The High Sierra Passes thread... 2016-2017 Edition

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by wrk2surf, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. bdesj

    bdesj Been here awhile

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    East gate on 120, before Tuolumne Mdws from my side.

    Doh, completely wrong location! It was Twin Lakes and Trumbull Lake, from just north of the pass between Bridgeport and Mono Lake.

    I do have pictures of that area, but the good shots from (pillion`s eye view) from June Lakes Loop seem to be all on my wife`s phone- not sure if I can get them onto my computer or not.

    Also, anybody planning Monitor Pass be ready to wait for a pilot car on the south end. Working on 395 and the junction is right in the middle of the construction zone. CalTrans website says it`s not going to last long, but might want to peek at the road conditions page before heading out.
    Mountain-horne likes this.
  2. bdesj

    bdesj Been here awhile

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    None of my June lakes Loop pics are worth posting, you just have to take my word for it that the half hour ride was spectacular :D

    Virginia Lakes area (Trumbull Lake, I think)...
    [​IMG]

    more Ellery Lake...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tioga Lake under this snow somewhere...
    [​IMG]

    End of the road for now...
    [​IMG]

    Unnamed slushy little meadow just after the end of the road...
    [​IMG]

    Best of the "bonus waterfalls". There were a lot of them!
    [​IMG]

    Pillion`s eye view, heading up to the pass...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That was it for high Sierra. Bird watching at the tufa was fun too, though.
    [​IMG]

    And coffee + desert in the beautiful garden at our hotel to top it off. Little coffee shop right there.
    [​IMG]
  3. wrk2surf

    wrk2surf on the gas or brakes

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    well Tioga is open to the gate.. park says NO.. Bet it will be mid week next week or by the weekend. Been years since its been this late..

    The Tioga Road (Highway 120 through the park) remains closed to all vehicular traffic, including bicycles. Melting snow is causing water to run over the road in multiple locations while park staff and partners continue to repair power, communications, water, and sewer systems along the road.

    The park is diligently working to ensure that adequate sanitation facilities are in place to meet visitor needs and to protect the water quality in the Tuolumne River watershed. There is no anticipated opening date at this time.

    https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/news/tioga-road-in-yosemite-national-park-remains-closed.htm
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  4. palinka

    palinka Been here awhile

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    I have a condo booked and paid for in Mammoth for 7/1-7/3. And I have a camp site reserved in Yosemite Valley starting 7/4.
    If Tioga doesn't open in the next 9 days this trip will get a lot more interesting.

    (Unfortunately I'll be caging it with the wife and a couple of friends)
  5. wrk2surf

    wrk2surf on the gas or brakes

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    If thats the case just take Sonora its pretty spectacular too...
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  6. palinka

    palinka Been here awhile

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    Yeah, it's a win-win.
  7. wrk2surf

    wrk2surf on the gas or brakes

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    Ok Tioga opens Thursday !

    http://sierranewsonline.com/tioga-pass-in-yosemite-to-open-this-week/

    Tioga Pass entrance May 2012
    Posted by: gina clugston June 27, 2017 - 4:14 pm 0 1,555 Views
    YOSEMITE — The Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park (Highway 120 through the park) will open for the season to all vehicular traffic beginning at 8 a.m. on
    Thursday, June 29.
    There will be limited visitor services available from the Tioga Pass Entrance Station to Crane Flat. Tioga Road will open for bicycle and pedestrian users at 8 a.m.
    Wednesday, June 28.
    All visitors on the road are encouraged to use caution as there may be dirt, debris, and water flowing over sections of the road. Visitors are encouraged to keep an
    eye out for maintenance vehicles working on the roadway.
    There will be minimal services available along the Tioga Road for several weeks. There will be no drinking water. Visitors should use the vault and portable toilets
    located along the roadway to help protect water quality in the Tuolumne River watershed.
    Food service and lodging are not available along the Tioga Road. There is no mobile phone service at this time and 911 emergency calls will not be operational.
    There are no gasoline services available. Visitors can purchase gasoline in Lee Vining and at Crane Flat.
    For maps and visitor information, visit the Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center, open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the Big Oak Flat Information Station, the
    Yosemite Valley Visitor Center, and the Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center in Lee Vining.
    Tamarack Flat Campground is the only campground that is currently open along Tioga Road. This campground is first-come, first served and fills early in the day.
    Anyone planning to hike or backpack near Tuolumne Meadows and in all high elevation areas of Yosemite should be prepared for winter hiking and camping
    conditions. Trails are still impacted by snow and ice. River crossings are high and swift moving. There are several high water areas currently impacting the Pacific
    Crest Trail (PCT) and the John Muir Trail (JMT) in Yosemite National Park. Trail conditions may vary at any time.
    When driving in the park, motorists are urged to drive slowly as bears and other animals are active and may be present on the roadway.
    For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200 and press 1.
    Tagged with:
    All Content ©2012-2017 SierraNewsOnline
    (559) 877-3333
    P. O. Box 333
    North Fork, CA 93643, USA
    news@sierranewsonline.com
    Tioga Pass In Yosemite To Open This Week | Sierra News Online http://sierranewsonline.com/tioga-pass-in-yosemite-to-open-this-week/
    1 of 1 6/27/17, 7:21 PM
    palinka, Mountain-horne and michaeln like this.
  8. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

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    Kennedy Meadows trails are open for the holiday weekend - major work completed by Stewards of Sequoia.
    condor-machinist likes this.
  9. michaeln

    michaeln What're YOU lookin' at?

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    This article just posted:

    https://www.usnews.com/news/best-st...assage-through-california-sierra-nevada-opens

    ARNOLD, Calif. (AP) — A seasonal mountain pass crossing California's Sierra Nevada has opened to traffic on the latest date in the road's 75-year history.

    Caltran's spokesman Warren Alford said that Ebbetts Pass on Highway 4 opened Friday afternoon. The passage connects the communities of Arnold and Markleeville.

    Ebbetts pass is famous for its alpine scenery and nail-biting, hair-pin turns at the mountain range's crest.

    Alford says record high snow this winter in the Sierra destroyed two major sections that had to be rebuilt.

    He says work crews typically have it ready for drivers a month earlier.

    It's the third and final seasonal passage to open for cars driving through the Sierra.

    Sonora Pass on Highway 108 opened in mid-June. On Thursday, Yosemite National Park began allowing drivers to cross Tioga Pass.
    Bigger Al likes this.
  10. michaeln

    michaeln What're YOU lookin' at?

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    Yep! That means I can start riding my favorite Sierra passes loop. No sucky highway 88, no tourist-clogged 120.
  11. DennisV

    DennisV Been here awhile

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    What so sucky about 88?It's a beautiful road
  12. michaeln

    michaeln What're YOU lookin' at?

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    Glad you enjoy it.
  13. calfroper

    calfroper In it to win it.

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    ^^^^ Would also like to know. I'm going to be spending a week riding the area starting July 15.
  14. rjnutt

    rjnutt Desert tortoise

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    88 is a beautiful drive, but it doesn't compare to 108, 4, 120 which are less travelled, twistier and a bit more old school Sierra roads. Even though 88 is a two lane road, it is the major route for people escaping the Central valley from Stockton down (if you have never spent time in the central valley...it is a good place to escape!) I drive 88 a lot when I am coming back home empty and see something new every trip.

    Those of us living at the base of the Sierras are just a wee bit snooty about "our" roads
  15. calfroper

    calfroper In it to win it.

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    ^^^ thank you, very helpful.
  16. tb.in.sf

    tb.in.sf Adventurer

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    Calfroper, based on your handle you might like a side trip through Bridgeport Valley, going up into Twin Lakes. It's not a pass but that whole valley is cattle ranches, dating back to the 1800's. They used to supply beef to the gold miners in Bodie, another great side trip in that area. I've taken a lot of pictures of that valley, miles of cattle with the Sierra and Sawtooths in the back.

    Any of these passes has scenery & fun riding but 120 has the draw of Yosemite, Tuolumne Meadows, and the 3,000' plunge down Lee Vining Canyon. And 108 gets really high into the Sierra, on a smaller and lower-traffic road than 120. I'll never get sick of that road and every time see something new. Monitor Pass is similar though more open.

    I went over 108 couple weeks ago and there was still a ton of snow up there and creeks busting out from places I didn't know there were creeks. A road crew had it single-lane in one spot, a temporary creek was running across the road, almost to the pegs. Great year to ride 108. Hoping to go over 120 next week.
    calfroper likes this.
  17. michaeln

    michaeln What're YOU lookin' at?

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    I do enjoy 88 through Hope Valley, that is so pretty.

    But 88 to me feels like a poorly maintained freeway over the Sierra. Last time we rode it we got stuck behind SEVEN RVs that appeared to be being delivered as part of a rental fleet. They were very slow and would not pull over even in passing lanes, let alone turnouts. Every time I ride 88 I end up stuck behind something like that. The pavement up at the top is super torn up and beats the crap out of me.

    4 is crazy, much of it is one lane, very twisty, very steep, 1000' dropoffs on one side with no guardrails. You need to be on your mountain road riding game to ride 4 safely. I live where 4 and 49 intersect so I spend a lot of time on 4.

    108 has some pretty technical corners too and is perhaps even prettier than 4, but not by much. But 108 is divided two lane road pretty much all the way as I recall, so way less dangerous than 4.

    120, I just can't do it. Too many people for my taste.
  18. St.Stan

    St.Stan Been here awhile

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    120 is nice in October, it's pretty in the fall and you can go out to the June Lake loop for the aspens. The crowds really dissipate after Labor Day. Peak summer season, forget it.
  19. DennisV

    DennisV Been here awhile

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    Yeah, 88 does get beat to hell every year, but that's the price to be paid for keeping it open all year.

    It sure comes in handy when Ebbetts and Sonora are still plugged with snow.

    Still, nothing beats the 108-89-4 loop
    nvklr likes this.
  20. Rips Millar

    Rips Millar capt. mediocre

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    I went west on 4 today, to avery, then sheep ranch and railroad flat to 88 and up to Bear River Resort for a swim and a sando and then around emerald bay just for the hell of it and back to reno....good times!!
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