Alpine County, Ca

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by St.Stan, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. St.Stan

    St.Stan Been here awhile

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    651
    Location:
    Sierra Nevada
    Been text-only here for a while, time to start posting up RR's. This was a short trip up to Alpine County to do a few side roads that have been on my list for a while. I come from a street riding background, so I'm more of a dirt road guy than singletrack and trail, but the local National Forest road systems are extensive and offer a lot of less technical riding.

    If you have 11 minutes of your life to toss away, I made a vid, tried to keep individual shots short and tell the story of the ride. Anyone with any dirt skills at all will get a chuckle of me grinding up the grade at 1:30, flailing around, picking horrible lines, etc. Go easy on me, guys;)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsaYiyjOp_s

    The first thing I wanted to do was Forestdale Divide road, from the Red lake turnoff on 88, over the hill to Blue Lakes. Couldn't clean this on the big bike (KLR) so the 250 is the weapon of choice for the harder stuff.

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    Upper Blue Lake, on the other side.

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    #1
  2. St.Stan

    St.Stan Been here awhile

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    I followed this with a quick run up Burnside Road, because I wanted to take pics of the old miners cabin. But I had neglected to gas up at Kirkwood and it looked like I was barely going to make it to Markleeville. Also, there was a couple setting up for the day at the cabin. I ended up passing on going further up the road to the old mine because I was down to a half gallon or so sloshing around in the bottom of the tank.

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    #2
  3. St.Stan

    St.Stan Been here awhile

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    After gassing up in Markleeville, I made a run up Poor Boy Road, at the heliport turnoff, which heads up into some scenic high country. The cemetery in the pics is right near town.

    Carson Valley from near the top of Poor Boy road:

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    #3
  4. St.Stan

    St.Stan Been here awhile

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    By this point it was around 4 pm so I checked into the J. Marklee toll station, a little five room hotel, and took a break before the last segment of the day which was Loope Canyon road from where it turns off of 89 to where it connects to Leviathan Mine Road, and back to 89. 85% of this road was straightforeward dirt road, but there were some spots with a poor road surface, often with a steep grade thrown in, that would have been harder on a big bike.

    I took a side road around the back (north side) of Colorado Hill, and found a shallow mine working.

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    Only the second rattlesnake I've seen in the wild, I came around a corner and almost ran over his head.

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    Old shack along the road

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    Farther up the road is the tailings pile for the Morningstar Mine, with remains of some old structures. I don't know what they were mining here, but the pile reeked of sulfur.

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    #4
  5. St.Stan

    St.Stan Been here awhile

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    Some shots around the hotel the next morning. Kind of lucked out with the weather, Alpine County gets daytime thundershowers throughout the summer.
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    Warm up run to Grover Hot Springs, if you know anything about the KLX it's that it's cold blooded and that first start of the day, especially at altitude, is like making fire by striking two rocks together.

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    Got her warmed up, heading south

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    First dirt road of the day I don't know the name of, but it's just a mile or two past the turnoff for Monitor Pass. Switchbacks up a ridge and surprise, a mine prospect at the top.

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    #5
  6. St.Stan

    St.Stan Been here awhile

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    The last thing I wanted to explore was a historical segment of Ebbetts Pass Road that predates the modern grade on the other side of the canyon. After you pass the jail ruins at Silver Mountain and hit the base of the switchbacks, there's a jeep road that turns off on the right by the creek crossing.


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    It can't be followed all the way through back to where it ties in to 4 because there's a washed out log bridge over a creek that is totally impassible to anything but a hiker, even wheelers don't cross there. The road was steep and rough at first and I didn't take too many pics.

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    One last tourist pic of Mosquito Lakes, then it was back, by way of the Winton Road cutoff to West Point, and on to 49.

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    #6
  7. 150ron

    150ron Long timer

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    Truly amazing pictures! nice looking bike too, thanks for sharing,

    id love to ride up there, how far is it from LA? :D
    #7
  8. St.Stan

    St.Stan Been here awhile

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    BTW, the Markleeville Death Ride, a bicycle event, is this coming weekend, I wouldn't head anywhere near the area unless you're spectating the ride, as the highways will be closed intermittently during the event.

    A long ride on a 250!
    #8
  9. HOFNAR

    HOFNAR Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Placer County
    Great pics! Would you mind posting your route? I live in Placer County and I'm always looking for backcountry roads to ride. Were there places to do backcountry motorcycle camping? Not looking for established campgrounds, the more remote the better.
    #9
  10. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

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    Behind the Redwood Curtain
    Must be the motel room...

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    #10
  11. St.Stan

    St.Stan Been here awhile

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    That cabin is more and more vandalized every time I visit. I understand that it was built in the 1950's by someone that lived in the Tahoe basin and was working an adjoining mining claim. I wanted to get some exterior shots but there was a middle aged couple setting up a picnic on the front porch.

    HOFNAR - There are many good dispersed camping sites along the roads in the Hope Valley area, especially along the road from Hwy 88 to the Blue Lakes area. Most of the off pavement sections are on the north side of the National Geographic Trails Illustrated #807 Carson-Iceberg map. All around the Hope Valley, Markleeville, and Monitor Pass area. I'm going to try to trace them on Google Maps and link the map.

    edit: The "draw a line along a road" didn't work, Google Earth doesn't recognize Forestdale Divide as a road:)
    #11
  12. ohenry

    ohenry Been here awhile

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    Wow what great pictures, video, bike, and ride report! :clap

    Ohenry
    #12
  13. AZ Mark

    AZ Mark Long timer

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    Thanks for taking us along... nice pic :clap
    #13
  14. WoodsChick

    WoodsChick Long timer

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    Love love love that area! I've done a lot of riding up there and I really enjoyed your photos! Thanks for posting up:thumb




    WoodsChick
    #14
  15. Bonnie & Clyde

    Bonnie & Clyde Wishing I was riding RTW

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    Great ride
    #15
  16. St.Stan

    St.Stan Been here awhile

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    :thumb Thanks! The camera was a brand spankin new Olympus TG-2 "tough", kind of an armored point and click. Pretty happy with it so far.
    #16
  17. Mclark

    Mclark n00b

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    Hello,
    I was also wondering if you could post your tracks as I too live in the area, have a klx, and am always looking for new rides. Thanks.
    #17
  18. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Carson City/Ridgecrest
    I opened it back up on 7/7. Going to use it for http://www.dualsportwest.com/public/eventFlyers/13 Topaz.pdf
    #18
  19. St.Stan

    St.Stan Been here awhile

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    No kidding? Cool. It must have been a job, with the bridge gone it was like a boulder ravine with a lot of brush. A couple of years ago I parked at the upper end, along 4, and hiked in, to get to the site of the Pennsylvania Mine. I never did find any remnants of the mine at the indicated site but the dead end road leading up to the site is rideable and scenic.

    Mclark, sorry, I'm still analog, no GPS or tracks of the area. In addition to the NatGeo "Trails Illustrated" series, the whole area I rode appears on the US Forest Service "a guide to the Mokelumne Wilderness" map, REI probably has them in stock at the Folsom store.
    #19