Dirt bike riders catch air at Mammoth Bar OHV Park
Fun outdoor pastime or complete obsession?
For Jeff Barbarick, owner of Auburn Extreme Power Sports, it’s the latter.
“I spend as much of my free time as possible riding,” Barbarick said.
Barbarick re-opened Auburn Extreme Power Sports in 2009 with partner Jack Casper. Barbarick, a long-time power sport enthusiast started riding dirt bikes when he was 6 years old with his father, Leo.
After much fascination with the inner workings of motorcycles he learned to take them apart and put them back together. At age 10 he started racing and hasn’t stopped.
Where do Barbarick and other power sport enthusiasts go to let the trail blaze behind them? Mammoth Bar is at the top of the list, as well as Sugar Pine recreational area and Georgetown.
Mammoth Bar OHV Area is part of the Auburn State Recreation Area. It is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills about 30 miles northeast of Sacramento.
This motorcycle/all-terrain vehicle riding area has been used by off-road enthusiasts for nearly 25-years and offers a wide range of trails and conditions next to the Middle Fork of the American River.
Within the 1,000 acres of OHV land there is a full trail system dedicated to two-wheel dirt bikes, quad vehicles and mountain bikes as well as a track that is watered daily in the summer to curb excessive dust and maintain the integrity of the track soil. The trail system is marked similar to a ski slope designation with green for easy, blue for intermediate and black for advanced riders.
“One ‘green’ track is for kids or 90cc or less motorcycles. This trail is mostly flat with some small rolling hills for the novice rider. Whether the rider is 8 years old or 45 years old, this trail serves as a learning trail to build up the rider’s confidence,” said Scott Liske of The California Department of Parks and Recreation.
As well as the difficulty designation, trails are marked with what kind of off-highway vehicle is allowed. Not all trails are open to quads due to their width, but all are open to dirt bikes and mountain bikes. The track is open to both dirk bikes and quads. “In my experience the track is mostly used by dirt bikes,” said Liske. “And the track user ranges from the professional rider to the beginner.”
Mammoth bar has a unique schedule. From Oct. 1 through March 31, riding is allowed Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to just past sunset.
From April 1 through Sept. 30, riding is allowed Sunday, Monday and Thursday. The unit is open daily to the public for day use and mountain biking.
“It is very popular among mountain bikers,” said Liske. “They typically are down-hill riders. They take the paved road to the top where they are dropped off at the top of the trail to ride down.”
“Mammoth Bar is a very primitive riding area. There is no electricity or running water, but there are facilities include picnic tables, barbecues and chemical toilets,” said Liske.
The California Department of Parks and Recreation is sensitive to soil conservation in the summer and winter months.
Track watering in the summer is implemented daily and in the winter months the track and trails are closed for 24 hours if there is an inch of rain in a 24-hour period.
“People are out there all the time riding. I get out to Mammoth bar as much as possible,” said Barbarick.
All OHV use is regulated by both federal and state laws. OHVs must have a visible “green sticker” OHV registration.
Red stickers are allowed all year round.
All OHV’s must have a U.S. Forest Service approved spark arrester in working condition and meet federal and state noise standards (96 decibels maximum).
It is the rider’s responsibility to know and comply with all applicable rules and regulations.
Mammoth Bar OHV Area
Where: Old Foresthill Road
When: Open 8 a.m. to half an hour after sunset Thursday, Sunday and Monday. Season is April 1 to Sept. 30
Fee: $10 per car load