14 OFF HIGHWAY VEHICLE ROUTES
The Town of Mammoth Lakes in conjunction with the Forest Services publishes a great map with Off Highway Vehicle trails. It is available at any Ranger Station and the Welcome Center. Please you common sense and follow the rules, and remember to leave no trace that you have been in the Forest. Have Fun.
A1 - East Craters Loop
24 miles round trip / 4WD High Clearance Vehicles only
From Mammoth Lakes, head north on Hwy. 395. Turn right on a dirt road 200 yards past the June Lake Junction. 100 yards down this dirt road there is a kiosk. The east Craters Loop begins here, heading south. The road splits after 200 yards. This marks the beginning and end of the entire loop. Go left, following the directional signs. The sights you see include Mono Craters, Sand Flats and Devil's Punchbowl. The loop follows the same road for 24 bumpy, dusty and spectacular scenic miles.
A2 - Bald Mountain Road
23 miles round trip loop
Leaves Hwy. 395 from the top of Deadman Summit at Logging Camp Road and goes to the Bald Mountain fire lookout station. Stay on 1S05 and follow the directional signs to Bald Mountain Lookout. There are great views and the road is well maintained. A log cabin warming hut at the top is open to the public.
A3 - Sawmill-Alpers Canyon Trail
17 miles one way / High Clearance Vehicle Recommended
Take Sawmill Cutoff Road 3S08 at Shady Rest Campground (across Hwy. 203 from Mc Donald's). This road leads north until it intersects Hwy. 395. Motorcycles and ATVs can cross Hwy. 395 via a tunnel. All other vehicles cross Hwy. 395 at the Scenic Loop Road. Take 3S06 to 2S06 to 2S88 to Owens River Road. Turn left and go a short distance, then turn right on to 2S04 west to 1S05, which head south to join Hwy. 395. This route offers good views and lots of variety of terrain.
A4 - Owens River- Hot Creek Road
17 miles one way
Leaves from Hwy. 395 north of Mammoth Lakes at Owens River Road. The paved road follows the headwaters of the Owens River until the road turns into dirt. Turn right at 3S44 and continue to Hot Creek Geological Site, featuring bubbling hot springs. Route ends back on Hwy. 395 after passing the Hot Creek Fish Hatchery, which is open for tours.
A5 - Lookout Mountain Loop
10 miles round trip / High Clearance Vehicle Recommended
This route starts north of Mammoth Lakes off of Hwy. 395 at 3S06 and heads north. The road circumnavigates Lookout Mountain with a side trip to the top on 2S02. There are spectacular 360° views of the Long Valley Caldera and other volcanic features such as Obsidian Dome and Mono Craters.
A6 - Deadman Creek Trail
6 miles one way
Go west from Hwy. 395 just past the Crestview Rest Area and Owens River Road on 2S05. The road follows Deadman Creek toward its headwaters. Spectacular fall colors at the end of the road in late September.
A7 - Inyo Craters Road
3 miles one way / High Clearance Vehicle Recommended
Leaves from the Mammoth Scenic Loop Road and travels along the base of the Inyo Craters. Park at the craters parking lot for a short walk to the rim of one of the craters. This is a great place to view ancient volcanic activity. Can be used with parts of routes A8 and A6 to make a complete circle around the Inyo Craters.
A8 - Crater Flat Loop
5 miles one way - 4WD High Clearance Vehicle Recommended
From the Mammoth Lakes Scenic Loop, take Inyo Craters Road 3S22. The Crater Flat Loop starts on the left, 500 yards down Inyo Craters Road and goes through Crater Flats and thick Jeffrey Pine forest. Great views of Mammoth Mountain from the flats. Continue to Deadman Creek Road. From here go east all the way to Hwy. 395 or follow Deadman Creek until you reach the campground where Inyo Craters Road leads back to the Scenic Loop.
A9 - San Joaquin Ridge Trail
3 miles one way / 4WD High Clearance Vehicles Only
This old rocky road begins near the Minaret Vista, 30 yards after turning right off of Hwy. 203. The road travels up the ridge to Deadman Pass. Spectacular views of the Minarets, Mammoth Mountain, Long Valley Caldera and the White Mountains from a 360° vantage point. Seasonal closures, so please check with the Ranger Station.
A10 - Knolls Trail
8 Miles one way / High Clearance Vehicle Recommended
Leaves from Shady Rest Campground and follows Sawmill Cutoff Road 3S08 for a few miles before turning left at 3S33. This road climbs up Knob Hill and goes across the top of the Mammoth Knolls. Great overlook of the Town of Mammoth Lakes from several of the side spurs. Meets Mammoth Scenic Loop and continues north to the Inyo Craters Road. Great Views of the Sierra and Mammoth Mountain from several locations on this route.
A11 - Little Antelope Valley
15 miles round trip
Starts at the south end of Hwy. 203 east of Hwy. 395. Turn left at Little Antelope Valley Road 3S05. The road bends to the east and climbs up a hill. From the top, the road winds through both mountain and meadow terrain and affords good views. This route joins route A4 and head south-west past Hot Creek and back to Hwy. 395.
A12 - Sherwin Creek Road
5 miles one way.
Starts on Old Mammoth Road by the Mammoth Museum and Sierra Meadows Ranch on 4S08. There are beautiful meadows and lots of aspen trees by the creek, providing plenty of places to picnic. You'll find great views of Laurel Mountain and the fall colors here are amazing. Also good wildlife viewing. Route ends back on Hwy. 395. Well-maintained dirt road.
A13 - Laurel lakes Road
4 miles one way / 4WD High Clearance Vehicles Only
Leaves from the Sherwin Creek Road 4S08 and climbs a glacial moraine to Laurel Lakes. Outstanding drive in the fall because of the many aspen trees. Good spot to view deer migration in spring and fall. This road is rough, steep and narrow and is recommended for advanced 4WD drivers only!
A14 - Cold Springs / Laurel Ponds Road
3 miles one way
Leaves from the Sherwin Creek Road and goes past the Laurel Settling Ponds. Meadows and wild flowers make this a great spot for picnicking and bird watching. Deer migration and fall colors are spectacular during late September. Aspen trees at the base of Laurel Mountain mark the location of cold springs, a natural cold-water source coming straight out of the ground and flowing down a narrow creek to the ponds.
It is highly recommended that you take a topo map and compass along with you on these adventures, along with the basic tools you will need in case of a flat tire. Check the weather before you depart and carry first - aid, food, water a space blanket and a CB or cellular phone. The topo map that corresponds with these trails is available at the Visitor Center.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Mammoth Welcome Center
Highway 203, PO Box 148
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546