Riding Off-Highway Vehicles in Mammoth Lakes

Oct 15, 2020

Off-highway adventures in Mammoth Lakes are enough to rev up any self-respecting SUV, ATV and motorcycle — or its owners. You can discover a California panorama beyond the imagination of those who stick to the asphalt. Hundreds of miles of unpaved roads are just waiting for you in the Inyo National Forest.

Backroad travel leads to a full menu of Sierra locations and scenery straight out of a movie. There are high mountain lakes, shadowed canyons, giant boulders guarding ice-cold streams, dense forests of tall timber and austere, high-desert plateaus. Take the Owens River – Hot Creek Road, Lookout Loop or Deadman Creek Trail. There’s something for everyone, with roads for all levels from beginning to the most challenging and everything in between. SUVs with four-wheel drive may be required for some roads. Know your vehicle’s limits and use wise judgment when entering unfamiliar territory.

The Eastern Sierra Motor Touring Guide, available at the California Welcome Center – Mammoth Lakes offers tips and back road tour itineraries. The California Welcome Center – Mammoth Lakes also offers a free off-highway vehicle map.

If you prefer not to go out on your own or just want some camaraderie, call the Eastern Sierra 4WD Club at 760-937-6663. They go out once a month, and all are welcome to join. Besides your 4WD, all you need to bring is lunch, water, your camera and a sense of adventure.

Sierra Engine/Bishop Motosports – Offering all new rentals of ATVs, side-by-sides, mountain bikes and snowmobiles. Maps, helmets and trailers (off-road vehicles) included with every rental. Affordable packages will make your outdoor dreams come true. Guided and unguided adventures available. If you need a rental and a guide, call Bishop Motosports at 760-872-4717. There is also an office in Mammoth Lakes.

Motorcycle Riding:
Mammoth is famous for being in the center of over 4,000 miles of local dirt routes strewn throughout the largest Jeffrey Pine forest in the world. Trails are open, weather permitting, for green sticker, red sticker, and street-legal (dual-sported) motorcycles. You’ll find something for all ability levels, from technical singletrack to wide open forest roads; you can also expect to encounter all trail types: rocky, sandy, whooped, groomed, etc. Don’t forget your camera—the views are tremendous.

Is Mammoth Lakes soon to become a dual-sport mecca? Come to town and see for yourself. Centrally located in the Eastern Sierra, Mammoth Lakes is a great jumping-off point for several area destinations including Bodie State Historic Park, Owens Valley, White Mountains, Hawthorne, Nev.; Fish Lake Valley, Nev.; and Death Valley National Park, not to mention the easier day trips connecting our various towns and communities. Free GPS tracks, local advice and lots of route info are available at the Mammoth Motorcycle Club’s website.