Ride Report: Little Smokey Loop – Mammoth Lakes, CA
This is an fairly easy ride for most riders. You can ride it by itself if you’re short on time, or use it as a warm-up for Big Smokey Loop or Lookout Mountain Loop. Also nearby are the Little Antelope Valley Loop and Casa Diablo Overlook Ride if you want an epic day of riding in this area. You can ride two or all three of these together if you seek a little more challenge. They all use the same staging area. No matter how you do it, Little Smokey offers up some majestic views of the Sherwins, San Joaquin Ridge, The Minarets and Mammoth Mountain area.
- Ride Type: Loop (clockwise as we describe it)
- Difficulty: Non-Technical, Easy with Minimal Climbing
- Time of Year: Spring, Summer, Fall (possible in Winter/depending on snow pack)
- Terrain/Conditions: Mostly smooth double-track and fire road with some soft & sandy sections.
- Access: From the junction of Highway 203 and Highway 395, go 4 miles north of Mammoth Lakes and turn right into Smokey Bear Flats. You’ll see a kiosk and a small parking area. The ride starts here.
- Length: 6 miles
- Approx. Time: 1 hour
- Lowest Elevation: 7,627′
- Highest Elevation: 7,921′
- Total Elevation Gain: 332′
- Bike Recommendation: XC Mountain Bike, Fat Bike, 29+, pretty much any bike will do
- GPX file: Available by contacting us
This ride starts off very moderately, and continues that way. The climbing is gradual, and the descending is fun with a couple sandy areas here and there. Once you turn right on 3S13 (at 1.2 miles), the views open up, and you’ll forget you’re climbing. Don’t forget to gaze to the right and remember why you’re in the Eastern Sierra!! Turn by Turn (in miles): 0.0 – head out east on 3S04, it will go straight for a bit and then turn to the left .34 – continue straight on 3S04 .54 – continue straight on 3S04 .89 – continue straight on 3S04 1.2 – hit a trail junction. Go right on 3S13 (continuing straight on 3S04 will take you on Big Smokey Loop and Lookout Mountain Loop) 1.8 – hit a junction, stay right. There are some gorgeous views to your right, don’t forget to look!! 3.54 – veer right and head down the sandy Power Line Rd 3.75 – veer right again, staying on the Power Line Rd 4 – veer right on 3S38 4.1 – continue right yet again, staying on the main road from here on out – you will descend into Smokey Bear Flat and return back to kiosk where you began – 6 miles total.