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Thread: Need some planning advice....Sequoia National Forest...

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    Question Need some planning advice....Sequoia National Forest...

    I'm hoping some of my fellow riders from CA can help me with some advice for planning a ride. We have a group of riders that will be heading out of Las Vegas May 15 with the intention of riding over to the Sequoia National Forest to view some tall trees. The plan is to ride over to Isabella Lake, then head north along Sierra Way, up to Johnsondale, Cedar Slope, Camp Nelson, and Springville. Given that the elevations are pretty high, my first question is regarding roads being closed. Is there a chance we'll encounter closed roads due to snow or weather in these areas this time of year? If so, is there a site where I can monitor the conditions? Second, are there any "must see" sights near the planned route? I would greatly appreciate any advice or suggestions. Thanks much!


    Richard

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    Thumbs down Wow...never had a post with no replies before....

    Oh well. I guess either no one knows are everyone is too busy riding to answer. Disappointing.

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    Can't really help with the Sequoia park info, as that is one of the few I have missed. It's on the list

    However I have traveled west several times and Yes in higher elevations snow can occur in the late spring early summer. Case in point 2009 4-6" of it in and near Yellowstone, turned me back in early June. Also on US-160 /N leaving Pagosa Springs , Colorado.. rising in elevation through Wolf Creek Pass from about 8000 feet up to the summit [10000'+/-] snow on the road, and still falling at about 9am....June 27 2005.....

    That's about all I can offer. So yeah be ready to go around or hold up , it usually doesn't stay on the ground long at that time of year....at least as I've experienced anyway.
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    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    It is very difficult to get good information on some of those areas.
    May 15 should be more open all the way, but should is not is.
    Last November we were in Kernville and they said Sherman Pass was open, even a ranger said you should have no problem.
    Well, they hit a huge ice patch and one went down. A truck and trailer went up further and turned around and came back and said it's worse further up.
    Sherman pass goes to the east from where the road goes to Camp Nelson.
    Camp Nelson road, actually the road to the Camp Nelson road was closed when I got to Kernville, or far north of Kernville last April 28th. They said 2 more weeks at that time. But I didn't know til I got there.
    Even local knowledge is sketchy. Rangers may answer the phone, but may not have been up there.
    Advrider usually has a lot of posts. A lot of them go up Sherman pass area in the truck with dirt bikes.
    They post a lot.
    If Camp Nelson road is closed, just go a bit south and take 135 west and Jack Ranch north into Porterville.
    The worst that happens is you have to go further around. But your best info will be when you get there.
    It could snow in the mountains last night.
    dc

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    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    David13's right: it is difficult from a distance to learn the condition of these roads.

    CA190 runs from the Central Valley only up to Quaking Aspen (although the highway number applies again from Olancha on US395 east into Death Valley). From Quaking Aspen (where the road turns south) it descends through National Forest Land, and doesn't appear on CalTrans "Road Conditions" page. From Springville to about 10 miles above Camp Nelson is seriously and continuously curvy. Coming up from the Central Valley, the road is plowed only as far as Camp Nelson. I remember several years ago in March riding up from Springville in nice spring conditions, and being stopped by a wall-to-wall snow face across the road at Camp Nelson.

    The part of the road in the Sequoia National Forest (this is different from Sequoia National Park, which is further north) is called the Western Divide Highway, and is a fabulous ride, good pavement and excellent views, with plenty of really big trees. However, with the late snow this year, you may find at some point that the road is not open. I'd expect that Sherman Pass (which runs east from the Sierra Highway over the Sierra crest and down into Kennedy Meadows and the Owens Valley, and is even higher) will be closed into June.

    Telephoning the USFS office in Kernville may yield some useful information
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    Thick As A Brick r184's Avatar
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    This has been a very mild and dry winter for us. It's very likely you won't find any of the seasonal passes closed.

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    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    I wonder whether the lack of a roads status report on Sequoia's website is due to budget constraints. Glacier Park does have one, and even cameras.
    Rinty

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    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RINTY View Post
    I wonder whether the lack of a roads status report on Sequoia's website is due to budget constraints. Glacier Park does have one, and even cameras.
    Screw the report, look at a live picture.

    http://www.skimountaineer.com/MtnWeb....html?size=med

    http://www.nps.gov/seki/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm

    http://www.wunderground.com/weather-...onal_Park.html (clich on webcams on the top Right, shows cams from all over 0
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    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    The roads asked about by the OP are in the Sequoia National Forest, not in Sequoia National Park. These are different places. I've never been able to find road info on the USFS (national forests) pages. The cameras suggested are in other parts of the state, or in Sequoia National Park.
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    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbrick View Post
    The roads asked about by the OP are in the Sequoia National Forest, not in Sequoia National Park. These are different places. I've never been able to find road info on the USFS (national forests) pages. The cameras suggested are in other parts of the state, or in Sequoia National Park.
    The weather Underground link has 2 webcams east of Springville, in the Mtns.
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    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    The weather Underground link has 2 webcams east of Springville, in the Mtns.
    Wunderground's map show two cams in the area, but both are well north of Springville and well off CA190. In any event, Springville's elevation is ~1000 feet; even a bit up CA190 at Camp Nelson the elevation is 4800 feet, and Quaking Aspen (about the top) is 7000. What these cameras show might not be representative of what one would find further up.
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    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    I've never been able to find road info on the USFS (national forest) pages...dbrick
    David: my comment / question, which was not clear, was that perhaps the USFS has less budget to work with than the National Park Service.

    Certainly, I've seen some things that suggest they are operating under budgetary constraints.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  13. #13
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RINTY View Post
    David: my comment, which was not clear, was that perhaps the USFS has less budget to work with than the National Park Service. Certainly, I've seen some things that suggest they are operating under budgetary constraints.
    I wouldn't doubt that at all, Rinty. I suspect the national forests (and USFS) are perceived by the Congress as lesser than the national parks (and NPS), with budget allocations to their departments reflecting that perception.
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