A few good roads

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by RockyRaccoon, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. RockyRaccoon

    RockyRaccoon Found:Gideon's Bible

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    I was out knocking around in the Sierra foothills on Halloween and came across a few good roads. Here are three of them:

    Summit Level Road
    This long (mostly) dirt road connects the community of Railroad Flat and Hwy 4 east of Arnold. A section of it is routinely closed after November 1 to save the roadbed due to mud. The road winds along creeks, through forests and over ridges, crossing the western foot of Blue Mountain. I wasn't equipped with knobbies and was riding alone, so I turned back due to mud at Blue Mountain. (The whole Blue Mountain area is a fabulous area for dirt road riding when the roads are drier. Here's a pic of Blue Mountain in the distance taken from another road in the area. http://www.pbase.com/lookoutranch/image/35808230)

    This picture was taken just before Summit Level Road left civilization heading south and went "native." It started offering up periodic mud patches after this.
    http://www.pbase.com/lookoutranch/image/35808231


    Jesus Maria Road
    Pretty much any road in the Sierra that runs north-south for any distance is guaranteed to be interesting. Jesus Maria Road runs maybe 7-9 miles between South Railroad Flat Road and Hwy 26 just east of Mokelumne Hill. What can I say? The road probably got its name from screaming passengers clutching their rosaries. It's a typical one-lane, patched up paved road that snakes through the foothills. Judging by the scenery, it was probably an old wagon road in the mining days.
    http://www.pbase.com/lookoutranch/image/35808236
    http://www.pbase.com/lookoutranch/image/35808234


    Whiskey Slide Road
    This road cuts off from Jesus Maria Road, connecting to Mountain Ranch Road. It's just another pretty little road winding through the hills and woods.
    http://www.pbase.com/lookoutranch/image/35808232
    http://www.pbase.com/lookoutranch/image/35808233


    Here's a map of the general vicinity of these roads
    http://maps.yahoo.com/maps_result?ed=M7tNO.p_0TqT&csz=Mountain+Ranch,+CA&country=us&new=1&name=&qty=
    #1
  2. tommcbride

    tommcbride Long timer

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    Kurt!
    Thanks for taking the time to post these...this is an area I would LOVE to come and ride! And thses photos and your post have inspired me to do it.

    Is it too wet and closed off now or do I have to wait until 2005 to get up there?

    Thanks!~ :thumb :thumb :thumb
    #2
  3. RockyRaccoon

    RockyRaccoon Found:Gideon's Bible

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    The paved and gravel roads in the lower elevations are nice in the fall, winter and spring when the weather's nice, which is frequently. There are thousands and thousands of miles of these little roads in the foothills, and they're best explored in the cooler seasons. There are often sunny days in mid-winter when temps get into the 60s. In winter the dirt roads up in the national forest are sometimes closed, snowed in or too muddy for anything bigger than a real dirt bike.

    The Gold Country has some of the finest scenery and best roads anywhere in the country. Enjoy! :thumb :thumb
    #3
  4. Ostrich

    Ostrich Jaded and Happy

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    Fresneck or Bust Baby!
    Thanks Kurt.... I need to get away again for a nice day of riding and might check some of em out.
    #4
  5. luv2lean

    luv2lean not lost til out of gas

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    Kurt,
    Thanks for the road info.
    You reminded me I wanted do some more exploring down in that area, so a friend and I rode up Swiss Ranch to Summit Level Rd and out to hwy 4 yesterday. It was cold but a good ride on the GS with no snow and very little mud on that section of Summit Level Rd. To get to Swiss Ranch road we took W. Murray Creek Rd out of San Andreas to Whiskey Slide to E. Murray Creek to Swiss Ranch. Ignore the "Not A Thru Rd" and "private Rd - next 4 miles" signs on W. Murray Creek and you will be in for a treat.
    We hit hwy 4 at about 5000 feet and headed down to Parrots Ferry Rd then east again on Camp Nine Rd where we took a steep and narrow dirt and rock road 3N03 over to Italian Bar Rd (dirt) and down to Columbia. Also a nice loop and conditions are almost perfect up there this time of year!
    #5