Road Cycling Benton Crossing Road

Oct 15, 2020

The famed Green Church on the corner of Benton Crossing Road and Highway 395 is a popular starting point for road cyclists. The rolling road has unobstructed views of the Eastern Sierra, Glass Mountains, and White Mountains. As you set out to ride the tallest peaks in the Mammoth Lakes region from Esha Peak to Mount Morrison, Laurel and Bloody Mountain loom behind you. You’ll pedal toward the Glass Mountains as the road gently climbs and then descends to the Owens River.

From the Benton Crossing Bridge you’ll notice the bends in the river up and downstream, and anglers along the shore. The road angles east, arcing around the backside of Crowley Lake from a distance before it makes a steep climb to the Waterson Divide. From the summit you’ll have spectacular views of the peaks south and north of Mammoth Lakes. Enjoy the gradual descent surrounded by rolling hills and sagebrush before the long and grinding climb to Wildrose Summit.

How to Ride it: Park on the road at the Green Church at the Benton Crossing -Highway 395 Junction. In 5 miles you’ll cross the Owens River, and in 10 miles you’ll reach the Layton Springs turn-off at the back of Crowley Lake. From there the road climbs steeply to the Waterson Divide, then a more gradual climb to the Wildrose Summit for a 48-mile round trip ride. Turn around at any point to adjust the route to your desired distance.

Quick Tips: There are no services on Benton Crossing Road. It’s a dry and exposed area. Bring plenty of water, snacks, and spare tubes. The Whitmore Track Complex, located .62 miles from the Green Church, has additional parking, drinking fountains, and toilets.