18 Jul 2018
Mammoth Mountain Bike Park is an exciting place to spend a day or more while visiting Mammoth.
I've lived in Mammoth most of life but never experienced the mountain biking park until this summer. Now I'm hooked and several thousand dollars into bikes and equipment!
If you ski Mammoth and have ever been to the top of the mountain via the gondola then most of you know the feeling of fear you get just before loading. Especially when you see the sign 'If your friends say go, don't be afraid to say no!' So you can imagine my feelings when my friends said 'lets go to the top of the mountain for our first run.' Wait, what?
The gondola crew is great. They load your bike(s) in one gondola and you in another. Once at the top, they unload your bike and you are on your way. Depending on your skill level there are several ways down. I opted for the 'Easiest' route which turned out to be an intermediate trail down the back side of the mountain. While it was a little intimidating at first, I was immediately hooked. The ride to the bottom takes about one hour at my beginner skill level and that included a stop at The Outpost by chair 14 for a couple of courage-building beers.
Since that first day, I've moved away from the rental bikes and invested in one of my own. I even bought a pass and have been exploring the mountain from all angles. On weekends both gondolas, chair 11, chair 16 and chair 2 are running. On weekdays it's only the gondolas and chair 11. If you find yourself at the bottom of the mountain and not near a running chair, it's a fun and easy ride down the Downtain trail that takes you all the way down into the Village where you can find lunch, another beer and a ride back up on the mountain shuttle with a bike trailer.
There are trails for all ability levels and you can peddle uphill very little or a lot depending on your mood that day. This year they even rent electric mountain bikes for the beginner and intermediate trails. Some of our group took this option and really enjoyed the day without breaking a sweat.