Beastmode at Mammoth: Earning Your Turns Inbounds

Explore Mammoth’s massive terrain on your own power, by skinning or splitboarding within the resort.

Jesse Weber




Mammoth Mountain is a long-time mecca for skiing and snowboarding in California, and lately, it’s become a hub for skinning and splitboarding as well. Though the resort used to be more restrictive on uphill access, Mammoth has recently embraced the culture of earning those turns. For the 2021/22 season, they’ve designated new uphill routes, opening more of the mountain to inbounds ski touring.

With proper gear and ample motivation, you can skip the lift line (and the lift price!) by skinning an uphill route, then skiing down any run you like. Most of the mountain can be reached by the designated uphills, so your options are limited only by your stamina. There is even backcountry terrain to be explored by those with the equipment and experience. In this guidebook, you’ll see all the uphill routes, plus some recommended runs you could take on the descent. Some sidecountry and backcountry lines are included, so you can see the full range of possibilities on this legendary mountain. Use this guide to plan ahead and craft your ideal resort tour at Mammoth.

Before you go, you will also need to plan for obtaining the uphill pass. It costs some money, though it’s free for Ikon Pass holders. After purchasing the pass and signing the waiver, you must then attend a “brief uphill training session” with ski patrol, according to Mammoth’s uphill access page. Visit the website for more information and to see all the trails, including uphill routes, that are open for the day. Once you have your uphill armband and have made your plan of attack, it’s time to get out there and earn some turns at Mammoth!



The Avalanche Chutes off the top of Lincoln Mountain are sought after when the snow is dumping. Super steep with large exposure throughout, it’s a series of parallel technical lines ending at Follow Me crossover.


Viva runs out of Chair 22 skier’s right off the chair but then hugging the skier’s left line down inner ridge of Lincoln Mountain. Narrow and steep, Viva comes alive on a snow day.


The south-facing slope of Lincoln Mountain, accessed by Chair 25 primarily, is one of the best locations on the mountain on a pow day, and Sunshine Glades are the heartbeat of that experience.


Quicksilver is a long, intermediate run that connects the top of Gold Rush Express (Chair 10) with Chair 9. It’s has a few moderately steep sections and merges with Gold Hill before splitting off on its own again.

Sleepy Hollow

Running parallel with Pumpkin of the entrance gate to Chair 25 is Sleepy Hallow, another mellow beginner green that connects to Lupin en route back to Eagle Chair.

Roller Coaster

Rollercoaster is the main thoroughfare connecting the top of Chair 16 and Chair 4 to the base of Chair 4 and Chair 20. Access to lower South Park is skier’s right.


Coming off of Chickadee but past Christmas Tree is Bridges. A fun and mildly steep intermediate connector will get you back to Eagle if you missed your turn at Christmas Tree.

Blue Jay

Bluejay breaks off of Chickadee en route to Canyon Lodge for those heading there from the top of Chair 15. It’s a fairly steep black that can get moguled but will provide deep turns on a pow day.


Skier’s right of the Panorama Gondola just steps from the Mammoth sign where tourists and newbies take selfies is the famed Climax bowl. Steep and deep and insight of Gondola onlookers it’s a Glory line and not to miss on pow day.

Cornice Bowl

Cornice Bowl is the Holy Grail of Mammoth’s Front Face. Despite being groomed daily, it’s steep, highly trafficked and tends to get icy and moguled by days end.


Scotty’s is one of the two lines off the top that is sometimes groomed. Not as wide as Cornice Bowl, Scotty’s is typically groomed daily between storms, but is one of the best runs on the mountain when Mother Nature delivers.

Saint Anton

St. Anton is the main outway at the base of Mammoth’s front face. Stretching from the foot of cornice bowl, past Chair 23 and Scotty’s, St Anton exits between the base of Chair 11 and Chair 1.

Red’s Lake Run

Red’s Lake Run is a groomed cat track/ trail that extends directly off the backside off the summit, skier’s right of the gondola exit. It cuts through a large alpine meadow that can often contain variable conditions between storms but turns into a powder field on storm days.

Hemlock Bowl

Hemlocks Ridge is the first section of the famed Hemlocks bowl. It’s hike-in only and considered one of the gems of Mammoth’s sidecountry and a pow paradise after a storm.

Hemlock Bowl

Hemlocks Bowl is the extension of Hemlocks Ridge. It’s hike-in only and considered one of the gems of Mammoth’s sidecountry and a pow paradise after a storm.