First Impressions: Getting Loose on Mammoth Mountain's Big Jumps & Fast Tech

Aug 26, 2019
by Pinkbike Originals  


Mammoth Mountain is probably best known for its historic Kamikaze DH race that has been sending riders hurdling down a long, steep fire road since the 80s. However, there's a lot more to Mammoth's bike park than just the iconic fire road and Pinkbike's Jason Lucas flew south to ride some of the best trails around the park.

Mammoth Mountain Bike Park mountain biking trails

Presented by Mammoth Mountain.

This video was shot entirely on the GoPro Hero 7 Black.


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Mammoth Mountain Bike Park


79 Comments

  • 27 1
 I washed out 10 times watching that video.
  • 23 0
 Wasn't ready for the air time on that stepdown at 8:20. He just kept hangin haha.
  • 3 1
 yeah he didnt looked that fast but then there was sudenly a 12m stepdown there
  • 2 0
 Right? I was waiting to hear the tires hit the dirt and they didn’t for an extra count haha
  • 3 0
 "nice little stepdown here"
  • 3 0
 He actually made a triple out of it. There’s another transition higher up that makes the jump about half as long. I have never seen anyone even attempt to clear what he did so effortlessly. Guy has skill.
  • 23 5
 standing on top of something like Mammoth Mountain is something truly special. just the vastness of it. i hope americans don't take that sort of thing for granted.
  • 8 22
flag nvranka (Aug 26, 2019 at 7:03) (Below Threshold)
 .....
  • 21 0
 The views up there are actually insane. Definitely had to spend some time up there to take it all in.
  • 1 16
flag jorgeposada (Aug 26, 2019 at 12:06) (Below Threshold)
 I guess anything made out of wood is a wallride? Sorry we literally ride on concrete walls all the time.
  • 4 1
 I grew up skiing there. It is an amazing place for sure. Our own little Dolomites. LOL. or something... Truthfully though, the Sierra Nevada Mountains are pretty damn amazing...
  • 2 0
 Jon Muir country
  • 1 0
 Thank you for the confirmation.
  • 12 0
 the GoPro effect gets me every time--the drop at 4:54 looks SO TAME here. Cheers for casually riding it blind--this is not a "Paul the Punter"-style edit, apparently.
  • 12 0
 daring to say 'final trail of the day' while not wearing gloves. respect.
  • 3 0
 The pumice is shockingly kind to your hands if you crash, probably because it's a couple inches deep. The pavers, however, are not.
  • 10 0
 @scvkurt03: Kitty litter & cheese graters.
  • 5 0
 @scvkurt03: are we basically saying its almost a gentle exfoliator?
  • 10 0
 I thought he was talking into a mirror at first.
  • 5 0
 I'm just bummed that the Kamikaze Bike Games event have been cancelled. My yearly camping, racing, and occasionally bone-breaking pilgrimage is on hold. Probably forever, at my age. RIP
  • 7 2
 Didn’t really show what mammoth has to offer, kind of made mammoth look worse than it is tbh.

Comparing pipeline to a line is a bad look, even if it’s a joke.
  • 5 0
 Agree. "Our A-Line" was a cringy moment.
  • 4 0
 More like Pedaline. Never ridden A-line but I never see much pedaling in the videos.
  • 3 0
 @DhDWills: as someone lucky enough to have been to mammoth and whistler many times...there is no comparison if we're talking about jump lines.

Mammoth has it's own flavor though, terrain couldn't be much more different. Mammoth is raw with janky features, corners, etc, more of a traditional socal feel...whistler has big features, but many feel like bumper bowling with perfectly bermed exits and plenty of support.

In Mammoth you want to be careful about overshooting a lot of their jumps...it can actually be quite scary if you're a good jumper and get carried away with entry speed. Whistler's jump lines can obviously be overshot like anything too, but would really only happen if you were trying to.

Both so fun.
  • 6 0
 Between the trails and the sound of his brakes i thought this video looked abnormally good for being from 2004
  • 4 1
 Mammoth Mountain really is beautiful, that's for sure. However, I was disappointed with riding there because of the dirt, the pumice kitty litter stuff. For me, it took the fun out of everything. Even being from Southern California, the lack of traction literally anywhere got annoying. But of course, if you like bike surfing, you'd love that place.
  • 2 1
 Yep - I agree totally.

Mammoth is a really well-built bike park, and fun to ride. Also, a much more authentic mountain community than I expected from being so close to LA.

But, I'll take the odd summer rain-shower and tack it brings, over parks that are dry and sunny all summer. Basically, if you're a bike park in North America outside of the green bits of North America, you're going to have dusty trails for a good chunk of the summer: kids.britannica.com/students/assembly/view/166534
  • 1 0
 @atourgates: In the end, after paying something around $50 for a day lift pass, it was mediocre.
I have been to mammoth multiple times for skiing and the hiking surrounding area, which is awesome, but I don't think I'd be going back to the bike park.
  • 4 0
 Don’t sleep on Mammoth, it’s a truly beautiful place and the riding is varied and challenging. Would go back in a heartbeat
  • 2 0
 Sucks that some of the best trails weren't open at the time of shooting. Upper Skid Marks, Chain Smoke, Velocity, Techno, Bullet, and Follow Me are all super fun, and bring more rocks into play.
  • 11 0
 So, you're saying I have to go back?
  • 4 0
 I don't agree with upper skid marks being on that list. It only gets ridden because it's the only connector from the top to that side of the mountain.
  • 1 0
 Agree. Missed a lot of gnar and flow.
  • 1 0
 @DhDWills: Ya, it’s maybe a tier below but the steep surfy part at the top is pretty fun.
  • 2 0
 @jasonlucas: Yes but bring the IFHT crew.
  • 2 0
 @jasonlucas: it appears only half of trails were open. Lots of great trails missed on this video. Yes you need to go back. Mammoth is a great bike park.
  • 2 0
 skid marks --> toll road --> follow me.. best lap on the mtn imop; if you're lucky enough to catch it during or immediately after a rain day, all that pumice gets super grippy, packed and fast.
  • 1 0
 oh and if you want a break from the pumice jump on twilight, or some of the trails in the more forested sections of the mtn like juniper, timber ridge, mtn view etc there is dirt hidden in the trees.
  • 1 0
 @jasonlucas: there are at least 5 or 6 better trails than anything you rode. Bullet is one of the most famous DH trails in the world, I believe (Santa Cruz built and named a bike to handle it, at least).
  • 2 0
 @scvkurt03: Anything surfy is fun. That is where I learned to ride DH. I don't get people that don't like bike surfing. But to each his own. It is possible to surf straight down the pumice shoots on the back side (beware of cliffs, skiers die near this area every year) and short hike a bike thru the woods to the USFS trail system. This trail can take you back out towards the lakes basin and town or see how deep the rabbit hole goes and ride into Reds Meadow. At that point you either hike back out or have a prearranged shuttle. This route is highly illegal but the forest service trail is some of the best flow..or so I'm told... Government shut down anyone?
  • 6 5
 People tell me that BC is the best place to live if you are into MTB, but I really have a strong feeling that CA holds that spot. You get parks with good elevation (snow valley, snow summit, mammoth), and you have year round riding at lower altitudes that isn't hampered by guaranteed rain or snow, unlike in BC.

You are also closer to Sedona and places in Utah which have their own character.
  • 18 0
 You clearly haven't been to BC... I've travelled and ridden a lot in California, there is fun stuff for sure, but doesn't even come close to BC.
  • 5 1
 i Live near Mammoth, and if you think Mammoth compares to whistler then you must really love drifting...And poorly built trails.
  • 2 0
 that really depends on what u like to ride. i have ridden all over the western US, and i think BC is killer. and unlike most places south of there, u can ride in the wet and not destroy the trails.
  • 2 0
 @canadaka: Agree with you completely. I live in Cali, ridden Mammoth and many other areas for decades. There is no comparison to the biking in BC. Its a different world with different dirt and moisture. Nor-Cal is great and lots of diversity . . . . but for my money BC is where the goods reside
  • 2 0
 @MitchellGoosen: you should try to make a trip to Eureka, CA, if it’s not to far...
  • 1 2
 @canadaka: Sure, but is it rideable year round like Cali is? And Im talking about regular, enjoyable dry riding, not sliding down the mountain on the brakes with wet rock/roots or snow under you.
  • 1 0
 @unrooted: I hear great things about that area . . . have it on my very large to-do list . . . so much to ride, so little time
  • 1 0
 Mammoth is rad and super fun but it’s one of a kind with the dirt that’s up that. Can’t really compare it to anywhere else. But also their trail system is slightly over rated a lot of blacks and double blacks could be down graded. But over all a super fun park.
  • 1 0
 True, but it goes both ways many of the single blacks/double blacks have go-arounds/race lines burned in that have made them easier if you opt for those lines over the original lines. It all depends on when and/if they go in and clean those up, and there are some trails that have changed to be harder than currently rated based on damage from the winter or people burning in rowdier lines. It's all kinda relative, for me at least big part of it is what I'm used to. I used to feel velocity was a lot rowdier than it is for me now, but I'll go up to Squamish and will find myself stumped on a single black at times, but I'm sure if I rode Squamish as much as I ride Mammoth I'd have an easier time with slow tech but struggle in the pumice.
  • 1 0
 Completely agree! they should check out Chatel to see what a double / triple black trail is all about! they would all be graded blue there...
Even in the UK that trail rating is pissed...
  • 1 0
 Hope @jasonlucas had fun & was able to ride more than was shown (Twilight Zone, Skid Marx, Bullet, etc).

Having ridden Mammoth 100x & just getting back from Whistler, there's literally no comparison but it's still really fun. The kitty litter pumice is very unique & puts a whole new meaning to "loose" (there's nothing like it anywhere).

@mammoth if you're reading this, the landing for the Pipeline jump at 5:50 needs to be about 20' longer.
  • 3 0
 Riding Mammoth is like surfing kitty litter. Pretty fun and unusual riding style.
  • 3 0
 yeah, surfin the duff...that volcanic dust gets sketchy in places but thats part of mammoth's character.
  • 8 4
 Looks like a road not a trail
  • 5 5
 Black and double black look like a joke to me. Not a single rock or root, not steep at all. Just because there is a fast and long drop down doesn't mean the trail is technical or difficult. Looks fun for sure but not really skill needed except riding in moon dust.
  • 7 0
 You are saying that because you’ve never been there. That dirt is kitty litter. All the holes, and rock gardens blend in together. Also the trail look flat on video. In person they are much steeper.

Go pro effect is real unless you go on a pro line tech trail. Which they have 3 open ones. All of which can be scene with Aaron Gwin footage.
  • 2 0
 Look up the Pro GRT footage from Mammoth. Should give you a sense of difficulty.
  • 5 3
 I rode Mammoth the summer of 2017, not that impressed, hopefully they have built more since then.
  • 1 3
 I believe all the newest trails were built before 2017, and they all blow, mid mountain must’ve been built by someone who has never ridden at mammoth it starts on a bunch of loose crappy berms that were blown out the first week it was built, smooth operator has a couple horrible berms as well...did the builders not realize why every turn on the Mtn has pavers??? Mammoth is the most over rated mountain bike “destination” I’ve been to...too bad it’s less than an hour from where I live.

If I had BC Level riding nearby I’d quit rock climbing.
  • 1 1
 @unrooted: boomerang opened last year, and upper velocity was rerouted some and reopened as velocoraptor, berms aren't always blown out like any bike park things get ridden and repaired..all depends on what days you catch what trails.
  • 1 0
 i wonder what it would be like to ride there again. haven't been since the late 90's. i remember the pumice being pretty hard to get used to...
  • 3 0
 I remember riding mammoth in 1998 bombing down kamikaze with rim brakes.
  • 2 0
 So sketchy.
  • 1 0
 Super cool. More stuff from @jasonlucas pls. Even my 4yro likes the guy... "Wait Dad, why is it the law to have that truck?" lol.
  • 2 0
 .....and for that, I am out.
  • 5 7
 Okay, so the mountain has a big rep for skiing, but seriously, that video confirms my memories, dust, low tech, some built flow, but I wouldn't pay to ride that, maybe a pedal pass at most. There are some great trails to ride in that area, but they are pedal trails and they are off the mountain. I live a few hours away, but I'd rather ride Northstar. If someone was going to travel to ride park, there are better parks.
  • 6 0
 Literally none of the tech trails are in this video, as they were still working to clear them of snow when this was shot.. LRC, Mammoth Rock, and Yost are all fun, but if they were in the park, they might barely make the top 10.
  • 3 0
 Wrong, Mammoth has plenty of rocky gnar, none of it was shown because of the huge snow season they had, they actually had to dig trails out to open.
  • 1 0
 Best of luck pedaling up Mammoth, 3,000 feet up from the village to the top of the chair, and the steepest part is at 10,000 above sea level. Northstar tech is an absolute joke compared to Mammoth.
  • 2 0
 So we can all agree that John is super fast, right?
  • 2 0
 Oh ya. John shreds.
  • 2 3
 Mammoth is a special place. I would love to see the Kamikaze raced again at the WC level. Two or four person Kamikaze eliminator races would be entertaining as well.
  • 1 0
 not bad.
  • 1 0
 I want your job.
  • 1 1
 Looks great!
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