Lone Pine is the home of the Death Valley to Mt. Whitney Bike Race held each year in May and plays host to the Mt. Whitney Classic held in September. There are year round biking trails which will satisfy the hearty athlete to the family taking a biking outing together.
Popular rides include the established roads through the southern Alabama Hills and Movie Flat Road, the Lone Pine Station Ride and Mazourka Canyon Road (see below).
Biking in the Tracks of the Slim Princess
The ride parallels a section of the old Carson and Colorado narrow-gauge railroad, where the steam engine called The Slim Princess pulled her load of cargo and people between Mound House (east of Carson City), Nevada and Keeler (southeast of Lone Pine), California.
From City Park at the north end of Lone Pine, travel north on Highway 395 for half a mile. Turn right (east) onto Lone Pine Narrow Gauge Road. Take a sharp left, then a right and park off the road. Lone Pine Station, a private residence, is on the left.
Take the paved road east, over Owens River bridge, cross the flat and ride past a radar installation. At a Y-junction take the paved road to the left. Go right at a second junction and follow this to a third T-junction at a gravel road. This is the site of the Mt. Whitney Station ( the Lone Pine Stop) on the railroad.
Turn left onto a county road and ride north. After riding a little more than 5 miles you will arrive at the site of the ruins of Owenyo Station. Owenyo Station was the junction of the Southern Pacific Railroad standard gauge and the Carson and Colorado Narrow gauge lines. Here materials and ore were transferred between the railroads.
Ride a little under 5 miles further past some low sand dunes and old mines, and you will come to the old Manzanar Station.
Take a left turn toward the Sierra Nevada and ride for approximately a quarter of a mile. Take another left turn, south and follow a line of power lines and the Owens River for 8 miles past marshy areas where tule deer may be spotted. Continue riding on this road which crosses the old Southern Pacific Railroad near Owenyo Station. Turn right onto a paved road near the radar installation and ride back to your starting point.
View Map a map (258k) of this ride.
Biking Mazourka Canyon
For those wanting a more strenuous ride, this 36 mile out-and-back ride takes the cyclist from the desert floor to the alpine meadows at the crest of the Inyo Mountains. There are many side-trip possibilities along the way. Riders need to be self-sufficient, carrying plenty of water and adequate food. This ride is best during the Spring and Fall months. Enthusiastic explorers will have fun discovering the many side-trip possible along this route.
This ride begins at the junction of Highway 395 and Mazourka Canyon Road (Citrus Road on some maps), at the southern end of Independence.
This ride follows Mazourka Canyon Road, and crosses the LA Aqueduct, a 15-foot scarp formed by the 1872 Earthquake, and the Owens River before the pavement turns to gravel after about 4.5 miles. This road then crosses the old Carson and Colorado railroad (where the old Kearsarge Station once stood) and climbs an alluvial fan. The road then tends northward and begins the climb into the Inyo Mountains.
After almost 9 miles of riding you enter Inyo National Forest. Soon after entering the forest you will pass Squares Tunnel and a couple of cabins. Riding another 2.5 miles brings you to some houses, water tank, mining equipment and wrecked cars. This is private property so keep out. Further along you will cross a cattle guard and ride another 0.2 miles to a sign: “Santa Rita Flat to the left. Badger Flat straight ahead”. Continue straight past Sunday Canyon (staying on the main road) into Al Rose Canyon for another 5.7 miles to Badger Flat. Mining and hunting trials lead out of Badger Flat.
To return to your starting point, retrace your route down the nearly 5,000 feet you climbed on the ride up.
View a map (312k) of this ride.
The 7.5 minute USGS quads which covers the majority of this ride are: Mazourka Peak and Bee Springs Canyon. The beginning of the ride is on the Independence quad.