Mammoth Tuff Makes Its Debut

Sep 14, 2022

After two years, inaugural gravel-riding event gets its day in the sun

Are you Tuff enough? That is the question that’s been asked for the past two years as Mammoth Tuff event organizers Dave Sheek and Amanda Nauman weathered countless storms to get their event up and running. Their patience and perseverance have finally paid off and this weekend, it’s time to let ‘er rip!

The original event was announced in early 2020 and scheduled for September 19, 2020. The pandemic pushed the event to 2021, and then last year’s Forest closures forced another cancellation. 

Sheek and Nauman have proved their mettle, now it’s time for gravel riders to prove theirs in the inaugural event scheduled for Sept. 17, 2022.

Mammoth TUFF is a gravel adventure ride through the hills of the Eastern Sierra. From the iconic town of Mammoth Lakes and rolling through the TUFF terrain of the Long Valley Caldera.

Tuff (tŭf) is a general term for all consolidated pyroclastic, volcanic rocks. The name, Mammoth Tuff, is a nod to the Long Valley Caldera and the volcanic stone that defines ‘gravel’ in the area. The caldera was formed about 760,000 years ago in a volcanic eruption from which the magma still underlies it, heating underground water and fueling hot springs the event will ride past. 

The short course is around 40 miles with 2,300 feet of climbing and will circle the famous caldera. The medium course is around 76 miles with 4,500 ft of climbing. The long course is around 106 miles with 7,500 feet of elevation gain and travels through the Volcanic Tableland formed by the Long Valley Caldera.

With more than eight years racing at gravel events across the country, during the pivotal rise of the discipline, and years of training and exploring the Eastern Sierra playground, Sheek and Nauman have built a TUFF adventure for all to experience. “These are the roads I’ve trained on to prepare for some of my biggest goals and I want to share the magic and see who’s ‘tuff’ enough to join me,” Nauman said.

In addition to the ride, Mammoth Tuff is partnering with the Village at Mammoth to provide a full weekend of activities and an unforgettable party. The weekend will begin with a shakeout ride for those in town, registration, a stewardship presentation, and the infamous “Beer Mile Run” on Friday. Previously hosted by Oktoberfest, the beer run has been resurrected with the help of Shelter Distilling and everyone is welcome to take on this fun run as a weekend kick-off. 

Participate in the run AND the ride to be entered into the BUFF Category for Mammoth TUFF. Scored as an Omnium on time.

Concluding the event, when riders earn their TUFF badge, the Village celebration will be waiting with open arms. Sunday morning will be a raffle, storytelling, mingling and awards ceremony for the “tuffest” of folks. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit the Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation and Mammoth Lakes Recreation.

Our great country has taken liberty to protect the public lands throughout the Eastern Sierra and preserve the vast playground for future generations of explorers, naturalists, and visitors. Because of this, 10% of the entry fee will go directly back to the land via the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. 

For those participating in the race, make sure to read the Rider Guide and check out the Course Descriptions. Find all the details on the event’s website,

Lara Kaylor

Lara Kaylor is an outdoor enthusiast who gets her thrills from big time recreation in Mammoth Lakes where she resides with her husband and daughter. An award-winning journalist, Lara has been writing about all things Eastern Sierra since 2003. Lara currently works as a freelance writer and the Director of Content, Communications and PR for…

More Blog Posts By Lara Kaylor

More Posts

Like this