Inyo National Forest

Mountain Biking

Inyo offers lots of mountain biking: off-road trails for those seeking some solitude and downhill at Mammoth Ski Area for anyone seeking thrills. Of course, the real athletes go uphill at the ski area. The professionals take about 2.5 hours to climb to the top. TRY IT!

MOUNTAIN VIEW
Distance: 5 miles one way.
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous.
Type: Singletrack and unimproved dirt roads.
Description: Ride begins at Minaret Summit trailhead sign. Cycle through the dirt parking area to the north end. The singletrack starts downhill through the forest. The ride has some narrow bridges, please use them.
Rider Notes: Parking and restrooms are available at either Minaret Summit or the Earthquake Fault. If parking at the Earthquake Fault, we advise riding up Downtown and Paper Route to Mammoth Mountain Bike Park then continuing up Hwy. 203. Early season riders beware of snow on the trail. High downhill speeds are possible on this singletrack; ride under control.

MAMMOTH BIKE PARK
Distance: Up to 50 miles.
Degree of Difficulty: Easy to Strenuous.
Type: Singletrack trails with Gondola access.
Description: Located on Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. Up to 50 miles of singletrack trails with Gondola access; dual slalom race course, obstacle arena, Lil' Rider Fun Zone, and the famous Kamikaze Downhill. Purchase Park pass at Mammoth Mountain Bike Center, next to Main Lodge.
Rider Notes: Mammoth Mountain Bike Park provides access to trail system via Paper Route, Big Ring, Downtown, and To Town. Access to Inyo Craters and Knolls Loop via U.S. Forest Service road 3S89. Trailhead 200 yards downhill from parking area at Chair 4. Riders leaving from trailhead, be advised of long downhill on 3S89.

RED'S MEADOW
Distance: About 12 miles one way
Degree of Difficulty: Easy to Moderate.
Type: Paved road.
Description: Ride begins at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. Follow Hwy. 203 as it gradually climbs to Minaret Summit ' and then descends 1,500' to valley floor. Along the way, enjoy spectacular vistas, the San Joaquin River, Starkweather Lake, Devils Postpile National Monument, and Rainbow Falls. Terrific family ride with many picnicking, hiking, and photo opportunities.
Rider Notes: Seasonal shuttle bus available for return trip. Purchase ticket at Mammoth Mountain Inn or from shuttle driver. Parking and all services available at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. Store, cafe, restrooms, and telephone available at Red's Meadow Pack Station. Advise using shuffle bus for return trip to avoid strenuous uphill climb. Check at Mammoth Mountain Inn for bus schedule. The road into Red's Meadow is narrow and winding—watch for vehicles. OFF-ROAD RIDING IN RED'S MEADOW IS PROHIBITED! PLEASE STAY ON PAVED ROADS! Remember to lock bicycles securely at trailheads to Devils Postpile and Rainbow Falls before leaving on a hike.

HORSHOE LAKE
Distance: 1.2-mile loop.
Degree of Difficulty: Easy.
Type: Singletrack trail. Paved and dirt roads in surrounding areas.
Description: Ride begins at Horseshoe Lake Group Campground. Clearly marked trail winds through cool, pine forest around lake and returns to campground. Great family ride in beautiful alpine setting. Picnicking available. Advise walking bicycle over wooden bridges and down steep guiley at far end.
Rider Notes: Parking, restrooms and water available at Horseshoe Lake and vicinity. Extended rides around Lakes Basin on paved roads. Stores at Lake Mary, Mamie and Twin Lakes. Highlights in area include historical sites at Coldwater Campground and Mammoth City. From Mammoth City, continue along Old Mammoth Road for access to Town. Look for the Vista Trailhead between the Twin Lakes bridge and the Art Gallery on the east side of the road. The Vista Trail provides a unique view of Mammoth.

SHADY REST
Distance: 5-mile loop.
Degree of Difficulty: Easy.
Type: Combination singletrack and improved unimproved dirt road.
Description: Ride begins at the entrance to Shady Rest Campground, immediately to the right. Route winds through pine forest and returns to start point. Great family ride. Picnicking and playground facilities available at Shady Rest Park.
Rider Notes: Parking, restrooms, and water available at nearby U.S. Forest Service Ranger Station and Shady Rest Park. Many dirt roads intersect this route, so follow map and signs closely.

KNOLLS
Distance: 10-mile loop.
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous.
Type: Improved/unimproved dirt road.
Description: Ride begins 1/4 mile past the entrance to Shady Rest. From trailhead, follow singletrack to the Knolls Loop, turn left and ride in a clockwise direction. Route winds through pine forest with many spectacular vistas from high points.
Rider Notes: Parking, restrooms, and water available at nearby U.S. Forest Service Ranger Station. Parking also available at trailhead. Strenuous climbs and fast downhills are found on this route. Many dirt roads intersect this trail, so follow map and signs closely. For easier access back to trailhead/Town, head down the Sawmill Cutoff at north end of loop.

BIG AND LITTLE SMOKEY
Distance: Little Smokey: 5.8-mile loop, or
Big Smokey: 12.5-mile loop.
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous.
Type: Unimproved dirt roads.
Description: Ride begins at Smokey Bear Flat turnout off Hwy. 395, approximately four miles north of the junction of Hwy. 395 and 203. Cycle through wide open flats and rolling sage-covered hills with spectacular views of the Sierra Nevada. Stay on marked trails.
Rider Notes: Parking available off Hwy. 395 on dirt road. Please do not park off dirt road. Carry water and snacks, as no services are available. Rider access to Town and Knolls Loop via Sawmill Cutoff—1 access to Hwy. 203 Town via Antelope Springs Road.

INYO CRATERS
Distance: 10-mile loop.
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate.
Type: Improved/unimproved dirt road.
Description: Ride begins at Inyo Craters parking area, 1.2 miles off Mammoth Scenic Loop. Singletrack provides access to trailhead off 3S30. Route winds through cool pine forest with portions following Deadman Creek. This ride includes a creek crossing.
Rider Notes: Parking is available at lnyo Craters. Carry water and snacks. Restrooms and picnic facilities are available at lnyo Craters and Deadman Campgrounds. Highlights include a short ride to lnyo Craters; volcanic blast craters filled with water. Consult map for rider access to Mammoth Mountain Bike Park, Knolls Loop, and the Mammoth Scenic Loop.

MINARET VISTA
Distance: 4.6 miles out and back.
Degree of Difficulty: Strenuous.
Type: Unimproved dirt road over rough terrain.
Description: Ride begins at Minaret Summit one mile beyond Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. Cycle through pine forest cresting above timberline on an open plateau. This ride winds up the San Joaquin Ridge offering spectacular views of the Sierra.
Rider Notes: Parking and restrooms available at Minaret Summit. Carry water and snacks. This route is a strenuous uphill climb, but well worth the effort! Elevation exceeds 9,500' at the summit. Rough terrain makes this ride a real challenge.

HARTLEY SPRINGS
Distance
: 9.1-mile loop.
Degree of Difficulty: Strenuous
Description: Ride begins opposite Pumice Mine Road on U.S. 395, just south of June Lake Junction. Starting elevation is about 7,800 feet, rising to about 8,900 at 3.5 miles, then down to start.

MORAINES AND MEADOWS
Distance: 11.3-mile loop.
Degree of Difficulty: Strenuous.
Description: Ride begins at Lee Vining Ranger Station on Highway 120. Passes through Lower and Upper Horse Meadows and circles Williams Butte. Starting elevation is about 7,200 feet. Trail falls a couple hundred feet in first mile, the rises to 7,800 at 5 miles. Sharp descent below 7,000, then back up to starting point.

PANORAMA MOUNTAIN
Distance: Up to 11-mile loop.
Degree of Difficulty: Strenuous.
Description: Ride begins opposite June Lake Junction on U.S. 395 between Mammoth and Lee Vining Consists of three interconnecting loops. One can ride portions of trail by selecting first loop only or combining first loop with either the second or third. Full trail goes out to circle Aeollian Buttes, starting at 7,700 feet, with two peaks at close to 8,000 feet and a trough at 7,000 feet in between.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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