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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Trying to join a friend at Mammoth this weekend.

Can anyone help with conditions?
How's the smoke situation? Trail conditions? Can weather shut the place down in summer? Planning on just showing up and buying tickets at the door.

How about getting there from bay area? I do not have reservation to Yosemite. Will I be able to drive through 120 or is 108 better?
Any points of interest for my drive back.
Any input would be appreciated.
Never been.
 

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120 is faster, use the old priest cuttoff below Oak Flat to save a bit of time. Worth doing 108 at least once, as different, nice scenery. Both recommendations assume you aren’t towing or in a motorhome. You can buy tickets ahead, slightly cheaper I think. Recommend the Good Life Cafe for good reasonably priced food.

Mammoth riding is all kitty litter, almost like surfing on a bike. It is fun, but different. Be careful and make sure you can see what you are hitting before you do. There is a drop on flow that comes right after a corner and is pretty big. There is no room to stop if you come around the corner blind. Have fun.
 

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I was just there for all of July. Smoke was not bad except 1 day, but check the AQI monitors for more detailed info. Kitty litter is real there, low traction dirt surfing. If going on a weekend either go through Yosemite early or late, or else you could be stuck in a long line to get into the park. You can get passes to just drive through now (different than last year). Don't go down Priest grade unless you're quite sure your brakes are in good shape.
 

· Old,slow,still havin fun.
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395 and the Eastern Sierra are beautiful!
108 is fun on a motorcycle, I did not enjoy it being tired and driving a truck.

I thought the food at that gas station at 120/395 is overrated, but they do have great souvenirs.

Mind the wind if you hit the jump lines. They usually have wind flags at the tops of the jumps, they're there for good reason.
There's a lot of lines at Mammoth I do not think I will ever try, there's only a few at N* (Karpiel rock waterfall, Tell No Tales rock waterfall).
 

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395 and the Eastern Sierra are beautiful!
108 is fun on a motorcycle, I did not enjoy it being tired and driving a truck.

I thought the food at that gas station at 120/395 is overrated, but they do have great souvenirs.

Mind the wind if you hit the jump lines. They usually have wind flags at the tops of the jumps, they're there for good reason.
There's a lot of lines at Mammoth I do not think I will ever try, there's only a few at N* (Karpiel rock waterfall, Tell No Tales rock waterfall).
Watched my then 9 year old son hit a big jump at Mammoth and get blown off the bike. And I agree, there is stuff at Mammoth that makes Northstar's hardest look like a walk in the park.

I understand the guy who owned the restaurant at 120/395 sold it a while back. I remember it being amazing 15 years ago, not very good last time I went (about 5 years ago). I always called it the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
 

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Also for me northstar is more technical than mammoth because of the terrain. (At least during races, I never ride these places for fun anymore). Northstar gets blow out with holes that can swallow your wheel, the rock gardens are super jagged and want to kill your momentum, and everything is jank. Mammoth may have bigger features and steeper sections, but they are smooth and there is way less chance at a mistake if your above a certain skill level. For my skill set anyways. And the “transfer sections” between big features are smooth at mammoth, where northstar is relentless and rocky everywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Also for me northstar is more technical than mammoth because of the terrain. (At least during races, I never ride these places for fun anymore). Northstar gets blow out with holes that can swallow your wheel, the rock gardens are super jagged and want to kill your momentum, and everything is jank. Mammoth may have bigger features and steeper sections, but they are smooth and there is way less chance at a mistake if your above a certain skill level. For my skill set anyways. And the "transfer sections" between big features are smooth at mammoth, where northstar is relentless and rocky everywhere.
Great info for comparison. . I did NorthStar last year and was pretty decent on Livewire and Gypsy.
Only thing is I will be bringing a 5010 V4. Hope it can handle ok.
 

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Friend told me Yosemite is giving a two hour pass if you are just driving through 120. Wonder if I still have to pay.
Yes you still have to pay.

Do I need a day-use reservation if I am just driving through the park?
You can drive through the park to reach a destination on the other side of the park without a reservation. The entrance station ranger will provide a time-stamped permit valid for the time needed to travel from entrance to entrance. You must drive the most direct route to exit the park; stopping is prohibited. Violating park regulations can result in a fine of up to $5,000 and/or six months in jail.

The park entrance fee still applies and provides access to visit Hetch Hetchy during open hours when it's not full.
 

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Great info for comparison. . I did NorthStar last year and was pretty decent on Livewire and Gypsy.
Only thing is I will be bringing a 5010 V4. Hope it can handle ok.
It will be fine, just don't go flying down DC10. If anything for most of the trails your bike will work better at Mammoth than Northstar as it is less chunky. Do be aware the air is thin, base is 8000 feet, the top is 11,000, which doesn't sound like a lot, but sure feels that way compared to 6,000-8,000.

Some quick reading about Dave MCoy, the incredible man who, with his wife and kids, took Mammoth from a completely desolate mountain to what it is today.

 
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· Rides all the bikes!
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Only a handful of places at Mammoth that really require long travel, otherwise geometry is more important. If you have doubts about your bike being able to handle it, just don't do it. There are plenty of enjoyable trails that you really don't have to feel pressured to go check out that "Pro Line" because everything else has gotten boring.
 

· RIDDLELDDIR
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To me, the real bummer about Mammoth is the crowd, and the fact that pretty much every trail you see on trailforks is owned by Mammoth and you have to pay, even if you want to just pedal off the bottom. And it seems like every time I'm in Mammoth, some form of drama happens with the employees! Last time, end of the day, I was two behind in the shuttle line, Dad and kid were 1 and 2. They had just dropped their rental bikes off and trying to get back up to the lot for their car. The bus was filling up, and the kid got on the bus. The bus driver signaled "all full" and the dad was denied, but he was also on his cell phone booking what seemed dinner with his wife and arguing over that. The dad motioned for the kid to come off the bus while he was still on the phone, and oh man.. The employee refused to let the dad on the bus, the dad turns, puts his phone down for a send and WTF's the employee kid.. When the dad insisted the kid stay in line for the other bus with him, the driver closes the door, the employee and the dad went full nuclear on each other. Every one kept yelling "There's another bus right there!!" to the dad. But oh no. Bus leaves. Dad is at level 100/100, manager came out, everyone is arguing, the people in line are heckling, I was drinking 395 IPA and just sitting there people watching. I'm still laughing at how crazy Mammoth can get. But, I'm sure you are fine, OP. Go check out Twin, or Convict Lake. Devil's Post pile is cool, too. Lee Vining is overrated.

Oh and FWIW, Yosemite is closed to through traffic without a reservation. I tried that coming back from Tahoe a few months ago. Isn't happening without a reservation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh and FWIW, Yosemite is closed to through traffic without a reservation. I tried that coming back from Tahoe a few months ago. Isn't happening without a reservation.
[/QUOTE]

According to the Yosemite website, and third party info, looks like they are letting through traffic pass with out reservation.
Word still out on if they are charging full price for only two hour access.

108 is only about 20 miles longer drive and from what i'm hearing is a better drive than 120?
I want most direct route to there but can take my time on the return and enjoy the scenery.
 

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Take 108, but please, PLEASE, if a car comes up behind you pull over in a turnout for a second to let them pass.

And all the land along 395 north of Mammoth is USFS land, so you can camp pretty much anywhere. Just know no fires outside developed (i.e. pay) sites with fire pits.
 

· RIDDLELDDIR
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108 is only about 20 miles longer drive and from what i'm hearing is a better drive than 120?
I want most direct route to there but can take my time on the return and enjoy the scenery.
That and if you happen to fall out of your car and onto your bike somewhere along 108 in certain parts, you'd probably have more fun than driving all the way to Mammoth Lakes. Maybe.
 

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I have camped a few times right next to Mammoth, just up the road a ways.
Guessing, they probably don't care if someone spends the night in one of those lower lots, as they are nearly entirely empty this time of year.
 
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