"Not all those who wander are lost." – J.R.R. Tolkien

Ride Report: McGee Canyon near Mammoth Lakes, CA

If you’re in the mood for a moderate ride with magical alpine scenery, this fits the bill. In the Summer, this is a boring paved & gravel road ride, but with snow on the road, it’s actually fun. Snowmobiles travel the route often, so conditions tend to be pretty favorable to fat bikes.

  • Ride Type: Out and Back
  • Difficulty: Moderate with some gradual climbing
  • Time of Year: All year – it is a great fat biking ride when the snow has been packed by snowmobiles
  • Terrain/Conditions: Paved and gravel roads in Summer/Fall, snow-covered roads in Winter/Spring
  • Access: From Mammoth Lakes Junction of Hwy 203 and 395, head south on 395 for 9 miles to the McGee Creek exit. Go west across Crowley Lake Dr. and park off the road (or where the road stops being plowed in Winter/Spring)
  • Length: 6.6 miles
  • Approx. Time: 1-2 hours
  • Lowest Elevation: 7,000′
  • Highest Elevation: 8,050′
  • Total Elevation Gain: 1,100′
  • Bike Recommendation: XC Mountain Bike or Fat Bike for snowy conditions
  • GPX File: Available by contacting us

The ride starts with a subtle climb to get your blood flowing, and starts to steepen after 1/4 mile. The next mile is the toughest slog of the ride, so power through it. After going around a big “S” curve, the pitch lessens slightly, and you arrive at the McGee Creek Campground around 1.5 miles. Look around at the beautiful peaks and glacial moraines as you continue a steady climb up to the McGee Pack Station. The pavement ends here (not that you’d know because you’re riding on snow!!). Keep heading up the road until you reach a large kiosk. This is the McGee Creek trailhead, and the end of the ride for you. Bicycles and vehicles of any kind are prohibited past the Wilderness Boundary. You’ll notice the snowmobile tracks end here. So take a moment, soak it in, and head back down a beautiful descent. You get great views of the White Mountains and Crowley Lake. Enjoy.

mcgee_elevation_profile mcgee_map

About 1.5 miles into the ride - McGee Campground. Amazing views abound.

About 1.5 miles into the ride – McGee Campground. Amazing views abound.

Mountainous views through my Holy Rolling Daryl wheels.

Mountainous views through my Holy Rolling Daryl wheels.

Looking back towards the 395 highway. 360 degree views on this ride.

Looking back towards the 395 highway. 360 degree views on this ride.

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