Best Time To Ski Mammoth For Smaller Crowds: Mammoth is a big resort with lots of room to roam. But you are most likely to be able to take nice and wide turns at your own pace without anyone getting in the way when Mammoth opens in mid-November and later in January after the holidays. That’s also the most affordable time to ski as the resort doesn’t have set lift ticket rates. If you already have plans around Thanksgiving and can’t take any time off to ski Mammoth, consider skiing during the week on Tuesdays/Wednesdays before the crowds start coming up from Los Angeles on the weekends.
Cheapest Time To Ski Mammoth: Since Mammoth sells lift tickets on a sliding scale, visiting early season mid-November through mid-December and then again mid-May before it closes is the best time to go price-wise. Buying tickets online can save you 30 percent off the window rate, so a bit of planning ahead if you know what days you’re going to ski helps as well. For instance, in early November when Mammoth opens you can find adult daily lift tickets online anywhere from $50-62, whereas the walk-up rate is $79-99.
To give you a sense of what tickets cost in the heart of winter, online adult daily tickets in February are around $104-$118 (with the most expensive rates being on Saturdays) and the at-window rates are $159-$179. If you ski a lot all over the United States and abroad then it’s better just to buy the Ikon Pass since it includes lift tickets at 41 ski destinations in the world, including Mammoth and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows located three hours north in Lake Tahoe. Daily lift tickets at Mammoth are valid at June Mountain, too.
There is a ton of condo and hotel inventory at Mammoth, but big crowds from Los Angeles can book it out quickly. It's best to visit during the week and during weeks removed from holidays, including MLK Day and Presidents' Day.
Best Time To Fly To Mammoth: Mammoth is in a secluded part of California, with the closest big, commercial airports being the Reno-Tahoe International Airport three hours to the north and LAX (Los Angeles) being five hours south. The airports in Sacramento and San Francisco are about five hours away as well but it’s trickier to get there because you must cross big mountain passes which may be closed due to the weather.
There is also an airport right in Mammoth called the Mammoth Yosemite Airport that offers limited flights in and out of the area, but many of the flights get cancelled in the winter when major storms come in. Therefore, the best time to try to fly into Mammoth is early season (mid-November) or late season (May), but if you want to try to get the best snow then your best bet is to fly into LAX and drive up to the mountains. Southwest Airlines serves both LAX and the Reno-Tahoe airport, offering many daily flights for rates as low as $49 one-way.