Road Cycling the Scenic Loop
Oct 15, 2020
The Scenic Loop is a rolling, bending road that is a favorite out-and-back cycling route in Mammoth Lakes. It is often used as a way to get to-and-from Highway 395 for longer rides, but it is also a beginner-friendly, or short and relatively easy route all by itself. The road has wide shoulders, little traffic, and mountain views through the treetops. It’s one of the quieter roads you’ll find just outside of town. The cars that you do see tend to be friendly, sharing the road and waving hello as the pass.
There is just enough uphill climbing to the highest point to get your aerobic system working, but before you get too tired you’ll be whizzing down to the end of the road. As you pedal along the rolling pavement you’ll see wildflowers speckling the side of the road, birds soaring overhead, and occasionally deer crossing the road.
How to Ride It: From the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center ride up Main Street or Forest Trail and turn right on Minaret Road. Continue past the Village at Mammoth toward Mammoth Mountain. It’s a quick climb before turning right on the Mammoth Scenic Loop. The road continues to climb gradually before it begins the rolling descent through a dense Jeffery pine forest. You’ll pass the turn-off to the Inyo Craters and in 9 miles you’ll reach Highway 395 north of Mammoth Lakes. Return the same route for an 18-mile round-trip ride with nearly 1,000 feet of climbing and descending.
Quick Tips: It’s best to ride from your front door, but parking is available at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center for free and at the Village at Mammoth for a fee. There are no services on the Mammoth Scenic Loop. Bring plenty of water and snacks.