You are currently viewing Mountain Bike Report Tuesday May 18, 2021

Mountain Bike Report Tuesday May 18, 2021

5-18-21 There is some really good mountain biking going on up here on the East Side from Bishop to Mammoth Lakes and on up to June Lakes. If you’re into peddle power now is the time to come up and get some miles in before Summer hits.

8All the Inyo Forest Trails and Roads you can ride are open and they are not too dusty or sandy at this time. It’s still cool in the high country so you can ride all day without overheating.

Lower elevations bike rides especially out of Bishop and the Starlight areas should be done during the morning hours or most likely you’re going to be too hot.

Taking a look at the current snow line all trails and roads below 9000 feet are now melted out and ridable over the entire Eastern Sierra. 

We had a below-normal winter so we expect the higher mountain trails (9500 – 11,000 feet) to all open very early this season. The melt-off for most trails will be over in less than a month is my best guess.

If you’re planning a mountain bike trip up to the Mammoth Mountain Bike Park the opening day is set for Friday, May 28th. No official word on what will be open, but at this point, I would expect everything below the 8900-foot level and Main Lodge to be ready to go by the opener.

Current Trail Reports: Here is what I know as of Sunday, May 16th.

Up in the Mammoth Mountain Bike Park, you can still get out and ride the single-track trails that have melted out now,  just watch for the bike park crews.

Big Ring is now clear with Uptown and Downtown clear to loop to the chair 4 areas. The Lake’s trail into the bike park is now clear as is Juniper, Timber Ridge, and most of Paper Route & Manzanita. Lower Bullet and Shot Gun are ridable as well,

Please note while these trails are ridable, they are not cleaned up yet and the bike park is not staffed with bike patrol to help if you’re hurt. Take it easy out there…

In the Mammoth Lakes area, the melt-out continues fast and early with Mammoth Rock Trail now melted out along with the trail to Panorama Dome. 

Up in the Lakes Basin, You can even ride the trail around Horseshoe Lake with just a couple of spots of snow left. 

There is some great riding out of the Shady Rest Area, try the Knolls Loop or the Sawmill Road out to 395 and back or ride on to Lookout Mountain.

If you check out google maps you will see there are tons of service roads between Shady Rest, 395, and the Scenic Loop. Over the years I have ridden all these roads and have created my own loops and routes just by looking at the maps and getting to know the routes on my bike.

Try it out, take a look at the Google or the Strava maps and then get out there during the morning hours while it’s still cool. While most of this area is dirt roads, you will get a great feeling just riding through the Jeffery pine forest and when the view opens up through the trees it’s amazing.

There is also a network of short trail connects you will find between the Forest Roads from Shady Rest out to the Scenic Loop and beyond. I have not mapped any of those routes yet.

The Mountain View Trail is ridable way up now, but there are still some patches of snow especially in the shaded parts of this route. My bet is you can make it to the top by the end of May at the latest.

I like mixing in the dirt with the paved trail system here in Mammoth Lakes, as of now all those paths are melted out, cleaned up, and rideable below Twin Lakes in the Mammoth Lakes Basin.

Out on the Scenic Loop Road, the Inyo Craters Area is ready to ride. This is a good time to ride these trails/roads before it dries out and becomes more sandy and hot later in the summer.

Up in the Mammoth Lakes Basin above this elevation, the melt-out is happening quickly, but it’s still going to take a bit of time for all the snow to melt and get the road open.

Just south of Mammoth try out Lower Rock Creek Canyon as it’s a blast right now, but do watch for uphill riders and hikers/dogs on the trail. 

Upper Rock Creek Road is open now up to Rock Creek Lake.  From the images I saw yesterday my bet is you can now ride Sand Canyon all the way down to Lower Rock Creek.

I will be out exploring the open trails this week on my Stump Jumper. Check back next weekend for a fresh report that will include video and photos from this week’s mountain bike rides. 

Steve Taylor

Over the last 30+ years, Snowman has spent countless hours studying and learning about mammoth mountain weather and snow conditions first hand. Snowman started blogging this information back in 1990 on the old Mammoth BBS system, then the RSN Forums and then on to in 2004 with his Video & Photo Blog reports.