People flock to Mammoth Mountainfrom all over the world thanks to its reliably excellent snow and massive amount of varied terrain.
While all the great things Mammoth Mountains offers gives people like us here ASO Mammotheasy access the best snow in the West, it also means that Mammoth is often crowded. If you’re visiting Mammoth Mountain for the first time, the crowded parking lots and hotels may be a hurdle, but fortunately for you we’ve lived and worked in Mammoth Lakes long enough to know the ins and outs and are happy to share our best advice to make your stay easier! Today, we’re talking about parking on and off the mountain.
Parking at and Around the Base of the Mountain
If you’re determined to park at the base of the Mountain, then get ready to set your alarm clock because there is not enough public parking to go around. The lifts open up at 8:30 am, so if you want to park at the base of the mountain you will need to arrive early to beat the crowd. While a parking spot is not guaranteed, if you do find a spot you will have the benefit of getting on the slopes before anyone else.
If you’re unable to find parking in the lot near the Main Lodge or Canyon Lodge, you also have the option of parking on the road leading up to the base. If you still can’t find parking or you just don’t want to drive at all, you can also take advantage of Mammoth Mountain’s free Shuttle Service. The Eastern Sierra Transit Authority offers several different lines with stops throughout Mammoth that carry riders to Main, Canyon, and Eagle Lodge as well as an Evening and Late Night Trolley.
Car Camping and Parking
If you’re looking to save a few bucks by staying in your car during your trip to Mammoth Mountain, then car camping is an excellent option. (We’ve even written a guide!) While there are no areas that allow people to park overnight near Mammoth Mountain, the free shuttle service makes car camping a realistic option for many visitors.
There are several areas that people can car camp at, but one of the safest bets you can make is purchasing a SNO-PARK permit. SNO-PARK permits offer some flexibility by giving the option of purchasing a day pas for $5.00 as well as purchasing a pass for November to May for $25.00 and also giving permit holders access to nearly 20 different sites that are snow-plowed daily. While the closest site offered under a SNO-PARK permit is 29 miles away from Mammoth Mountain, using them in conjunction with one of the options above is a great way to save some money and your sanity. There are also RV parks in the area that offer similar camping setups.
It is important to note that parking with a SNO-PARK permit is on a first-come, first-serve basis and due to daily snow clearing permit holders cannot camp outside of their vehicles in the parking areas.No matter if you’re driving up to Mammoth for a day or are staying for a week and renting a car, being aware of Mammoth Mountain’s parking and transit options ahead of time will get you on the mountain sooner and less stressed-out. If you have any questions about parking in the Mammoth Mountain area or snowboard and ski gear and rentals, stop by or call ASO Mammoth today!