USFS press release
The Inyo National Forest announces that new over snow fat biking opportunities are available for the 2018 winter season. The following areas are now open to over snow fat bike use:
• Groomed motorized OSV trails identified on the Eastern Sierra Winter Recreation Map as “Snowmobile Routes”
• Obsidian Dome and Shady Rest Park Trails Nordic Recreation Areas identified as “Nordic Routes” on the Eastern Sierra Winter Recreation Map.
The Inyo National Forest over snow vehicle (OSV) trail grooming program has been ongoing within portions of the Mammoth and Mono Lake Ranger Districts since 1993. The forest grooms approximately 85 miles of OSV trails annually using funding from the California Department of Parks and Recreation. These groomed trails are open to motorized vehicles specifically designed for over snow use, such as snowmobiles, and to non-motorized uses such as walking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
The 1992 Forest Order prohibiting the use of nonmotorized bikes on groomed trails is not reflective of new, appropriate recreation activities and did not contemplate changes in biking technology when originally drafted. Therefore the forest is
opening up the opportunity for over snow fat bike use on these groomed trails.
The Inyo National Forest is working collaboratively with the Town of Mammoth Lakes, Mammoth Lakes Recreation (MLR), Mammoth Lakes Trails System (MLTS), Sierra Eastside Mountain Bike Association (SEMBA), Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, and Mono County to provide consistent information for users on the over snow fat biking opportunities now available, on proper trail etiquette, and on signage and wayfinding.
Winter sports enthusiasts are encouraged to have a copy of the Eastern Sierra Winter Recreation Map (https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5211392.pdf) or
available at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center, so that they can responsibly plan their activities.
The Mammoth Lakes Basin (including all snow-covered areas above the road closures on Lake Mary Road and Twin Lakes Road) is closed to over snow fat bike use during the period of operation of the Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center.
Bikes are prohibited on groomed Nordic trails, on the Public Access Corridor, and everywhere else in the Mammoth Lakes Basin. Bikes will be permitted in the Mammoth Lakes Basin after April 17, 2018, subject to posted rules and
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area will, however, partner with SEMBA, the Inyo National
Forest, and other groups to carry out organized fat bike special events.
To ensure the enjoyment of the trail system for all users, the Inyo National Forest and collaborative partners encourage proper trail etiquette for over snow fat bike users. Fat bike users should yield to all other users, leave room for others to pass (don’t ride side-by-side blocking the trail), don’t ride in cross country ski tracks or in such a manner as to disturb cross country ski tracks or skating lanes, and don’t ride in soft conditions (if you leave a rut deeper than 2 inches, it’s too soft).
More information on fat biking opportunities and trail etiquette can be found at: https://blog.mammothtrails.org/blog/the-inyo-national-forest-announces-new-over-snowfat-biking-opportunities.
As a reminder, mountain bikes are not permitted in wilderness areas.
The Inyo National Forest provides a wide spectrum of winter recreational activities. Visitors and residents can vastly improve these recreational opportunities, reduce conflict, and protect the forest resources by practicing common courtesy and respecting others’ experiences.