Road Cycling to Minaret Vista
Arguably the most scenic overlook in the region, the 9,265-foot Minaret Vista is located on the Sierra Nevada Crest in the saddle between Mammoth Mountain and the San Joaquin Ridge. Views west of the Minarets, Mount Ritter and Banner Peak are unobstructed, and the San Joaquin River Valley looks like a vast ocean of granite and pine below. The ride to Minaret Vista is one of the classic road biking climbs in the region—short, steep, and sweet.
Minaret Road (Highway 203) winds, bends, and climbs along the ski area boundary. You’ll pass the Earthquake Fault and parallel mountain bike trails as you climb higher. The view of Mammoth Mountain’s slopes and chairlifts at the ski area open-up as you get closer to the Main Lodge, and before the final climb through a thick and shaded forest.
How to Ride It: Starting at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center climb up Main Street or Forest Trail. Turn right on Minaret Road and continue past the Village at Mammoth. From here the road climbs steadily, passing through a forested area before reaching Mammoth Mountain’s Main Lodge. Continue climbing past the ski area until you reach the Reds Meadow entrance station. Turn right and climb up the last steep hill to reach the top of the Minaret Vista. You will have climbed more than 1,400 feet in 7 miles. Enjoy the view and return the same way for a fast descent and 14-mile round trip ride.
Quick Tips: The best part of bicycling in Mammoth Lakes is pedaling out your front door. If you need to drive, parking is available at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center or at the Village at Mammoth for a fee. Public restrooms and drinking fountains are available at Mammoth Mountain’s Main Lodge There are pit toilets and picnic tables at Minaret Vista.