Author Topic: Heading North through California  (Read 3318 times)

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Offline Fi_and_Paul

Heading North through California
« on: April 25, 2005, 06:27:20 pm »
Hi all,

we've just biked round Australia and New Zealand and have got 5 weeks in California before home to the UK. We're planning on riding north from Bakersfield through Sequoia Natinaol Park, Kings Canyon, Yosemite and over through Sacramento to the coast north of San Francisco and south to Ventura.

There's no problem with the coast, plenty of advice already available. But what do you think of the route north? Any advice?


btw, we leave tomorrow!

Offline wanderingwheel

Heading North through California
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2005, 07:54:24 pm »
I've taken Rte 178 out of Bakersfield towards Lake Isabella and into Ridgecrest.  I've ridden it on the weekends and except for a few spots, it's pretty good.  I'd imagine it's a great ride on a weekday.  Once in Ridgecrest, you can head up 395 for many, many miles of great riding.  There are some really nice side trips off of 395 such as June Lake, but it would be best to ask along the way.  This route will not take you through Sequoia, but you will still see some amazing sceneery as you head up the Owens Valley towards Mammoth.  The Owens Valley has many cheap and inexpensive campgrounds and at least one motel per town.

Once past Mammoth you can climb over Tioga Pass (if it's open) and descend into Yosemite Valley from the East.  Continuing through Yosemite will put you in the Gold Country.  If you choose this route, I'd suggest staying in the moutains and foothills for better riding and cooler temperatures than found in the Central Valley.  I can't help you specific routing here, but I would suggest heading for places like Sonora, Angels Camp, and Sutter Creek.

If you can't go over Tioga Pass, try Sonora Pass (108) or Monitor Pass (89).  Going over Monitor Pass means that you then get to go over either Ebbets Pass(4) and head down through Calaveras Big Tree to Angles Camp or Carson Pass (88).  Carson Pass is on the Western Express and you can follow that route all the way through Sacramento to San Francisco.  However, I prefer Ebbets Pass.

Have a good Trip

Offline wanderingwheel

Heading North through California
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2005, 08:21:48 pm »
I just noticed that all the passes are still closed, so if you take 395 you will have to go almost to Lake Tahoe before turning west and heading over Carson Pass.  If you stay on the west side of the Sierras, there still is a lot of good riding, but I'm not as familiar with it.  After going through Sequoia, stop in Fresno and ask one of the shops for some routes.  Tri-Sport has given me good routes before and would be my first stop.  Once again, I would stay in the hills and out of the valley as much as possible.


Offline valygrl

Heading North through California
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2005, 09:46:25 pm »
Yes, the passes are all closed, you will want to pick one side of the sierra or the other.  The foothills on the west side of the mountains are nice.  Many small towns.  I haven't toured around there, but have driven and done a little day riding.  From Fresno, route through Oakhurst, over hwy 41 (big hill) into Yosemite (spend a few days there, you can camp in the backcountry campground, pay attention to the bear regulations).  The riding is terrifying but the hiking is sublime.

Then head out 140 (more beautiful than 120), then get out Mariposa on 49, which can take you all the way to Placerville.  

You would be wise to ride in/out of Yosemite on a weekday, not a weekend.  None of the access roads have good shoulders, and drivers tend to be distracted by the scenery.

Might try googling the Sierra Century, or contacting the Sacramento Wheelmen club, who put it on - it's a gorgeous route.

God I'm jealous....  


(oh yeah, the "valley" in valygrl is Yosemite valley)

This message was edited by valygrl on 4-25-05 @ 5:46 PM