Got a new cross-country mountain bike you’re itching to bust out? With your upcoming RV camping trip to Mammoth Lakes, you can bring your XC bike along to hit some of the best biking trails the country has to offer.
Mammoth Mountain itself is renowned for its downhill mountain bike park. A lot of visitors coming to Mammoth Lakes do pack their own bikes so they can pedal up, down, and all around the trails.
While you do have lots of family-friendly trails, there are also a few more challenging routes suitable for more hardcore cross-country mountain biking enthusiasts.
If you think you have excellent bike handling skills, are able to stay sharp throughout a 10- to 15-mile cross-country jaunt, with strength and endurance to boot, then feel free to test your mettle on these five popular XC mountain bike trails around Mammoth Lakes.
The Paper Route Loop
Distance: 5.4 miles
Lowest point: 8,750 feet
Highest elevation: 9,060 feet
Easily accessible from Uptown or Downtown, the Paper Route Loop is quite possibly the most popular cross-country route on our list. Paper Route runs just a little under five and a half miles and has good, firm dirt and rolling terrain.
The Village will be your start and endpoint for this XC trail. From the Village, you can access Paper Route Loop via Uptown, and then return via Downtown for a 10-mile loop.
Uptown – Paper Route – Lakes Trail – Panorama Dome – Mammoth Rock Trail
Distance: 11.0 miles
Lowest point: 7,872 feet
Highest elevation: 8,573 feet
This is a fun cross-country pedal that traverses Mammoth Mountain, combining some of the best trails that take you up, across, and down the mountain.
This cross-country biking trail takes you through some of the most picturesque spots on Mammoth Mountain, so when you do stop to take the occasional break along the path, don’t forget to take some awesome shots of the views all around you.
The Mountain View Trail
Distance: 11.0 miles
Lowest point: 8,638 feet
Highest elevation: 9,170 feet
Difficulty: moderate; you have uphill climbs both ways, for some reason
Mountain View Trail, known for its spectacular panoramic views of the Minarets and Ritter Range from the highest point, is not part of the bike park. As such, it’s accessible to anyone.
You can start at the Earthquake Fault Trailhead, then follow the Mountain View Trailhead signs. Pay attention to the small yellow mountain bike trail markers, as there are many trail junctions crossing the main path. Fans of the trail recommend starting and finishing at the Village for added fun and a longer ride. This way you can take the Uptown-Downtown trail as well (you’ll need a pass for this part though).
The Lower Rock Creek Trail
Distance: 11.0 miles
Lowest point: 5,727 feet
Highest elevation: 6,880 feet
Difficulty: moderate to difficult
Located some 30 minutes south of Mammoth is the famous Lower Rock Creek Trail. The top of the trail is located on Lower Rock Creek Road near Highway 395. The first two-thirds of the route takes XC cyclists down a fast and flowing single track that follows Rock Creek through groves of aspen trees, with the road crossing the trail at two points. It’s the last one-third section that can be quite the challenge, requiring better-than-adequate bike-handling skills and agility.
Lower Rock Creek Trail is typically ridden in a downhill direction but can be enjoyed in a loop, using the road for the ascent.
The Uptown – Beach Cruiser – Downtown Route
Distance: 16.1 miles
Lowest point: 7,860 feet
Highest elevation: 9,443 feet
Difficulty: fairly difficult as there’s a lot of climbing involved
For something a bit more challenging, many cross-country biking enthusiasts combine the Uptown Trail of Mammoth Mountain’s Bike Park with the Beach Cruiser loop before finally descending onto Downtown.
Beach Cruiser has some of the best dirt on the mountain. With its winding gentle ascent and its fast and flowing downward slope, this cross-country bike trail makes for a fairly challenging pedal– but should be certainly fun for most seasoned XC bike jockeys.
A Final Word About These Cross-Country Biking Routes
Cross-country cycling is one of the most popular outdoor activities you can enjoy on your next RV camping trip out to Mammoth Lakes.
There are a good number of more family-friendly biking trails for kids and those new to cross-country cycling, So the five suggested trails we recommended above are for those who feel up to the challenge of a more technical, more advanced ride around Mammoth Mountain.
While it’s still best to bring your own XC mountain bike along with you, Mammoth Lakes has shops that also offer bike rentals so you can get going even at a moment’s notice.
Make sure you can handle these cross-country cycling routes, however. And mind safety on the trails as you’d sometimes cross paths with hiking trails or main roads.