At the end of the day, the features and layout of a trail make a much bigger difference than whether it’s a loop or an in and out path. However, when you’re mountain biking somewhere with the trails and beautiful terrain of Mammoth Lakes, you want to cover as much new ground as you can. Loop trails help mountain bikers do just that, so the ASO Mammoth team has put together a short list of a few of the most popular in the area.
Check it out below and enjoy riding Mammoth Lakes!
Inyo Craters Loop
Although this loop trail is outside of Mammoth Lakes, the playful cross-country trail and the geological features the trail is named after make it more than worth the drive.
Like the craters the trail is named after, this trail has been around for a long time thanks to the mostly relaxed path that loops through one of the oldest Jeffery Pine forests in the world and provides excellent views of the local mountains as you circle around Deer Mountain. If you want to see the craters themselves, then you’ll have to add on a detour of about a mile and a half onto the Inyo Craters trail. Even if you don’t visit the craters though, this 10-mile trail is a great experience for riders of all abilities. You can access the Inyo Craters Loop by traveling down the Mammoth Scenic Loop, turning onto Dry Creek Road, and accessing the trail from there.
Horseshoe Lake Loop
Horseshoe Lake Loop is another trail that’s great for riders of all abilities, but unlike the Inyo Craters Loop it is only 1.7 miles long.
Although Horseshoe Lake Loop is mostly flat and even, it offers a variety of settings and trail types. With wide gravel roads and dirt single track, this trail rounds through pine forests and along the shore of Horseshoe Lake making for a fun and well-rounded ride. If that’s not good enough, this trail is found right in the Lakes Basin at the end of Lake Mary Road which means you can also bike the Lakes Basin Bike Path for an even longer ride! Before you visit the Horseshoe Lake Loop, check on road closures as the Lakes Basin closes during winter and remains closed until the snow melts.
Panorama Mountain Bike Loop
The Panorama Mountain Bike Loop is a loop in name more than practice, but it still makes this list because of the potential challenge and fun it provides.
The Panorama Mountain Bike Loop trail is only 0.7 miles long, but to get to it you must ride up the Panorama Dome Mountain Bike Trail. Once you do though, you’ll have the option to venture away from the main trail and further into the wilderness by riding a mostly flat and fun loop before rejoining the main trail. You can access the Panorama Dome Mountain Bike Trail right off Lake Mary Road on the Mammoth end of the Lakes Basin. If you’re deeper into the Lakes Basin, you can also access it from Old Mammoth Road. Be aware that this trail and the Lakes Basin is closed during winters as well as during spring and summer while the winter snow melts.
Lastly, this 10-mile loop is best suited for experienced riders who aren’t afraid to do some serious climbing along with technical riding. If you have what it takes to make it to the top, you’ll be rewarded with excellent views of Mammoth Lakes and the surrounding area. You can access Knolls Loop just outside of Mammoth Lakes past Shady Rest Campground.