Are you ready to earn your turns? Are you an advanced or expert
skier/rider? Do you have avalanche beacons, probes and shovels?
If so, then Mammoth has some of the best and most easily accessible
backcountry available. The Sherwins, Mammoth Crest, The Negatives,
and Bloody Mountain give Mammoth skiers and boarder enthusiasts
a lot of variety in the winter. For information on hiking the Sherwins,
Mammoth Crest, Bloody Mountain, or the Negatives, ask the Ski Patrol
at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. Always wear your avalanche safety
equipment and check with the USFS on the snow conditions. The Visitor
Center is located on Highway 203 also known as Main Street just
before the signal at Old Mammoth Road.
The Sherwins can easily be accessed in less than one hour. To start
your journey, park a car on Ranch Road, off of Old Mammoth Road
(at the bottom of the Sherwins). Make sure to look at the runs,
and figure out where you want to go. From here, catch the Red Line
bus to the transfer area, where you will catch the Orange Line.
Take this bus to Twin Lakes. The trail starts where Lake Mary Road
ends. Follow the Cross Country trail (stay to the left) for five
to ten minutes. Look for a trail that leads to the left, on the
spine of the Sherwins. The trail is accessed almost daily, so there
should not be a problem finding it. This part of the trail is steep,
and takes about 45 minutes to hike. At the top, you can hike across
the ridge, until you find where you want to drop in. The first Bowl
is Easter Bowl. The second bowl is little Avy Path (short for avalanche),
and at the top of this bowl is the Hose. The next and biggest bowl
is called the Avy Path. Following these bowls are the Finger Chutes,
and finally Rock Chute.
Always check snow conditions and use avalanche gear. The best
time to go is one day after a storm, giving the snow time to settle.
Hint: The Hose and Rock
Chute are two of the better runs.
For More Information
Mammoth Welcome Center
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546