the town loop: old mammoth area

One subtle aspect of Mammoth that doesn’t get enough love by visitors is the Town Loop. Basically, it’s an asphalt trail for walking, running, skateboarding, and bicycling. In the winter, large sections hand themselves over to cross country (nordic) skiing.

The practical impacts of the trail are shocking: you can navigate around the already-small town without a car and don’t have to worry about cars except when crossing the few roads that pop up.

Two happy kids bounding across a bridge in Mammoth Lakes, with the Sherwin range in the background.

But like all things in Mammoth the beauty is striking. Plenty of places in the world have trails and handy pedestrian routes. But none that I’ve seen are nestled in forests, crossing streams and creeks, ringed by mountain ranges so close you feel like you could touch them.

Old Mammoth has somewhat close access to the trail, but if you’re south of Old Mammoth Road you’ll find yourself walking a bit on the roads to get there. Armed with a bicycle, you’ll make quick work of the whole ordeal. But if you can get yourself over to Sherwin Street and head north, you’ll T-bone the trail and see the 0.5 mile sign to Eagle Lodge.

Something like that makes me want to seriously consider a split board, or at minimum popping some snowshoes on with my board on my back.