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Posts tagged “fat bike

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 LoopAlso 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.

Elevation Profile

Elevation Profile

Map

Map


Ride Report: Big Smokey Loop – Mammoth Lakes, CA

This is a moderately strenuous loop for most riders.  However, if you want more, you can combo platter it with Little Smokey Loop or Lookout Mountain Loop.  Also nearby are the Little Antelope Valley Loop and Casa Diablo Overlook Ride which could make an epic day of riding in this area.  All three rides stage from the same area and you can craft your own super duper loop.  Big Smokey offers up fantastic views of Bald Mountain and the Owens River Valley early in the ride.  The classic way to ride it (and the way we describe it) is to do it clockwise.  As you head farther south, you see a chalk mine to your left as well as Antelope and Glass Mountains.  Later on as you start heading back west, The Sherwins, Laurel Mountain, McGee Mountain and Mt. Morrison present themselves.  Overall, a relaxing ride with moderate climbs to and descents to keep you alert while you zen out.

  • Ride Type:  Loop
  • Difficulty: Non-Technical, Moderate Climbing and Descending
  • 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: 13.2 miles
  • Approx. Time: 1.5 – 2.5 hours
  • Lowest Elevation: 7,256′
  • Highest Elevation: 7,815′
  • Total Elevation Gain: 1,096′
  • Bike Recommendation: Fat Bike or 29+ for the sandy sections, but pretty much any mountain bike will do
  • GPX file: Available by contacting us

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.  Continue straight (going right will take you on Little Smokey Loop).
1.45 – stay straight/left during descent
2.5 – stay straight and start climbing
3.55 – stay straight on 3S12
4.4 – continue straight
5.85 – make a right on 3S43- it comes up quick during a fast descent, don’t miss it!  start climbing…
6.45 – veer right
7.0 – curve left, stay on 3S43
7.34 curve left again and climb
8.66 – go right
9.54 – right on 3S59
9.9 – go straight then curve left
10.4 – go straight/left
10.8 – at the T make left then quick right, head down power line rd.
11 – veer right continue following the power lines
11.2 go right, continue on this trail and it will take you back to Smokey Bear Flats and eventually the staging area
where the ride ends at 13.2 miles

View of the Long Valley Caldera and an old chalk mine

View of the Long Valley Caldera and an old chalk mine

Taking a break on a chalk bluff

Taking a break on a chalk bluff

Gorgeous views of the Sierra to the southwest

Gorgeous views of the Sierra to the southwest

Stellar Views

Stellar Views

Map

Map

Elevation Profile

Elevation Profile


Ride Report: Inyo Craters Fat Double Lollipoop – Mammoth Lakes, CA

You read it right.  Double Lollipoop.  A loop within a loop with a lollipop.  We’ve taken the traditional Inyo Craters Loop and thrown some extra mustard on top.  First, we tacked on the Inyo Craters Singletrack at the beginning and end (it’s a ton of fun, and worth riding both ways.)  It’s a win-win.  You cut off a couple miles of bumpy dirt road driving, and you get a fun little section of flowy singletrack as the reward.  Second, we threw in a mini-loop, that has some sandy climbing and descending – and rewards you with some great views before linking back up with the bigger loop. This mini-loop is perfect for a fat bike, but has hike-a-bike spots for mountain bikes.  So now you know why we named it the Inyo Craters Fat Double Lollipoop.  Here are the details to get you riding:

  • Ride Type:  Loop with Lollipop
  • Difficulty: Non-Technical, Moderately Strenuous with one tough sandy climb
  • Terrain/Conditions: Singletrack first and last mile, otherwise double-track and fire road with some soft & sandy sections.
  • Access: From Mammoth, drive up Highway 203 towards Main Lodge of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.  Make a right on Mammoth Scenic Loop.  At 2.75 miles, turn left on 3S30 at the “Inyo Craters” sign.  Go 0.3 miles.  The road will split and there’s a dirt parking area on the right.  The ride starts here.  The singletrack is to the right, and there’s a small sign with no trail name (see photo).
  • Length: 17 miles
  • Approx. Time: 2 -3 hours (it’s fairly flat, other than the one steep climb – but it can be sandy in spots)
  • Lowest Elevation: 7,552′
  • Highest Elevation: 8,144′
  • Total Elevation Gain: 1,332′
  • Bike Recommendation: Fat Bike, XC Mountain Bike (a little hike-a-bike maybe, but otherwise super fun)

This ride goes around the two Inyo Craters.  If you want to see them and their lakes up close, you’ll need to leave your bike in the main parking area (you pass through it after the beginning singletrack section) and hike up – no bikes allowed.  FYI, these craters were formed from a volcanic explosion 1,500 years ago.  Pretty cool.

Soon after finishing the singletrack section, you ride out of the forest and a huge pumice flat opens up in front of you.  360 degree wicked views await, including San Joaquin Ridge and White Wing Mountain.  Next you enter a Jeffrey Pine Forest and cross Deadman Creek before paralleling the creek and curving around and starting back towards the craters.  The mini-loop climbs part of the way up Deer Mountain offering more perspective of the area, and of course, more views.  Then you meet back up with the main loop and make your way back towards the craters.  After a peaceful ride through the forest, you arrive at the main parking lot.  Lucky for you, you get to ride the singletrack back the way you came.  Nice!

Turn By Turn:

0.0 start at the trailhead sign (see photo), going up the Inyo Crater Singletrack
.72 cross the road and start grunting up the short, steep, soft climb- don’t worry it levels off quickly.
.9 arrive in the main Inyo Craters parking area.  go left past the bathrooms, and head out.  you are on 3S30.
1.2 go right on 3S22 at intersection
1.48 stay left
1.96 stay right at Y as you go out into the pumice flats, and the beautiful views open up to you (see photo)
3.0 veer right
3.8 go straight
4.2 cross a dry (usually) creek
4.85 veer right, take bridge over deadman creek, continue right
5.0 continue right at T then stay straight- views to your right, creek below you to right- sweet descent
5.5 continue straight at intersection
5.95 notice upper deadman campground on right, obsidian flat campground on left
6.0 go right, then veer left on 3S105 (lower deadman camp is to your right)
6.3 reach a big open area – veer slight right (not the dead end sign)
7.1 veer right at intersection and start the big, soft, annoying climb of the mini-loop
7.85 start short descent, be careful, then keep to the right.  you’ll climb some more, and have some views before descending back to the original trail you rode earlier
8.8 go right at T, rejoining 3S22 – you’ll now re-ride some of what you rode earlier
11.1 go straight (different than the first time you were here)
11.6 go right on 2S29 – then stay on main rd through forest
13.1 go right
14.5 veer right then stay straight towards inyo craters rd
15.1 left at T
15.5 veer left
15.8 right at T climb back to the main parking area, and head right to the singletrack
16.1 enter the singletrack to the right, and head back down to the staging area
17.0 done!!

Inyo Craters Singletrack trailhead

Inyo Craters Singletrack trailhead

Pumice Flat area with views to White Wing Mountain

Pumice Flat area with views to White Wing Mountain

Taking a break near Deadman Creek

Taking a break near Deadman Creek

Ride Map

Ride Map

Elevation Profile

Elevation Profile


Lower Rock Creek Trail Day – Saturday, Sept. 28th, 2013

Having fun on the third section of Lower Rock Creek

Having fun on the third section of Lower Rock Creek

This year, National Public Lands Day falls on Saturday, September 28th.  To celebrate, we are co-sponsoring a great trail work day on one of our beloved local trails – Lower Rock Creek Mountain Bike Trail.  We are collaborating with the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Friends of the Inyo, and International Mountain Bike Association.

We need volunteers- especially mountain bikers: So we can prove that we care about our trails, as we try to foster a relationship with land managers in an effort to expand and enhance our riding opportunities in the Inyo National Forest.  This is a great opportunity to give back, and demonstrate solidarity in the mountain biking community.

Fat Bike Mammoth will be providing sandwiches and beverages (beer, soda, water) for lunch.  We are offering shuttles to the top of the trail for anybody that wants to ride the trail after work is done.  So bring your bike and get shreddy!!

We will also be coordinating carpooling efforts by meeting in the Footloose parking lot at 8am, where we’ll sort out transportation, etc.  If you’d like to carpool, please let us know.

Event Details:

  • When: 9/28/13 – Breakfast at 8:30am (bagels and coffee provided).  Trail work from 9a-12:30p
  • Where:  Staging is at the lower parking area of Lower Rock Creek Trail (former Paradise Lodge)
  • What:  We’ll be focusing our efforts on the lowest section – cutting back brush, clearing tread, maintaining wooden bridges, clearing trash, etc.

Other Notes:

  • Water and snacks will be provided (in addition to breakfast and lunch).  Please bring a refillable water bottle.
  • Please wear hiking shoes or boots, long sleeve shirt, and long pants.  If planning to ride your bike after, bring riding clothes to change into, helmet, etc
  • For more info, contact: Kirstin Heins, BLM Recreation Planner: 760-872-5034 / kheins@blm.gov

Click Here to Download the Official Event Flyer

See Ya There!!!


Ride Report: Laurel Lakes Ride – Mammoth Lakes, CA

This ride will kick your ass. If it doesn’t, than you’re not human. In the Summer, it’s one of the toughest climbs in the Eastern Sierra. It’s actually easier to ride on snow than it is on dirt. The road is very loose and rocky and hard as heck to keep traction on in the Summer. Definitely more enjoyable in the Winter. Why do it? It’s beautiful! You’re a nut who loves pain. Once you get over the switchbacks and your in the Laurel Lakes Basin, you’re surrounded by amazing views, most prominently Bloody Couloir. Simply gorgeous.

  • Ride Type: Out and Back
  • Difficulty: Brutal climbing for very fit riders
  • Time of Year: All year (as long as OSV’s have packed the snow in the winter, you can ride with a Fat Bike)
  • Terrain/Conditions: Dirt roads and a steep jeep road in Summer/Fall or snow in Winter/Spring
  • Access: From the 395, a couple miles south of Mammoth Lakes, turn off at Sherwin Creek Rd. Park your car here, or drive up Sherwin Creek Rd as far as you can (depending on snow).
  • Length: 9.4 miles from intersection of Sherwin Creek Rd and Laurel Lakes Rd.
  • Approx. Time: 3-4 hours (this ride is short in mileage, but brutal – don’t take it lightly)
  • Lowest Elevation: 7,319′
  • Highest Elevation: 10,083′
  • Total Elevation Gain: 2,764′
  • Bike Recommendation: XC Mountain Bike during Summer/Fall or Fat Bike at low psi is the only option for riding this in the snow
  • GPX File: Available by contacting us

First off, make sure you’ve got a lot of water and nutrition. You don’t wanna bonk up at 9-10,000′. From wherever you parked, make your way to the Laurel Lakes Rd. turnoff, pictured below. It’s pretty deceiving when you’re there. The climb doesn’t look too steep or long. But once you get riding, you’re like an ant. You better hope the snowmobiles have packed the trail well if riding on snow, and you’re doing it in good conditions, otherwise, you might just wanna do the Sherwin Creek Rd/ Mammoth Creek Rd Loop instead. The first straightaway isn’t to horrible, but once you get to the switchbacks you’ll be sucking for any oxygen you can find. Keep pushing. Once you’re at the top of the switchbacks, the hardest part is over. There’s some flats and a short descent to recover, as you head into the basin. From here, the snowmobile tracks might divert from the road for a bit, just stay with them, and they should get back to the road. It’s a moderate climb with tough shorter punchy bouts mixed in. It’s a grind. Take it as far as the snowmobile tracks will let you. If on dirt, you can go all the way to the Wilderness Boundary at around 4.5 miles. If you can get there, you are a BEAST! Sit down, enjoy your PB&J. Listen to the sounds of nothing but you and your jaw cracking. Life is good. Turn around, and head down before your legs seize and the whole way down you’ll realize why your friends think you’re insane. Because you are. You just climbed 2,700′ on a bike, in only 4.5 miles. Pat self on back.

Sierra Wave Sunrise.

Sierra Wave Sunrise.

Riding up Sherwin Creek Rd to the Laurel Lakes turnoff

Riding up Sherwin Creek Rd to the Laurel Lakes turnoff

Here we go.  This is the start of the end!

Here we go. This is the start of the end!

Looking ahead as you get close to the switchbacks.  Hard to believe that one snowmobile track is all it takes for a bike to get traction on a climb this steep!

Looking ahead as you get close to the switchbacks. Hard to believe that one snowmobile track is all it takes for a bike to get traction on a climb this steep!

The hardest is behind you, but you've still got A long ways to go.  The views of Bloody Couloir should keep you going.

The hardest is behind you, but you’ve still got A long ways to go. The views of Bloody Couloir should keep you going.

Taking a break on the super fun descent down.  Keep your front wheel light!!

Taking a break on the super fun descent down. Keep your front wheel light!!

View from the top of the first set of switchbacks.

View from the top of the first set of switchbacks.

laurel_lakes_map laurel_lakes_elevation


Ride Report: Mammoth Creek / Sherwin Creek Loop

This is probably the best snow biking loop in town if you’re going to choose one ride to do on a fat bike in Winter.  It’s also a mellow Fall/Summer ride on a mountain bike.  It starts with a moderate descent and some flats to warm your legs up on Mammoth Creek Rd .  Then you’ve got a nice, gradual climb back up Sherwin Creek Rd.

  • Ride Type:  Loop
  • Difficulty:  Moderate with gradual climbing
  • Time of Year: All year
  • Terrain/Conditions: Summer/Fall – dirt roads, singletrack, bike path.  Winter/Spring – 95% snow, firm OSV & snowshoe packed
  • Access: From town, take Old Mammoth Rd. to Sherwin Creek Rd. (across from Mammoth Creek Park).  Go down Sherwin Creek Rd for 1/2 mile, turn right near the big propane tanks and park here.
  • Length: 10.2 miles
  • Approx. Time: 1.5- 2 hours
  • Lowest Elevation: 7,216′
  • Highest Elevation: 7,872′
  • Total Elevation Gain: 703′
  • Bike Recommendation: XC Mountain Bike in Summer/ Fall or Fat Bike in Winter/Spring
  • GPX File: Available by contacting us

Once you’ve parked, start pedaling back up Sherwin Creek Rd. to Old Mammoth Rd.  Make a right turn, and in 50′ turn right on the Mammoth Creek trail.  Stay on the trail for about 1/2 mile before reaching an intersection.  At the intersection stay right onto Mammoth Creek Rd.  If you go straight, you’ll stay on the town bike path – so make sure to stay right.  Once on Mammoth Creek Rd, it’s a no-brainer.  Continue down the road, while spying the White Mountains straight ahead, and the Sherwins, Laurel Lakes area and Bloody Mountain to the right.  If riding on snow, try to do this ride in the morning while the snow is firm.  It’s pretty exposed and gets sun affected easily.  Once down at the bottom, you get very close to the 395 highway.  Make sure to turn right and continue to the intersection with Sherwin Creek Rd.  Enjoy a mellow climb with more outstanding views.  You’ll pass by the turn-off to the Laurel Lakes Ride on the left.  If you have a death wish, you might want to add this lung-busting ride to your current loop.  If not, continue up past the YMCA camp, into a shaded, tree-lined section.  Once you pop out from the trees, you’ll get views of Mammoth Mountain, Lincoln Mountain, and Mammoth Rock.  Shortly after passing the trailhead for Mammoth Rock Trail on your left, you’ll approach your car, and think to yourself, “FAT BIKES ROCK”.  If you’ve still got gas in your proverbial tank, try adding on The Meadows Ride.  You might also consider doing the Meadows Ride first as a warmup.

sherwin_mammoth_creek_map sherwin_mammoth_creek_profile

Taking a break on Sherwin Creek Rd.

Taking a break on Sherwin Creek Rd.


Ride Report: Snow Biking Old Mammoth Rd.

Looking for a quick cardio workout that’s easy to access?  Here ya go.  A one mile sustained climb, takes you up to Lake Mary Rd., where unfortunately you have to turn back.  Lake Mary Rd is groomed, so off limits to fat bikes.  Hopefully in the future, we’ll be able to link this ride with much more terrain.  However, for now, catch your breath, admire the views, and enjoy the fun descent back to your car.

  • Ride Type:  Out and Back
  • Difficulty:  Moderate (one strenuous climb)
  • Terrain/Conditions: 100% snow, firm OSV packed, softening up from the sun
  • Time since last snowfall: More than one week
  • Month & Ride Start Time:  February, 1:15pm
  • Temperature: 50 degrees
  • Access: From town, take Old Mammoth Rd. until the road closure and snow is not cleared anymore (near the intersectoin of La Verne St.)  Park off to the side.
  • Length: 1.9 miles
  • Approx. Time: 1/2 hour – 45 minutes
  • Lowest Elevation: 7,845′
  • Highest Elevation: 8,360′
  • Total Elevation Gain: 385′
  • Bike Recommendation:  Fat Bike

There really is no “warmup” on this ride.  You start pedaling off the get go.  About a 1/4 mile in, you turn left and the pitch increases as you reach the “Mammoth Rock Trail” trailhead (one of the best dirt singletrack mtb trails in the summer).  Depending on how much snowshoe traffic it’s seen, you might be able to ride out on it a little bit, and catch some amazing views of town, Snowcreek, The White Mountains, The Sherwins, and Mammoth Rock.  Once you get back on Old Mammoth Rd, keep climbing!!  There’s a big switchback (you’ll see the sign for the Panorama Dome Trail– another great summer mtb ride- both this and Mammoth Rock Trail are a part of the Mammoth Lakes Big Friggin Loop) before it straightens out again, and the pitch mellows for the final climb to Lake Mary Rd.

*Note:  Sometimes the snowmobiles carve a direct, steeper path cutting off the big switchback as well as another trail staying on the road.  Usually it’s best to stay on the road climbing up, but come down the direct route, cutting off the switchback on the descent.  It’s a little more fun.

This route is frequented by snowmobiles (thanks for packing it down), snowshoers, hikers, and nordic skiers.  So, please be on your best behavior, and yield to everybody.  You can link this ride with The Meadows Ride to get some more mileage.  You’ll just have to ride all the way up Old Mammoth Rd. on pavement, which is kind of a bummer.

old_mammoth_rd_map old_mammoth_rd_profile

Parked at the big switchback, with Mammoth Rock in the background.

Parked at the big switchback, with Mammoth Rock in the background.