- ............................................................................................. 5-17-2021 @ 7 AM........The Snow Line is up to 9000+ feet now.....Expect Showers into Monday possible with snow above 9500-10,000 feet .... Snow Showers Possible for the High Country Thursday / Friday.......Roads are clear with Sonora pass now open.....Tioga Pass still closed....Extreme Fire Danger In The Area Take Caution........... Ski Ya Later Snowman.....
May 17th, 7:35 AM Good morning from Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern Sierra, looks like we have an interesting spring day setting up.
Expect more T – Storms to build up today bringing a chance of showers to the higher elevations during the afternoon hours with snow above 10,000 feet.
Current conditions as of this update we have mostly cloudy skies. It’s 37 at Main Lodge, 39 in Mammoth Lakes, and 48 in Bishop. Up at the top of Mammoth Mountain, it’s 33 degrees with an NE wind at 33 MPH to 42 MPH.
Taking a look at the Snow Conditions: The current NE flow will keep the snow firmer up top with the lower runs taking longer to corn up this morning.
Tuesday and Wednesday the snow conditions look prime with full sunshine and great corn snow. Expect the snow to thaw quickly on the lower runs with the snow up top getting soft later in the morning. (See the full snow report below)
The Weather Forecast, after build-ups and a chance of showers today expect clear skies through Wednesday.
Highs at the 9000-foot levels ( Main Lodge / Mammoth Lakes Basin ) will be in the low to mid-50s with lows at night near 30.
Down in Mammoth Lakes expect highs in the low to mid 60’s with lows in the mid to upper 30s. For Crowley Lakes, highs will be in the upper 60s to low 70’s with lows in the mid-30s to near 40. Down in Bishop highs will be in the mid to upper 80’s.
The wind forecast calls for N to NE winds today with gusts in the 40 – 50 MPH range over the Sierra Crest with lower elevation winds at 10-15 MPH with a gust to 25 MPH at times.
Winds will move to the SW on Tuesday and will be lighter with moderate winds returning sometime on Wednesday to the higher elevations.
By Thursday and Friday, a new low-pressure system will affect the entire area with much cooler highs and lows and a chance of snow showers and moderate winds for the high country.
Mammoth Mountain Snow Report: We have full-on spring skiing and snowboarding out of Main Lodge and the Mill right now.
Snow conditions are a mix of early morning firm groomers, soft corn, and some thick slush in spots during the afternoon.
When the winds turn to the NE the top stays firmer most of the day and the runs lower down stay in better shape into the early afternoon hours.
It’s definitely getting thin out there now with some bare spots to the side of the open runs down to Main Lodge and the Mill. The grooming crew is doing a great job of keeping everything thing open that they possibly can.
Looks like the Mill and Stump Alley will make it one more week, not sure if they have enough snow to push around to keep it open the last week of the season but maybe with the cool down we have had they can pull it off now.
Up top, the best snow is on the runs that are getting some traffic. Yes, it was a bit firm this weekend and again today, but should get soft again on Tuesday into Wednesday, before getting set up again late in the week.
Both Scotties and Cornice are getting groomed nightly and have the best surface when the snow starts to get soft up top. On days when there is no NE wind Climax and Daves have also been fun for some spring turns.
The runs off of Chair 3 still have plenty of snow with Center Bowl being groomed nightly, the snow in here gets sun early so it softens up fast when we have the SW wind flow on a normal spring day. West Bowl has a couple of good bump lines right now that you don’t want to miss if you like moguls.
Grooming continues like normal out of Main Lodge with all the lower runs getting groomed out nightly. When it warms up they turn into a nice soft fast buttery surface for those of you with a nice fresh hot wax.
Checking in on the snow base out on the open runs, there is a good 1-4 feet from Main Lodge to the top still left. Crews have been pushing snow around and will continue to do so to keep Mammoth open for 2 more weeks.
Lift hours this week will be 7:30 AM to 2 PM with chairs 1, 2, 3, 6, 11, and 23 along with G1 and G2. During the mid-week chairs, 5 and 10 will not be open, but they look to run those lifts this possibly again this Friday – Sunday.
If you’re wondering is it worth it to come up and get some turns in I always say yes. My advice is to come up with the mindset that the snow is limited and you want to get a few turns in and tie your trip in with other activities after ski or snowboarding in the morning.
Mountain Biking Report: There is some really good mountain biking going on up here on the East Side. If you’re into peddle power now is the time to come up and get some miles in before Summer hits.
All the Inyo Forest Trails and Roads you can ride are open and not too dusty or sandy at this time. It’s still cool in the high country so you can ride all day still without overheating. Lower elevations bike rides especially out of Bishop and the Starlight areas should be done during the early morning hours or you’re going to be hot.
Taking a look at the current snow line all trails and roads below 8500 feet are now melted out and ridable over the entire Eastern Sierra. Above the 8500 foot line, we are seeing some areas start to melt down to the dirt now mixed in the lots of thick patches of snow.
We had a below-normal winter so we expect the higher mountain trails (9000 – 11,000 feet) to all open very early this season. The melt-off for most trails will be over in less than a month is my best guess.
If you’re planning a mountain bike trip up to the Mammoth Mountain Bike Park the opening day is set for Friday, May 28th. No official word on what will be open, but at this point, I would expect everything below the 8900-foot level and Main Lodge to be ready to go by the opener.
Check out my full and very detailed mountain bike report here, in that report I include a list of trails that are now open in the Eastern Sierra for you and your family to ride.
**The Footloose Bike Shop is OPEN… They are offering Bike Rentals and Sales now along with a complete Service and Repair shop. They have everything you need to start mountain biking in the Eastern Sierra Today. **
Eastern Sierra Recreation Report – May 17th, 2021
Right now we are in the middle of some perfect spring weather with a good amount of people in the area enjoying the final days of skiing and snowboarding out on Mammoth Mountain. After morning turns many people are then taking in some hiking, mountain biking, scenic drives, and fishing action.
The snowmelt is happening very fast and has moved into the high country now. From my own sight and others, we have learned that the snow line has gone up to over 10,000+ feet in some areas of the backcountry. Had reports from Gem Lake (as seen above) to Crystal Lake in the Mammoth Lakes Basin that the snow was gone this weekend.
South of Mammoth Lakes you can drive up Rock Creek Canyon all the way to Rock Creek Lake and the snow is all gone from this area as well. It’s the same on highway 168 up to South Lake the snow is gone and everyone is prepping for a big Memorial Day Weekend.
One thing I want to stress is we are in the second year of drought, this was one of the lowest snow years in the last 50 years. Fire Danger in the area and over the entire Sierra Nevada is extreme and will remain that way until we get the first snows next Fall.
Campgrounds Open: In the Mammoth Lakes area the Mammoth RV Park and the New Shady Rest Campgrounds are now open. Most if not all campgrounds in the Mammoth area should be open by Memorial Day.
For June Lake and North the campgrounds that are now open are Aspen, Lower Lee Vining, Oh Ridge, Silver Lake, June Lake, and Gull Lake.
For Southern Areas of the Eastern Sierra: Bitterbrush, Four Jeffrey, Cedar Flat Group, Grandview, Convict Lake, French Camp, McGee Creek, Tuff, Big Pine Creek, Big Trees, Bishop Park Group, Forks, Intake 2, Sage Flat, and Upper Sage Flat are all open.
Eastern Sierra Roads: First up, the road down to Reds Meadow will not be opening early as there is a large amount of road work and tree thinning to be done in that area this spring. What I am hearing is, at the latest, the road should be open by the July 4th holiday. And yes, the shuttle buses will be back this Summer, operating under some sort of reduced capacity.
Rock Creek Road is open to Rock Creek Lake, Hwy 168 is open to Lake Sabrina and South Lake, Sonora Pass opened on Friday 5-7-2021. Tioga Pass is closed at this time and the process to clear the road has begun, there is no opening date yet.
The Mammoth Lakes Basin is open via foot/bike traffic The snow line is now up to above 9500 feet, you can hike all the way to Crystal Lake with just a few patches of snow.
Yes, the road is melted out, but road crews are still working to clean the area up before the road opens. It’s a perfect time to walk or ride your bike into the Lakes Basin before the road opens and the crowds hit the area.
Hiking: The snow line has come WAY up now over 9500 feet, so lot’s of hiking trails opening up in the high country. Take advantage of the low snow year and get out for a spring hike, I am sure next year at this time we will be buried under feet of snow.
Mammoth Creek and Mammoth Meadow The creek is running at moderate levels right now spring buds are out and everything is starting to green up.
Shady Rest Area & Park: The park and all the forest roads in this area are in great shape. The playground is open as are all the ball fields. All the trails and forest service roads are open.
The Disk Golf Course at Shady Rest and Mill Pond are open and ready for a round of fun. Going to hit the Shady Rest course up next week, I love the sound of the wind in the trees above your head while you’re getting some disk fun in.
Mammoth Paved Trails are melted out and cleaned up. Take and walk, run, or bike ride today. (The Lakes Basin Trail still needs full clean up but it’s melted out.)