Mammoth will open early as first snows accumulate in Sierra

Mammoth Mountain, Saturday morning.
(Peter Morning / Mammoth Mountain)

Mammoth Mountain will open on Friday — a day earlier than it had planned — on the strength of 12 inches of fresh snowfall that will allow five lifts to open earlier than usual.

The season’s first big snowfall, last weekend, dusted California winter resorts with up to 18 inches of powder, with many slopes due to open in coming days and weeks.

Mammoth spokesman Tim LeRoy said in a Tuesday release that the resort would open chairlifts 1, 2, 3, 6 and 11. He noted that individual lift tickets for the coming weekend are already sold out, but Ikon passes (which cost much more and cover more days) are still available.


In the San Bernardino Mountains, Snow Valley Mountain Resort reported 18 to 20 inches of snow, bolstered by snowmaking that began at 7 p.m. Sunday. So far, it hasn’t set an opening date.

Nearby at Big Bear Mountain Resort’s Snow Summit and Bear Mountain, 18 inches of fresh snow has fallen. At Big Bear Mountain Resort’s Snow Summit and Bear Mountain, management set an opening date of Nov. 18 at Snow Summit for all BBMR passholders (and Nov. 20 for everybody else). The resort’s Bear Mountain will start Nov. 20 and will be open Friday through Sunday until further notice, management said.

The National Weather Service reported 10 inches of new snow at Big Bear City, 12 inches at Green Valley Lake and Lake Arrowhead and 6 to 8 inches at Running Springs.

In the Lake Tahoe area at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, management reported up to 9 inches of snow over Saturday night. Encouraged by low temperatures, management also started snowmaking. Those resorts tentatively plan to open for the season Nov. 25.