This ride is not technically challenging. The terrain is graded fire road. The climbing is pretty gradual with one tough climb at the end. What makes it rewarding is the spectacular 360 degree views at the top of Bald Mountain. There’s a two-story building a.k.a. the “Lookout” at the top. On a clear day, you can see miles in all directions: Glass Flow Ridge, Mono Lake, Mono Craters, Bodie Hills, White Mountains, Casa Diablo, Crowley Lake, The Palisades, Bloody Mountain, Mammoth Mountain, The Minarets, Ritter, Banner, etc. We highly recommend bringing some maps so you can point out all of the marvelous sights. In addition to the two-story, modern “Lookout” there is an old cabin and outhouse up top – worth taking a gander at.
- Ride Type: Out and Back
- Difficulty: Non-Technical, Moderately Strenuous Climbing
- Time of Year: Spring, Summer, Fall (possible in Winter/snow on Fat Bike if conditions are right)
- Terrain/Conditions: Gravel/graded dirt roads.
- Access: From the junction of Highway 203 and Highway 395, go 11.5 miles north of Mammoth Lakes, just past Deadmans Summit. Make a right turn, and park in the provided area. The ride starts here.
- Length: 22.7 miles
- Approx. Time: 2 – 3 hours (this ride is short in mileage, but has some tough climbing – don’t take it lightly)
- Lowest Elevation: 7,946′
- Highest Elevation: 9,104′
- Total Elevation Gain: 1,578′
- Bike Recommendation: XC Mountain Bike, Fat Bike
- GPX file: Available by contacting us
Turn by Turn (in miles):
Start by heading east on the dirt road (IS05)
1.73- stay straight
3.5- at the old sign, veer right at the Y
5.1- veer left at the Y
6.45- stay straight
7.0- stay straight on the main rd
7.3- veer right
9.36- stay straight on 1S05
9.7- veer right
11.3- reach the summit (retrace these steps to get back to your car)
Mother nature never ceases to amaze me! Thanks to her, the U.S. Forest Service, and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, the first ever “Full Moon Fat Bike, XC Ski, and Snowshoe” was a complete success!!
For this event only, the USFS allowed fat bikes on a groomed trail in the Inyo National Forest. This is the first time this has been allowed, so it was definitely a monumental night. I wish we had gotten more photos, but we were all too busy enjoying the perfect night. Starry skies, no wind, warm temps. We could see the Minarets and Mammoth Mountain clearly while sipping on warm apple cider – thanks Sard!!
All in all, about 30 people made the gorgeous trek up to Minaret Vista. A whopping 6 fat bikes made the journey. That’s the most fat bikes I’ve ever seen in Mammoth at one time – Sweet!! Most others were on…
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I was chatting with my friend Jen a while back. We were going back and forth brainstorming great fall rides that encompass the majesty of our home area. The whole process of planning out future epic rides is one of my favorite parts of exploratory adventure riding. I do love day dreaming about epic rides… Oh, yeah… forgot what I was writing about for a minute… (as the white fluffy is falling out my window right now)…
Out of nowhere, Jen asked, “You ever done the Glass Mountain Traverse?” After a moment to ponder, I stuttered “Um, no. Don’t think I have. I’ve ridden up and down Glass Mountain Ridge, but never heard of the traverse.”
That was all it took. Jen dangled a few more pieces of power bait in front of me. She’d done this ride a handful of times and was eager to share it. I…
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