Mammoth Mountain Bike Park is the perfect destination for mountain bikers as it offers over 80 miles of dirt single track, an impressive 3,000 feet of vertical descent, and over 3,500 acres of terrain that’s suitable for all ability levels.
If you haven’t yet packed your bike, hydration packs, and all your gear, then this complete guide will help you decide if you should visit the park or not. Below, you can find a presentation of the venue and its trails, Mammoth bike park hours, ticket prices, and other details that a first-time visitor should know.
Introduction to the Mammoth Mountain Bike Park
If you’re a mountain biking fan, there are very few places in North America that can offer an experience that’s similar to that found at Mammoth Mountain. This is one of the reasons why the park is such a popular tourist attraction, with people all over the country flocking here each summer. The Mammoth Lakes area also allows access for e-bikes on all the trails.
Not only is the park equipped with plenty of trails for you to take your bike and e-bike on, but it is also an incredibly beautiful place with vistas that will take your breath away. The mountain has the highest lift-served summit in California at over 11,000 feet, and it is one of the most famous year-round mountain resorts in the state.
It offers lodging options year-round and plenty of ways to have fun outdoors so that even in the winter, when the mountain bike trails are closed, you can still visit this place to have fun with the entire family.
It is in the summer, once the snow melts, that the mountain completely transforms into the perfect place for mountain bike and outdoor enthusiasts. The park offers plenty of activities, adventures, and exploration for every family member, so stick around if you want to learn more about it.
To continue with our introductory part, what makes the Mammoth MTB park so loved in the MTB community is its very unique terrain. Once the snows melt, what’s left behind is pumice that looks very much like cat litter, and this type of terrain offers the kind of challenge that mountain bikers adore.
The park makes good use of this unique terrain since the huge network of Mammoth bike trails that measure over 80 miles cover everything from side hills to alpine lakes and pine-forested single tracks.
Mammoth Mountain biking park is also good for beginners since the many trails available range in difficulty from easy meandering trails that are perfect for new riders to technical pro trails that require a lot of skill to master.
Thus, if what you’ve read so far has piqued your interest, you should continue reading as we haven’t even scratched the surface. Below, you can find a detailed guide for first-time visitors, a presentation of the available trails, places to eat and stay, and other details that can help you plan the perfect trip to Mammoth Mountain mountain biking park.
A short guide for new visitors
If this is your first time visiting Mammoth Mountain, the first thing that you will need to do is purchase tickets, and this can be done either online using the park’s website or in-person in the Village, the Adventure Center, or at the Mountain Center.
It is recommended to book your tickets in advance not only because they are limited but also because the park offers discounts for people who book at least seven days in advance. There are also discounts available for packages, so make sure to look at what they offer since a full package can offer more value for money.
If you plan to buy a pass, there are two options: a full pass and a pedal pass. The full pass ensures access to the lifts, gondola, and the village shuttle, while the pedal pass allows only leg-powered pedaling throughout the park. You won’t be able to access some trails with the pedal pass, so keep this in mind when deciding on which one to get.
A beginner ticket will cost $79 for an adult, $65 for a young adult, $32 for a child, and $65 for a senior. If you’re wondering about the price of the mountain lift ticket, this is included in the beginner ticket, and it will give you access to all the chairlifts and the beginner trails.
If you only want to take the Discovery Lift, this will cost you $29. A season pass that will give you access to all the trails, lifts, the gondola, and the village shuttle costs $399 for adults and $99 for children. The park opens daily from 9 am until 5 pm. The Mammoth MTB season usually starts at the end of June and closes at the end of September.
To access the trails, you need to use either the lifts, the gondola, or the shuttle. To get to the mid-mountain trails, you need to use the chairs. Three chairs can get you to your desired trails, including the popular Discovery Lift from the Main Lodge.
The Discovery Lift is a short lift that is perfect for families and beginner riders since it takes you straight to the Discovery Zone. Here you can start with the Pioneer Practice Loop, which is a quarter-mile trail that’s perfect for a beginner to get a feel of the bike and warm up before he/she is ready to move on to more challenging trails.
There’s also the Panorama Gondola that you can take from the Main Lodge. The gondola will take you to the top of the mountain, and you can also stop mid-way at the McCoy station. At the summit of the mountain, there are two Mammoth downhill mountain biking trails. The mid-station also offers multiple trails of varying difficulty.
One detail to consider is that early and late in the season, only the Discovery Lift and the Panorama Gondola are open throughout the week. The other two lifts are often open only on the weekends.
Apart from the gondola and the lifts, there is also a bike shuttle that you can take from the Village. The shuttle runs every 15 minutes. It will take you to the Panorama Gondola, but you can also get off earlier at Chair 2.
A short look at the available trails
With over 80 miles of singletrack and dozens of miles of trails that connect to the outside of the park, exploring Mammoth Mountain can feel overwhelming for a first-time visitor. There are so many tracks that it can take a lot of time to find out which are the best for you and how to link them together to get the most fun.
However, exploring the numerous trails for the first time is half the fun for riders, and the park offers comprehensive maps with information about all the available trails, including difficulty levels and details about what you can expect to encounter on each one.
It can take weeks to explore all the trails, which is why we will mention a few of the most popular ones that have been proclaimed as “must-ride” by other riders. If you are a beginner, then you should try the Beach Cruiser, Downtown, Paper Route, Mountain View, Off the Top, and Big Ring trails. All of them offer just the right amount of challenge for new riders.
Intermediates have a similarly large variety of must-ride trails that include the famous Twilight Zone, White Bark, Ricochet, Seven Bridges, Lower Skidmarks, Timber Ridge, and Break Through trails.
Expert riders will have to try the Velocity, Flow, Skidmarks, Bullet, and Follow Me tracks, which are sure to provide the challenge and thrill they were looking for. Apart from these popular tracks, there are plenty of others left for you to discover and plenty of trail link-ups to experiment with and create your own unique and memorable mountain biking experience.
Are bike shops, rentals, and guides available?
Mammoth MTN biking park doesn’t offer a full-service bike shop, but there is one in town, not far away from the park. It is called Footloose Sports, and it offers a full-service repair shop if you happen to damage your bike on any of the trails. The shop also rents mountain bikes as well as full-suspension e-bikes.
You can also rent bikes from inside Mammoth Mountain Park since the venue has two available bike rental centers. The first one can be found in the Village, in front of the shuttle stop, and the second is located at the Adventure Center right at the base of the gondola.
Both rental centers offer a wide selection of rental bikes, including e-bikes. If you are a beginner or you’re looking to improve your skills, you can also sign up for lessons at any of those two rental centers.
When is the best time to visit?
As we mentioned earlier, the park usually opens up as early as June, and it stays open as late as September. However, it all depends on the season and how much snowfall there is. So make sure to check for information on the park’s website before visiting since sometimes, when the snow is deep, it can open as late as July.
The best time to visit is from July to September since this is where the park gets quite busy, and the temperatures are the most pleasant. If you choose a busy month, you should make sure to purchase the tickets in advance because they’re limited and walk-up tickets are not always available.
The park’s operation can also be affected by weather or forest fires. If the trails become unsafe due to rain, or if the weather is too bad for the shuttling or chairs to work, some trails may get closed.
However, this is not often the case since the weather during the June-September period is generally optimal for mountain biking, and it only gets worse through mid-December when the park is already closed.
Food and drinks
After a long day on the trails, going somewhere to eat and drink can help you unwind, and Mammoth Mountain park has plenty of places that you can try. There’s the Mammoth Tavern, which is a very cozy location found on the Old Mammoth Road and away from the busy Village. It is great for people who prefer a more intimate location.
Mammoth Mountain also has a local brewery with plenty of in-house beers, delicious food, and an outdoor seating area. The Stellar Brew is the place to go if you want to grab some sandwiches or coffee to go.
If you’re looking for healthier food and drinks, the Elixir Superfood and Juice store offers delicious salads, grain bowls, and healthy smoothies. Lastly, if you are looking for a restaurant, you should visit Campo, which is known for its delicious wood-fired pizzas and its happy hour menu.
Are camping sites and hotels available?
If you like camping, there’s the High Sierra campground, which is just perfect for families. It offers places to set up your tent or RV, as well as cabins for visitors who prefer a cozier experience. The campground is located close to the village bike shuttle.
If camping is not your thing, there are also hotels nearby. The Moderne Hostel is a great choice for visitors who are traveling on a budget, while the Westin is great for travelers looking for a more luxurious experience.
Other activities in the summer and winter
In the summer, once you are done exploring the trails, you can also explore the Lakes Basin, a popular destination for hiking, fishing, golfing, and more. When the snow melts, the mountain turns into a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, offering on-mountain hiking and scenic hikes for the entire family.
During the winter, visitors can explore the summit and have fun with activities such as snowmobiling, skiing, snowcat tours, and high-speed tubing. The mountain also offers plenty of free events, family-friendly restaurants, and mountain playgrounds where you can have the perfect winter family fun.