California "Five Passes" Ride??

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by kwthom, May 23, 2019.

  1. kwthom

    kwthom Retiree apprentice - willing to learn

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    I realize they may not all be cleared just yet...

    I thought many moons ago, there was a 'designated' California Five Passes ride out there...might be five, might be seven - I just don't recall.

    Now, there's a *lot* more passes crossing the Sierra:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Sierra_Nevada_road_passes

    I thought - at one time - there was some sort of an organized event. :scratch

    An article, where I found the listing of five passes:

    https://www.motorcycleclassics.com/...ng/sierra-nevada-mountain-passes-zmmz11sozraw

    Wait - wait...it *was* five!

    http://carsontahoemoto.com/five-passes-sierra-nevada/

    https://www.advpulse.com/adv-calendar/carson-valley-lake-tahoe-adventure-moto-ride-aug-21-24-2014/

    When I click on "www.tahoeadventuremoto.com" - nothing - dead link.

    What? This ride's not been done since 2014? Really? There could have been details over on the pashnit.com forum, but that's gone - and nothing indexed in the Wayback Machine from the forum.

    Ideas? History to share? Elsewhere I should look? IBA doesn't do anything, neither does SCMA.

    Thanx! :type
    #1
  2. villageidiot

    villageidiot Long timer Supporter

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    I’d just ride 108 five times, it’s that good.
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  3. Huladog

    Huladog Been here awhile Supporter

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    If I wanted to do a loop of 108 and Tioga Pass which direction would you recommend? Figuring if I have time on an SFO connection I could take a couple days off and drive up into the Sierra (yeah, drive a car since I would be heading home to Hawaii and would stopover to break up a business trip).

    Mahalo!
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  4. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

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    Last time I rode over Tioga pass it felt like it took 2 days following long lines of very slow moving cars. I don't have a preference for direction based more on time of day and the sun.
    #4
  5. villageidiot

    villageidiot Long timer Supporter

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    If it was me......

    I’d hit tioga EARLY!! Like 6am or whenever they open the gates.

    Up over tioga, stop in Bridgeport for a soak at travertine hot springs

    Back over 108 chasing the afternoon/evening sun thru the trees.

    Any time other than first fucking thing in the am and Yosemite is like god damn nature Disney
    #5
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  6. Huladog

    Huladog Been here awhile Supporter

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    Good points about the tourist traffic and the position of the sun in the sky. Advice well taken, thanks guys.

    I was watching the Amgen Tour of California stages that ran up into the mountains to get an idea of the terrain in the different parts of the state.
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  7. villageidiot

    villageidiot Long timer Supporter

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    Eastern Sierra Nevada are beautiful, pretty much all times of the year.

    As is the Marin peninsula just across the Golden Gate Bridge north of San Francisco. There’s a LOT of good driving up there
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  8. kwthom

    kwthom Retiree apprentice - willing to learn

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    So is 36, but I'm not sure I wanna ride 900+ miles to ride just one road. :p3rry

    Elsewhere, a local send me a wordy explanation; I need to map it in Google Maps to fully grasp it.
    #8
  9. yobuddy

    yobuddy Been here awhile

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    Highway 4 is the only one that I have a preferred direction and that is east to west. So I typically go over Tioga or Sonora (108) pass west to east so I can ride 4 east to west. Either way, they are all fun if you can avoid weekend traffic.
    #9
  10. Distant thunder

    Distant thunder Been here awhile

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    a couple of years ago a friend and I did our "Passes" ride. We hit Carson Pass on 88 down Ebiitts pass cut across to 108 and over Sonora pass. Spent the night at June lake then rode far south to Walker pass the southern most pass. We were going to go over Sherman pass except the thunderstorm over the mountain was nasty. From there we headed to Kaiser pass, which ends at Florence lake. Back out then cut across to Yosemite and down Tioga pass. Heading north again and over Monitor pass and on to Luther pass into Tahoe. It was a weekend of Mountain roads of sure
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  11. JStory

    JStory Long timer Supporter

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    89 from Markleeville over Monitor Pass to 395 is my favorite.
    It doesn't hurt that I ride Mormon Emigrant Trail, and cross Carson Pass to get there.
    I tolerate the traffic in Yosemite because the ride down the east side from Tioga is magnificent.
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  12. bdesj

    bdesj Been here awhile

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    Last time I rode Tioga (E-to-W) I hit the gate like 5 AM, BEFORE it opened- nobody collecting tolls, no traffic at all until I was almost through the park. Chilly, though.
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  13. zeegman

    zeegman Been here awhile

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  14. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Of the ones I've done, they're all good in their own way (well, except Donner since it's an interstate). Monitor (really just a little bonus for Carson or Ebbets), Walker (including Lake Isabella) and Sherman I've had the best luck with regarding traffic. Tioga, Sonora, and Ebbets all were much worse with Traffic, but only the Western side. I tend to enjoy the Eastern sides more regardless.
    #14
  15. bdesj

    bdesj Been here awhile

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    For those who don't know, I-80 opened over Donner Summit just in time for the `60 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley, but the highway it replaced is still useable over Donner PASS (notice the name trick there). It runs as more or less a frontage road from Cisco Grove to Soda Springs, then separates and takes a completely different and very tasty route over the top to Donner Lake and Truckee. Mostly known locally as either "old 40" or "Donner Pass Road". Very scenic, low traffic, actually slightly higher than Donner Summit.
    https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Cis...c9!2m2!1d-120.1832533!2d39.327962!2m1!1b1!3e0

    Heading west, old 40 starts again at Baxter (or there-abouts?) and continues down the foothills until it gets lost in the Sacramento metro traffic, but a little complicated because it cuts back and forth across the interstate and has a lot of sidetracks. Doable, but whether or not it's worth the trouble is debatable.
    #15
  16. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Thanks for that tidbit on Donner Pass vs Donner Summit. I'll have to give it a go next time I'm in that area.
    #16
  17. ericm

    ericm Long timer

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    In the past they've run hillclimb races up old highway 40. Old 40 passes Donner Ski Ranch which in the past has held a lot of national and world championship observed trials competitions, and many club level competitions. They have hard enduro events there now too. It's an awesome place to ride. Great views from the east side where the mountains drop off.

    You can also see the old railroad tunnels from 40. Supposedly they're dirt bike accessible and rideable.
    #17
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  18. boney

    boney Ride > Post Supporter

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    The challenge was to ride as many passes as possible in a day without riding any of them more than once.

    Sonoma -> Altamont (don't laugh, it's a pass) -> Sonora -> Monitor -> Luther -> Echo Summit -> Packsaddle Pass -> Carson Pass -> Ebbetts -> Pacific Grade Summit -> Sonoma
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  19. SonoraDave

    SonoraDave Been here awhile

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    We rode 5 of the passes a few years ago on FJR's. We started early in Groveland and met for breakfast. We made it over 120 ahead of the crowds and came back westbound over 108. We then went west to east over 4 and made a quick trip over Monitor Pass down to 395. We turned around at 395 then rode back over 89 and had a very late lunch in Markleeville. We then used 88 to get back to the west side of the mountains. The sun was setting as I was arriving home in Sonora. It was a long day and if I remember correctly was just shy of 500 miles of some of the best roads in the country. You won't have much time to smell the roses but you can do them all in a day if you don't spend much time off the bike. Getting through Yosemite early is the key. I have seen some extremely long lines of people trying to get into Yosemite on 120 from Tioga Pass.
    #19
  20. catfish

    catfish Squidicus Adventurous Supporter

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    My favorite 5-pass route is up 88 for Carson, 89 thru Markleeville, 4 over Ebbetts to Lake Alpine. Then back across 4 & Ebbetts to Monitor pass on 89, and then down 395 to 108 & cross Sonora. 5 passes & 3 summits.

    Usually best on weekdays. Lunch at Mountain View BBQ in Walker on 395.

    Have FUN!

    Catfish ...
    #20
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