Panoche/Tumey Hills - before April 15th

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by meat popsicle, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    Heya,

    I am serious about getting ino Panoche and Tumey Hills this year before the fire season cuttoff (usually April 15th). I am thinkin' there might be enough to warrant a stay at Mercey Hot Springs (tents, RVs, or cabins), because the entrance to Panoche is right across the road.

    I am working on maps, but here is a new one available from the BLM:

    http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/media...077.File.dat/Panoche_Tumey_Griswold_Hills.pdf

    Note, nothing on Ciervo Hills, so maybe no roads like the Griswold unit.

    I have been in them a bit last year, and it was interesting. Nothing too technical like Clear Creek :cry but it is exploring nonetheless.

    Anyone interested? :deal
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. tr1200

    tr1200 High Side

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    That area interests me. I was there awhile back on business and saw the entrance to the BLM area. I'm in when you go. It'll give me a chance to check in on Merl Whiton. He's an OLD cattle rancher with 12,000 acres just south of there. It's a long story how I spent an afternoon/evening stuck at his house visiting (waiting for a tractor to be delivered to get my work truck out of a mud-pit).

    If it's not too technical, should I bring a DR650, or would the agile/lightning-fast Husaberg be the bike :evil .

    Cheers-
    Tom
    #2
  3. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    Hey Tom,

    I don't think its technical enough for a dirt bike, and you can only take plated bikes in these BLM areas anyways. I'd think tank range over agility more than agility; less trips to I-5 for fuel.

    David
    #3
  4. WoodsChick

    WoodsChick Long timer

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    I wouldn't mind checking that area out. I bet it's beautiful this time of year! The wildflowers are going crazy down there right now:thumb

    I've been to Mercey Hot Springs before, it's a cool yet funky place.



    WoodsChick
    #4
  5. wrk2surf

    wrk2surf on the gas or brakes

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    mee three...
    #5
  6. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    Alrightee then,

    There are only three weekends: next (Mar 27/28), following (Apr 3/4), and last (Apr 10/11) before the usual Apr 15 fire season closing date. The last may be difficult for me unfortunately (mrs popsicle may have plans so I'd be on duty), next weekend is just... er soon (but not impossible), which makes the following weekend looking pretty good (Apr 3/4).

    A Saturday ride seems to work well, so folks can stay at Mercey Friday night or show up early on Saturday for the ride, and then sleep at Mercey Saturday night if they want, leaving Sunday for more riding and/or the slog home. That would be Saturday April 3rd, if that date works for most.

    For navigation purposes the area is around the Panoche Valley, with the Panoche Inn at it's lonely (pastoral) center, great shade tree for sippin sodas, near the mark here:

    <iframe width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&amp;safe=off&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;q=panoche,+california&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=Panoche&amp;gl=us&amp;ei=CMWoS4uwO4GOtAP92_XlAQ&amp;ved=0CAoQ8gEwAA&amp;ll=36.59844,-120.929947&amp;spn=0.408457,0.891953&amp;z=11&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small><a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&amp;safe=off&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;q=panoche,+california&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=Panoche&amp;gl=us&amp;ei=CMWoS4uwO4GOtAP92_XlAQ&amp;ved=0CAoQ8gEwAA&amp;ll=36.59844,-120.929947&amp;spn=0.408457,0.891953&amp;z=11&amp;source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small>

    To enter the valley, Panoche Road (Co Hwy J1) leaves Hwy 25 at "Paicines" just South of Hollister, which continues (eventually) to I-5. It splits in the valley to make "Little Panoche Road (C0 Hwy J1), which goes by Mercey Hot Springs (noted on I-5 exits) and the Panoche Hills Access Road, and "Panoche Road", which goes to the entrances to Tumey Hills before hitting I-5 at the Apricot Tree Restaurant exit south of Little Panoche Rd. This one is dirt, with an improved water crossing near the top:

    [​IMG]

    The only other exit out of Panoche Valley is the currently closed Clear Creek Management Area via New Idria.
    #6
  7. Oly

    Oly Deadlines whooshing by

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    :lurk
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  8. T O Double D

    T O Double D Pogue Mahone

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    If I had the time I'd do this in a heartbeat, but I have other rides already planned for the next three weekends. Have fun down there and post a RR.

    Cheers!
    #8
  9. scottmac

    scottmac Long timer

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    This sounds like a fun one. I'm grounded this coming weekend and the 10th/11th due to family commitments but it looks like the 3rd/4th
    may be doable.

    I'll know for sure tonight.....:smile6
    #9
  10. Odin69

    Odin69 Been here awhile

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    I might be able to come out one day (April 3-4)? Is there a parking place to leave a car and trailer? I'd like to take my DRZ400S but don't want to wear the nobbies out on I-5 getting there. Plus, I just have a stock tank on it. How many miles do you think we would travel before fuel?

    Jason.
    #10
  11. Oly

    Oly Deadlines whooshing by

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  12. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    Hey David, got your message. I might be in for the first week in April for a day trip. Got lots of family stuff going on...
    #12
  13. scottmac

    scottmac Long timer

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    I got my hall pass. I'm good till late afternoon on Sunday the 4th.:rofl
    #13
  14. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    Nice link Oly, in case you didn't see the maps provided by the BLM in the PDF I linked in the first post here they are as JPEG captures:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Panoche has a black n white line (improved gravel) but the rest in both areas that I believe the BLM considers open are green lines. Now when I was in there last there are dirt roads and well-established two-track going every-which-way, and there is little signage if any. My personal rule is no "overland" riding, and I respect signage and anywhere I am pretty sure I am not wanted (obvious private property, etc.), but I do explore dirt roads and I consider two-track if it looks well-used.

    OK, other stuff: it looks like the ride will be Saturday April 3rd. I'm not sure there's enough riding for Sunday too, but we can work on things farther afield if there is interest for a half-day on Sunday.

    I am going to try to stay at Mercey HS Friday and Saturday nights, but folks can roll in on Saturday morning for the ride, and split Satuirday after the ride if that suits their needs. Check with Mercey HS about leaving a rig in their parking lot for the day; they are pretty nice folks.
    #14
  15. posole vato

    posole vato Vato Loco

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    do you know that "panoche" is slang for vagina in spanish?
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  16. scottmac

    scottmac Long timer

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    What's the dirt like down there from what you remember?

    Looking at the weather forecast we've got rain and showers
    next week starting Wed thru Friday - Saturday and Sunday
    are too far out yet for weather.com.

    Wet clay might make things real interesting.
    #16
  17. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    Is it possible for the dirt to be a combination of sand and clay?
    I have been there in the dry season and it was dusty with an inch or 2 of sand in places. I have been there a week or so after rain and there were still lots of puddles making me think of the clay??
    Anything is possible, but unless there is alot of rain, it shouldn't be bad.
    I have only ridden my GS there and for the most part the roads were pretty good.
    David, I will try and make it for a Saturday adventure! There might be some people on SBR that would join on this, seems to be some D/S interest??
    #17
  18. Eric B

    Eric B Adventurer

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    This looks like a lot of fun, Bob. Unfortunately, that is SBR's dirt day at H.H., and I volunteered to help. Another time, perhaps. BTW, that improved creek crossing can be real slippery, when the water is slow moving. . . . . . .






    stupid algea.
    #18
  19. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    Rain next week? I got a set of Sahara IIIs on the scoot right now... was hoping to run them until Kernville @ end of April.

    Shall we start making detailed plans? Such as a start time on Saturday morning for exiting Mercey HS, crossing Little Panoche Road (Co. Rd J1) and entering Panoche Hills?

    I should also put a note on this: only plated bikes are allowed in these BLM areas; sorry, no dirt bikes. That is what the signs mean at the entrances (per BLM manager in Hollister).
    #19
  20. SFMCjohn

    SFMCjohn 13

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    Hi All,

    I can't make the 4/3 date [committed to help at a track day at Infinion on 4/4], but am heading down to Mercy Hot Springs tomorrow and hope to explore the Panoche/Tumey Hills Friday and Saturday and then head towards the Carrizo Plain after that ...

    We'll be on KLRs, if anyone else is going to be around ... wave as you pass us ... my bike has an ADV sticker on the front ... may be checking out the Panoche Inn on Friday night ...

    I'll try to report back on the road conditions in the Panoche Hills when we return ...

    Have fun!
    -- SFMCjohn
    #20