Everybody’s first response to this one is, “Huh?”
This is a great ride for climbers and endurance nuts that want to earn some great turns. You’ve gotta be game for some lung punishment.
Its a fairly easy route to navigate, since it’s a combo platter of three classic out-and-back rides: Mountain View Trail, Starkweather Trail, and Hard Core Trail. Starkweather and Hard Core are 5 miles each and Mountain View makes the stem of the “Y” (see the map below) – Hence the weird name. With 3,600′ of climbing over 22 miles, it doesn’t matter what you call it – it’s a mini epic that’s worth every penny of sweat equity. ** Note: Starkweather Trail is seasonal – so make sure it’s legal before hand.
- Ride Type: Three Out and Back’s
- Difficulty: Intermediate to advanced climbing and descending skills required. This is some lung-buster climbing with high speed descents.
- Time of Year: Late Spring and Fall (dependent on when Starkweather is open)
- Terrain/Conditions: Singletrack, Double Track
- Access: From town, drive up Highway 203 towards Main Lodge of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. Make a right turn at the “Earthquake Fault” sign. Park in the lot. There is a trailhead near the bathrooms for Mountain View Trail. Start heading up and turn right at the T to start the ride.
- Length: 22.3 miles
- Approx. Time: 3-4 hours
- Lowest Elevation: 7,991′
- Highest Elevation: 10,244′
- Total Elevation Gain: 3,599′
- Bike Recommendation: Lightweight XC mountain bike is best. Full suspension or hardtail.
- GPX File: Available by contacting us
Turn by Turn (in miles):
You can view turn by turn directions for each of the three rides by clicking on them above. Traditionally we ride it this way:
- Climb Mountain View
- Descend Starkweather
- Climb Starkweather
- Climb Hard Core
- Descend Hard Core
- Descend Mountain View
Mountain View Trail is one of the best (if not the best) public mountain bike trails in the Mammoth Lakes area. There’s an ample amount of stellar singletrack, and some wider jeep roads/ doubletrack as well. You get some great views and open vistas, and lots of forested twisty riding through the trees. It’s really a gem. It can be a little confusing, as there is also a Mountain View trail at the Mammoth Mountain Bike Park. The trail I speak of here, stretches from the Earthquake Fault parking area to just below Minaret Vista (or Minaret Summit, same thing). Many people ride this as an out and back (which is described here). It’s a great way to earn your turns. However, Mountain View Trail is also in a perfect spot to connect with many other trails, creating all types of different loop options. For example you can combine it with Uptown / Downtown, Starkweather Trail, Hard Core Trail, Inyo Craters, Double High Five Y, etc. Contact us if you’re curious about putting together some fun loops.
- Ride Type: Out and Back
- Difficulty: Moderately strenuous climbing and mostly smooth descending with some sandy spots and a few technical sections.
- Time of Year: Summer and Fall (sometimes late spring – depending on snow pack)
- Terrain/Conditions: A mix of singletrack and jeep/ 4×4 roads
- Access: From town, drive up Highway 203 towards Main Lodge of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. Make a right turn at the “Earthquake Fault” sign. Park in the lot. Ride back down towards Highway 203 and you’ll see the trailhead sign on your right.
- Length: 10.6 miles (5.3 miles each way)
- Approx. Time: 1.5 – 2.5 hours
- Lowest Elevation: 8,548′
- Highest Elevation: 9,163′
- Total Elevation Gain: 1,049′ (851′ going up, 198′ going down)
- Bike Recommendation: XC Mountain Bike, Fat Bike
- GPX File: Available by contacting us
Turn By Turn (in miles) for the ride UP:
0.0 – Start at the Mountain View Trailhead. Head straight up the doubletrack. Have your climbing legs on.
0.85 – veer left
0.95 – veer right
1.28 – good luck on this steep, sandy climb!!
1.5 – merge with double track, go right
1.89 – after descending and the sweeping right turn, go left at the dry creek. don’t go directly across the creek (that’s what the ATV’s do). look to the left and you’ll see a trail that crosses two bridges to get across the creek. that is the trail
1.95 – just after crossing the dry creek, go right at the singletrack marked by two wooden posts. there is no sign here (hopefully the sign will be replaced soon).
2.55 – right at junction
2.85 – go right, enjoy this part of the trail. it’s awesome!!
5.3 – reach the upper trailhead. you might want to keep going to Minaret Vista to check out the views, or try the Starkweather Trail (if it’s open), climb Hard Core, or connect with Beach Cruiser, or other resort trails. Otherwise, take a breather, and head back the way you came:
Turn By Turn (in miles) for the ride DOWN:
0.0 – head down Mountain View Trail from trailhead
2.25 – veer left at Y
2.6 – go left, continue on Mountain View Trail
3.28 – go left at T, towards Dry Creek. Then veer right. You’ll go across 2 bridges and
then veer right on fire road to start climbing. This is an important junction. You need to go right and start climbing up as you curve around to the left. If you start going left/down the road, you’ll be going completely off track.
3.93 – go left on singletrack, marked with a small Mountain View Trail sign – don’t
miss this turnoff!!
5.3 – stay straight and merge with pavement. Make a left and ride back up to your car.