South Central Nevada Snow & Road Conditions

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by 2on2off, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,399
    Location:
    Central California
    Back at work so I haven't had time to post and editing pics takes some time.

    I have to say that Nevada is now my favorite dual sport destination. I just kept saying, "wow" as we rode along.

    Other than the cold on the first day, the weather and scenery couldn't have been better.

    Lot's of different micro climates. Bare desert in one valley, then lush green plants 3 to 6 ft. high over the next mountain range. It seems that if you ride through Nevada and never get off road, you will never know the beauty of Nevada.

    I'm already planning my next Nevada trip and this time I would like to go all the way north to Wendover and follow the Pony Express route.
    #21
  2. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,399
    Location:
    Central California
    We hauled our bikes to Big Pine and spent the night and did a short shake down ride once we got there to make sure everything was OK with the bikes.

    We rode east on highway 168 to Death Valley road and then headed north on Eureka Valley Road. It was very cold and by the time we got to Dyer, we were all frozen and spent 1 1/2 hours warming up and eating some great breakfast burritos.

    On the way to Tonopah from Dyer:
    [​IMG]

    In Silver Peak where they mine lithium:
    [​IMG]

    Saw some interesting things on Paymaster Road:
    [​IMG]

    Took our time and enjoyed the sights:
    [​IMG]

    Paymaster Road with Tonopah in the distance:
    [​IMG]
    #22
  3. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,399
    Location:
    Central California
    We arrived early in Tohopah and checked in to the Jim Butler Inn and then decided to ride a part of the next days ride. Don't want to waste any daylight.

    We rode east on highway 6 to Saulsbury Wash Rest area. This is at the north end of Area 51.
    [​IMG]

    Then we headed north on 56 and west on 164. It was on 164 where we rode next to four wild horses and two prong horned sheep for 5 miles. We couldn't believe it and might not ever have this experience again. It made the whole trip worth it. They were running so fast there was no time to take out a camera to get a good shot. When I finally stopped, I only got the last of the four horses and it was already a long way off. They just disappeared into a valley.

    [​IMG]
    #23
  4. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,399
    Location:
    Central California
    Trails 56 and 164 were alot of fun to ride and the landscape was lush with green. Everything was growing and very green. Pictures don't capture what it was like but here are a few:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We headed back to Tonopah, oiled the chains, filled up with gas and enjoyed a great Mexican Meal.
    #24
  5. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,399
    Location:
    Central California
    On day two we took a different route heading north from Tonopah. We took 6 east to 376 north. Then turned N/W on trail 461 which was a fun two track trail into Manhattan. 461 was fun and we saw a few interesting sites.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #25
  6. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,399
    Location:
    Central California
    There isn't too much to see in Manhattan and it looks like a working mining town with only a few residents.
    [​IMG]

    Belmont is only a short drive away on a dirt road and it "is" worth the stop. There is alot to see there and we spent so much time looking around that we had to change our route for the day:
    [​IMG]

    We heard that Charlie Manson spent some time in this courthouse jail before his problems became much bigger. Don't know if there is any truth to this:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #26
  7. discoganya

    discoganya Engineer, Rider, Dad

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    224
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Thanks for the wonderful updates. I plan to ride the same area in a couple of months, but will stick to mostly paved roads. Seeking some advice here
    #27
  8. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,399
    Location:
    Central California
    We spent so much time in Belmont we had to cancel plans to ride to Austin and Diana's Punch Bowl.

    We rode back to Manhattan and then headed to Hyder for gas and a quick lunch at The Landing. Hyder is a town owned by the local Open Pit Gold Mine. We also got some local advice that we would not be able to ride over Ophir Pass, it goes over 10,000 ft in elevation, because there was a snow drift at the top that isn't passable yet and there will probably be downed trees that have not yet been cleared. Any intel on this trail over the next month will be appreciated.

    From Hyder we headed south/west to Peavine Canyon, trail 20, to trail 451. This was a fun two track dirt road.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This was Rich's first long ride on his 450EXC. Rich: I like how nimble the 450 is". Jim, "My 525 has lots of torque".
    [​IMG]

    On this trip the 450EXC and 525EXC got 52-57 MPG. My 500EXC, with the new MAP, got 50-55 MPG. The DR650 got the same MPG as the 450 and 525. Everyone was pleased with how their bikes worked and those three riders traded off bikes throughout day two to see how each bike performed.
    [​IMG]
    #28
  9. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,399
    Location:
    Central California
    Nevada does a great job of maintaining all the dirt roads and trails. Everywhere we rode, the roads were in great shape.

    These plants, not sure what they are called, ranged in size from 3 feet high to over 6 feet high depending on where we were riding.
    [​IMG]

    We rode on either two track trails or wide, well graded dirt roads with the occasional pavement. After we got off trail 451, we headed south/east on pipeline road to highway 6 and then into Tonopah.
    [​IMG]
    #29
  10. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,399
    Location:
    Central California
    The temps crept up each day and by the last day, we were very comfortable in and we say the temps ride to 75 degrees.

    We rode Paymaster Road to near Silver Peak but then headed south/east to Montezuma rd and Jackson Wash.
    [​IMG]

    Then we rode into Gold Point where the owner treated us to some microwave burritos.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Saw an interesting structure. We were not sure what it is was or what it has been used for.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #30
  11. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,399
    Location:
    Central California
    We headed to Oriental Wash from Gold Point and found this road to be a well graded two track dirt road. All was going well until my GPS routed me into a wash heading to Death Valley Road. It appeared my GPS was wrong so we stayed on the dirt road thinking it would connect in a few miles to Death Valley Road.

    I should have taken out my map and doubled checked because we would up on Tule Canyon and then connected to highway 266 and then 168 back to Big Pine.

    This took us longer but it turned out OK because none of us had ever ridden through Tule Canyon and it was, I think, a more fun route than the one I had planned.

    Plus Rich and Jim loved the twisties, even though it was paved, on 168.
    [​IMG]

    Tule Canyon Road
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #31
  12. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,399
    Location:
    Central California
    When we arrived in Big Pine, we loaded up the bikes and headed home.

    Three of us are fairly new to KTM's. My prior bike was a DRZ400S. Jim came off a dual sported XR65a0R and Rich's prior dual sport was an older XR600R. We were all skeptical of how reliable the KTM would be on a long ride like this and I have to say the KTM's exceeded all expectations and didn't loose any oil during the whole trip.

    We had so much fun on this ride that I am now planning a ride across Nevada following the Pony Express Route.

    We rode most of this trip between 4,500 ft and 7,800 ft elevation which is why it was so cool. This should mean we can ride at similar elevations on other trips even when it warms up.

    Nevada looks like it will be my "dual sport" destination for a while to come and it did not disappoint in any way.

    With my 5.2 gallons of fuel and a comfy wide seat, I'm ready to ride again.
    [​IMG]
    #32
  13. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    17,214
    Location:
    Über Alles,California
    Thanks for the words and pics, Jim!!

    Did you guys go past Roosevelt Well on the way up to Tule Canyon?

    Good route, I've gone that direction a few times.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #33
  14. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,399
    Location:
    Central California
    Not sure if we passed that or not. There were alot of side roads off Tule Canyon.
    #34
  15. gonridn

    gonridn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    130
    Location:
    Santa Fe New Mexico, formerly Virginia City Nevada
    this the top of ophir pass in late june back in 2009. at the other end the snow must have been 8 to 10 feet deep. i decided not to risk it.

    glad you had a good ride sir, nevada is truly a special place.





    [​IMG]
    #35
  16. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,399
    Location:
    Central California
    That must be the "snow drift" we were told about in Hadley by a local. He told us he thought there was no way we could get through it. Makes me want to ride that pass even more just to see that drift of snow.
    #36
  17. rider914

    rider914 Agnostic Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,922
    Location:
    Alta Loma, CA
    Good stuff guys :thumb

    Passed by that spot on 3/26 just as I escaped the 6 Miles of Hell :puke1
    (Should've gone through Montezuma :nod)

    Passed by there earlier on the 26th, but couldn't get the windmill working. Bummer.
    There was road grading equipment parked in front of the corral.

    Tule Canyon was scenic and lots of fun, as were many roads in that area :ricky

    (Gotta get some pics uploaded :deal)

    -M
    #37
  18. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,399
    Location:
    Central California
    Where is the "6 Miles of Hell"? Didn't ride anything like that.
    #38
  19. rider914

    rider914 Agnostic Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,922
    Location:
    Alta Loma, CA
    I followed a route on the west flank of Montezuma, east of Clayton Ridge. Might have been an old prospecting trail, maybe used for V2R then lightly graded once, then abandoned for a couple years, then last summer's monsoons did a job on it. I had just gone through several miles of deep, sucking gravel wash and didn't wan't to turn back. Also well beyond the midpoint of my fuel range and aiming for Tonopah. Despite the cloud cover, it was pretty warm out.

    There were a dozen or so washouts like this... (though this was easily the worst).
    [​IMG]

    Lots of ups and downs like this...
    [​IMG]

    Would've been easy, even fun, on a small bike, but I was travelling a little heavy...
    [​IMG]
    (This was a different part of the trip... escaping V2R racecourse, heading for Bonnie Claire.)

    -M
    #39
  20. renogeorge

    renogeorge Let's ride!!

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,206
    Location:
    Reno
    Glad you guys enjoyed the ride. As noted, you would not have made it over the Toiyabes from Ophir/Murphys to the Yomba. I was through there in October, going west to east. The east slope (Ophir side) is pretty gnarly even on lighter unloaded dirt bikes. I would hesitate to take a group over from east to west. Better going west to east.

    You might want to go farther north up Smoky Valley and go west through Kingston Canyon and over. New Berlin is well worth a visit for the mill and other ruins. Ione is quaint. Icsyasaur (Sp) is worth a vist.

    Caliente area is good too. Delamar, Pioche....

    FWIW
    #40