ASO Mammoth’s Winter Guide to the John Muir Wilderness

With the winter season officially closer and closer, the team at ASO Mammoth is eating up everything we can get out hands on that involves winter sports. Fortunately for us, Teton Gravity Research and Jeremy Jones teamed up and gave us the ultimate present to celebrate the beginning of the 2018/19 Season.

Ode to Muir is a documentary that records big mountain legend Jeremy Jones and Olympic snowboarder Elena Hight’s 9-day trek into the John Muir Wilderness Area where they not only ride jaw-dropping lines but also reflect on John Muir’s lifelong devotion to conservation reflected in the beauty of the wilderness surrounding them.

Since Ode to Muir has us thinking about how lucky we are to have the John Muir Wilderness next door to Mammoth Lakes, we’ve put together a quick guide to make sure you have no problem getting out and enjoying it this winter!

Prepare for Spectacular Beauty like nowhere else in the lower 48 With over 500,000 acres of wilderness, the John Muir Wilderness has something for everyone. From the stunning lakes and creeks in the lower elevations to the highest summit in the lower 48 states at Mt. Whitney, the John Muir is the ultimate outdoor playground.

Thanks to its natural splendor and its proximity to major cities, the John Muir Wilderness is also often crowded and requires permits for access to many areas and all overnight visits. Fortunately for everyone who loves winter sports though, even though permits are still required to enter the area you can bet on smaller crowds and less competition for space.

The Perfect Place to Take Place in California’s Fastest Growing Winter Sport Although you can use any snow-covered road or trail for cross-country skiing, the John Muir Wilderness area has several trails of varying length and difficulty.

If you’re new to cross country skiing, then Eagle Trail is the easiest trail in the John Muir Wilderness at a distance of 5 miles long. If you’re a more experienced cross-country skier, there are plenty of other trails like Grizzly Loop and Coyote Loop with steeper grades and tougher terrain to keep you entertained as you enjoy the beauty of the High Sierras.

Or if you’d like something with a little more kick…

You’re not just limited to peaceful cross-country skiing in the John Muir Wilderness as there are over 180 miles of snowmobile routes. Plus, the trails are also to open to ATVs. If you’re planning on bringing some horsepower to the John Muir Wilderness it’s important that you have the proper permits and know which trails it’s safe to ride on before you go. For starters check out the designated snowmobile trails around Huntington Lake, Tamarack Ridge, and the High Sierra Area.

It May Not Always Be Here

One of the most powerful points of Ode to Muir is the fact that Jones and Hight acknowledge that they may be the last ones who every ride some of the lines in the John Muir Wilderness.

As climate change results in warmer temperatures and less snow, it’s becoming more common for some runs to never gain enough snowpack to be ridden. While the mountains and wildlife will always be here, the John Mui Wilderness may not always have the beautiful snow that makes winter sports possible.

Use ASO Mammoth’s guide to get out and enjoy the John Muir!

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