The High Sierra Passes thread. Tales and Photos

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

  1. Andrew

    Andrew Optimus Primer Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    #81
  2. fastestfreddie

    fastestfreddie BMW GSA

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    Small group of us riding Los Angeles to Shaver Lake and then up to Yosemite this weekend. Will report back.
    #82
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  3. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

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    You might check SOS site, as their recent newsletter on trail maintenance indicated KM would NOT be open for the Memorial Holiday as normal, but instead could be well into late June or even July before Sherman Pass opens. It is gated and will be for some weeks or months yet.

    In 2011 when we had 68' of snow in the sierras it did not open 'till mid-June, some 800 trees had fallen over or on the road.


    Coyote Flats is pretty cool, I've only ridden it once with a couple'a GS's and they had to turn back so I had a limited loop up on top. This is the group that always camps at Brown's Owens River and I would highly recommend it cuz it's cheap, quiet, has all the facilities, and you can tent it or luxury-RV it whichever suits your fancy - the north one just past Tom's. Easy access to all areas of the upper Owens Valley there. Besides that there's trout in the river along the back of the campground. :thumb

    BTW, howz that rally suit? :wink:

    Brown's:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    #83
  4. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Should be nice weather, and really green from the recent rain. Looks like all the western entrances are open, too.

    https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/conditions.htm#roads
    #84
  5. FJKai

    FJKai Off Road Lurker

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    Yeah, coyote flats is beautiful and if I had a more aggressive pickup like a toyota, I'd truck the bikes up and set up camp in the high alpine terrain. A full sized, crew cab dually will take way too long to crawl up there with. It can be rough for sure, I went up there last year on the GS (intending to camp) but the fella I was with was not a seasoned off road guy and must have dropped his bike close to 12 times before he asked to turn around. We damn near made it to the top/ plateau, but he was spent and we were in 100+ Owens Valley heat so I begrudgingly turned around. Honestly I thought the worst part was at the bottom, starting out it's the worst/ deepest sand I've ever had a GS in, brutal mile + of it till you finally hit the hard pack/ rocky climb up out of the valley floor. But it's awesome up there, nothing like camping at 9,000+ feet when the valley is in the 100's. I still plan to do an adventure ride up there, I just need to pick better riders next time.

    I thought about Browns' Owens River Camp, but was trying to get away from people and have a more primitive, no neighbors camping site, but being on the dirt bike all day, you've probably got the right idea, I'd feel a bit uneasy leaving a remote camp unattended for 8+ hours. I guess we could truck the bikes down to Coyote Flats for the day, no way I want to buzz down and up the 395 on my puny 350. I assume there's some trails pretty close to camp that we can also ride on? What about the mosquitoes up there? Seems like with the river and the meadow you're in, ripe for mosquitoes.

    dscn0229.jpg dscn0235.jpg
    (coyote flats back in the early 2000's and about 4 Labs ago. I still miss those two dogs)

    Oh yeah, the Rallye 3 Suit is still as sweet as it was yesterday. It's just waiting on you....:*sip*
    #85
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  6. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

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    Dunno about mosquitoes. Went there over labor day weekend and don't recall any around camp.

    And yeah, the sand. I was on my TE630 and it was close to horrible. Do-able, but a LOT of work. I cannot even fathom it on a GS. :dunno
    #86
  7. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    The mosquitoes are very thick on the west side of the Sierra this year, but I'm not sure if they are out yet on the east side. Around 500-1000 feet they sound like rain on the windshield, and make my car look like it has whiskers.

    I bought a new product called Kite. It is supposed to be a more natural mix of stuff that repels mosquitoes. Pretty strong smelling, but it seems to work. My wife thinks it smells OK, but I think it's nasty.

    I have a job coming up that will require me to use repellent every day, so I plan to try it instead of Deet.

    [​IMG]
    #87
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  8. FJKai

    FJKai Off Road Lurker

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    Yep, very brutal on a GS 1200 with camping gear and etc. packed on it, add in the 100+ temps and man it was down right........horrible! Made it through slowly and steady, but had to help upright an overloaded GSA (like they aren't already heavy enough as it is without boxes) multiple times. Was like I was riding across ZUMA beach; there's some serious sand in the Owens Valley for sure.


    I assumed the west side of the Sierras is thick with mosquitoes right now, especially since all the rain and etc. That's why I like the east/ rain shadow side of the Sierras, not nearly as many bugs (and bears). Thanks for info.
    #88
  9. LostMan

    LostMan Desert Rat

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    Guess we can move that one down the "To Do List" until the first of September 2018. :lol3
    Thx!


    #89
  10. calfroper

    calfroper In it to win it.

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    I apologize if i'm in the wrong thread here, I'd appreciate some local knowledge.

    I'll have 8 days to ride the Sierras in Mid July. I originally planned to haul a 1200gs in my truck and after 2 business days in Reno, ride to Winnemucca to visit my daughter then back to Reno hotel and spend 5 days riding the Sierras. I ride my GS a lot in mountain twisties, and I like to ride gravel and cow trails.
    After interrogating google maps and Butler Maps of N Ca and NV , I'm really second guessing my choice of bike and thinking there may be a lot of amazing stuff I'd struggle with on a big bike. I'm contemplating a mid size enduro. I have my eye on a used KTM 690.

    It's a huge compromise either way. all day comfort and confidence on improved roads on GS, or missing out on seeing stuff I can't do on my GS and may never have a chance to see again.

    I just don't have any idea how dramatic the wow factor is between what I can comfortably ride on the GS vrs a Mid size enduro. Traffic considerations play in as well.
    #90
  11. michaeln

    michaeln What're YOU lookin' at? Supporter

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    Took a ride as far up as I could go on highway 4 today. That point is a ways past Lake Alpine. The snow is VERY deep up there. However it looks like they are doing a great job on it, and it might be open soon. The closure is at about 7300 feet.

    [​IMG]
    #91
  12. skag

    skag No Monkeys

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    4 open by Memorial weekend??? What are the chances. Happy to report Monitor is clean and dry. image.jpeg image.jpeg
    #92
  13. michaeln

    michaeln What're YOU lookin' at? Supporter

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    We did 460 miles of Sierra and Nevada twisties yesterday. One of the passes we rode was Monitor. I have never seen so much snow on Monitor Pass as yesterday (but as Skag reported, it's clean and dry).

    We also rode over 88, 50, Mount Rose highway, over to Virginia City, and lots of small roads in the western slope Sierra foothills. Long day (14 hours), but the Africa Twin with the tweaked suspension was superb, everywhere.
    #93
  14. michaeln

    michaeln What're YOU lookin' at? Supporter

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    The guy I have been riding with lately talked to a Sheriff friend who lives in Bear Valley. Sheriff said at least 2 months before Ebbetts pass opens as Cal trans has only cleared to Pacific grade and there's is a lot of road damage.
    #94
  15. bdesj

    bdesj Been here awhile

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    Damn. Ebbetts is my favorite.
    #95
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  16. bdesj

    bdesj Been here awhile

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    Since nobody else has piped up, GS. There`s more wow factor than you`ll be able to fit in a week even staying on pavement. If you get a chance to come back again, maybe bring a smaller bike that time.
    #96
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  17. Parx400

    Parx400 Long timer

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    Any word on Sonora?
    #97
  18. vaara

    vaara Been here awhile

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    Yikes! At this rate the riding season will only last 3 months.
    #98
  19. chrisBTSC

    chrisBTSC Been here awhile

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    Parx, Sonora pass is almost 1000' higher than Ebbets. I would assume it still has plenty of snow up there.
    #99
  20. skag

    skag No Monkeys

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    Don't wait on Ebbets and Sonora to start your riding season. Monitor is open clean and dry and the riding on the other side is incredible right now. No fishing, the rivers are high and cold. No tourist traffic, 3 out of the 4 passes are still closed. It is deserted on the other side. The weather is awesome. The best riding is between Monitor and Sonora / Tioga openings. Like, right now. I rode a 450 mile day up there on Saturday and Ill be back for more this weekend. Hopefully conditions will last into June.
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