The High Sierra Passes thread. Tales and Photos

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

  1. michaeln

    michaeln What're YOU lookin' at? Supporter

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    Having snowed all night (and still snowing now), I don't think 108 will be open today. Gonna be heating up this week though, we will probably get to ride it tomorrow or Wednesday.
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  2. skag

    skag No Monkeys

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    Chains in June???
    Yeah baby! Chains required on 88. 50 looks slippery too.
  3. WasatchAdam

    WasatchAdam Go fast, go far

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    Damn! Those were supposed to be my bailout routes if Sonora was closed. Looks like I'll be taking the long way south around the mountains...
  4. michaeln

    michaeln What're YOU lookin' at? Supporter

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    SONORA PASS/SR-108 REMAINS CLOSED DUE TO SNOW

    Caltrans District 10 has announced that Sonora Pass/State Route 108 will not open today (Monday, June 12) due to storms that passed through the region this weekend. The storms dropped 3 to 6 inches of snow on the roadway, and snow continues into today.

    Caltrans will provide a Sonora Pass update Tuesday morning, so please stay in touch with District 10's Facebook and Twitter (@CaltransDist10) sites.

    Safety is the priority for Caltrans - the safety of the traveling public as well as our maintenance workers. We appreciate your patience following a wet and wild winter, and now during this surprising snowfall that hit the Sierra Nevada in June.
  5. skag

    skag No Monkeys

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  6. michaeln

    michaeln What're YOU lookin' at? Supporter

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    I am thinking that even if they do open Sonora Pass today, it might not be a smart idea to ride it on a motorcycle quite yet. I really want to, but if it is just barely opened with parts that might be slippery I am not sure my skills are up to it even though I have ridden it many many times.

    I may drive it in my car instead.

    [​IMG]
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  7. michaeln

    michaeln What're YOU lookin' at? Supporter

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    From CalTrans District 10 Tuesday Morning:

    SONORA PASS/SR-108 SET TO OPEN TUESDAY AT 2 PM


    After this weekend's storm, Caltrans District 10 has completed the latest clean up and is scheduled to open Sonora Pass/State Route 108 today (Tuesday, June 13) at 2:00 P.M.
  8. skag

    skag No Monkeys

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    This highway information is the latest reported as of Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at 14:37 .

    SR 108
    [IN THE CENTRAL CALIFORNIA AREA & SIERRA NEVADA]
    NO TRAFFIC RESTRICTIONS ARE REPORTED FOR THIS AREA.



    [YOSEMITE NAT'L PARK]
    FOR YOSEMITE NAT'L PARK ROAD INFORMATION CALL 209-372-0200
    4 is still showing closed due to construction east of Lake Alpine
  9. michaeln

    michaeln What're YOU lookin' at? Supporter

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    Sonora Pass (108) is open, and it's gorgeous.

    The road is dry in all but a few places where snowmelt is running across the road, but they were all in straightaways so should be no problem. Pavement is perfect. I drove it both ways today in my car because I wasn't sure what condition the road was in. Should have taken my bike, and likely will tomorrow

    I was third vehicle to the summit, behind a reporter from a local newspaper who interviewed me... he was on an orange Kawasaki Z1000R and led us up the hill. There was a nice Jimmy pickup in front of me with a couple from Cold Springs, then me. They both stopped at the summit but I continued on down to 395.

    After attending to nature's call, I headed east up the pass (which is my favorite direction on the motorcycle). Stopped at Leavitt Falls overlook. The falls were going bigtime.

    [​IMG]

    The Walker River is running high and fast, and the valley is green.

    [​IMG]

    Hard to find a place to park because of all the snow, but managed to get this on the western slope a little below the summit. There are places where they have churned through 15' of snow. This was less, maybe 7 or 8 feet:

    [​IMG]

    I believe I will ride the motorcycle over and back tomorrow. Soo soo pretty up there!
  10. oldxr

    oldxr Long timer

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    If you do ride Sonora Pass wait till the afternoon and slow down for shady spots that look wet.A few years back an inmate on this site went down after hitting an ice patch and his bike ended up underneath a heavy military vehicle that was out for morning training.I like to go into Leavitt lake and camp off of my bike one time a year up there.There is a road to the left just past the top that puts you back on 108 through the marine base front gate.That wood deck at Leavitt Falls is a nice place to take a break.
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  11. 23103a

    23103a not n00b

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    Thanks for the pics. Those of us nearer to the coast and 4 hours away from the Sierras are jealous :D
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  12. bdesj

    bdesj Long timer

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    Thanks, Michaeln. Love that overlook picture!
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  13. michaeln

    michaeln What're YOU lookin' at? Supporter

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    When I was at the summit yesterday around 2PM it was about 52F. It should be warmer for each of the next few days with foothill temps in the mid-90s to low 100s. There will be more snow runoff up there too.
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  14. michaeln

    michaeln What're YOU lookin' at? Supporter

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    Did my first "running the passes" loop of the year today.

    Angels Camp to Sonora, Hwy 108 over to 395, 395 to Walker for some iced tea and Texas Fries with pulled pork. After lunch, north on 395 to pick up Highway 89 / Monitor Pass. On to Markleeville for some gas, then over to 88 and Carson Pass & Hope Valley. Got off 88 at Defender Grade on to West Point, 26 to Moke Hill, 49 back to Angels.

    I was at the summit on Sonora Pass around 11:45. It was a balmy 61F at the summit, low 70F on 395. That snow is gonna go fast with the very high temps predicted (up to 85F at Lake Tahoe), so get up there soon if you want to see it. It's spectacular.
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  15. yobuddy

    yobuddy Been here awhile

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    I think I am going over 108 Saturday morning. Burger at Walker Burger and then quickly back to the valley before the heat is on high.
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  16. michaeln

    michaeln What're YOU lookin' at? Supporter

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    These repairs are the reason Ebbetts / 4 is not open:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  17. KPK

    KPK Been here awhile

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    Looks like they are actively working on the repair, any idea of estimated when the road is opening?
  18. michaeln

    michaeln What're YOU lookin' at? Supporter

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    They are estimating mid-July.
  19. DSchmidt7of7

    DSchmidt7of7 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for all of the great photos and info. I've really enjoyed the reports and will be zig-zaging the passes and camping off the bike for 4-5 days beginning 6/22. With the record highs being forecasted and leftover snow in the high places, it will be interesting to see what the temperature swing will be.

    Any thoughts on routes and camping spots that might be good - or perhaps any hidden gems I can look for "in them thar hills". So far it looks like:

    - Hwy 50/88/89 are all good
    - Hwy 4 is a NOGO
    - Hwy 108 is a must-see
    - Hwy 120 is still uncertain (and likely to be crowded)

    As a side note, is anybody familiar with Foresthill Road? It runs northeast out of Auburn and sort of parallels I-80. Looks like it might be fun to check out but it's probably buried in old snow right now.

    And yes, dirt roads (within reason) are definitely something I'd like to check out as well.

    Thanks again, and in advance, for sharing.

    DSchmidt7of7
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  20. wrk2surf

    wrk2surf on the gas or brakes

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    [​IMG]

    looks like they are at the gate near the lake... still have to fix it and im sure at the the point its bad on that slab...
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