|Mammoth lies just south of
Yosemite National Park in California USA. It is without doubt most famous for it's
'Kamikaze Downhill', a firetrack downhill that sweeps straight down the mountain.
It's a shame, because Mammoth has so much more to offer than this. It's got over
100miles of singletrack, great views from the summit and is bike central at the weekends!
Most of the trails fall into the "nice but not technically demanding" bracket. I thought the best example of this is probably the trail "Off the top", which strangely, runs from the top of the mountain back to the resort (becomes "Beach Cruiser" further down). This trail starts with long switchback traverses of the mountain at the top and then becomes swoopy singletrack lower down. Luuuuurvely!
If you want something a bit more technical, then choice seems a bit limited, until you get up to the full bore downhills, such as Velocity (too dh for me).
In between, there is Ricochet which is more technical, as is upper skid marks (has great views too). I liked these trails as they offered steep drops and more rocky sections, which made you realise what technical riding is about.
Well it's fast and furious and only only your bottle will hold you back! It's not a
Other "Non Mammoth" Mountain Biking in the Area
There are many other trails in the area, but not a lot of singletrack. The best, I am told, is Inyo Craters (which I didn't ride) and Lower Rock Creek Trail (which I did).
Lower Rock Creek Trail starts from near Tom's Place, just 15mins drive south of town, check it out here
Mammoth Bike Police
I can't write a page on Mammoth and not explain about the bike police! Mammoth Mountain is a privately owned area, and it looks like a lot of work has gone into making the trails there for biking. Mammoth therefore expect you to pay for the use of the trails. I don't really have a problem with this as the trails are so good. However, I think the resort really needs to sort it's public image out. I'll explain.....
Firstly, there are Bike Police who check out your trail pass. These guys hang out around the lower end of the mountain between the town and the resort, to ensure people aren't riding the singletrack if they haven't paid. I didn't get asked to show my pass, as it was stuck to the handlebars, but it was obvious he was checking it out.
Secondly, there is the waiver form you have to fill out before you can get your lift pass. What is that all about!! I know people sue at the drop of a hat in the US but this is ridiculous! Other places I have been have a disclaimer printed on the back of the lift ticket which seams enough, so why all the paperwork?
It's not enough to ruin the experience, but it doesn't give you a warm feeling when you're starting out in the morning. Enough said.
Other useful information
Map Of Mammoth Mountain Trails
Through the trees, ahh...
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