The Mammoth Lakes area boasts abundant trails and resources for cross country skiing, and is an increasingly popular winter activity in Mammoth. Cross country skiing in Mammoth is a great alternative for visitors who find themselves in Mammoth in the Winter, visiting with family and friends, but are not interested in snowboarding or alpine skiing.
Cross country skiing is a decidedly lower impact sport than snowboarding or alpine skiing, and results in far fewer injuries. It's a great workout, relatively easy to learn, and far less crowded than trying to negotiate the slopes on Mammoth Mountain on a busy winter weekend.
Cross Country skiing in Mammoth is both easy and accessible, with numerous trails affording the opportunity to see a different and more serene and natural side of Mammoth. Most of the trails wind through the forests, lakes and mountainsides, offering terrific views and peaceful surroundings.
Mammoth Lakes offers commercial tracks at Tamarack XC Ski Center and Rock Creek Lodge, miles of trails all around the town of Mammoth Lakes, and Inyo Craters Trail.
Tamarack XC Ski Center
Located on Lake Mary Road, Tamarack XC Ski Center sits next to Twin Lakes at an elevation of over 8,000 feet. Tamarack is a full service XC outfitter, offering 19 miles of groomed track and skating lanes that feeds around beautiful Twin Lakes and the Mammoth Lakes Basin, on the backside of Mammoth Mountain. Tamarack has rental equipment, instruction and meals available, and even a snowshoe path. The Inyo National Forest has a wide winter trail system integrated into the surrounding mountains, forests and meadows. Ideal terrain for ski touring and telemark skiing is marked by blue diamonds. Destinations include Inyo Craters, Obsidian Dome and Hot Creek. During the winter and on full moons, the Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center has "Full Moon Tours" on skis and snowshoes.
Phone: (760) 934-2442
Location: Lake Mary Road
Hours: 8:30-5pm peak winter months
Shuttle: Orange line
Map: Tamarack XC Ski center Trail Map (283K)
Rock Creek Lodge
Bordering the edge of the John Muir Wilderness, Rock Creek Lodge offers a unique winter backcountry experience for beginning and advanced cross-country skiers.
|Cross Country Ski Trail Descriptions:
Rock Creek Rd.: Gradual uphill trail, with a few steep climbs/descents, incredible views, eight kilometers to Mosquito Flats and the head of the Little Lakes Valley in the John Muir Wilderness.
The Outhouse Trail: Steeper, narrower trail, in the forest, lots of bumps and rolls, very fun, 3 kilometers
The East Fork Loops: Relatively flat terrain perfect for skating, over 1 kilometer
The Pond Loop: Mostly groomed when conditions permit, beautiful quiet loop along flat terrain, following Rock Creek, and in dense forests and open meadows, small step-across creek crossings may be encountered depending on snowpack, 1.5 kilometers
Skating Lanes: Flat loop in open meadow perfect for skating laps with incredible scenery surrounding you, less than 1 kilometer
Rock Creek Lake Loop: Turn off Rock Creek Rd., and cruise along the eastern edge of Rock Creek Lake on mostly flat terrain with the occaisional rise and drop, beautiful views of the lake and Bear Creek Spire, 1.5 kilometer
Mosquitoe Flats Hut: Located on the edge of the John Muir Wilderness
Dogs Must Be leashed. Snowshoers and Walkers and Dog Owners please respect the groomed and stay off the track and skating lane.
Town of Mammoth Lakes Trails
Free cross country trail access can be found in the town of Mammoth Lakes, where Cross Country skiers can navigate a series of trails that in the summer serve as the town's bike trails. You can follow someone else's tracks or cut your own through the miles and miles of available forest area! None of the trails wander very far from town, so they are better bets for the inexperienced or timid backcountry user. None are steep or difficult. Many of these trails begin at the USFS Visitors Center, and use the forested areas in that area. These are particularly popular trails when the weather is wailing. The wind and snow isn't as nasty as it can be up in the Lakes basin during a storm.
Inyo Craters Trail
8 km round-trip, moderate/easy. A classic easy Mammoth ski tour. Relatively flat, well used so you won't be all alone, with a good destination. Take the Scenic Loop road out of town for 3.5 miles until you see the Inyo Craters sign. There will usually be cars parked here, so park here and go.