The Mammoth Lakes area is the best place to explore the
great outdoors. To drive off the road and on a four wheeling
adventure across the Sierra is best all out day you could have.
Discover the High Sierras of California with Hundreds of miles
of unpaved roads that are waiting for you in the Inyo National
Forest. There are high mountain lakes, canyons, giant boulders,
snow melt streams, forests of tall pines and, high desert
plateaus. Stop in at the Mammoth Visitor Center that is located
at the entrance to town. The center has free off highway
vehicle maps and topo maps that are needed to have a wonderful
time off road. There are 14 different trips that one can take.
The trips offer ghost towns, gold mines and geologic sites,
like the Hot Creek, Inyo Craters and the Obsidian Dome.
Off Road Vehicle Regulations
For people to drive on public lands your 4WD must be street
legal or display a California Green Sticker. The sticker you
can get at the Department of Vehicles. You must have a Forest
Service approved spark arrester. The local Ranger Station can
also help with the legal areas to ride off road. If you are an
out of state 4WD driver you must carry an out of state
identification and you may not need a California green
Rules of the out doors
- What ever you take into the out doors you take out.
- Stay on the path or road so to control the erosion and to
preserve the land so we can all come back again.
- Keep the noise levels down to increase the possibility of
There are many opportunities for riding your motocross dirt
bike. The forest is a great place for the scenery, challenging
terrain and interesting rocks and streams. Mammoth and
Bishop have motocross tracks and summer races.
Some of the motocross bikes that may be seen ripping up the
dirt in Mammoth are, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and
There are great accessories for off road bikes and of course
they are a must to have.
- Helmets: Fox V2, bell Moto 8, Thor Force Tedesco, Titan
and Troy Lee SE.
- Goggles: Oakley Crowbar mx, Smith piston, Scott Dragon MDX.
Off road trips
Laurel Canyon Road.
Take Sherwin Creek Road from Old Mammoth Road. Laurel
Canyon is challenging, rough and is not always maintained
so make sure that you drive with caution. It has Fishing,
Camping and the views are fantastic that are all around you.
The trip ends 5 miles into the canyon with the Laurel
Just out of town is Sherwin Creek Campground. The right fork
is open for 4WD use. Easy, nicely forested, and ideal for the
families to venture out. This area has a loop along this road,
just be careful of cars and bicycles and maybe hikers.
Mammoth Creek Road.
Old Mammoth Road, It is five miles of easy riding close to
the Mammoth Creek. The road loops back to the Creek
San Joaquin Ridge.
The Scenic ridge top route is 2.6 miles. The first dirt road
to the right heading for Minaret Vista. This road requires 4x4
high clearance trucks and the road is not always maintained for
the best drive. The soil is very fragile in this area and you
must stay on the road.
Go North on Hwy. 395 to the Lookout Mountain turnoff
across from the Mammoth Scenic Route. 3.1 miles to a scenic
360° overlook of the Sierra Mountains. This is of Glass
Mountains, and Owens Valley. Easy to moderate riding and it has
many connecting roads east of the Hwy. 395. Be careful and
aware of other vehicles out having a great time as you are.
Ball Park Vista.
This is a five mile loop from Sawmill Road and then it is a
steep upward grade to the Vista Point. This overlooks Shady
Rest and the town of Mammoth Lakes.
Dry Creek Loop.
The 2.5 miles up Minaret Road. This is a 15-mile loop that
will take you to Dead man Road. Varied terrain.
East Craters Loop.
This is 24 miles round trip. The vehicles should be high
clearance 4WD only.
North on Hwy. 395.Turn right on the dirt road 200 yards
past the June Lake Junction. 1/4 mile down the dirt road is a
kiosk. Going south East Craters Loop begins there. The road
turns into a split after ½ mile. This is the beginning
and end of the loop. The sights you see are Mono
Craters, Sand Flats and Devil's Punchbowl.
This loop is bumpy and dusty with fantastic views.
Bald Mountain Road.
This is 23 miles. From 395 to the top of Dead man
Summit at Logging Camp Road. This goes to the Bald Mountain
fire lookout station. Follow the direction signs to Bald
Mountain Lookout. The trip has great views and the road is
well maintained. At the top there is a log cabin warming hut
and should be open to the public.
Sawmill-Alpers Canyon Trail.
This is 17 miles one way with a high clearance 4WD for the
Go to Shady Rest Campground across from Mc Donald's.
This road goes north to Hwy 395. All other vehicles cross Hwy.
395 to Owens River Road. Turn left go for a short
distance, turn right on to 2S04 west to 1S05, and head south to
join Hwy. 395. This offers good views and lots of variety of
Owens River- Hot Creek Road.
This is17 mile trip. From Hwy. 395 go north of Mammoth
Lakes at Owens River Road. This is a paved road that
follows the Owens River until the road turns to dirt.
Turn right at 3S44 go to Hot Creek Geological Site, that
has bubbling hot springs. The road ends back on Hwy. 395 after
you drive past the Hot Creek Fish Hatchery. If you would
like to stop there it is open for you and your kids to look at
all of the fish that many will be in the lakes and streams of
Lookout Mountain Loop.
This trip is 10 miles round trip. It starts north of
Mammoth Lakes off of Hwy. 395 and heads north. The road
navigates around Lookout Mountain. There are fantastic
360° views of Long Valley Caldera, Obsidian
Dome and Mono Craters.
Deadman Creek Trail.
This is a 6 mile one way trip. West from Hwy. 395 past
Crestview Rest Area and Owens River Road. The
road follows Deadman Creek toward its headwaters. Great
fall colors in late September that must not be missed.
Inyo Craters Road.
This trip is 3 miles long one way and is for high clearance
4X4s. This drive takes off from Mammoth Scenic Loop Road
and goes along the base of the Inyo Craters. This is a
great place to view ancient volcanic activity.
Crater Flat Loop.
This is a 5 mile drive from the Mammoth Lakes
Scenic Loop. If you take Inyo Craters Road. The
Crater Flat Loop starts 500 yards down Inyo Craters
Road and goes through Crater Flats and the Jeffrey Pine
forest. This has views of Mammoth Mountain. If you were
to go on to Deadman Creek Road then go east to Hwy. 395
or to Deadman Creek to reach the campground where
Inyo Craters Road goes back to the Scenic Loop.
San Joaquin Ridge Trail.
This is a 3 mile one way trip for 4WD high clearance SUVs
and trucks only. This road starts near Minaret Vista
after turning right off Hwy. 203. The road goes up a ridge to
Deadman Pass. Views of the Minarets, Mammoth
Mountain, Long Valley Caldera and White Mountains
from a 360° point of view. Please check the Ranger Station
for if the road is closed or not.
The road goes for 8 miles one way and a high clearance 4x4
is the best way to travel this road. From Shady Rest
Campground travel for a few miles. This road goes up
Knob Hill and across the top of the Mammoth
Knolls. There is an overlook of the Town of Mammoth
Lakes. This meets Mammoth Scenic Loop north to the
Inyo Craters Road. Views of the Sierras and Mammoth
Mountain can be seen.
Little Antelope Valley.
This round trip is 15 miles. It begins at the end of Hwy.
203 east of Hwy. 395. Trun left at Little Antelope Valley
Road. Road turns east up the hill. The road takes you
through mountain and meadow terrain with great views. This
route goes past Hot Creek and back to Hwy. 395.
Sherwin Creek Road.
This is a 5 mile one way trip. It starts at Old Mammoth
Road and Sierra Meadows Ranch. There are fantastic meadows
and lots of beautiful aspen trees next to the creek. Great
views of Laurel Mountain and lots of wildlife to
photograph or just kick back and view. This ends back on
Hwy. 395. The road has been and is maintained.
Laurel lakes Road.
This is 4 miles one way with your 4WD high clearance truck
that is set up for adventure. This road starts at Sherwin
Creek Road goes up a glacial moraine to Laurel
Lakes. This has many beautiful aspen trees, and the viewing
of deer in spring and fall. The road is rough, steep and
narrow. This road is for the advanced 4WD drivers only.
Springs / Laurel Ponds Road.
This is a 3 mile trip one way from Sherwin Creek Road
past the Laurel Settling Ponds. The journey is past
Meadows, wild flowers and lots of bird watching. Deer can also
be seen in spring and fall. The colors are fantastic so a
camera would be great to have during late September. Aspen
trees are at the bottom of Laurel Mountain that
indicates the location of springs with a narrow creek to the
The Forest Services publishes great maps and topo maps with
Off Highway Vehicle trails. We highly recommended that you get
maps of any of the areas mentioned here. The Ranger
Station or the Visitor Center can help you plan the
trips that are mentioned. Please follow the rules, and do
not leave trace that you have been in the Forest. Have a
This information is for general purpose and not to be used
for exact information, Make sure you contact the forest
stations for maps before heading out. A cell phone
or a GPS is also advised to carry with you. Also make
sure that you have first-aid, shovel, tools, water along
with food, gas for the truck, rope and anything that may
help you out of being stuck for any length of time.
Adventure Medical First Aid Kits (Hunter) by Red
You should never go out unless you have a good first aid
kit. This kit offers just about everything you might need
to cover any situation that may come up.
4X4 TRUCKS TO
CONSIDER FOR GREAT OFF ROADING
The Toyota F J Cruiser has a 4.0L engine that puts out
239-HP V6, The water resistant seats, and rubber floor and rear
deck, along with underbody skid plates. This is a great car
with the looks of the past.
The Chevy Tahoe Z71 Off-Road 18 inch aluminum wheels,
Automatic locking rear differential, high pressure shocks, fog
lamps, skid plate package, leather seats, this truck is a
beautiful SUV that can go any place you wish. This is an all
time favorite truck that I have had in a full spin on ice with
out a scratch on the truck. I would love to try this easy
driver comfort plus out on some ruff going roads but the wife
says no way. Get your own truck.
The Jeep Wrangler 3.8-liter V6 with six-speed manual
transmission, 17- inch cast- aluminum wheels with 32- inch mud
tires, balanced Dana 44 heavy duty solid front and rear axles,
and removable full framed doors. The Jeep Cherokee is a
truck that I owned it was the best 4X4 that never let me down.
I pulled a stuck full sized Ford truck with a 16 foot trailer
attached to it out of deep loose soft dry dirt. This same 4X4
pulled its way threw a deep boulder ridden creek bed full of 2
and ½ water with no trouble. The great thing was that
this Jeep had only stock equipment with street type tires and
The 217 horse power V8 Discovery manual transmission,
17inch aluminum wheels, and two sunroofs. This truck has lug
nuts three times the size of other trucks and is built like a
tank. I owned one of these power house trucks that made me feel
as if I could drive threw and over anything in my way. I have
had many fond memories with my Discovery.
The Ford Explorer 4.6 V8 6 speed transmission, control trac
4WD. This is a solid truck offering leather seats, skid plates
and much more for a reliable truck.
The winch is the only way to go into areas that there is no
help when you are out on the trails of the back country. So
mount that winch to the front bumper and save your truck,
expensive towing charges and most of all the trip of wonderful
memories in the great outdoors of the High Sierras. This
is a list of a few Winches that can serve you well.
- Super winch EP12.5 Viking
- Electric Winch SE12000C: MILE MARKER
- Gorilla winch
- DUNLOP MUD ROVER - This is a great tire although one
really needs to explore the kind of driving you wish to do and
how much real time spent off road.
- BF Goodrich - Makes a great tire one is called the
ALL TERRAIN. The MUD TERRAIN KM-BF or the MUD
- Goodyear - The off road tire made by Good year is
- The Mickey Thompson ATZ - The ATZ is a great tire for
someone who spends most of the time on the road, but still
wants good off-road traction.
Have fun Off
During your off road adventures you will need reservations
for your accommodations or lodging. Camping can be a lot of fun
but if you are seeking a condo or cabin Mammoth Rental by
Owner can link you up with owners of cabins and condos for
rent. These properties for rent have all the comforts of home
at a fraction of the price you would pay for a hotel room. The
owners of these vacation rental properties offer accommodations
that range from luxury to budget from studios to 4 bedroom
condos. There is a condo or cabin and a price that will
fit any budget. MammothRentalbyOwner.com features properties in
California, Mammoth Lakes, Big Bear, San Francisco, Hawaii and
Europe. In addition to Vacation rentals locations MRBO.com also
lists properties for sale in California locations such as
Mammoth Lakes, Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, Encino, Sherman
Oaks, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Orange
County, Santa Monica, Malibu, San Diego, South Bay, La Canada,
Whether you are looking for a vacation rental or a property
to sell or buy go direct. Mammothrentalbyowner.com offers you
direct links to the owners of cabins, condos, homes and houses
for rent or for sale. Cut out the middleman.
Visit Mammoth and stay in Mammoth during your California