Skiing & Snowboarding Blogs

The Most Challenging Trails at Mammoth Mountain

mammoth trails

Mammoth Mountain has plenty of trails and features for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities, but don’t be fooled into thinking you won’t be able to find thrills too.

From the massive halfpipes in the terrain park to the chutes and bowls that line the summit, there are plenty of options for thrill seekers to push their skiing and snowboarding skills to their limit and then some at Mammoth Mountain. If that sounds like you, then check out ASO Mammoth’s list of the most challenging runs on the mountain below. Although the Mammoth Mountain’s terrain parks are some of the most challenging and innovative in the world, for this list we are focusing on trails, so bring a buddy if you’re planning to ride off-piste!

Avalanche Chutes

If you take Chair 25 or 22, and then go skier’s left towards the Ski Patrol Station, you’ll find yourself at the top of Avalanche Chutes.

Although Avalanche Chutes is located in the middle of the mountain steep incline, rocky terrain, and narrow chutes make it an excellent place to push your skills. If you’re looking for a tree run, then you can take Viva where the initially wide trail funnels into a wooded chute. If cliffs are calling your name, then take any of the Avalanche Chutes down where you’ll have clear paths that funnel into narrow chutes as well as the opportunity to take creative paths down the cliffs that empty out into wide bowls perfect for big turns.

The Hemlocks

On the backside of the mountain, you’ll find The Hemlocks. Before, the Hemlocks were a several of extremely steep runs with some trees to add an extra challenge. Now though, Mammoth Mountain has recreated the best of the backcountry within the resort by adding kickers and other features to make The Hemlocks a sanctuary for backcountry riders and skiers. The reach the Hemlocks, you’ll need to take either Chair 23 or Chair 14 to and then travers to the far side of the mountain where you’ll need to hike to reach The Hemlocks drop in.

Dragon’s Back

Heading all the way to the other side of the mountain, Dragon’s Back, Wazzo, and Dragon’s Tail are all challenging and offer plenty of different terrain types.

Cloud 9 Express can get you close to these trails, but you’ll need to do some serious traversing and only have half of them will be skiable from the top of the lift so consider taking the Gondola to the summit and then going skier’s right to have Dragon’s Back and the other double blacks in the area at your feet. As you descend, you’ll pass Dragon’s Back first which offers a combination of narrow and rocky chutes as well as steep bowls. If you keep traversing, you’ll be above Wazoo which is made up of several chutes that begin rocky and end in spread out trees. If you ride all the way down though, you’ll have Dragon’s Tail beneath you where you can find the steep incline of the Hemlocks with even more trees to carve through.

Grizzly and Shaft

If you take Chair 22 up and then follow it back down, you’ll pass over Grizzly and Shaft which are some of the most all-around challenging runs on the mountain thanks to combination of dense trees, cliffs, and rocky chutes. If you’re visiting on a powder day, then mark Grizzle and Shaft on your map.

Kiwi Flats 

If you’re looking for a run that will make anyone watching say “wow”, then take Chair 23 and traverse over to Kiwi Flats. The cliff-like drop in and steep incline that funnels into a narrow chute makes this run and those surrounding it some of the most extreme in the entire region.

Thinking about buying a new helmet before trying these trails? Good idea. For all of your winter sports gear needs, stop by or call ASO Mammoth for the best gear on the mountain!

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