In Your Backyard: Mammoth Mountain
In this edition of "In Your Backyard," FOX26 Sports Anchor Nick King heads to the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains for some big mountain adventure. Mammoth Mountain has the highest summit of any ski resort in California (11,053) feet, and from mid-January to mid-April 2017, got more snow than anywhere else in the country. The mountain's only about 70 miles from Fresno (as the crow flies) - and sure, it's a six-hour drive, but Highway 395 provides one of the most scenic drives in the state.
January set a record for the most snow Mammoth Mountain's ever seen. As of mid-April, Mammoth had passed 50 feet of snow for the season. The high elevation and 300 days of sunshine a year make the mountain one of the top spring ski destinations anywhere, and the plan is to stay open until at least July 4th.
46 trails and 28 lifts (including three gondolas) at Mammoth provides opportunities to explore for days. But there are also slopeside adventure options in the town of Mammoth Lakes, like renting from Mammoth Snowmobile Adventures or the Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center. Snowmobiles can access more than 100 miles of trails, through the tightness of the trees, the open meadows, and then pausing in front of Minaret Vista. Cross country skiing offers 27 groomed trails around the Mammoth Lakes Basin - an area that's packed in the summer, but pretty quiet when there's snow on the ground.
After a day of outdoor activities, a nice way to unwind would be a visit to Mammoth Brewing Company, where they have six beers on tap year round, plus several more seasonally.
Another thought after the sun goes down would be a trip to Mammoth Rock N Bowl. There, you'll find 12 lanes of bowling, 3 golf simulators, foosball, darts, ping pong, 2 restaurants and more.
One option for staying overnight (or many nights, as you'll probably prefer) is The Sierra Nevada Resort. In addition to a bar and fireside lounge, the resort offers complimentary shuttle service to the airport, a jacuzzi and seasonal pool. The Sierra Nevada Resort is also a home to Black Tie Ski Rentals. Black Tie will bring every piece of equipment you need to your door, and you need only leave the equipment at the front desk once your time on the slopes is complete.