Northern California - Mono Lake - Anyone ever ride around it?
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11-13-10, 09:41 PM
Going to cross-post this on NorCal & So Cal forums. Has anyone ever cycled around the lake? The western edge is Hwy 395 and the north side is Hwy 167, but the eastern and south/southeastern sides (east of the Tufa park) are a mystery I'm trying to figure out. Paper maps I have show it as a dirt 4WD road (an old railroad trackbed), but the dirt road doesn't show up on Google Maps. The maps show it as fairly flat (old lake bed from the old pre-LADWP diversion period). Nothing much on internet searches either. Anybody done it, or attempted it, and have any info?
11-13-10, 10:18 PM
I've never ridden it. However, if you use MapQuest instead of Google, you will see that there is a road named East Shore Rd, which is accessed from either Hwy 167 or Sulfur Pond Qcc6 (or 006). When I look at the satellite view, there doesn't appear to be much of a road there, but it looks pretty flat. If I was in the area I wouldn't hesitate to give it a try.
I hate Google maps. It consistently shows road connections that don't exist and doesn't show roads that I have ridden on, even paved ones. Maybe I just ride in all the wrong places.
11-13-10, 10:27 PM
The south side is Hwy 120. That will get you to the Mono Mill site, and from there it is a pumice road that goes around the east side of the lake, across to 167. The railroad bed is the old Bodie RR right of way. Lumber from the mill was shipped via train to the mines at Bodie, 18 or so miles north of Hwy 167.
I drove across the east edge in my Tahoe, the pumice is very deep and very "floaty"..... better have wide tires, strong legs, and A LOT of water with you if you're gonna do it by bike. And pick a cool day - there ain't a lot of shade out there.
11-16-10, 07:03 AM
Thanks for the replies. I got the idea to try a Mono Lake circumnavigation while backpacking in the Lundy Lake/Saddlebag Lake area in late September. I had an AAA road map that showed a railroad monument out at the NE corner of the lake, and also a 4WD road that went around the lake. Looked like an interesting idea fo a future trip. After getting home I did a little more digging; the USGS topo maps show a road around the east side, but the Google Maps sat photos don't ( strange?!?). Mapquest also shows a road around the east side. Probably try to dig up some more info, but might try it early next spring to avoid the hot summer weather. I'll definately play it conservative and abort if the 4WD road gets too soft for a low geared, knobby tired MTB.
Once again, thanks for the info.
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