Mammoth Mountain Bike Park To Open In Time For Memorial Day

Mammoth Mountain Bike Park opens Saturday!
Mammoth Mountain

Good news for mountain bikers looking to hit a trail this long Memorial Day Weekend. The fabulous Mammoth Mountain Bike Park will open to riders this Saturday, kicking off another great summer season with a variety of trail options for riders of all skill levels.

Located in California‘s scenic Sierra Nevada range, Mammoth Mountain is a year-round outdoor playground for those who like to get away from it all. In the winter it offers some of the premiere skiing in all of North America and in the summer the bike park opens for a completely different type of fun. The park offers more than 80 miles of trail that includes cross-country, single-track routes with breathtaking views and adrenaline-inducing downhill courses for the more adventurous amongst us.

Mammoth Mountain’s trails offer gentle riding for beginners and more technical and leg-straining options for the experienced mountain biker. When the park opens on Saturday at least 12 of its trails will be ready for action. If you’re already familiar with what the park has to offer, the list of trails that will be open include: Downtown, UpTown, Big Ring, Paper Route, Juniper, Timber Ridge, Shotgun, Lower Pipeline, Lower Bullet Lakes Trail and Pioneer Practice Loop.

To celebrate the opening of the park for the summer, Mammoth is also offering an outstanding deal for this weekend. Just $69 will get you both lodging and a bike pass good for unlimited riding. You’ll have a hard time getting on this course for less cash than that anytime soon. What a great way to kick off the summer!

The Best Of The West: Classic Ski Lodges

tamarack lodgeDespite deceptively balmy temperatures in parts of the U.S., there’s still plenty of ski season left. Why not spend it staying at a classic ski lodge or chalet out West? These regal or groovy remnants from the early-to-mid-20th century are a dying breed, although some have been refurbished to good effect, while still retaining their original style. They also tend to offer friendly, personalized service, so you feel like a welcome guest, not just a number.

Classic places are often more affordable, and just as stylish and comfortable than their boutique or generic high-end chain counterparts. Even when they’re pricey, they’re a bit of living history that can give your ski trip a fun retro feel. Think racy Piz Buin and Lange boots ads, fondue, tight, color-blocked sweaters, Bicentennial Ray-Bans, and all things Bavarian.

Below, some favorite vintage ski accommodations across the West. Don’t forget your Glockenspiel.

Tyrolean Lodge, Aspen, CO
It may come as a shock that Aspen has a classic ski lodge that’s remained little-changed in atmosphere or ski-town spirit since its opening in 1970, but the Tyrolean is just that place. Located several minutes’ walk from the slopes, this no-frills, family-owned chalet is one of the best deals in town, with rooms starting at $155/night; some with kitchenettes. The rooms have been upgraded to be more modern, but the decor and vibe is still vintage Tyrol ski culture. Love.

Tamarack Lodge
, Mammoth Mountain, CA
This small, mid-century property overlooking Twin Lakes is on the California Register of Historic Places, and caters to the cross-country crowd. It has both European guesthouse style rooms, historic, refurbished cabins (see photo above), and from December through April, ski-in/out access. If the town of Mammoth is too hectic and soulless for you, consider this a peaceful alternative to the mainstream.
strawberry lodgeStrawberry Lodge, Kyburz, CA
Highway 50 Tahoe road-trip regulars will be familiar with this former Pony Express stop (right). Located off the side of the road in the nano-community of Kyburz, Strawberry is 20 minutes from South Shore. It’s seriously old-school, in that musty, funky way, with bad taxidermy, historical oddities, and is a much-loved Lake Tahoe institution.

With 31 rooms starting at just $49 a night (some are European style, with a shared bath), it’s hard to pass up, especially when you consider the proximity to all manner of vices, ranging from drinking (please don’t attempt to drive back) and gambling, to outdoor recreation. I love it because it’s one of the last remnants of old Tahoe, in a pastoral mountain setting. Strawberry also offers cross-country skiing, and the restaurant and bar can get hopping, sometimes with live music.
sun valley lodge
Sun Valley Lodge, Idaho
Built in 1936 at America’s first destination ski resort (with the world’s first chairlifts), the SVL was considered cutting-edge. It offered “every amenity a skier could possibly imagine.” Today, the 148-room property has been completely refurbished into a luxury hotel, complete with glass-encased swimming pool, yet it retains its majestic timber-and-stone facade and stately atmosphere.
P.S. Hemingway slept here.

Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood, OR
Celebrating its 76th year, this National Historic Landmark (lobby, right) was built at a time when American heritage and the spirit of adventure crashed head-on with the Great Depression. FDR heralded the lodge as a “testament to the workers on the rolls of the Works Progress Administration,” which funded most of the property’s construction. The lodge shut down twice, once during WWII, and again in 1955, as it had fallen into disrepair. Under a new lessee, it was restored to grandeur and reopened later that year.

Located less than 90 minutes from Portland, Mt. Hood is a favorite local’s ski area. Timberline is built in the classic Pacific Northwestern lodge style, constructed primarily by hand of native timber and rock. The bright rooms are upscale rustic, with wood paneling, thick comforters, and stone fireplaces: all the trappings for a cozy getaway.

Alta Peruvian Lodge
, UT
Located at one of Utah’s premier ski resorts, this three-story wooden lodge had an unlikely start as a pair of barracks buildings in Brigham. They were relocated to Alta in eight pieces, and reconstructed into a 50-room lodge that opened in 1948. In 1979, an architect was hired to gussy up the property, although by today’s standards, it retains a retro Alpine charm (the kelly-green shutters decorated with Edelweiss, for example).

Rooms are straightforward and more motel than mountain lodge, but a fantastic deal, starting at $129 for a dorm bed. Prices include all meals, served family style in the lodge dining room, and free shuttle service to Alta Mountain and Snowbird. There are also twin and queen rooms with a shared or private bath, as well as bedroom suites. As for why the property is called the Peruvian? No one knows, although possibly it’s for a nearby landmark, Peruvian Creek.
Nordic Inn
Nordic Inn, Crested Butte, CO
Reopened on December 15, 2012, under new ownership, this beloved, 28-room Alpine lodge (right) opened over 50 years ago. Located just 500 yards from the slopes, the Nordic has refurbished half of its spacious rooms, which are now kitted out with hardwood floors, down comforters and pillows, and gorgeous Colorado beetle kill pine woodwork. The remaining rooms (which are a colorful ode to the ’80s, and a screaming deal for ski-in lodging) will be redone by June 1.

P.S. Ski lodges aren’t just for winter! Many are open year-round, and summer is also peak season for outdoor recreation.

[Photo credits: Tamarack, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area; Strawberry, 50Cabins.COM; Sun Valley, Sun Valley Resorts; Nordic Inn, Ken Stone]

Mammoth Mountain Guarantees Snow For Opening Day And Beyond

Mammoth Mountain guarantees snow for the 2012/2013 ski seasonAnyone who loves to ski or snowboard can tell you that last winter was less than stellar in terms of snowfall across most of North America. But the long-term outlook for this year appears to be much improved and ski resorts are gearing up for what promises to be a much better season. In fact, the forecasts are so good that Mammoth Mountain, located in California’s Sierra Nevada, is actually guaranteeing snow for opening day.

Skiers who book a stay with Mammoth between now and November 8, the projected opening day, are guaranteed a base depth of at least 10 inches of snow when they hit the slopes. If the base is less than 10 inches, those guests can elect to keep their original registration and receive a $100 gift card or they can reschedule their stay without any kind of fees or penalties.

But the resort is extending its snow guarantee well beyond opening day. The guarantee actually stretches into February with increasing base depths to correspond with the advancing dates. So while Mammoth promises 10 inches of snow in early November, that number actually rises to 28 inches by mid-December, 50 inches by mid-January and 70 inches by mid-February.

The offer for guaranteed snow is extended to those who book their stay early, which in this case means before opening day or November 8, which ever comes first. This is a good option for skiers and snowboarders looking for fresh powder this season as they can book a stay at Mammoth early and if the snow isn’t up to expectations simply move their dates.

For more information on the Mammoth Early Booking Snow Guarantee, click here.

[Photo courtesy Mammoth Mountain]

Mammoth’s Tamarack Lodge Offers Discounted Fall Color Package

Experience the Sierra Mountains at Mammoth's Tamarack Lodge this Fall.Labor Day weekend always seems to mark the unofficial end of summer, even though the season doesn’t actually change for another three weeks. But we all know autumn is just around the corner and with it comes cooler temperatures, crisp air and the changing of the leaves.

This year Mammoth’s Tamarack Lodge is offering visitors a chance to experience the brilliant colors of fall in the Sierra Mountains at an unbelievably affordable price. The rustic lodge, which has been named one of the Top 10 lakeside resorts in North America, will offer rates starting at just $49 per person per night between September 4 and November 11. That’s the perfect time to witness the changing of the seasons for yourself.

This isn’t a bare bones lodge experience, however. Upon check-in visitors will be given a complimentary bottle of wine and continental breakfast service is available daily. They’ll also receive two hours of boat rental for free, as well as complimentary fishing rod rental too. Additionally, guests at Tamarack Lodge also have access to the resort’s adventure activities, which include guided hikes, bike tours, fishing clinics and more.

The calendar may still say its summer but fall will be here before we know it. It’s never too early to start planning your escape and there are few places better to be in the autumn than the Sierras.

Kids Adventure Pass Is Ticket To Fun At Mammoth Mountain This Summer

Mammoth Mountain's Adventure Pass provides unlimited climbing, zipping and mountain biking.Mammoth Mountain has introduced a new and very affordable option for family fun this summer. The California resort, which is a fantastic destination for outdoor fun all year long, is now offering an “Adventure Pass” for kids under the age of 12. That pass provides a full day of fun for the low price of just $29.

Purchasing the Adventure Pass provides unlimited access to the resort’s climbing wall and newly upgraded zip line, as well as a new bungee trampoline that is scheduled to open soon. Additionally, the pass grants all-day access to the Mammoth mountain bike trails and lift access to the top of the peak too. That’s a lot of fun and excitement packed into one day without a great deal of investment.

The climbing wall is open every day and features numerous routes that range from very easy to darn near impossible. Mammoth staff is on hand at all times to ensure a safe environment as well as to provide support and encouragement. And after they’ve conquered the wall, the kids will be more than ready to take on the resort’s 306-foot zip line, which hangs 25 feet in the air and sails above the scenic terrain near the Adventure Center.

That’s just the start of the fun at Mammoth, however, as the resort offers gondola rides above the Sierra Mountains, shuttles to the nearby Reds Meadow and Devil’s Postpile National Monument, fine dining, shopping and much more. For more information, checkout the Adventure Center webpage and start planning your Mammoth visit.