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  1. #1
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    Mammoth/Lower Rock Creek report (some pics)

    Thanks to all who gave advice a few weeks back. I made the trip and it was a blast. The first ride I did was up the "Uptown" trail to Mountain View and I got about halfway up before I got lost thanks to a worker who blocked a sign marking a transition in the trail where it turns off the fireroad onto singletrack. I went about 2 miles out of the way (some fun fireroad anyway) before I realized it was late and I retraced my steps back to the village.

    Next was Lower Rock Creek. The forecast was for 99 degree temps, so I left Mammoth at 5:30 a.m. for the 1/2 hour drive down there. I had no shuttle so I did the 8 mile uphill grind on Lower Rock Creek road from Paradise. Good workout, made the reward at the end that much sweeter. Its actually not super steep, just unrelenting. There was not a single foot of downhill section of road for the first 4+ miles. If you let off of the spinning, your speed instantly drops and you must regain momentum. After 4.2 miles or so, you get a .8 mile section of welcome downhill before the final 3 miles of climbing to the trailhead.

    The first two sections of singletrack were an absolute blast, good flow with beautiful scenery, so much so that I stopped in a few places just to "Be". Unlike what the guidebooks say though, this trail is not for everyone. I would not take a beginner on the trail unless they don't mind hike a biking a few technical sections, and theres some narrow parts with immediate creekside exposure. That being said, I tried to "clean" every section and pretty much did except for the part around a rock at the end of section 2 that you'd have to be Hans Rey to clean. I bailed out after section 2 because I was alone and riding thin walled racing tires. I'll be back to try that section later, maybe in late September. I'm not kidding when I say that I averaged 30 mph back down the road to Paradise, topping out at almost 40 at one point. As I was alone, there are unfortunately no rider shots.

    My car at the "Scenic Viewpoint" in the early morning hours with Mt. Tom in the background.




    Early in the grind up Lower Rock Creek Road. BTW: The local folk seemed pretty accepting of bikers. Every car coming up the road swerved wide to give me plenty of clearance, something you rarely see anymore.



    The sign welcoming you to the trailhead. When was the last time that you saw a trail singled out for mountain bikers. This is sooooo cool.




    2 pics from Section 1:





    A pic from section 2. After leaving section 1, you cross the road and now you ride with the creek on your left side.



    This was just about as much fun as I've ever had on an MTB. Just when I was thinking, "it doesn't get any better than this", I rode Mountain View............
    Last edited by DaFireMedic; 07-26-2004 at 10:48 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Mammoth Continued:

    After a day of rest, I went back to Mountain View. This time I decided to do the 6.5 mile road ride from our condo, up Minaret Road to the Minaret Vista where the Mountain View trail starts. The first thing I noticed was how deep the pumice was in some places. It literally buried the 2.25" Racing Ralph I was using on the front. That being said, I think I had more fun on this trail than on LRC. This was a beautiful, twisty ride through a Lodgepole pine forest. Combined with the "Downtown" singletrack at the end, it was about twice the length of singletrack compared to the first two sections of LRC. There is also about a mile of fireroad in the middle section of the trail. I highly recommend this trail for anyone who goes to Mammoth.


    The view from Minaret Vista


    a pic of Mountain View Trail



    another one



    and another. This one gives a glimpse of the thick pumice in the foreground.



    When you come to the end of Mountain View, you cross straight over Minaret Road and pick up the "Downtown" singletrack. Uptown and Downtown wind beautifully through the forest and run parallel to each other in opposite directions, eliminating the possibility of running into someone coming the other way. I also did them again later as a loop. Downtown is an absolute blast, another must do trail, albeit fairly short.


    A couple shots of the Downtown singletrack




    Another of the Downtown trail, you can see the Uptown trail to the left.



    Later, I took the wife on the Horseshoe lake loop, a mild but beautiful 1.7 mile ride around Horseshoe lake. Its a perfect ride for beginner riders, flat with no real technical sections, save for some relatively easy bridge crossings. Nice, shady forest.

    Anyway, I will definitely be heading back to Mammoth as soon as I can, maybe as early as September. This is a first class MTB'ing area, well worth the 6 hour drive for me.
    Last edited by DaFireMedic; 07-26-2004 at 10:52 PM.
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  3. #3
    kneecap
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    Great photos! Makes me want to start packing up. We so. cal. inhabitants are fortunante indeed to have such a cool place as Mammoth within a few hrs. driving distance.
    Done most of the great trails in your pics. w/ the exception of LRC. I'll be going in middle sept. as well. ( those really are great photos, make me feel like I'm there ).

  4. #4
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    Nice photos and writeup!

    Talk to me about tires in the pumice. I've ridden up there, but not in several years.

    Would you use a different tire on your bike that what you did, and how did what you're running handle the pumice, plus the silt-over-rocks higher up on the trails (ie did you ride Skid Marks?)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBasil
    Nice photos and writeup!

    Talk to me about tires in the pumice. I've ridden up there, but not in several years.

    Would you use a different tire on your bike that what you did, and how did what you're running handle the pumice, plus the silt-over-rocks higher up on the trails (ie did you ride Skid Marks?)
    To tell you the truth, I probably wouldn't run anything different for the pumice sections. There wasn't enough of it to really be bothersome, in fact it kind of gave the trail character. There were 2 or 3 sections though that were deep, and unless you were running big ballon tires, the front is gonna sink and squirm. There was one section on Mountain View that was a short (40 feet or so), steep downhill covered with thick, soft pumice. This was the most challenging section of the trail. It was so much fun that I walked the bike back up and did it again (I doubt that it would be rideable going up, I didn't even try). The 2.25 Racing Ralph on the front is a good, large volume tire, but its tread (small knobs) is much less aggressive than most trail specific tires. I'm not really sure that it would have made much difference. I didn't fall, just "squirrelled" a bit.

    I never made it to "Skid Marks" or any of the real silt over rocks sections. I think that any good trail tire will work in Mammoth. The trails are very well groomed, at least the ones that I rode. I will bring heavier walled tires and my spare wheelset next time for LRC though. I want to do that third section and its supposed to be very rocky.
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    Why ride alone?

    Next time don't ride alone. Contact me and I'll ride with you during the day and then get lost so you can be with the wife in the evenings. I might bring my wife along too since we're both teachers and have all this free time in the summer! Great pics and descriptions of some great trails. I've done LRC twice, one shuttle and one loop from the bottom. The last section is more rocky and I did hike-a-bike a couple of sections. As for the pumice and silt I use WTB Velociraptors front and rear in the cross-country direction (on the rear) which helps paddle through the stuff on level and climbing sections. Going downhill straight lean back like it was sand and on those hairpins with a couple of feet of pumice use minimal braking. The pumice will slow you down enough so if you brake too much you'll come to a sinking stop. I'm serious about contacting me for a ride. I live in Lancaster so Mammoth is only 3 1/2 hrs. away. I've done day trips to the bike park for a couple of years. If you want to do any rides on the north face of the San Gabriels let me know and I'll show you some great rides.
    Quote Originally Posted by DaFireMedic
    To tell you the truth, I probably wouldn't run anything different for the pumice sections. There wasn't enough of it to really be bothersome, in fact it kind of gave the trail character. There were 2 or 3 sections though that were deep, and unless you were running big ballon tires, the front is gonna sink and squirm. There was one section on Mountain View that was a short (40 feet or so), steep downhill covered with thick, soft pumice. This was the most challenging section of the trail. It was so much fun that I walked the bike back up and did it again (I doubt that it would be rideable going up, I didn't even try). The 2.25 Racing Ralph on the front is a good, large volume tire, but its tread (small knobs) is much less aggressive than most trail specific tires. I'm not really sure that it would have made much difference. I didn't fall, just "squirrelled" a bit.

    I never made it to "Skid Marks" or any of the real silt over rocks sections. I think that any good trail tire will work in Mammoth. The trails are very well groomed, at least the ones that I rode. I will bring heavier walled tires and my spare wheelset next time for LRC though. I want to do that third section and its supposed to be very rocky.

  7. #7
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    Can you direct me to online or other descriptions of Mountain View Trail?

    I haven't looked online here yet, but will.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maddog
    Next time don't ride alone. Contact me and I'll ride with you during the day and then get lost so you can be with the wife in the evenings. I might bring my wife along too since we're both teachers and have all this free time in the summer! Great pics and descriptions of some great trails. I've done LRC twice, one shuttle and one loop from the bottom. The last section is more rocky and I did hike-a-bike a couple of sections. As for the pumice and silt I use WTB Velociraptors front and rear in the cross-country direction (on the rear) which helps paddle through the stuff on level and climbing sections. Going downhill straight lean back like it was sand and on those hairpins with a couple of feet of pumice use minimal braking. The pumice will slow you down enough so if you brake too much you'll come to a sinking stop. I'm serious about contacting me for a ride. I live in Lancaster so Mammoth is only 3 1/2 hrs. away. I've done day trips to the bike park for a couple of years. If you want to do any rides on the north face of the San Gabriels let me know and I'll show you some great rides.
    Even from Lancaster a day trip to Mammoth seems extreme....cool. I'd love to do some rides on the other (for me) side of the San Gabriels. I live at the foot of the south side of them. I've done a few of the north side trails, mainly near Wrightwood. Let me know when you're going. You've gotta be bakin' in nearly 100 degree temps right now though. How hot is it on the trails right now?


    Quote Originally Posted by EBasil
    Can you direct me to online or other descriptions of Mountain View Trail?

    I haven't looked online here yet, but will.
    Here is a site with some pics. Someone posted this on a previous thread:
    http://www.allsingletrack.com/Mammot...th%20Lakes.htm

    Otherwise, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot out there on it. I used the description from some hardcopy sources that I have in deciding to ride it. I could scan them and send them to you if you email me.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaFireMedic
    (re Mountain View)
    Otherwise, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot out there on it. I used the description from some hardcopy sources that I have in deciding to ride it. I could scan them and send them to you if you email me.
    Thanks for the photo link! I couldn't find info on the trail, and my old Mammoth maps are in our truck (safely parked on the "lawn" at home, yeehaw), but I managed to squint at the online Mammoth map well enough to discern Mountain View over there near Minarets view, as you described. It looks to me like we could take the entire ride crew, including our wives and kids that range from extreme to beginners, on a run from the lodge, over Mountain View to Beach Cruiser to Downtown and maybe even back Uptown for a great ride. Did you see anything on your ride, not counting pumice, that would be intimidating to kids on mtb's?

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    Quote Originally Posted by EBasil
    Thanks for the photo link! I couldn't find info on the trail, and my old Mammoth maps are in our truck (safely parked on the "lawn" at home, yeehaw), but I managed to squint at the online Mammoth map well enough to discern Mountain View over there near Minarets view, as you described. It looks to me like we could take the entire ride crew, including our wives and kids that range from extreme to beginners, on a run from the lodge, over Mountain View to Beach Cruiser to Downtown and maybe even back Uptown for a great ride. Did you see anything on your ride, not counting pumice, that would be intimidating to kids on mtb's?
    Not really, as long as they are willing to walk a short section or two, like the pumice covered chute I mentioned earlier. That part was too knarly for a beginner, but otherwise there is nothing that I can remember that is too difficult. I took my 6 year old (on a Costco bike) on the Downtown trail and he loved it. Not alot of difference with most of Mountain View.
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  11. #11
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    Nice bike!

    Are these the trails on the Mammoth Mt. Bike Park map? The writing on the online map isn't very clear. UncleMTB and I intend to visit there within the next two weeks.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf
    Nice bike!
    Are these the trails on the Mammoth Mt. Bike Park map? The writing on the online map isn't very clear. UncleMTB and I intend to visit there within the next two weeks.
    Thanks. Yeah, my bike kinda looks like yours eh, a red 03 Epic. It did great on the trails.

    Uptown and Downtown are on the bike park map (I brought 3 of them home with me ). The upper parts of Uptown/Downtown are part of the bike park and so you must buy a pass to ride those sections, but the lower parts are free.

    They show a little of Mountain View, but its called "Forest Service Bike Trail" (at the bottom of the map). You can see where it jumps across Minaret road and picks up the Downtown trail. There is an online map that shows Mountain View here:

    http://www.mammothweb.com/graphics/biketrails.jpg

    but its not the clearest map in the world.


    You can view a good detailed map here, it shows the good trails:

    http://www.visitmammoth.com/activities/mtnbikingfr.html

    You can also request a copy to be sent to you. I did and got it about a week later. Its a great trail map.
    Last edited by DaFireMedic; 07-28-2004 at 11:05 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBasil
    Thanks for the photo link! I couldn't find info on the trail, and my old Mammoth maps are in our truck (safely parked on the "lawn" at home, yeehaw), but I managed to squint at the online Mammoth map well enough to discern Mountain View over there near Minarets view, as you described. It looks to me like we could take the entire ride crew, including our wives and kids that range from extreme to beginners, on a run from the lodge, over Mountain View to Beach Cruiser to Downtown and maybe even back Uptown for a great ride. Did you see anything on your ride, not counting pumice, that would be intimidating to kids on mtb's?
    In looking at the map again, I realized that Beach Cruiser is part of the bike park, as is the upper part of Uptown/Downtown (you can ride the lower sections for free. Theres a sign where the free part ends). You have to buy the pass to ride them. But don't bother with Beach Cruiser anyway unless you want to do the bike park. Mountain View/Downtown takes you all the way from Minaret Vista down to the village via singletrack and its all free.
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    It is a bit extreme and my wife thinks I'm nuts to do Mammoth in a day but I only do that on weekdays when the traffic's not bad and the lines short. I've done it for skiing too. We're going camping in AZ and UT next week but when I get back I'll contact you to put a ride together. Hopefully we won't have any more fires up here for a while! It is hot up here(101to104 all this week) so this time of year I always go up to the mountains; Wrightwood or Mt Pinos, to ride. The lowest ride I do is the Devil's Punchbowl/Burkhardt out and back.
    Quote Originally Posted by DaFireMedic
    Even from Lancaster a day trip to Mammoth seems extreme....cool. I'd love to do some rides on the other (for me) side of the San Gabriels. I live at the foot of the south side of them. I've done a few of the north side trails, mainly near Wrightwood. Let me know when you're going. You've gotta be bakin' in nearly 100 degree temps right now though. How hot is it on the trails right now?




    Here is a site with some pics. Someone posted this on a previous thread:
    http://www.allsingletrack.com/Mammot...th%20Lakes.htm

    Otherwise, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot out there on it. I used the description from some hardcopy sources that I have in deciding to ride it. I could scan them and send them to you if you email me.

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    Thanks for the post, I'm going to Mammoth

    Quote Originally Posted by DaFireMedic
    Thanks. Yeah, my bike kinda looks like yours eh, a red 03 Epic. It did great on the trails.

    Uptown and Downtown are on the bike park map (I brought 3 of them home with me ). The upper parts of Uptown/Downtown are part of the bike park and so you must buy a pass to ride those sections, but the lower parts are free.

    They show a little of Mountain View, but its called "Forest Service Bike Trail" (at the bottom of the map). You can see where it jumps across Minaret road and picks up the Downtown trail. There is an online map that shows Mountain View here:

    http://www.mammothweb.com/graphics/biketrails.jpg

    but its not the clearest map in the world.


    You can view a good detailed map here, it shows the good trails:

    http://www.visitmammoth.com/activities/mtnbikingfr.html

    You can also request a copy to be sent to you. I did and got it about a week later. Its a great trail map.
    Thursday, can't wait, I've ridden Rock Creek and Mammoth a couple of times. I like to go hardcore XC the first days then after being sufficiently blown up move on to the ski lifts for some shuttling (cheating). Do you know if there is a trail network on the back side of Mammoth Mountain? I plan on riding the lifts up and exploring the out of bounds area this time around. Up town and Down town are a blast, when I was last there a few years ago no one road Uptown.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Nazi
    Thursday, can't wait, I've ridden Rock Creek and Mammoth a couple of times. I like to go hardcore XC the first days then after being sufficiently blown up move on to the ski lifts for some shuttling (cheating). Do you know if there is a trail network on the back side of Mammoth Mountain? I plan on riding the lifts up and exploring the out of bounds area this time around. Up town and Down town are a blast, when I was last there a few years ago no one road Uptown.
    I believe that there is, but I've never done the lifts on an MTB. KamikazeBikr or Mtbski could probably give a better answer than I, if they see this post. You could try PM'ing or emailing them. Also, give a call to Footloose Sports in Mammoth. They could tell you.
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    nice

    Great pictures! Makes me wish I was back there again.

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