Mammoth Lakes is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, with one of the nation’s top ten ski resorts, thousands of acres of national forest and hundreds of miles of recreational trails. This combination also presents wayfinding challenges—how to unite the vast network of federal, town and ski area trails while making clear when trail users pass from one jurisdiction to another, and how to give users enough information to stay on the right path along with the confidence to strike out on their own. Wayfinding elements also need to respond to the region’s mammoth snowstorms, which drop more than 30 feet of snowfall over the course of a typical winter.
The system we designed uses durable materials and earth tones that complement the environment and mitigate the effects of harsh weather. Different panel colors reflect the different jurisdictions, and indicate when a trail user has moved from one district to another. A unique rescue locator system helps hikers keep their bearings and rescue workers pinpoint their location in case of an emergency.
System sign types include vehicular and pedestrian directionals, park identification markers, trail guides and trail information kiosks. Phased implementation continues according to the master plan as funds become available.