Top Rides On The Eastside
Jul 14, 2021
There’s never been a question of Mammoth Lakes’ status as a world-class mountain bike destination; but more recently, it’s the road riding that’s really put it in the spotlight for cyclists of all levels, ranging from professionals to enthusiasts.
The Crib has been home base to some of the top professional riders looking to gain an advantage from staying at high altitude leading into key races, while the Mammoth Gran Fondo and other events are continuing to bring in more cyclists wanting to experience the quiet roads and diverse terrain the area is increasingly known for.
With an ever-increasing number of cyclists coming to experience Mammoth Lakes for the first time and wanting to know the best routes, we asked the locals and those who frequent the area what their favorite rides are. We received a mix of routes that range from something that keeps you close to town all the way to a trip to Yosemite. Remember, many of these rides could be shortened, or added to, depending on what you’re after.
Taking In The Sights, with Blake Anton
29 miles, 2,200 feet of climbing
“Right from town you start climbing Old Mammoth Road which goes up to 9,000 feet and weaves between a number of spectacular alpine lakes. We did a little bonus dirt loop around one of the lakes that was mostly a nice loamy soil and hooked up well on road bikes. The entire ride has almost no traffic, a wide shoulder, and some fun climbs and descents.”
A Visit To The Devil, with Robin Carpenter
37 miles, 5,200 feet of climbing
“The ride to and from Devils Postpile is tougher than I thought it would be. On the map it looks like a mellow road but in practice it’s a bit of a tricky descent into the valley and then it is up and down the whole way. It’s all worth it though for the pbeautiful views on the way down and the quiet scenery of the climb back to the ski area.”
June Lake Loop, with Caroline Casey
59 miles, 4,600 feet of climbing
“The June Lake Loop ride is an Eastern Sierra fall classic ride! There’s great fall foliage along June Lake Loop, minimal traffic, and a fun mix of terrain. Be sure to refuel and take a break at the store at June Lake Junction on your way back!”
Climbing To Rock Creek Lake, with Seth Totten
77 miles, 6,500 feet of climbing
“What I really like about the climb up to Rock Creek Lake is that it so big and grand. It doesn’t wind around and meander like Lower Rock Creek, the road just powers straight up the Valley, exposed and majestic.”
Stepping Into Yosemite, with Neil Shirley
100 miles, 8,300 feet of climbing
“Climbing Tioga Pass and stepping foot into Yosemite had long been on my bucket list, and after finally being able to cross it off the list it ended up being even more spectacular than imagined. I would recommend riding Tioga Pass when it’s not peak tourist season since it does serve as the Eastern entrance to Yosemite. Definitely stop at the Whoa Nellie Deli at the bottom of the pass to refuel before the trek back to Mammoth Lakes–you won’t be disappointed!”
A Gran Ol’ Day
102 miles, 6,450 feet of climbing
The most famous route in all of Mammoth Lakes area is what’s used in the Mammoth Gran Fondo every September. Riding through the open landscape of Benton Crossing with the rugged Sierra Nevada filling the horizon is an experience that’s not soon forgotten. Unfortunately, doing this route any other day than the Fondo is difficult since once past June Lake you won’t find a place to refill bottles until late in the ride. That’s makes all the more reason to plan your trip around the Fondo weekend and add a few days to explore the roads.