Off Road Adventures in the Eastern Sierra

Jul 14, 2021

Mike McCarthy from Sierra Responsible Riders offers tips for riding OHVs and dirt bikes at altitude.

Riding OHV’s and Dirt Bikes in High Altitude Environments

Carbureted OHVs and dirt bikes: Many of the OHV trails near Mammoth Lakes are above 8,000′ so if you’re thinking about riding up here, it’s a good idea to re-jet your carburetor.

Soft Terrain: Many of the trails offer soft, loose terrain, so think about that for your tire selection.

Forested Land: Many of the trails wind through forested land. A spark arrester is not only a good idea, it’s the law.

Green and Red Stickers: They are legal here all summer and year round in the Eastern Sierra.

Leave No Trace: Stay on durable surfaces existing trails. The Eastern Sierra is not an open area, but there are plenty of established trails in the region.

Other High Altitude Tips

Be self-sufficient: Cell phone reception can be spotty in more remote areas of the OHV trail system so don’t rely on your phone.

  • Pick up a California Trail Users Coalition map at the Welcome Center.
  • Bring plenty of water.
  • Pack some snacks.
  • Have extra layers and rain gear in case the weather changes.
  • Bring a GPS unit.
  • Let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to return.

Suggested Trails

  • Family Friendly: Try the Mammoth to June Loop or the Lookout Loop.
  • Great Vistas: Trail/Road to Laurel Lakes.
  • Dual Sport / Adventure Tour: Check out Mono Lake and then head to Bodie Ghost Town.


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