Mammoth Mountain California Backcountry, Telemark Skiing

Mammoth Lakes California
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Backcountry Skiing

Whether you’re looking for a casual backcountry ski tour, or a steep aggressive descent, you’ll find in the backcountry surrounding Mammoth Lakes.

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  • When backcountry skiing, remember to pack avalanche equipment including a beacon, probe, and shovel.
  • The Sherwin Bowls, Duck Lake Pass, and Mono Craters provide excellent backcountry skiing experiences.
  • Mammoth Backcountry skiing is a potentially dangerous activity. Consider hiring a guide to ensure a safe, enjoyable experience.


This activity is not for the inexperienced or out of shape skier. However, for those with the skill and the will, backcountry skiing is a thrill you will remember for the rest of your life. Pack your avalanche beacon, probe, and shovel to leave the groomers behind and lay fresh tracks of your own.

Where to go Backcountry Skiing

The Sherwin Bowls
The Sherwin Bowls are among the most accessible  terrain in the Mammoth Backcountry.  It's here you'll find the famous Rock Chute, an aggressive descent between the two rocky ridges that gave the run its name. Pick up the trail at the end of Lake Mary Road. You’ll follow a cross-country trail for about five to ten minutes, then veer off to the left, and follow a trail that heads to the spine of the Sherwins. Once you reach the top, you’ll first encounter Easter Bowl, then The Hose, then Finger Chutes, and finally Rock Chute.

Duck Lake
Duck Lake Pass is a favorite amongst skiers looking for a fun tour of the backcountry, without having to head out of town, or tackle aggressive descents. Begin from Tamarack Lodge and head cross-country to Duck Pass. You’ll climb about 2,000 feet, and then descend down to Mammoth Creek.

Mono Craters
To see these unique geological wonders in a new light, visit during winter. The north slope of the craters boasts the best terrain, as it holds the snow well, and is relatively free of obstacles. To access the craters, drive on Highway 120, past the South Tufa parking area. Take note, this road is only plowed periodically and maybe inaccessible after a heavy snow.

Guided Tours & Rentals

Backcountry skiing is a thrilling, once in a lifetime experience, but it’s not without serious risk. Take some time to discover the guides listed on our page. They can plan a safe, memorable trip that you’ll remember for a lifetime.