No. Cal Sierra foothill advice

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by bigphish, May 5, 2013.

  1. bigphish

    bigphish Curiously Satisfying

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    After spending a week with friends in Marin Co ( the mid point of my summer excursion ) I will visit a friend in Calavares and then head north in to Oregon for some camping before heading home to Wi. Route advice wanted from Calavares Co. to Oregon. Perhaps the foothills through Chico/Lasson I don't think I have ever really explored that part of the state.
    Thanks for the input
    #1
  2. DRGNHTR

    DRGNHTR Dragonhunter

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    Roughly highway 49 to 89 and then north to Oregon. Lots of possibilities depending on when and how much time you have.
    #2
  3. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Maybe check out the Rubicon trail? I have some relatives that run it regularly in their highly modified Jeeps, but have not been myself. From what I understand, a motorcycle can go around the rock crawling sections and enjoy it like any other trail.

    I'm not sure if it is open, since the Sierra got some snow last night.
    #3
  4. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Hiway 49 is a nice bike road,depending on the tourist numbers,it can be taken to it's upper end on hiway 70,could take a left at 70 and go through the Feather River canyon to hiway 89,turn onto 89 till you hit 36 and do a flyby of Lassen Nat Park,still too snowy to drive through it.
    Find 36 west to the coast,best curvy tight road around these parts,1 or 101 will take you to Oregon along the coast.

    Many other tight squirrel trail roads to be had but harder to describe.

    My favorite out of Chico is taking 20 to Lower lake at Clear Lake,then 175 to Hopland,then down north 101 to 253 to Boonville,then Mountain View road to Manchester on the coast,all these roads are great on a bike,tons of corners big and small,great scenery,fun stuff.
    #4
  5. Bike Guy

    Bike Guy Been here awhile

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    lots of luck on that route ! even without the snow
    #5
  6. SierraJeep

    SierraJeep It's toast

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    If you're taking either of the two bikes in your signature, don't bother with the Rubicon.

    Chico is in the valley. Rubicon takes you over to the eastern side (Lake Tahoe). Highway 49 is essentially the tourist route through the gold country, following the foothills along the western slope of the Sierra.

    The best route (if you're from WI) might be to run from Marin to Yosemite and take Tioga Pass (through Yosemite over to Lee Vining) and then find your way back up to the crest of the Sierra near Markleeville, turn north from there and head around/past Lake Tahoe, then over to Truckee and turn west over Donner Pass Road (small section of I-80) and come down Highway 20 (through Nevada City) and pick up Highway 49. From there, head north to Downieville, then to Bassitts and take the Gold Lakes Highway to Graeagle. Now you're on the easter side of the Sierra again. You can get to Chico (if there's someone/thing there you need to see - like the Sierra Nevada Brewery) via Highway 70 or other similar routes to Oroville and onto Chico. Then head east, back up toward Mount Lasson and follow that route north toward Mount Shasta (on the east side) and work your way up north to Oregon.

    Try to follow that on a map. It's the most indirect route from A to B, but you'd cross the Sierra/Cascade Range several times and hit several small towns with a godzillion side-road routes to taunt you along the way. Lots of options to camp along this route - or not be too far from lodging if necessary (laundry time).

    I've riden this entire route (over various trips) and it is all good stuff. Maybe you should tell us a bit more about your idea of an "ideal" trip so we can help you a bit?
    #6
  7. dtp

    dtp Been here awhile

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    From Caleveras County you could do a few things...

    My best recommendation scenic-wise would be to take hwy 49 up to hwy 26 at Mokulumne Hill, take 26 east to hwy 88 and then hwy 88 to 89 north and up into South Lake Tahoe. Pick your shore to ride... east or west they are both great, or spend the day there and do the whole loop around the lake. Either way, you'll end up on the north shore and from there I'll let someone else take over for the route advice.

    Someone mentioned taking one of the mountain passes... hwy 120 through Yosemite NP (Tioga Pass) over to hwy 395 north is AMAZING but a little out of the way and slow-going through the park -- traffic and the rangers are everywhere and they WILL pull you over -- 35 mph limit. Hwy 108 (Sonora Pass) to 395 is a little less out of the way but pretty nice as well. Better fun factor for sure but not quite as scenic. Depending on where you are in Caleveras County hwy 4 (Ebbets Pass) to 395 is a nice ride and not really out of the way. You can then take 395 all the way to Gardnerville, NV and shoot over the Kingsbury Grade into South Lake Tahoe. These routes will take a bit longer than the above 49-26-88-89 route.

    I go to South Lake Tahoe quite a bit and my favorite way to get there is the 88 to 89 route I mentioned first. Just try and avoid it on a weekend though!
    #7
  8. Heloflyboy

    Heloflyboy n00b

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    Stay away from Rubicon right now. The springs are flooded and not safe on a bike. The trail is passable on a bike, but it is far from an easy trail ride you can ride around most obstacles. Always go prepared up there and let someone know where you are going.

    Dtp has a good route then from the north side of the lake you can continue toward Lassan volcanic park on Hwy 89 then pick your route north.

    Have fun be careful.
    #8
  9. St.Stan

    St.Stan Been here awhile

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    Lots of good advice here. Highway 4 is kind of a local legend, from the top it's a quick shot to Tahoe, which you should see if you've never been there. Also much better to go through on a weekday if you can swing it.
    #9
  10. bigphish

    bigphish Curiously Satisfying

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    Thanks for all of the input!! Looks like there is another thread here as well on route advice to Crater Lake. That is my plan as well at this point. I will be riding the DL 1000 and will be in full camp mode. I am capable off road but the big DL is a hand full on anything more than friendly Jeep trails. Pretty much looking for scenic routes, good camping opportunities and I have no real time frame. After getting to Crater Lake I will head toward Glacier for a few days before returning home
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  11. max2

    max2 Been here awhile

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    A DL1000 + Rubicon Trail = many broken parts and a smoked clutch

    Hwy 4 to Markleyville and into Tahoe, this should not be missed.....great stuff ! !
    #11
  12. 1200gsceej

    1200gsceej Long timer

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    +1!

    #12
  13. avejoe

    avejoe Been here awhile

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    DL1000 + Rubicon = Impossible
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  14. renogeorge

    renogeorge Let's ride!!

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    4 to Markleeville, 89 to and around Tahoe, north on 89 through Canby to Klamath Falls and on to Crater Lake--a very nice ride with lots of camping opportunities.
    #14
  15. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Can't argue with that route. It would be some of the best scenery in the Sierra.

    When I was a kid, we camped at Crater Lake on the 4th of July. We woke up to 3 inches of snow, and couldn't even see the lake from the upper rim. At the time, we were disappointed we didn't get to the lake, but looking back it was an experience that taught me never to take weather for granted. :clap
    #15
  16. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Tahoe area is great,the roads around it can be bumper to bumper with tourists at certain times though,people are loving Tahoe to death unfortunately. Markleyville is a great riding area,bunch of passes to ride on the bike,Monitor,Carson,Luther,etc. Big mountains,big granite,very scenic.
    So many great roads in nor cal,hard to choose.
    #16
  17. renogeorge

    renogeorge Let's ride!!

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    Yep, Tahoe can get busy. If you come over Luther, go around Tahoe on the west side via Homewood. Not real high speed, but not 4 lane casino traffic like the other way--and very scenic. Go down the river from Tahoe City to Truckee. Pick up 89 north of I 80. Head for Klamath Falls and enjoy the ride.
    #17