Eastern Sierra and Mammoth Mountain Mountain Bike Report

Mountain Biking Report for October 20th, 2021

10-20-21 All trails above 9000 feet are now done for the season it appears. For those who don’t mind riding a mix of snow and dirt, you can still ride the Bike Park on your own accord.

Trails out of Canyon Lodge and over in the East Bowl by chairs 9 and 15 are still ride-able now. The Snowman has also loved riding thru a mix of snow and dirt. Tons of fun for sure, just layer up for the cold weather.

The good news is we have some of the best mountain biking around in the lower elevations during the Fall and Winter months.

My go-to spots for the next few months will be Lower Rock Creek Canyon by Tom Place, The Big Buttermilk – Tungsten Loop area, and Chipmunk Canyon out of Bishop.

Late morning to mid-day is the perfect time to get out for a long ride with great riding temperatures.

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10-1-21 – We just had an awesome week of mountain bike riding with crystal clear air. Days have been much cooler with layers needed for the high country and morning riding down in the desert.

Looks like a good weekend to ride before the full SW flow returns for the first half of next week, when that happens the haze will return to some degree.

Trails in the high country are all still snow-free and dry at this time. That means everything is wide open for you peddlers who like a nice long XC ride out in the forest.

For a nice long ride try riding out of Shady Rest towards 395, cross over the highway and do the Look Out Mountain loop and then ride back to Shady Rest on the dirt road.

Or better try the dirt road single track combo that runs a couple of hundred yards in from 395 back down to 203 and 395 junction area.

Not a lot of people ride this single track. You can see the road the runs next to it on the map above. There is a yellow arrow pointing at the area.

It’s a ton of fun riding thru the old-growth Jeffery pines. At one point the trail ends and you will be on a dirt road you can ride back up to Shady Rest Park.

If you click the map above it links to the Google Map I have above so you can do some more investigating. Zoom in on the areas and you will get way more details via satellite imagery.

Most people have no idea that outside of town there are a bunch of rides that have been mapped out for years.

Here is a map that came out years ago that I have used for years that shows these mountain rides and loops. (Nope, there are no copies of this map in town, print it out on your own.)

Footloose Sports Bike Shop
Footloose Sports Bike Shop

Another really fun loop I like to take this time of year is to ride up to Canyon Lodge. Take Big Ring up to the Paper Route Junction. Then take a left and ride out Paper Route to Timber Ridge.

Then you can link up Timber Ridge to the Lakes Trail via a short climb up Juniper. Once you exit the Lakes Trail at Twin Lakes, you can access the Connector Trail just across Lake Mare Road at the Twin Lake Bridge.

You can use the Connector Trail to get over old Mammoth Road and then down to the Mammoth Rock Trail.

At the bottom of Mammoth Rock Trail, you will hit the Sherwin Road. You can ride back into town and get back to your start location from here.

Mountain Biking on the Mammoth Rock Trail

Of course, the classic Lower Rock Creek Canyon Trail is prime for you to ride right now. My good friend Dr. Craig was telling me about it the other day.

He’s been parking at the second trail parking lot and then riding up the dirt and then back down. He said there are not a lot of people out on the trail mid-week, but there have been lots of hikers, bikers, and dogs on the weekends.

The other plus of the Lower Rock Creek Canyon Trail is the fact that the trail does have a few aspens and shrubs that offer up some Fall color foliage. Nothing like some good Fall colors to make your Mountain Bike ride even more enjoyable.

Ha, might even have to try out Lower Rock Creek Trail ourselves this week and get some fresh video for those of you who have not ridden it yet.

Now that we have hit October, Mountain Biking down in the high deserts of the Northern Owens Valley is amazing.

Mornings are chilly with temperatures perfect for a ride around 9 to 10 AM. Just be ready to layer up and then shed fast as the sun is still pretty intense in the lower elevations.

I rode at the 4200 to 5200-foot elevation on Friday for a couple of hours and it was a sweat fest on the climbs by 10 AM in the direct sun. It was still cool on the downhill and flat sections.

Areas to ride out of Bishop and the Northern Owens Valley right now are the Buttermilks, White Mountain Road, and Chipmunk Canyon to name a few.

If you look on Google Earth you will find a mix of trails and dirt service roads you can ride in the Northern Owens.

I will be working on some maps, write ups, and locations over the next few months to give you some better ideas on the rides you can take and where to park, and such. Snowman...

Snowman out on the Trails in the High Desert
Snowman out on the Trails in the High Desert
View from Chipmunk Canyon outside of Bishop
View from Chipmunk Canyon outside of Bishop

Last Ride out on Mammoth Mountain Before the Forest Closed Down 8-30-21

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