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Blue Diamond Trails

cross country skier in MammothThe blue diamond ski trail system consists of 30 kilometers of of non-groomed ski trails marked frequently with blue diamonds in trees and signs at each trail junction. Mammoth Lakes spends a great deal of time and money marking trails. There are signs at each trailhead and along the routes so a self guided tour is always available. Refer to the attached map for trail locations and visit our maps section to see all the available trails. Here are some of the favorites.

Cross Country Trails

Shady Rest Trails (7.4 kilometers of Loops) Beginner. There are three main loops which begin either at the Ranger Station or the Shady Rest Winter Trailhead and wind through a forest of Jeffrey Pines. These trails are frequently skied and track exists on them much of the time.

Knolls Trail (7.2 kilometers One Way) Intermediate. This trail crosses the Mammoth Knolls north of the town of Mammoth Lakes just past the Mammoth Village on your way up to Main Lodge. It winds through a Jeffrey Pine and lodgepole forest and in several locations offers views of distant peaks such as the Minarets and the Sherwins. It may be skied from two different directions. Starting on the Mammoth Scenic Loop road 1.5 miles north of Highway 203 eliminates most of the elevation gain on this trip, but intermediate skiing skills are required to negotiate a long, somewhat steep descent, where the trail joins the "C" loop of the Shady Rest Trail system about 1/2 mile north of the Shady Rest Winter Trailhead. Skiing this trail in the other direction means a lot of climbing, but a beginner skier, in fairly good shape, can complete the trip. This trail offers two side trails, the .3 kilometer Mammoth Town Overlook trail, and the .6 kilometer Clyde Minaret Vista trail.

Scenic Loop Trail (2.6 kilometers one way) Intermediate to Advanced. This short trail begins on the Mammoth Scenic Loop across the road from the Knolls Trail and joins the lnyo Craters trail .3 kilometers from the Inyo Craters Trailhead. This trail contains two steep, but short descents, which can be negotiated by traversing. o Inyo Craters Trail (2.1 kilometers One Way) Beginner to Intermediate. This trail begins at the Inyo Craters Trailhead on the Mammoth Scenic Loop Road. The trail provides access to the Inyo Craters, two small volcanic craters with lakes at the bottom. The first 2/3 of the distance is flat and suitable for a beginning skier. The last portion of the trail contains some short but very steep climbs and steep descents on the return trip!

Earthquake Fault Trail (7.3 kilometers One Way) Intermediate to Advanced. This trail begins on Highway 203 1.8 miles west of the intersection with Lake Mary Road. The trailhead offers limited parking in the winter with a plowed area just downhill and across the road from the trails beginning point. Remember that parking along highway 203 is not permitted between 10:00 p.m. and 6 a.m. This trail ascends to a saddle north of the Earthquake Fault and then descends into the Dry Creek drainage and meets the Inyo Craters trail .8 kilometers from the Mammoth Scenic Loop Road. There are a number of steep, narrow descents and this combined with the infrequent use of this trail, calls for strong intermediate or advanced skiing skills. Heavier, mountaineering or off track skis are recommended. Approximately 60% of this trail follows a designated "orange diamond" snowmobile trail.

Red Cones Trail (4.2 kilometers One Way) Strong Intermediate to Advanced. Not Shown on Map This trail begins at Horseshoe Lake at the west end of the Lakes Basin. Free access to this trail through the Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center is on a free public use corridor on the east and south side of Lake Mary Road. This trail climbs to Mammoth Pass then descends through a large old growth Red Fir forest and ends at a formation called the Red Cones on a bench high above the San Joaquin River. It makes several rather steep descents trough trees and advanced skiing skills with heavier mountaineering skis are recommended. Much of this infrequently traveled trail is located in the Ansel Adams wilderness. Strong winter outdoor skills are also recommended.

For More Information
Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center
HWY 203
Mammoth Lakes CA 93546
760-924-5500

   



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