Bike riding in the Eastern Sierra is fantastic. We do have hills,
but there are a multitude of great moderate rides around
guaranteed to leave you warm and woolly without doing
any permanent damage to your body or soul. Of course,
we also have some advanced rides. You decide.
Mountain Bike Trail Map (285k)
Bike Trail Map (250k)
There are miles and miles of roads to ride on around
the Mammoth area. You drove 350 miles of one to get up here.
Traffic isn't usually heavy, but what traffic there
is goes FAST. Try one of these other road rides.
Easiest Ride in Town
Drive up to Horseshoe Lake and park. Ride DOWN Lake
Mary Road, on and on and on and on. You can go all the
way to the Sheriff's substation along highway 395 without
touching the pedals. About eight miles.
Another Easy Short Ride
Mammoth has a partially constructed hiking/bike trail
around town. The best part starts at the community park
next to the Stove restaurant (actually across the street,
but park in the park parking lot). Pick up the paved
trail next to the bridge over Mammoth Creek and ride
downhill into Sierra Meadows. This isn't very long,
only a mile or so, but is one of the prettiest rides
around. There is a rest area with a picnic bench near
the bottom. The views from here are spectacular. Moderate
uphill back to the parking lot.
Ride up from town to the Scenic Loop, then another 8
miles to HWY 395. Rolling moderate terrain with a 500'
gain and loss. Then you can ride back along HWY 395
to make a loop, or just ride the Scenic Loop back. Light
June Lake Loop
Moderate 25 mile round trip with a 900' elevation gain.
Begin at Oh! Ridge and ride west all the way to HWY
395, then ride back HWY 395 or turn around reverse course.
Ride to Red's Meadow
This is a classic ride. Completing a round trip from
town will make you a HARDMAN. About 25 miles round trip
with elevation gain and loss you wouldn't believe. It
is also a fantastic ride with fantastic views. During
the summer, a shuttle operates between the Mountain
and Reds Meadow, cutting down the number of cars on
the road. To do it right, begin at Grumpy's in town.
Don't drink any beer beforehand, however. Ride up to
Mammoth Mountain, up to Minaret Summit, and down, down,
down to Red's Meadow Resort. Eat lunch. Then ride back
up, up, and up to Minaret Summit, then down back to
Grumpy's. Now you can have a beer if you want to because
you deserve it.
Benton Crossing Road
You can ride this road all the way to Nevada if you
want to. This is a nice winter season ride. The road
is usually clear, and the views are spectacular. And
if you get tired or lazy you can stop at the hot tubs.
Park at the green church at HWY 395 and Benton Crossing
Road, then ride east as far as you want to. The first
ten miles or so are almost flat, so this is a good speed
training ride. There really isn't an opportunity to
make a loop out of it, so you will have to ride back
the same way, but the view will be different coming
back. The really adventurous riding a mountain bike
could take one of several dirt roads to the right and
circle Crowley Lake back to Gorge Road, and back to
HWY 395, or ride all the way to Bishop along a dirt
road. This would be a long day.
Ride to Hot Creek
About 12 miles round trip from town. This is a really
nice Mammoth ride. You get to see a variety of different
flora and fauna, from forest to desert. Probably best
done when it isn't too hot, and earlier in the day before
the wind comes up. The ride to Hot Creek is almost all
downhill or flat. Ride down HWY 203 to HWY 395, then
go south on the highway to the Hot Creek turnoff and
ride on out past the fish hatchery on the paved turning
to dirt road. A nice alternative is to ride out old
Mammoth Road to the dirt road through Sherwin Meadows,
following it down to HWY 395, then south on the HWY
for a short distance to the Hot Creek turnoff. The road
through Sherwin Meadows begins just past the bridge
over Mammoth Creek on Old Mammoth Road. Turn left and
go past the Sierra Meadows Horse ranch and follow that
road to the HWY.
Upper Lakes Basin
Yes, it looks like a very long uphill ride, but it really
isn't so bad. The grade is moderate, so you kind of
get into a nice rhythm. Take it steady and easy and
this is a great ride. And it is all downhill coming
back. About seven miles round trip. You can circle Horseshoe
Lake at the top if you are on a mountain bike, also
ride up to Woods Lodge, circle Lake Mary, and have lunch
at either Tamarack Lodge, Lake Mary Store, or Pokenobe
Lodge. This is a classic Mammoth ride. Best done when
there aren't too many people in town so the traffic
isn't heavy. An alternative is to drive up to Lake Mary,
park, and ride around. Nice for those who really don't
want to do the uphill. But take our advice and ride
up. About 8 miles round trip if you circle the lakes.
Ride to Bishop
You can ride almost all the way to Bishop without riding
on HWY 395. You might think this is all downhill, but
there are several serious uphill sections. Short sections,
but you WILL remember them. From Mammoth, ride down
HWY 203 to HWY 395, go south a few miles to the Crowley
Lake Drive turnoff. on the right. Ride through Crowley
Lake, to Tom's place. South of the Crowley Lake township
is one of the uphill stretches. Grunt. At Tom's place,
get back on HWY 395 for a mile or so to the Lower Rock
Creek turnoff. Follow that road all the way to Bishop,
through Round Valley. About 35 miles one way.
One of the classic HARDMAN rides, at least going up.
There is a lot of spectacular scenery, and one very
big hill to ride up.
If you want to do it for free, there are miles and
miles of dirt forest service-type roads zig zagging
throughout this whole area, with great rides everywhere.
Some are marked out on the Mammoth Bike Trail Map, and
many more are just there to do. There are also a few
single track trails open to bicycles. One at Horseshoe
Lake circles the lake. Check out Mountain Biking
in the High Sierra, Guide 2 for detailed information.
It is a real good idea to take a map wherever you go.
Many of the forest roads can be very confusing and it
isn't impossible to get lost for awhile. And remember
that the Federal and State wilderness areas are closed
to cycling. That means almost everything above town
in the Lakes basin and beyond. Don't cause trouble for
cyclists here after you by staying off those trails.
There are hundreds of miles of roads and trails to ride
without doing the illegal ones.
Mammoth Bike Park
Mammoth Mountain makes summer use of the ski trails,
and it is spectacular. The thrill of riding the same
trails you ski during the winter, the maintained single
track routes, the world famous Kamikaze downhill, the
Gondola ride BACK TO THE TOP, and a convenient snackbar
and bathroom facilities make it great fun. There is
a shuttle to take you up the hill from town available
at the Coffee Grind, and a bike trail down from the
park all the way back to down.
Lower Rock Creek Trail
Reputed to be the best single track ride around. The
upper section is moderate, accessible to anyone who
will ride carefully. The lower section requires advanced
skills. If you ride the whole thing, you should arrange
to be picked up at the bottom near Paradise Lodge. If
you choose to ride back up you are looking at 2500 vertical.
Take HWY 395 south to the Lower Rock Creek turnoff on
the right. Park right there, the trail starts down at
the creek. The first 3.5 miles are moderate, with about
a 500' elevation loss. Cautious riders will want to
stop after this section. Good luck to the rest of you.
Inyo Craters Loop
This is a good dirt road forest-type ride. Moderate
10.5 mile ride on dirt road with a 500' elevation gain.
The route is marked with trail signs, but you might
want to take a map, because there are many intersecting
roads in the area. Take the Scenic Loop road a couple
of miles out of town to the Inyo Craters turnoff. You
can either park there, or drive a short distance along
the dirt road to a parking lot. Follow the direction
signs. The Inyo Crater is a big tourist attraction,
and is a nice thing to see.
Big and Little Smokey Loops
From HWY 203 near MacDonalds, follow the sign to Shady
Rest Park. Park there and look for the trail signs.
Wide open flats and rolling sage covered hills, and
forest. There are actually a lot of roads in this area,
some moderate, some easy, and some not easy at all.
This is a nice part of Mammoth, accessible earlier in
the spring because of it's lower elevation. If you stray
off the marked roads, you may want to take a map.