(Peter Morning/Mammoth Mountain)

Sweltering heat has encompassed much of the nation this summer, but California’s Sierra Nevada range and its stockpile of snow have offered an enticing retreat. On Tuesday, Mammoth Mountain, the Golden State’s highest ski resort, announced 12 more days of skiing.

The resort will close for skiing Aug. 6, about 270 days after it opened. “This is the second longest season on record, the longest was ’94-95 where we opened in early Oct. and closed Aug. 14,” said Lauren Burke, the resort’s public relations manager.

Mammoth received 618 inches of snow during the cold months at its main lodge, marking the second snowiest season on record, Burke said. The snowiest season was 2010-2011 when 668 inches fell at the main lodge. At its 11,053-foot-high peak, an estimated 800 inches came down.

About 35 inches of snow remain on 10 trails, which skiers can access on three lifts.

Versatile outdoor enthusiasts can ski, bike and golf in the same day. “There is a great deal running where you can ski in the morning, then hit the bike park and 9 holes of golf at Sierra Star for $99,” Burke said.

Mammoth is one of two California ski areas to remain open deep into the summer. Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows  closed July 15 — the latest it has ever stayed opened. “After 60 feet of cumulative snowfall, 10 Atmospheric Rivers, the snowiest month on record (#januBURIED), and 200 days of winter operations during this incredible 2016-17 season, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is officially closed,” the resort wrote on its website July 17.

As of Tuesday, snow still covered some of Squaw’s slopes, but bare patches had emerged:

Squaw noted these impressive snow statistics in its recap of the season:

  • It recorded 728 inches of snow for the season, second most on record. The most was 810 inches in 2010-11.
  • It posted its snowiest January on record with 282 inches or 23 feet. Snow fell on 16 of 31 days.
  • It posted its snowiest February on record with 196 inches (more than 16 feet).

The snowfall at these resorts resulted from a winter onslaught of precipitation known as atmospheric rivers. Scripps Institution of Oceanography documented 45 cases of these rivers in the sky gushing into the West Coast from the Pacific Ocean between October and March — a number of which targeted these ski areas.

Below find summer skiing photos from Mammoth and Squaw:

Mammoth Mountain


(Peter Morning/Mammoth Mountain)

(Peter Morning/Mammoth Mountain)

(Peter Morning/Mammoth Mountain)

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows