As already mentioned in the beginners category, Mammoth Mountain ski area can be split into three subsections: While the upper area around the “Top of the Sierra” mostly feeds very difficult trails, the midsection between the Rollercoaster Chairlift and Chair 12 is dominated by brilliantly prepared groomers, while easy practice runs and separate children’s practice areas are located in the valley around all three base lodges. In total, 25% of the 1416 hectares within the ski area is marked as very easy (green), while another 40% is categorised as intermediate (marked blue in the USA). As a result, Mammoth offers plenty to discover for families with small children who have yet to gain much experience of winter sports.
“Woolly’s Tube Park” and other “Adventure Zones”!
Children and adults alike can bomb down the six runs in Woolly’s Tube Park on inflatable tubes. The park has its own lift and extends between the Main Lodge and the Village. Woolly’s Tube Park is signposted from the road between the Village and Mill Café. After some white-knuckle tubing action, kids can build a snowman together with Woolly, speed down one of the sled runs or give Woolly’s Tube Rotondo a try – a kind of tubing carousel. You can get more information and pricing details for the park here. Five additional Adventure Zones, which kids love to explore, are hidden within the ski area:
- Woolly’s Woods starting at the Discovery Chair Lift (no. 11) above the Main Lodge
- Twilight Zone next to Jill’s Run down towards the Main Lodge
- Huck’s Drop between Schoolyard Express (Lift no. 17) and Canyon Express (Lift no. 16)
- Goldie’s Flight at the Eagle Lodge
Fun Zones for young freestylers
Freestyle zones and terrain parks are generally given a high priority in the USA and in Mammoth Mountain in particular. The ski area provides terrain parks specially designed for kids called Fun Zones where they can learn all the moves over small jumps and rails, imitating their freestyle idols.
Caution when using the chairlifts without a safety bar
Despite all the praise that we’ve given Mammoth Mountain in the family category, we can’t go without mentioning that some of the chairlifts are not equipped with a safety bar. In particular, the trip up to the windy summit ridge with Chair 23 should be avoided with small children. It would definitely be a positive step if all lifts were to be equipped with safety bars. If this were the case, the highest score of ten points for a family-friendly experience would definitely have been possible.