How Crowded Does Mammoth Mountain Get on Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend?

How Crowded Does Mammoth Mountain Get on Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend?

Long weekends where time off from work and school pair perfectly with winter snowfall are the things dreams are made of for the team here at ASO Mammoth. The only problem is that everyone else has the same dream.

Mammoth Mountain has enough snow and terrain for everyone, but when there is a surge of visitors because of a holiday weekend like Martin Luther King Jr. Day long lift lines and crowded parking lots can make you feel otherwise. To help you avoid a stressful visit to Mammoth Mountain, the ASO team has put together a short guide to Mammoth Mountain on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend below. Check it out and then stop by the ASO shop during your visit for the best ski and snowboard rentals and gear in Mammoth Lakes!

The Ikon Pass Blackout Helps, But Doesn’t Guarantee Empty Slopes

If you’re unaware, the Ikon Pass is a collective pass that gives owners season access to several mountains all over the world for one price. Since the Ikon saves money on lift tickets, it’s one of the most popular ways to get on Mammoth Mountain. However, on holiday weekends when there is high demand the Ikon Pass does not give owners access to Mammoth Mountain. This gap in coverage, known as a blackout, eases the crowding at Mammoth Mountain.

Still, even with the Ikon blackout, you should expect crowded slopes. The blackout helps prevent extreme crowding, but it does not completely cut out long lift lines, crowded slopes, and busy parking lots. For that reason, you should plan on arriving to Mammoth Mountain early if you plan on riding MLK weekend!

Avoid Crowds at the Base Lodges

The worst crowds are most often at Mammoth Mountain’s base lodges. Although you have to start your day at one of the lifts at the base, you don’t have to return until your last run, and if you don’t need to ride the runs there then we recommend avoiding them as much as possible.

If you’re learning to ski or snowboard and need to ride beginner runs, then the base lodges are the best place for you since there are plenty of wide runs that are flat enough to get your feet under you. If you can ride beyond a beginner level though, then the best way to avoid crowds is to head higher up where the intermediate runs will allow you to progress without riding the busiest part of the mountain.

Visit the Backside if the Crowds Become too Heavy

Mammoth Mountain’s backside has runs of all difficulties and the same great snow you expect on the rest of the mountain, but since it’s further away from the main lodges it doesn’t typically get as crowded.

Arrive Early and Bring Your Own Lunch

When you set aside a day or weekend for skiing and snowboarding, you want to spend as much time as possible on the snow. That’s why we recommend arriving to Mammoth Mountain early if you’re driving so that you lose no time finding your parking. Check out our guide to Mammoth Mountain Parking here for more information.

Along the same lines, the more time you spend in a lodge waiting for your lunch to be served, the less time you get on the snow, especially on a holiday weekend. For that reason, we recommend bringing your own lunch so that you can save time and money!