposed areas are starting to melt out, but anything approaching 9,000 feet in elevation is still pretty buried under snow. The above photo shows a section of the Mammoth Rock trail with some of the Mammoth Crest in the background. These are popular Mountain Biking and hiking areas in Mammoth Lakes. As you can see, as of late May 2023, these trails are no where close to being melted out. If you plan to hike anywhere in Mammoth through July, be prepared for snow. Many of the higher elevation trails like Duck Pass, Crystal Lake, Heart Lake, Sherwin Lakes, and McLeod lake will have snow on them through most of summer. If you want to hike these trails, or any of the other trails in Mammoth Lakes, then you'll probably want to visit in August or September when the snow has dissipated. The good news is that there is so much terrain in the area that you just have drive to some lower elevation areas, like Crowley Lake, Convict Lake, or Bishop to find some dirt to hike or bike.
The above photo shows the trailhead to Mammoth Rock Trail from Old Mammoth Road. It is completely covered in snow and it is impossible to ride bikes on this trail. The area is actually still covered enough that people can backcountry ski through at least early June. What is good for skiers is bad for Mountain Bikers. The Mammoth bike park may not even open this year and if it does it will be in a limited capacity. Normally, Mammoth Mountain is selling Bike Park Passes this time of year, and it speaks volumes about the fate of the mountain biking season that they are not even selling passes and it is almost the end of May. What about the free mountain biking trails in Mammoth? Those are all still under snow too. Just outside of town, and at slightly lower elevation, the Rock Creek trial is ridable right now, but any biking trails in our area (Mammoth Rock Trail, Panorama Dome, Mountain View) will likely be unavailable through June. Check back with us in a few weeks as to how Mammoth is shaping up for the rest of summer, we will post an update.