Mammoth Mountain ski area is located in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains in the heart of Inyo National Forest. The ski area tops out at an altitude of 11,053 feet (3,369 m), making it California’s highest ski area. Less well known is the fact that Mammoth Mountain is part of the Long Valley Caldera, one of the largest volcanic craters on Earth. The exposed location of the ski area ensures that Mammoth Mountain is also one of North America’s most reliable ski areas for snow. The season is unusually long and normally lasts from the start of November through to the end of May. In the record winter of 1994/95, Mammoth Mountain was even open for a whopping ten months from 8 October until 13 August. If you are visiting Mammoth Mountain for the first time, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the right run for you. While almost all trails are suitable for beginners around the four main base stations or “base lodges” (Eagle Lodge, Canyon Lodge, Mill Café and Main Lodge), the difficulty of the slopes gradually increases with the altitude. From the “Top of the Sierra”, the ski area’s highest point, only challenging black diamond runs return skiers to the valley on the north side. Mammoth Mountain has also emerged as a true highflyer in terms of freestyle winter sports – it is the only ski area in North America to offer up four halfpipes of varying difficulty. Browse through all of the test categories below to get a detailed lowdown on how Mammoth Mountain did in our test.