The Mammoth Knolls Mountain Biking Loop is a mix of forest service roads with some single/double track sections added in.
The entire loop is 10.80 miles with a 1200-foot vertical gain and takes you from the Shady Rest area up into the Jeffery Pine forests of the Mammoth Knolls.
The route crosses Sawmill Road and leads you to two spectacular viewpoints. The loop eventually drops down towards HWY 203 and then works its way back up to the Shady Rest Park Area.
The views during the second half of the adventure are beyond amazing, and you can expect to want to stop and take some photos.
There is a tough climb at the start of this route, and it’s even tougher by mid-morning as the sun bakes you as you make your way up the first steeper forest service road. The rest of the ride is not as challenging, so just be ready to gut it out at the start.
After the climb, you will encounter several miles of a forest service road that will eventually cross the Saw Mill Road from Shady Rest. A hard-to-see sign directs your path to the other side of Saw Mill Road.
The last third of the ride is an older OHV forest service route mixed in with a forest service road near the end. This part of the ride is where you will find the best views of this adventure.
There is an off-shoot road where you can take 2/3 rds into the ride that will get you to the Mammoth Lakes Overlook View Point. You get views of the Town, the Sherwin Range, Mammoth Mountain, and Laural Mountain from here. There are also 360 degrees of the Jeffery Pine Forest that you will be standing just above.
The main route here has now been signed for some 30 years. However, the signage can still be confusing on the last 1/3rd of the loop. Just be ready to search and seek a bit for the blue markers on the trees, the mountain biker signs, and the Knolls Loop stickers you see on the road number signs.
This is a fun ride for those who are fit and have at least intermediate Mountain Biking skills. This is a motorized route, so consider using an E-MTB if you’re bothered by the high elevation or want more fun and less of a workout.
Please watch the video below, and you will see the ride and what it is like. Make sure to choose the 4K view option for the best video.
**This video was made possible by the Footloose Sports Bike Shop. If you’re looking for an E-MTB Rental like the bike used in this video, check out Footloose Sports. They are located at the Corner of Old Mammoth Road and Main Street right at the entrance to Mammoth Lakes. 760-934-2400 is their landline.
Directions: You can park at the trailhead by the Old Shady Rest Campground, or there is a paved parking area by the New Shady Rest Campground, as seen in the video below.
Hot Tip: Mid-day during the Summer and early Fall, this part of the Forest is hot and dry. The best time of the day for this adventure ride is the early morning hours up to around 11 AM.
Who is this ride for? This
is a fun ride for those who are fit and have at least intermediate
Mountain Biking skills.
E-bikes: Class 1 E-Bikes are good to go as this route.
The loop is 10.8 Miles with 1200 vertical feet of climbing at 8000+ feet. Extra hydration is critical; I carry a pack, two large water bottles, and extra energy bars on this ride. Elevation Levels 7,600-8,463 Elevation Levels, 75% Service Road & 20% Double Track, 5% Single Track, Easy Technicality, Ride Early Mornings in the Summer.