What You Need to Know About Driving to Mammoth Mountain in Spring

When the snow starts falling on Mammoth Mountain, there’s only one thing that can keep people driving to the mountain from all over the Western United States.

More snow.

Although Mammoth’s high elevation and remote location result in legendary snowfalls, it also means the same snow that brings people to the mountain can block the roads leading to the mountain no matter how hard road services work to keep them clear. For this reason, many Mammoth Mountain visitors like to plan drives to the mountain in spring when heavy snowfall is less likely, but does driving to Mammoth in the spring mean you won’t need to worry about snow on the roads? The ASO Mammoth team has answered that question below. Check it out and plan your trip to Mammoth today!

Spring Snow Does Happen, so Plan Around it.

If you’re planning a trip to Mammoth Lakes in the spring then you probably know that Mammoth Mountain often gets hit by winter storms well intro spring, but while many people travel to Mammoth for that reason they don’t think about the effect it could have on their travel plans.

If you’re driving to Mammoth in March or April, then there is always a possibility of snowstorms heavy enough to shut down roads. Although only the most severe storms will shut down the roads leading to Mammoth Lakes, it costs you little to prepare for them before your drive. You may already be planning on packing chains for your tires, but we also recommend packing extra food, water, and blankets in case you get stuck on the roads.

You’ll Need to Check the Weather Constantly, Even in Spring

You may think that because you’re driving to Mammoth in the spring you don’t need to worry about the weather.

Although heavy snowstorms are less likely in the spring than in the winter, they do happen, so you need to check the weather reports early and often before your drive to Mammoth Lakes. It can be easy to check the forecasts weeks or even just days ahead and not check it again, but weather patterns are constantly shifting so you can’t rely on extended forecasts alone.

Check the weather forecast at least before you walk out the door to drive to Mammoth Lakes so you’ll be prepared for whatever the Sierra have to throw at you.

See our article about driving on black ice.

Carry Chains and Know How to Use Them

It pays to carry tire chains in your car while driving to Mammoth Lakes even in the springtime. Even if there is no chance of snow on your drive up, keep a set of chains in your car so that you’re covered for your drive back as well.

Carrying tire chains won’t do you any good if you don’t know how to use them though, so before you hit the road for Mammoth make sure you’re familiar with tire chains. By familiar, we mean more than just skimming some instructions, because when you’re forced to install chains on the side of a road at night with snow blowing around you, you’ll want to know what you’re doing.

The best way to know how to install tire chains is by practice. Only a little bit of time in your garage spent practicing installing chains will have a huge payoff if you do need them, so invest in your safety by practicing the installation. If you’re not comfortable installing chains, then find a mechanic, auto parts store employee, or fellow driver who is so you can avoid damaging your car, the roads, and, most importantly, stay safe on your drive to Mammoth Mountain!

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