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August skiing in Eastern Sierra Mountains

July 30, 2023

Mammoth Mountain snowpack attracts summer snowboarders.

As sweltering heat breaks temperature records across North America, the historic snowfall from Winter, 2023 has extended the ski season through August 6 at the Mammoth Lakes, California resort.

After a record 60 feet of snow was recorded at the main lodge, snowboarders and skiers continue to enjoy the slopes – albeit limited terrain. Current operations are based out of Mammoth Mountain’s main lodge; no options for beginner terrain are available. Expect only a few lifts to be operating.

Meltoff at the base of the mountain has yielded to wildflowers and swollen, cool-water streams. Trails are wet and several campsites closed, thwarting some hiking and mountain biking plans. In addition to summer skiing, outdoors enthusiasts are fishing or paddleboarding in the afternoon.

On average, the resort records about 33 feet of snow between November through June. This year’s ability to operate into August joins 2017 and 1995 in the resort’s 70-year history.

The California Department of Water Resources conducts snow surveys monthly from January until April 1, but this past winter’s snowfall meant a rare May 1 survey. Then during summer months, water management organizations quantify snowpack using water runoff from melted snow. The DWR reports that the Sierra water basin south of the San Francisco Bay Area remains at least 200% of normal April through July runoff levels. In other words, warmer air temperatures are heavily melting snow. Tule and Kern basins each show nearly 400% of normal runoff levels.

We provide snow measurement sensors to help ski resorts as well as water management organizations and utilities forecast water supplies. Noncontact snow depth sensors use ultrasonic sensing for accuracy and precision, even during snow drift conditions. Explore the snow & ice measurement sensors.