Mammoth Rock Trail in Mammoth Lakes, California

Mammoth Rock Trail in Mammoth Lakes, California

Mammoth Rock Trail Head Sign - Mammoth Lakes Mountain Biking
Mammoth Rock Trail Head Sign

Mammoth Rock Trail is one of the original Mountain Bike rides in Mammoth Lakes. People have been riding here since the early ’80s. Back then, much controversy erupted over some kids on mountain bikes flying down what was then considered a trail for hikers and horses.

Nobody had even seen a mountain bike in town, so people were a bit confused at the site of the new bikes. Many people decided to take up the sport quickly, and Mammoth Rock Trail became the premier place to ride when it all started in Mammoth Lakes.

I was blessed first to ride the Trail in the Summer of 1985. Not much has changed in all these years except that more people use this Trail, so you need to take it easy when riding downhill.

This out-and-back mountain bike ride can be combined with other trails in the area to make a fun loop. We like to ride up the Mammoth Lakes Bike Path to Horseshoe Lake and then use this Trail for some dirt fun getting back downtown.

For this write-up, we will take on the Trail from bottom to top, and in the video on this page, we do a downhill ride for you to check out.

This Trail Video was made possible by Footloose Sports in Mammoth Lakes. If you’re looking for a Mountain Bike or E-MTB Rental, check out their Rental Fleet at the corner of Old Mammoth Road and Main Street. You can reach Footloose Sports at 760-934-2400.

Mammoth Rock Trail is an out-and-back ride that starts just off Sherwin Creek Road, about one-half mile past Sierra Meadows Ranch. Several large propane tanks are near the Trailhead.

Tip: You can easily use any mountain bike app to find the Trailhead via GPS. I have posted a map below to help you plan your ride better.

The Trailhead for this one takes you right into a grove of large Manzanita bushes, which offer amazing views of Mammoth Lakes back Meadow and Mammoth Mountain.

Mammoth Rock Trail Manzanita Bush Section - Mammoth Lakes Mountain Biking
Approaching the Trailhead riding down the Mammoth Rock Trail in the Manzanita Bush Section

As you ascend about 1 mile into the ride, the landscape changes to forested with large old-growth pine trees. With all the trees on this part of the ride, there is plenty of shade to cool you off after the first initial climb you make.

A mile more up the Trail, you cross over the 1986 avalanche path that took out thousands of trees in February 1986. It’s worth stopping to soak in the massive force that the avalanche had as it went through this area. The views from the cleared-out trees here are amazing. 

About half a mile further up the Trail, the Trail breaks out of the forest, and the views stretch out forever. This is also the part of the ride where the famous Mammoth Rock is located just above the Trail. Being right under that Rock formation is incredible; you will want to stop and get some photos.

While the Trail is fun to ride, the views here are king, with Mammoth Lakes, Old Mammoth, Mammoth Mountain, Long Valley, and the White Mountains way off in the distance.

The Trail is shared with hikers and horses, so you must be prepared to dismount your bike immediately if you encounter horses. If you ride this as a downhill-only run, the length is 2.6 miles from the Upper Old Mammoth Road Trail Head.

Mammoth Rock on the Mammoth Rock Mountain Biking - Mammoth Lakes Mountain Biking Photo
Mammoth Rock on the Mammoth Rock Mountain Biking Shared Use Trail

More Mammoth Rock Trail Information

Surface Conditions: This Trail is dirt without the pumice you find on Mammoth Mountain. It does get dusty in the heat of the day during Summers that have not had much rain. The best time to be out here is in the morning and the afternoons after thunderstorms have cleared.

Caution: Downhill riders, please slow down and watch for Horses and Hikers. This Trail is heavily used, so expect to encounter other users.
Trail etiquette requires mountain bikers to yield to horses and hikers. If you see horses or hikers, stop and get off your bike and let them walk by… make sure to smile and say hi.

E-Bikes: Mammoth Rock Trail is a non-motorized USFS trail, so all E-bike classes are prohibited.

Stats: The distance is approximately 6 miles out and Back, with 7,860-8,460 Elevation Levels. It is 100% single track, with Medium Technicality and moderate to Hard effort if you’re climbing due to altitude.

Mountain Bike Project Link

Mammoth Rock Trail Head & Trail Location Map

Mammoth Rock Trail Map - Mammoth Lakes Mountain Biking
Mammoth Rock Trail Map – Mammoth Lakes Mountain Biking
Mammoth Rock Trail Upper View Section - Mammoth Lakes Mountain Biking Photo
Upper View Section
Mammoth Rock Trail Forested Section - Mammoth Lakes Mountain Biking Photo
Forested Section
Footloose Sports in Mammoth Lakes, California - 760-934-2400
Footloose Sports in Mammoth Lakes, California – 760-934-2400

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