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

Archive for April, 2014

Ride Report: Mammoth Rock Trail

Mammoth Rock Trail is a quintessential ride that every mtb’er who visits Mammoth Lakes must put on their list!  It’s 95% singletrack with gorgeous views of the town all the way across to the Long Valley Caldera and the White Mountains.  This trail is open to equestrians, hikers, and trail runners – so be aware.  Although many people ride it “down” as a shuttle (described here), you can climb up it, do it as an out and back, or loop it with Old Mammoth Rd (pavement) as well.  It’s also great to link up with the Panorama Dome Trail, coming down from the Mammoth Mountain Bike Park on the Lakes Trail, etc – contact us about putting together a great ride.   The last section right before you reach Sherwin Creek Rd can be pretty sandy, and overall trail conditions vary depending on horse traffic – but all in all, it’s stellar riding, with a few technical sections and some exposure.  Intermediate to advanced descending skills a must.

WINTER RIDING:

This can be a great trail to ride on a fat bike once the snow starts flying.  Early winter, or when there’s not too much snow, it can be amazing.  It tends to be packed well by snowshoers and hikers during the winter holidays.  For more riding, it can be combined with the Old Mammoth Rd Snow Ride and/or the Meadows Ride.  NOTE: Once there has been enough snowfall, the Sherwins (the mountains that the trail traverses) becomes a very popular area for skiing.  Please DO NOT try to ride this trail, or pack the trail for snow riding during these periods.  We don’t want to create any danger for backcountry skiers/snowboarders crossing through!  Not sure about proper riding conditions?  Contact us and we’ll give you the thumbs up or down for snow riding.

  • Ride Type:  Point to Point, as described (although you can out-and-back or loop it with Old Mammoth Rd as well)
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Advanced descending skills required.  Some technical/ rock gardens and exposed sections with steep drop offs.  If climbing, it can be fairly strenuous depending on trail conditions.
  • Time of Year: Summer and Fall (sometimes late spring – depending on snow pack)
  • Terrain/Conditions: Almost all singletrack (doubletrack for the last 1/4 mile before reaching Sherwin Creek Rd)
  • Access: Since this is described as a shuttle, you’ll need to leave one car by the lower trailhead.  From town, go south on Old Mammoth Rd.  Just past Mammoth Creek Park, make a left on Sherwin Creek Rd.  Drive for 1/2 mile and park off to the right by the propane tanks / dog walking area (right before it turns into a dirt road).  Leave one car here.  Head back to Old Mammoth Rd and go left towards Old Mammoth.  You’ll go past Snowcreek Athletic Club approx. 1.5 miles.  After a steep curve to the left, you’ll see a dirt parking area and the trailhead sign on the left.  Park here.
  • Length: 2.6 miles (one way)
  • Approx. Time: 15-30 minutes (downhill only)
  • Lowest Elevation: 7,870′
  • Highest Elevation: 8,526′
  • Total Elevation Gain: 281′
  • Bike Recommendation: Full-Suspension MTB is best, but hardtail will work as well, or a Fat Bike too
  • GPX File: Available by contacting us
  • Interactive Trail Map and More Info: Visit MammothTrails.org
  • Link to Strava Segment

Turn By Turn (in miles):

No turn by turn directions for this ride, as it’s only one singletrack trail with no intersections except for one “Y” at the bottom where you stay to the right (even if you go left at the “Y” you’ll still wind up at your car).  Once you hit Sherwin Creek Rd, go left to reach your car at the lower parking area.

Mammoth Rock Trail Map

Mammoth Rock Trail Map

Mammoth Rock Trail elevation profile

Mammoth Rock Trail elevation profile

Views of Mammoth Lakes and the White Mountains from Mammoth Rock Trail

Views of Mammoth Lakes, Glass Mountains and the White Mountains from Mammoth Rock Trail

Mammoth Rock lurking in the background while shredding sweet singletrack

Mammoth Rock lurking in the background while shredding sweet singletrack

Mammoth Rock Trail on a fat bike in early winter

Mammoth Rock Trail on a fat bike in early winter

Riding the Mammoth Rock Trail at dusk on the fat bike - such a beautiful ride.

Riding the Mammoth Rock Trail at dusk on the fat bike – such a beautiful ride.


Ride Report: Shady Rest Park – Hell Hill Loop

If you’re looking for a moderate ride that starts/ends in town, put this on the list.  There’s some fun singletrack, but it’s mostly doubletrack/ jeep roads.  Great views and an excellent cardio workout with two tough climbs.  Most notably the short, but fairly brutal “Hell Hill” climb.  It can be sandy in parts, depending on time of year and motorized use.  This ride is actually the first part of the longer Knolls Loop Ride– so if you decide you want some more, go for it.  But if you’re short on time, and want a nice workout with some rewarding views, this is worth a shot.

  • Ride Type:  Loop
  • Difficulty: Mild-Technical, Moderately Strenuous
  • Time of Year: Spring, Summer, Fall (possible in Winter/depending on snow pack)
  • Terrain/Conditions: Mostly 4×4 roads and doubletrack,  soft & somewhat sandy in parts.
  • Access: As you drive up Main Street towards The Village, make your first right after the signal at Old Mammoth Rd.  This is Forest Trail Rd. (The fire station is on the corner).  100 yards up, look for a small dirt lot on the right.  Park here.  The trailhead is just ahead to the east.
  • Length: 9.3 miles
  • Approx. Time: 2 hours
  • Lowest Elevation: 7,777′
  • Highest Elevation: 8,466′
  • Total Elevation Gain: 929′
  • Bike Recommendation: XC or Fat Bike
  • GPX file: Available by contacting us

Turn by Turn (in miles):

Start out on the “Forest Trail Singletrack” – heading towards Shady Rest Campground:

.47 – veer left, stay on singletrack, then continue straight
.96 – left at intersection.  You are now on the “Knolls Loop”
1.02 – left again, start climbing.  Stay on this main jeep road climb for a while – don’t take any of the off-shoots
2.15 – reach top of climb.  Continue straight (don’t go right down the descent) – you’ll climb a little more
2.31 – you’ll see an entrance to some singletrack.  continue on this fun section, start descending through the trees to the water tank
2.6 – single track ends, continue straight towards water tank then veer right on a jeep road.  stay on this main jeep road for a bit
2.93 – stay on jeep rd as it curves to right
3.22 – left turn at the big T intersection.  you’ll start slowly climbing through softer dirt, eventually it gets pretty steep – this is Hell Hill!!
4.0 – reach the top of Hell Hill.  drink some water, pat yourself on the back and continue on.  it curves right, and you continue up a slight climb
4.46 – veer right at the main intersection- stay on this as it wraps around to the right and descends for a while
5.82 – reach a main intersection.  this is Sawmill Cutoff Rd.  go right to continue with this short loop.  (If you’re looking for a longer ride, turn left and stay on the Knolls Loop Ride.)

7.5 – continue straight at the intersection, then veer right on jeep rd 3S35 –  continuing straight through two more intersections
7.77 – go left (there are two options, take the further left trail).  this will turn into singletrack and you’ll ride by the “rusted old car”.  continue on this singletrack, and soon you’ll be going back on the singletrack you started the ride on
8.55 – veer right on “Forest Trail Singletrack”
9.3 – reach the trailhead

Looking back down Hell Hill towards Bloody Mountain and The Sherwins

Looking back down Hell Hill towards The Sherwins, during a late winter snow ride.  You can see Bloody Couloir to the left 🙂

Hell Hill Loop Map

Hell Hill Loop Map

Hell Hill Loop Elevation Profile

Hell Hill Loop Elevation Profile


Ride Report: Shady Rest Park – Knolls Loop

This is one of the oldest “traditional rides” in the area.  We’ve tweaked it slightly to add a couple sections of fun singletrack (possibly the best parts of the ride).  You can ride it in both directions, but clockwise is preferred for scenery and enjoyability of terrain.  The directions below are for the clockwise route.  There are a few tough climbs, including the locally infamous “Hell Hill”.  There are also some rip-roaring descents, one of which we dub “Mini Kamikaze”.  You also get some great views of the Sherwins, especially when heading southbound on the last half of the ride.  Overall, it’s strenuous, but minimally technical.  There any many options to cut the ride short, including doing the Hell Hill Loop (which is basically the first half of this ride), if you’re not feeling up to a ride this long.  It can be sandy in parts, depending on time of year and motorized use.

  • Ride Type:  Loop
  • Difficulty: Mild-Technical, Strenuous
  • Time of Year: Spring, Summer, Fall (possible in Winter/depending on snow pack)
  • Terrain/Conditions: Mostly 4×4 roads and doubletrack,  soft & somewhat sandy in parts.
  • Access: As you drive up Main Street towards The Village, make your first right after the signal at Old Mammoth Rd.  This is Forest Trail Rd. (The fire station is on the corner).  100 yards up, look for a small dirt lot on the right.  Park here.  The trailhead is just ahead to the east.
  • Length: 16.4 miles
  • Approx. Time: 2 – 3 hours
  • Lowest Elevation: 7,615
  • Highest Elevation: 8,466′
  • Total Elevation Gain: 1,355′
  • Bike Recommendation: XC or Fat Bike
  • GPX file: Available by contacting us

Turn by Turn (in miles):

Start out on the “Forest Trail Singletrack” – heading towards Shady Rest Campground:

.47 – veer left, stay on singletrack, then continue straight
.96 – left at intersection.  you are now on the “Knolls Loop”
1.02 – left again, start climbing.  Stay on this main jeep road climb for a while – don’t take any of the off-shoots
2.15 – reach top of climb.  Continue straight (don’t go right down the descent) – you’ll climb a little more
2.31 – you’ll see an entrance to some singletrack.  continue on this fun section, start descending through the trees to the water tank
2.6 – single track ends, continue straight towards water tank then veer right on a jeep road.  stay on this main jeep road for a bit
2.93 – stay on jeep rd as it curves to right
3.22 – left turn at the big T intersection.  you’ll start slowly climbing through softer dirt, eventually it gets pretty steep – this is Hell Hill!!
4.0 – reach the top of Hell Hill.  drink some water, pat yourself on the back and continue on.  it curves right, and you continue up a slight climb
4.46 – veer right at the main intersection- stay on this as it wraps around to the right and descends for a while
5.82 – reach a main intersection.  this is Sawmill Cutoff Rd.  go left and then a quick right to start climbing up to the eastern portion of the loop.  (If you’re tired or just feel like cutting it short, you can turn right here, and finish the shorter Hell Hill Loop.)

— The turn by turn directions from this point on have not been completed.  Please email us for the gpx file in the meantime.

 

Knolls Loop Map

Knolls Loop Map

Knolls Loop Elevation Profile

Knolls Loop Elevation Profile