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Positioned southeast of Yosemite National Park, Mammoth Lakes is the perfect home base for a trip to the Eastern Sierra. It allows easy access to day trips in nature in all directions, whether to bike, hike or more, but you can also choose to stay close to, and find adventure within, the town’s limits. You don’t always need to venture far away to enjoy this mountain getaway.
For cyclists, there are nearly infinite options to piece together routes near Mammoth Lakes, but ready-made adventures also await just out the door. Experienced and casual cyclists alike will gravitate toward the Town Loop Bike Path. Running around the perimeter of Mammoth Lakes, this approximately 7-mile loop is easy to access and offers no shortage of breathtaking views that you’re going to want to stop to take in (in fact, there are benches along the way to do just that). From the famed ski area of Mammoth Mountain to the White Mountains on the horizon to the east, you’ll want to have your camera handy to capture all the sights. Made of a mix of dedicated pathways closed to motorists and on-street sections, this loop provides a flavor of all that Mammoth Lakes has to offer, touching both the in-town areas with shops, restaurants and lodging, and sneaking off into open spaces for those gorgeous vistas. Whether you’re trying to replace car miles with bike miles, or are just out for fun or exercise, this path has something for everyone.
The riding only gets more scenic if you follow the paved pathway to the Mammoth Lakes Basin, just a short trip from downtown. The climb to get into the basin is certainly a challenge, but what awaits on the other side is well worth the effort. The road passes right alongside the pristine waters of Twin Lakes, Lake Mary, Lake Mamie, Horseshoe Lake and more, all surrounded by towering evergreen trees and mountain peaks. It’s an idyllic day on the bike to say the least.
The Mammoth Lakes Basin is a must-see for summertime visits, and the bike might be one of the best ways to take in the sights. No one should be dissuaded by the climb to get there. The free Lakes Basin Trolley, which departs from the Village, has room to carry along bikes and heads all the way to Horseshoe Lake. All that’s left to do is enjoy a downhill ride back into town.
If you didn’t bring a bike with you, or need a last minute repair, Footloose Sports can take care of all your cycling needs during the summer months. Plus in the summertime most bike rental places in town offer pedal assist e-bikes, which are allowed on the Town Loop and make getting around on two wheels within reach for even more people. And the fun doesn’t stop in winter. When snow begins to fall, the paved path network becomes a true multi-sport arena with sections to ski and others that are cleared year-round.
Mammoth Lakes also sports no shortage of pre-ride and post-ride stops for cyclists looking to explore farther away. Riders can fuel up at Stellar Brew before heading out on one of the region’s many scenic routes. From locally roasted coffee to breakfast sandwiches and vegan burritos, this shop has everything needed to start a ride out right.
Post-ride, many cyclists crave something other than caffeine. Shelter Distilling, located in The Village at Mammoth near the base of the gondola, distills its own spirits and brews its own beers alongside a kitchen serving up bar favorites and beyond. In fact, for a city of just over 8,000, Mammoth Lakes boasts more than its fair share of breweries and distilleries including Mammoth Brewing Company, Distant Brewing and Devils Creek Distillery. Relax and unwind while reliving the day’s adventure over drinks and a meal.
Don’t forget that every great trip needs a great place to come home to at the end of the day. There’s no shortage of excellent accommodations around here, including the condos at 1849 Mountain Rentals. Located just across from Mammoth Mountain’s Canyon Lodge, these spacious, comfortable condos come with a view and close access to everything in town. After an exciting day of exploring Mammoth Lakes and beyond, they’re exactly what you want to come home to in order to recharge for your next day of adventures.