Mammoth Mountain to open two weeks early thanks to October snow

View of Mammoth Mountain from Lookout Point Road in Mammoth Lakes
View of Mammoth Mountain from Lookout Point Road in Mammoth Lakes on Oct. 18. For the 10th time in its history, Mammoth will open in the month of October.
(Sammy Deleo/Mammoth Mountin)

Mammoth Mountain is kicking off its season Oct. 29 — two weeks ahead of schedule — following forecasts of an unusually early storm that could dump up to 2 feet of snow on the popular ski and snowboard destination by early next week.

“We can’t wait to let it rip on snow,” the mountain resort wrote in a Facebook post announcing the new season opening day. The slopes were initially set to open Nov. 13.

A slate of activities are planned for Halloween weekend, including a countdown to the winter season and a hard rock-themed costume contest.


Forecasters with the National Weather Service say snow could begin accumulating by Sunday afternoon on the east side of the Sierra Nevada, where Mammoth rises amid the peaks.

By the time the storm rolls out Tuesday evening, mountains in the area could get 1 to 2 feet of fresh powder, said Heather Richards, a meteorologist with the weather service’s Reno station.

The amount of snow on the mountaintops will vary, “but certainly it is in the cards for them to accumulate over a foot,” Richards said.

A significant storm is expected in Central and Northern California on Thursday night, with an even stronger system arriving Sunday.

Oct. 21, 2021

So much snow arriving in October “is very much outside of the norm,” Richards said.

KTLA-TV reported this is only the 10th time in Mammoth’s history it will open in October for skiing and snowboarding. Last year, the resort opened one day earlier than anticipated, in mid-November.


Any snow that arrives this weekend will land on top of the natural and manufactured snow already on the ground. The potential new powder will add “to the incredible work our rockstar snowmaking team has already done out there,” the resort said in its announcement.

Mammoth has already recorded 17 inches of snow at its main lodge and 20 inches at the summit, Richards said.