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Winter is finally here…. which means it is snowboard and ski season! It is the perfect time to take a family trip to Mammoth Mountain. My husband and I have traveled to Mammoth several times but this was our first time traveling there with Kennadi. Traveling to Mammoth Mountain with a baby changes the dynamic but it is possible and totally worth it!
Typically, Mammoth gets the most snow in January and February. This year, Mammoth had already gotten 13 feet of snow in the first three weeks of December! We were so excited to be heading up right after Christmas to enjoy the snow.
We were in Mammoth for four days and got to enjoy an incredible snow storm. Mammoth got another two feet of snow while we were there! Pictures honestly can’t even do it justice. I have never seen Mammoth covered in so much snow. It made for an unforgettable family trip!
Traveling to Mammoth Mountain with a Baby: Getting There
Kennadi was 11 months old on our trip; aka, the age where she hates being confined. High chair, car seat, you name it, if she can’t move freely, she isn’t happy. This made us a little anxious for a five-hour drive. Kennadi had done some long drives before on our Costa Rica trip but she was 7 months old and didn’t mind her car seat then.
We decided it would be best to leave early at 5 am in hopes that she would fall back asleep until her usual wake up time at 7:30 am. Luckily, it worked out how we hoped. She slept the first 2 hours of the drive, was awake for about an hour and a half and then slept the rest of the drive.
Because she hates being confined, we brought a tub full of books, toys, and stuffed animals to help keep her entertained and happy. We hardly needed it on the way there but we went through all her toys on our drive back home.
If you are driving while there is snow, you will be required to put on chains. They will allow trucks with 4WD to not put on chains but you are still required to carry them.
Our drive up got a little sketchy on the 395 and turning on the 203 to Mammoth. It was snowing hard and there were 80-100 mph gusts of wind. Thankfully, we all made it up right before the roads closed! Make sure to always check the current road conditions!
Tip: Don’t drive 30 minutes and then realize that you never put your suitcase in the truck and have to turn back around to go get it 🙃
Traveling to Mammoth Mountain with a Baby: Where to Stay
Every time we have traveled to Mammoth, we stay in a condo. While we love hotels, it is more spacious and (usually) more affordable to stay in a condo. We also love to have a full kitchen so we can cook some meals instead of having to eat out every meal.
- Viewpoint Condos
- This is where we have stayed the most! You can’t beat the location. It is walking distance from The Village and Mammoth Brewery. It is an easy walk from any of the condos to the gondola lift. The clubhouse has an indoor spa, pool, and a game room.
- Crestview Condos and Rentals
- This is where we stayed this trip. We had a group of 7 adults and a baby and found a condo that could sleep 12. Our condo was HUGE! We had more than enough space. Our rental even had a crib, pack n play, and high chair. One amazing thing about these condos is the underground parking garages; absolute lifesaver if it is snowing!
- The Village Lodge Mammoth
- If we were to stay at a hotel, this would be the one! They offer 1, 2, and 3 bedroom rooms with a kitchen. It is located steps away from the shops, restaurants, and the gondola lift.
- The Westin Monache Mammoth
- You could fit a family in one of their suites but they aren’t cheap! But you are paying for the location. You step outside right to The Village and the gondola.
Traveling to Mammoth Mountain with a Baby: What to Do
- The cheapest option… and honestly, the most fun for kids! Sledding will really be dependent on the amount of snow in Mammoth. While we were up there, people were sledding everywhere. It actually was a little difficult to find spots that you didn’t just sink waist deep into the snow. There are a lot of spots off Minaret; if you drive along there, you will find people pulled over sledding. Our favorite spot was at the Viewpoint Condos. They have a perfect sledding hill right by the main lobby. We weren’t staying at those condos but you are still able to park there and go sledding. Kennadi got cold quickly when we were sledding so we took turns sitting in the truck with her with the heater on.
- Snowboarding and Skiing
- It isn’t a trip to Mammoth in the winter without spending a day on the mountain! Kennadi was obviously too young to be able to go on the mountain; though in another two to three years we will be signing her up for their lessons! Our plan was to just take turns on the runs while one of us stayed inside at the Lodge with her. My mom and her boyfriend opted not to snowboard with us so Kennadi ended up getting a whole day with Grandma! Had we had Kennadi with us, we would have been totally fine utilizing The Lodge. I know Mammoth Mountain offers childcare but I did not inquire to find out about the costs for this but you can find the contact info on their main website. Just a side note, lift tickets are pretty expensive in the winter!
- Woolly’s Tube Park
- We originally had planned to go snowmobiling but it was unavailable due to the amount of snow so we ended up spending an hour at Woolly’s Tube Park. It isn’t too far from The Village and you can’t miss the parking lot. The tubing session tickets are valid for 1 hour and 15-minute session. They have six tubing lanes and a lift to the top. Woolly’s also offers a snow play area specifically for kids. Kennadi was still a little too young to enjoy it but if you have a toddler, it would be perfect! The snow play area is free of cost and offers a blocked off snow area and small hills with sleds.
- The Village
- You can’t visit Mammoth without walking through The Village. They have a lot of shops, small eateries, restaurants, and a distillery. Some of our favorites are McCoy’s, Trendy Tots, Hugs Ice Cream, and Shelter Distilling.
Traveling to Mammoth Mountain with a Baby: Favorite Food Spots
There are a lot of amazing restaurants and food spots in Mammoth! Two of our favorites are Giovanni’s Pizza and Mammoth Brewery. They both are kid friendly and have high chairs available. You can order take out or eat in at Giovanni’s; their pizza is unreal!
Mammoth Brewery offers pool tables, two bars, and seated food service. We always go there a few times when we are in Mammoth. They have amazing food options and a lot of beer on tap. We always bring a deck of cards to play games while we hang out there. It is walking distance from the mountain and you can leave your snow gear right outside.
Traveling to Mammoth Mountain with a Baby: Must Haves
My biggest concern when looking at the weather forecast (highs in the teens, lows in the negatives) was how in the world we were going to keep Kennadi warm. We personally couldn’t find anything small enough for her for base layers but we did find bibs, snow jackets, and a snowsuit in size 12 months that worked perfectly!
A few things you want to pack:
- Carmex: Kennadi’s lips were destroyed after the first day of being in the snow (the wind didn’t help!) We only had chapstick but my mom’s boyfriend had Carmex and it was perfect for her chapped and peeling lips.
- Hand Warmers: I personally hate my hands and feet being cold so I love these! We also tucked them inside Kennadi’s snow suit when she was getting fussy from being cold.
- Snow Boots: It was so hard to find snow boots small enough for her (size ¾.) I found a pair of Carters boots that were thicker soles and waterproof. When we were shopping at The Village, we found a pair of Sorel snow boots in her size but it was our last day so we didn’t purchase them. But I saved them on my phone for our next snow trip!
For a more detailed list, check out my baby travel essentials post.
We had such an amazing time traveling to Mammoth Mountain with Kennadi! It was such a fun family trip and the amount of snow left us in awe.
Are you planning a trip to Mammoth Mountain? Already traveled there? I would love to hear about it below! Have questions? Comment below or connect with me on Instagram! And don’t forget to subscribe to be notified of new blog posts.