Blue Diamond Trails
The 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
Mammoth Lakes CA 93546