Mountain biking is one of the most popular activities to do in Mammoth Lakes – and for good reason. Whether you’re a seasoned mountain biker, a casual enthusiast, or a beginner there are so many different bike trail options, ranging across a variety of levels and terrains, that you’re sure to find a suitable trail. Here are a few local favorites:
Let’s start with a beginner-friendly one first. If you’re just starting to get the hang of mountain biking, Discovery Trail is the perfect place to get your wheels rolling. With gradual ascents, here you can practice riding on various terrains and surfaces, and get more comfortable riding on narrower trails.
Downtown Mountain Bike Trail
Another popular mountain bike trail for beginners is the Downtown Trail. With its gentle slope, it makes for a smooth and easy ride for newbies and families with small kids. Both manageable and beautifully scenic, it’s a downhill trail that winds through a pine forest, with beautiful mountain views peeking through the trees.
Uptown Mountain Bike Trail
This mountain bike trail starts from the village and goes all the way up to Main Lodge. It offers a nice rolling terrain through a forest, with some fun climbs throughout. From the top, you can descend onto the Downtown Trail, or you can take the chairlift to access other bike trails.
Known as one of the most enjoyable and versatile mountain bike trails in the area, the Big Ring is great for both beginner and intermediate riders. A winding singletrack with a few rocky sections, more experienced riders can up their thrills by taking the trail with speed. It connects to the Downtown Trail so if you decide you want to change it up, you can always bail and head onto the Downtown Trail where you can access other loops.
Level: Easy to Moderate
Paper Route Loop
The Paper Route Loop is one of most popular trails on Mammoth Mountain and can be accessed from both the Downtown and Uptown trails. Part of the Paper Route Loop is often used for mountain bike races because it offers a great rolling terrain and firm dirt for riding. It has a good mix of ascents and descents, quick turns, and winds in and out of the trees. For longer rides, you can combine it with intersecting trails.
If you want scenic views that will leave you speechless, look no further. The Lakes Trail is a singletrack trail that will take your breath away. It’s easily accessible from other trails, but the most popular option is to access it via the Paper Route Loop. There are a couple of bridge crossings and a few steep climbs that adds an extra challenge to your ride. Once you are out of the forest, you emerge to views of the Twin Lakes, the town of Mammoth Lakes and Mammoth Crest – feel free to take a second to dismount and savor the view!
Mammoth Rock Trail
With a distance of 2.6 miles, this singletrack is a fun downhill trail that travels across the Sherwin Ridge and beneath Mammoth’s limestone monolith. While beautiful and offering great views of Mammoth Rock, it’s an intermediate trail that is also popular for hikers and trail runners, so make sure to exercise extra caution when biking.
Mountain View Trail
With a mix of singletrack and doubletrack trails, the Mountain View Trail is one of the best public mountain bike trails near Mammoth Lakes. Ruggedly winding through a pine forest with wildflowers, this trail is great for more experienced riders interested in practicing quick turns. You can go from either direction, both offering an ample amount of ascents requiring enthusiastic pedaling, so you’re sure to feel the burn. The Mountain View Trail is known for its amazing views of the Minarets and the Ritter Range, rewarding you for the challenging climbs. For longer rides, you can connect it with other trails such as the Downtown, Uptown, or other bike park trails.
Level: Moderate to Difficult
White Mountain Trail
Known as the highest mountain biking trail in all of California, this trail starts at a well-paved road and then ascends 3000 feet to a dirt road at the Ancient Bristlecone Forest. From there, the dirt road continues at high elevation with lots of ascents and descents, so a lot of leg power is needed. If you’re up for the challenge, your pedaling efforts will be well rewarded with breathtaking views of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Level: Moderate to Difficult
Lower Rock Creek Trail
This trail is located 30 minutes south of Mammoth proper and is known as one of the best mountain bike trails in the area. The Lower Rock Creek Trail offers a few ride options: One can opt for a longer ride by going out and back between the lower and the upper section, or for a shorter ride by doing loops on the upper sections. Most people prefer to ride the road all the way up to the upper trailhead, where there are signs that will point you in the direction of the singletrack trail. Lower Rock Creek Trail offers rock gardens, bridges, and as always, beautiful scenery.
Are you looking for more mountain bike trails in Mammoth? Check out the trail maps here!