It’s no secret that California has been enjoying truly monstrous snowfall totals this season. For two ski areas in particular, this blessing from Mother Nature means skiing will extend through the Fourth of July. And who on Earth doesn’t want to celebrate America’s birthday by slipping into a star-spangled T-shirt and a snug-fitting pair of jorts, clicking into a pair of skis and pointing them downhill?
The record-breaking snowfall at Mammoth Mountain and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows (Squaw Alpine) ensures skiing in Cali’ will be insanely great in the months ahead, even in July. On this page, we shed light on the astounding snow statistics and outline just a few of the many July 4-oriented festivities that are scheduled at each resort. By the time you reach the bottom of this page, we expect you’ll be reaching for the phone to begin discussing travel plans with your pals.
Record-breaking snowfall secures Fourth of July skiing at Mammoth and Squaw Alpine
Mammoth Mountain—situated three hours south of Reno, Nevada and five hours north of Los Angeles—has surpassed the 750-inch mark at the 11,053-foot mountain summit, 610 inches at Main Lodge and has claimed “deepest base depth” in the country since early January; the current base depth ranges from 180 to 320 inches. January of ’17 goes down as Mammoth’s snowiest month on record, with 246 inches of snow falling in that month alone (see the insane photos, here). Skiing will remain open until the Fourth of July, if not longer. Mammoth currently has three halfpipes and four terrain parks open to the public.
Four hours to the north of Mammoth and just 45 minutes from the international airport in Reno, Squaw Alpine has registered 714 inches of snow this season (that’s more than 58 feet, to put things into perspective). This is only the second time in recorded history that Squaw Alpine has broken the 700-inch mark; 2010-11 holds the all-time record. January saw the most snowfall of any single month in Squaw Alpine history, with 282 inches. February followed with 190 inches, the most the resort has seen during the month of February in recorded history. Squaw Valley, in particular, currently boasts a base depth of 249 inches (more than 20 feet, and more than 300 percent of average depth) and is 100-percent open. The mountain will be operational for skiing and riding through July 4. This marks only the fourth time that Squaw Valley will offer skiing and riding on Independence Day.
“We have been hit by 10 atmospheric rivers [a narrow corridor of concentrated moisture in the atmosphere] this season,” explains Sam Kieckhefer, public relations coordinator for Squaw Alpine. “During the average season we experience two or three atmospheric rivers, with the big seasons seeing four. These [events] have brought extremely high winds; we have seen winds in excess of 150 miles per hour on multiple occasions, with the anemometer at Alpine [Meadows] hitting 199 miles per hour. It maxes out at 199.”
Another noteworthy stat regarding the 2016-17 ski season: California set an all-time record for northern Sierra precipitation. At eight representative weather stations in the area, the average precipitation surpassed the previous record of 88.5 inches, set in 1982-83. Ryan Maue, a meteorologist for WeatherBell Analytics, calculated that the state of California has received the equivalent of 90-trillion gallons of water since October, the greatest volume on record. [Source: Washington Post.] That’s approximately enough water to fill Squaw Valley’s High Camp pool and hot tub (soaking at 8,200 feet above sea level never felt so good) three billion times.
All that, and there is more weather in the forecast. I.e. the snowfall may very well continue. Regarding rainfall totals in the state, the water year began on October 1 and runs through September of this year, meaning there’s plenty of time to add to the aforementioned, record-breaking precip’ tally.
Are you salivating over the idea of a summer ski-cation, yet?
We’ve provided additional beta, below, that’ll steer you even further away from your current, forgettable Fourth of July BBQ plans. The answer is clear, friends: Get yer tookus out to Cali for the adventure of a lifetime.
4th of July at Mammoth Mountain
The town of Mammoth Lakes, situated in the High Sierras of California, is a righteous spot to celebrate the Fourth of July. From the skiing and riding at Mammoth to the annual art festival, Independence Day parade, all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast and fireworks show at Crowley Lake, there’s something for everyone.
Mammoth Mountain typically serves up free beer on the mountain summit (while supplies last), hosts a DJ and provides copious swag giveaways. As of this publishing date, Fourth of July lift ticket pricing is TBD. We’ll provide an update as soon as we have one, and we also encourage you to keep your eyes peeled to Mammoth’s website and social feeds. You can also call the resort directly. One item of note: Anyone who bought a lift ticket to Mammoth in January (its snowiest month on record) skis free on July 4.
Mammoth Lakes festivities, Independence Day, 2017
- All day // Skiing and riding at Mammoth Mountain
- 7:00 a.m. // Lions Club pancake breakfast
- 10:10 a.m. // Footloose Freedom Mile; sign up at Footloose Sports
- 11:00 a.m. // Independence Day parade on Main Street and Old Mammoth Road
- 11:00 a.m. // 40th annual arts show in the Footloose Sports parking lot
- 9:15 p.m. // Fireworks at Crowley Lake
Non-stop celebration in The Village, July 1-4, 2017
- All-American picnic in The Plaza
- DJ mashups & live music
- Ducky races in The Village pond
- Chihuahua races in The Plaza
- Kids’ activities in The Plaza
- Stage show in The Plaza
- Fireworks extravaganza in The Plaza
Getting to, and around Mammoth
After browsing our custom map, above, see more of our favorite places to eat, sleep, drink and repeat at Mammoth, right here.
When it comes time to book your travel, find the essential info via mammothmountain.com, here.
Fourth of July at Squaw Alpine
Beyond the epic skiing, Fourth of July weekend at Squaw Alpine includes pool parties, BBQs and drink specials at the High Camp pool & tub. At the mountain’s base, the KT Sundeck will serve up music and cold beers throughout the après hours. It’s all dubbed “Freedom Fest,” and you’re not going to want to miss it.
Note: Passholders from other resorts are invited to enjoy Fourth of July skiing at Squaw Valley for just $52/day. Furthermore, the High Camp pool and hot tub are not open to the public as of the publishing date; High Camp is buried in snow and Squaw Alpine is in the midst of snow removal operations. An estimated opening date remains TBD.
What to expect at Squaw Valley, July 1-4, 2017
- All-day skiing and riding
- Concerts at Gold Coast’s 39° North and KT Base Bar
- Fireworks on the evening of Monday, July 3
- Hot tub party with live DJ each day, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- “Family fun pond skim” on Sunday, July 2
Getting to Squaw Alpine
So, get out there and celebrate the Red, White and Blue in the best way possible: on snow.
Recent Mammoth x Squaw Alpine ‘grams
Keep in mind, the event schedule and mountain operations outlined on this page are subject to change. As always, do your homework before you travel.