Winter Training Opportunities

Jul 14, 2021

Even when the snow is falling, the wind is howling, and the air is cold, Mammoth Lakes is uniquely situated in close proximity to a range of elevations 4,800 feet to 8,900 feet, which means the town is ideally situated to train-low and sleep-high, and there is always somewhere to train outdoors year-round. The region has many opportunities to accommodate winter training for runners, cyclists, and triathletes.

Lower Elevation Training

Just 30 to 40 minutes drive south of Mammoth Lakes, Bishop is situated at 4,800 feet in elevation. The close proximity to higher the range of elevations is ideal for training below the snow line. There are plenty of paved and dirt roads for cycling and running. The vertical relief offers unparalleled views of the mountains.

Round Valley – Pleasant Valley Damn Loop Six miles north of Bishop, Millpond Recreation Area is a popular starting point for riding and running in Round Valley and Pleasant Valley Damn. The full loop combines a number of roads with a moderate elevation gain for nearly 25 miles. Or piece together an out and back on the Round Valley or Pleasant Valley roads.

Bishop Canal Head into the town of Bishop and run the flat dirt path along the Bishop Canals. Take U.S. 395 South and turn east on Line Street. Look for a small parking area just outside of town by the canal. Run out-and-back along the canal.

Snowcreek Athletic Club

There are plenty of resources in Mammoth Lakes to make year-round training accessible including a number of gyms. Snowcreek Athletic Club is the biggest athletic complex in Mammoth Lakes and has a great selection of treadmills, stationary bikes, and elliptical machines for indoor aerobic exercise and easy second workouts. Free weights and machines are available for strength training. There’s an indoor lap pool for swimming and a full schedule of fitness classes like yoga and plyometrics. 

Mammoth Track Club

Snow or shine, the Mammoth Track Club complex is open year round. Situated at 7,000 feet on Benton Crossing Road near the Mammoth Airport, the track receives substantially less snow than the town of Mammoth Lakes. Less accumulation and more sunshine means the track is clear most of the year. There are plenty of dirt roads surrounding the area for soft surface warm up and cool down running before or after your speed workouts on the track.

Green Church Road

Named for the Green Church at the junction of U.S. 395, the Green Church Road is actually named Benton Crossing. Either way, it’s most famous for being the training ground for Olympians like Deena Kastor, Meb Keflezighi, and Ryan Hall. Also located at 7,000 feet Benton Crossing Road can be sunny with moderate temperatures even when it is cold and snowing in Mammoth Lakes. The road provides ten miles of rolling terrain through Long Valley, crossing the Owens River and circling behind Crowley Lake before it starts to climb over the Watterson Divide. Run or ride an out and back to your desired distance. 

Monica Prelle

Monica Prelle is an outdoors, wine, and travel writer who would rather be running, climbing, or mountain biking. See more of Monica's posts here, read more of her work at and connect on twitter @monicaprelle

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