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Discussion Starter #1
I make an annual trip to the Owens Valley/lake Isabella/Kern River, Calif area. In May I will be on the 18th annual ride. I think it is safe to say I am very familiar with the area.

I am looking for something I may have missed. Does anyone know of places to go or things to see in this area? We travel from Reno to Lone Pine on the first day, taking many side roads to make it an entire day's ride.

Second day is from Lone Pine to Fairview (on the Kern north of Kernville) again with many side roads/trips.
 

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Have you gone over Sherman Pass? Assuming it is open at that point (??) it's worth a ride and the time to ride.

There are also some amazing roads that run north towards Sequioa National Park and King's Canyon NP (also a good trip) - Hwy 155 and White River Road. On the south side of Hwy 178 there are also some great roads that run parallel - Kern River Canyon Road, Democrat Road, Breckenridge Road, etc.


DaleC
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Dale!

Sherman pass is usually still closed in May although it was open a couple of times. One year we waited at the gate untill Mr. Ranger got there and opened it! Another year, on my Vstrom, I managed to get around the gate. I was the only one of my group that could do it though so I had to go back the same way.

Now that you mention it, I don't usually go south of Isabella. I may give that a try this trip.

Thanks for the input.
 

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riffraff said:
I make an annual trip to the Owens Valley/lake Isabella/Kern River, Calif area. In May I will be on the 18th annual ride. I think it is safe to say I am very familiar with the area.

I am looking for something I may have missed. Does anyone know of places to go or things to see in this area? We travel from Reno to Lone Pine on the first day, taking many side roads to make it an entire day's ride.

Second day is from Lone Pine to Fairview (on the Kern north of Kernville) again with many side roads/trips.
Have you seen the hang gliders launch from Horseshoe Meadows?

(I used to fly off there ... way back when ...)

Dennis
 

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Unlikely that you haven't, but just in case;

Come up thru Death Valley exiting @ Lone Pine.

Stay @ the DOW VILLA in Lone Pine.

Eat @ the SEASONS Restaurant -1- block north of the DOW VILLA.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Come up thru Death Valley exiting @ Lone Pine.
This would be a long loop as I am coming down from the north.
One of my favs is the ride over Westguard pass (leave 395 at Big Pine) over to 95 in NV and back into Death Valley at Scotties Junction.

There is a dirt road (not on a Wing) that goes from Big Pine area to Death Valley. It connects to the pavement in Death Valley right around the Heebeejeebe Crater. (I know that's not the real name but it is something like it.) I last did it in a rental car.

The Dow IS our hotel of choice. I prefer the old "historical" section.
 

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My in-laws live in Bodfish which is just West of Lake Isabella. I'm not sure what you want to see, but there is a lot there and I really like the area.

So, have you ever taken Caliente-Bodfish road? If you like twistys this road is awesome. What about 155 out of Wofford Heights? That is another great road.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So, have you ever taken Caliente-Bodfish road?
I haven't been on that road since 1991. That's another good idea. I think next year's ride is going to be a day longer. I am going to head south from Isabella and make a loop down through Tehachapi and up the Caliente Road.

We tend to stop a lot, on this ride, and we sure don't miss any meals. :)
We aren't trying to rack up miles as the whole trip could be done in 6 or 8 hours if we just went point A to B.

We tend to ride the "old" roads. The ones that were the main route before hwy 395 was a freeway. We just use the highway as a connector between them.
 

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If you have already seen it all, how can we add to that. I lived in Mammoth Lakes for a number of years, during that time I drove a CJ5, Alot of places I could mention would be hard to access on a Wing. You could try to get to:
The hot tubs around Mammoth, Hot Creek area (public)
There is a swimming pool south of Bishop that was a hang out for the old Hollywood gang, Gable and Grable etc. It was not public years ago, but if you can get in for a look around it is neat, members only!
Drive up White Mountain, 4wd required good luck with the Wing
Look for old gold mines around the area, listed on a good map
Do the June Lake loop
Watch the hang gliders, they also launch from the White Mountains when the winds allow. They used to land at the Bishop airport, but I think they lost their priviledges long ago.
Railroad Museum on the way to Bishop Airport
Go up the Whitney Portal Road, hike the mountain while your at it.
Try your luck at bouldering in the Buttermilks or at least watch
Devils Post Pile, check out the Pack Station at the end of the road, lunch is served.
Visit 395.com
Look for arrow heads
Look for obsidian, not good for MC tires!
Go up Hwy 168 out of Bishop to see the sites
Tioga Pass may be open at Mono Lake, Check out the Third Pillar of the Dana Plateau, look for climbers
Bodi, NV ghost town
Watch out for volcanic eruptions :lol:
Visitors Center at Mono Lake, tip toe thru the tufa towers :lol:
Bring your fishing rod
If you are crazy you could out to the sand dunes hours SE from Bishop on a dirt road, hot tubs, dunes, Charley Manson's old hang out
Mammoth Ski Resort, you pass it on the way to Devils Post Pile-Reds Meadow
Joshua Tree, if you get that far
George Patton Museum
I could go on, and I hope you are not bored by this.
I had a great time living there, too much to mention here.
Good Luck :D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If you have already seen it all, how can we add to that.
I haven't seen it all. I never claimed to have seen it all. In fact, that's why I asked for input in the first place. So far I have gotten some good ideas.

Won't be doing any offroading. We have one rider in the group that won't even ride in a gravel parking lot.

Try your luck at bouldering in the Buttermilks or at least watch
??????

Devil's post pile and the Patton museum. Hadn't thought of those either. Again, I've seen the signs but never stopped.

That is what I am looking for. Thanks!
 

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I meant to be funny, I havent done it all either!
Bouldering is an activity in which climbers ascend a steep short rock face without protection (rope) to catch a fall.
Sorry about the jargon.
The Buttermilks are an area just outside of Bishop on a dirt road, where there is, or was a recently active gold mine.
There is also a Tungstun mine past Rovana. The countryside is interesting on the west side of 395.
Instead of taking 395 down the grade into Bishop, try taking Lower Rock Creek Road (the Old Sherwin Grade) Turn right a mile or so past Toms Place. A couple of miles after it flattens out at the bottom you will run into Pine Creek Road which will take you to Rovana and beyond. I am not promising big things here, at some point the mining company will probably have the road blocked. You can take the back roads into Bishop.
168 will take you up into the Sierras to Lake Sabrina, nice ride and picturesque.
I really enjoyed west coast riding when living out there. The Sierras are the best.
Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #13
try taking Lower Rock Creek Road (the Old Sherwin Grade)
This is our standard route. One of the "old" roads.

Tom's place for lunch. Like I said, we don't miss many meals on our ride. :)

With all the good input I think this year's ride is going to be at least a day longer.
 

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riffraff said:
Have you seen the hang gliders launch from Horseshoe Meadows?
I have passed the sign but never taken the road. Horseshoe is up toward Whitney Portal, correct?
You turn South off the Whitney Portal road on Horseshoe Meadows road. It climbs up the face of the mountain and gives you a terrific view in no time. Make sure you watch out for leftover snow if you are going in May. At the end of the road is a very big jumping off point for hikers up into the wilderness areas.
 
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