Is Climbing Mammoth Rock Allowed?

Basking in the shadow of the local behemoth that is Mammoth Mountain, Mammoth Rock gets nearly as much attention from Mammoth Lakes visitors. Not surprisingly, many homes perched by this landmark take full advantage of the view. If you’re more adventurous and prefer to climb Mammoth Rock rather than look at it from a safe distance, you can absolutely do this. The mountain sports experts from ASO Mammoth, your top choice for mountain bike, snowboard, and ski rental in Mammoth, offer tips below to keep in mind as you prepare for your climb.

Pick Your Preferred Mountain Side

Mammoth Rock is accessible from all sides, most of which are fairly steep and on the difficult side. However, the southwest-facing side over by the higher ridge has three routes of varying degrees of difficulty that will take you to the top. The other sides have more technical routes if this is what you prefer.

Learn Some Fast Facts

Mammoth Rock is located just under a mile from the nearest trailhead. The entire climb to the summit typically takes about an hour if you opt for one of the easier routes. Over by the northwest side, you’ll find an abandoned mine. Remnants of the old mining town that used to be located nearby can still be found around the mountain as well. No fees or permits are required to climb Mammoth Rock, but camping isn’t permitted in the area.

Prepare for Your Climb

Regardless of how you prefer to climb Mammoth Rock, it’s important to make sure you’re properly prepared. With regard to clothing, wear less restrictive attire that won’t get caught up in your gear. In addition to gear suitable for your climbing-related plans, we recommend the following climbing essentials:

• A properly fitting helmet
• Durable shoes appropriate for climbing
• Sunscreen and a reusable water bottle

Plan Your Route to Mammoth Rock

Coming from the town of Mammoth Lakes, you’ll head south along Old Mammoth Road, which, incidentally, has some great local fishing spots nearby that you’re welcome to check out. But if you have Mammoth Rock in your sights and on your mind, keep going for about three miles. Look for where the road meets Lake Mary Road. If you’ll be spending part of your day at nearby Mammoth Mountain and you want to climb Mammoth Rock, get to this destination by:

• Going along Lake Mary Road
• Heading south past the Twin Lakes area
• Turning left onto Old Mountain Road
• Continuing your downhill drive for another half mile or so

Look Out for the Trailheads

There are actually two trailheads that will take you to Mammoth Rock. The most obvious one is visible once you make the first significant turn while you’re on Lake Mary Road. You’ll need to pay close attention to see the “Mammoth Rock Trail” sign, since it’s actually off the road and somewhat hidden from direct view. 

A second trailhead can be found a bit up the road from the trailhead just mentioned. Feel free to snap some pics of the abandoned stamp mill that’s in this same location as you make your way to a series of trails that will take you up to the summit along the southwest side of the rock. 

Now’s the time to start planning your trip so you’ll have a great time climbing Mammoth Rock. Whether you need last-minute mountain biking gear, top-notch ski repair, or high-quality Mammoth snowboard rental, ASO Mammoth is your one-stop shop for everything you need to have a great time at Mammoth during every season. Stop by on your way to the lakes or give us a call at 760-965-3444.