The Mono Lake Loop.


DH bike and I in the Gondi to the top

DH bike and I in the Gondi to the top at Mammoth Mountain Bike Park

Now that Mammoth Bike Park is closed for the season its time to get my focus back to earning those turns. Bike park was fun. The Downhill Village Championship (VCs) bike races where a blast sponsored by Mammoth Outdoor Sports

Chain Smoke Trail Village Championship Race

Chain Smoke Trail Village Championship Race

and KamiKaze Bike Games where highlights of my DH season. I Met a few new friends this season including the group from June Lake Brewery, which I can not wait until they are open. Their tasty samples of brew was a pallet’s orgasm. Ok back to the Mono Lake Loop since I have purchased my Fatbike my idea has open up to more opportunities of places to ride I thought it would be cool to ride the coastline of Mono Lake until I drove down Navy Beach ( Mono Lake) and saw the signs no bike riding so I just pedaled about 5 miles on a gravel road then headed to the Mono Lake Visitors Center to buy a Topo Map to see what I could ride.

I made a post on FatbikeMammoth Facebook page to see if anyone was interested  “Any mountain bikers want to ride around mono lake in the next couple weeks? start in Lee Vining Mono Vistors center 395 to Cemetery rd 2N40 gravel rd to 3N06 gravel rd to 1N54 gravel rd to 1N51 gravel rd to 1N44 to parking lot about 40-45 mile rolling double track to fire road.” A couple people where interested but only Alan was able to make it.

We carpooled to the Mono Visitor Center it was very cool glad I had my Leg warmers arm warmers and my Northface Ultralight windbreaker sure it looks like a 100$ trash bag but it keeps you warm. So we set off on little double track downhill then we had to connect to 395

Riding the Shoulder of 395 with Alan

Riding double track

We rode the shoulder of 395 (which had some nice views and probably the closest views of the lake) for about 3 miles where we connected to Cemetery RD.

395

Riding the Shoulder of 395 with Alan

You will pass Tioga Lodge looks like a nice place to stay and Mono Inn which if you can time it right has a great happy hour and live music. Once you hit Cemetery RD you pass Mono park which if you are like me great place to use the facilities and fill up on water. If you are into cool old cemeteries there is one here assuming thats why they call this road Cemetery RD. We cruised along after about a mile or two we begun back on a gravel road riding around Black Point. Around Black Point we had a nice Downhill with a great View of the Lake.

Downhill ride towards Mono Lake

Downhill ride towards Mono Lake

Soon we came to a split straight was Cemetery rd to Hwy 167 right was a great double track 2N40 there is no signage here but we just kinda assumed from the Topo Map and the forest map Alan had on his Iphone the double track weaved thru some Pinon Pines and Rabbit Brush and Sage with almost dry lake terrain.

Double Track

Double Track

Now on the back side of the lake we came across some Desert Art.

Desert Art

Desert Art

More Desert Art

More Desert Art

A little more double track then you pop out at HWY 167 there are some private homes on the back of the Lake reason for not being able to keep going on double track.

We ride on HWY 167 for about a mile and a half or less then you pop back on 3N05 to 3N06 there are no signs here either, so we check are maps to make sure we are heading the right way. The trail starts to get really Sandy ok thinking sweet glad we are on FatBikes

Alan riding some soft dune style trail

Alan riding some soft dune style trail

We are starting to see dried up Alkali Ponds there are long stakes setup so you know we are on the trail there are big dunes here and one even took over the trail like the movie The Blob but we follow the 4×4 tracks around the Dune holding back wanting to climb the Dune and free ride down but I did not want to waist energy knowing  we still had about half to ride still.

Humm wanting to free ride these dunes.

Humm wanting to free ride these dunes.

The Sandy trails which where kinda fun floating over the sand like a tank. I did stop to let a little more air out of the tires..

merging from 3N06 to

Merging from 3N06 to 1N54.

Ok tanking it over the soft trail until we merged with 1N54 there is a warm spring here. The trail began to turn fast, like dry lake bed fast. We would hit a couple pot holes that where filled with silt and reminded that winter is near and will be making some pow turns soon or the way the canon poofs when San Diego Chargers makes a Touchdown at home games. After about 4 or 5 miles we hit really sandy trail again the sand was pretty deep a couple times and I was tired so I would hike a bike it. This was at about the 1/3 Mark to go. This is where you began to see the lake again. You can see some Tufas, nice the trail turns to gravel and you link up with the road that goes down to Navy Beach where its pretty cool to drop in your paddle board or Kayak around the Tufas.

The road to Navy Beach

The road to Navy Beach

So we made a quick left and a quick right to 1N51 here you see the towering south tufas your a bit away from them but worth hiking down to them.

Alan with South Tufa's in the back ground.

Alan with South Tufa’s in the back ground.

Just riding along and you go over a bridge which is Rush Creek and if you ran out of water you can drink here sure you may have a chance of Giardia  but someone said its good for weight loss haha…

Rush Creek

Rush Creek

Riding along you see some more Tufa’s you hit Picnic Grounds gravel road there is some old cabins that I thought was pretty cool.

Old Cabin still used.

Old Cabin still used.

yep riding along you get a great vantage point of Paoha Island which your aloud to camp August 2 thru March 31st, April 1st thru August 1st closed due to one of the largest Sea Gull Breeding Habitats. Ok back to riding along a fast gravel road you come up to wash out creek no bridge for this one and by the way it is fall season so the color of the trees where firing SO NICE!!! we did ride thru the creek, feet are getting wet but the day warmed up so it was refreshing awwww

riding thru Wash Out Creek.

riding thru Wash Out Creek.

That extra kick to make it to the car we past the old rusted car.  We new we just had what felt like 500ft of double track to climb back to the truck.

20131008-183059.jpg

20131008-183127.jpg

Now I was craving beer and food.
If Mobile Mart or Mono Cone is open these places have the grinds yes Mobile Mart.

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