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Old 08-16-09, 09:45 PM   #1
calamarichris
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Ride Report: Sequoia Nat'l Forest

Sequoia is neat not only because it contains all five vowels, but it's got some spectacular scenery, immaculate asphalt (below 4000 feet at least), and thanks to neighboring Yosemite and a park-wide speed limit of only 25mph, reasonable auto traffic.
I averaged just below 9mph from Three Rivers to the Wuxahatchie Lodge, but a good portion of it was in the shade:



I've ridden up here many times before on motorcycles, so I knew what to expect, but this first time on a bicycle was special. It's really tragic that almost everyrone flies through this place at 25mph. It's a road that needs to be sipped, sucked & savored. Also, you can stop your bicycle anywhere you like for pictures, stretching out, idylls, whatever...



We were passed by about two dozen cars on the way up, but we passed 11 of them on the way back down, despite stopping for pictures.


Three Rivers starts at about 1100 feet and the highpoint is about 7100 feet. I intend to go there again in September or October (when all the kids are back in school) on a weekday. The steepest point was only about 8 or 9% and it was a serious blast to bomb back down through those corners.



Peace & safe riding!

P.S. I forgot to mention: there's a $10 fee (per bicycle) to enter the park! (Sorry for failing to mention this before!)

Last edited by calamarichris; 08-18-09 at 10:07 AM. Reason: Forgot to mention Park fee. (ooops!)
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Old 08-16-09, 10:59 PM   #2
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Just wow! I always wanted to go to Sequoia and Yosemite. That's right, haven't been there either. Those two are definitely on the to do list. The pictures with your bike are beautiful. Are you going to post the route on map your ride? I'd like to try that climb sometime.

Do you just go up for the day? How long does it take to drive from LA to Sequoia? I told myself this year and next I'll start to explore places in the US instead of going to Europe.
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Old 08-17-09, 08:35 AM   #3
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Looks like fun. How much climbing? Is it safe (ticket-wise) to ignore the 25mph speed limit on the descent? Mt Diablo has a 25 mph speed limit which would put a damper on the descending fun but the rangers seem to ignore bikes, although I slow down when I see them so I have not really tested the issue.

Also, what's the loop of cable on the right shifter in the second pic?
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Old 08-17-09, 08:56 AM   #4
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Also, what's the loop of cable on the right shifter in the second pic?
Sun glasses.
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Old 08-17-09, 09:30 AM   #5
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... the route on map your ride?

Do you just go up for the day? How long does it take to drive from LA to Sequoia? I told myself this year and next I'll start to explore places in the US instead of going to Europe.
Here's the map (Clicky.) You can actually see the road view thanks to Googlemap.

It's probably about a 2-3 hour drive from LA. (Sure wish I lived that close. I had to come up from Carlsbad.)

I'm still trying to get a speeding ticket on my bicycle. I hit 58mph coming down the mountain at some point, which would have made an impressive ticket, but no dice.

Thanks for the kind compliments.

Last edited by calamarichris; 08-17-09 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 08-17-09, 09:51 AM   #6
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What is the loop of cable in your left hand in the last pic?
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Old 08-17-09, 10:31 AM   #7
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Also, what's the loop of cable on the right shifter in the second pic?
It's not cable, it's sunglasses.
My ex and I camped at Grant Grove and did a mountain bike ride through the forest to Hume Lake and took the road back up. It was memorable. It's legal to ride the dirt outside of the park boundries.
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Old 08-17-09, 10:41 AM   #8
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A few more...



The road above Morro Rock is a little umm... textured, but there were road-maintenance signs up, so perhaps they'll be smoothing it out a little up high. (The road below 4000 feet is really a dream--very smooth and lots of hairpins.)
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Old 08-17-09, 11:06 AM   #9
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Cool! I haven't been to Sequoia in a long time, and have been meaning to go ride there. "They" had told me it was really crowded during the summer. Judging by your report, it sounds like that is not the case, huh?
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Old 08-17-09, 11:22 AM   #10
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It's not as bad as Yosemite, (which thankfully attracts most of the attention and RVs away from Sequoia) but I would still try to hit it on a weekday in the off-season to minimize the traffic. I rode it on Friday, the 14th and it wasn't too bad.
There isn't much shoulder, but there are dozens of little pull-outs and it seemed like I was always able to use them whenever approached from behind. One very pleasant thing about Sequoia is it seems to attract more Europeans than red-staters, so the motorists tend to me more considerate and give you plenty of room. YMMV.
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Old 08-17-09, 11:32 AM   #11
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Nice and thanks! We were just up there last weekend on a family trip. I was wishing I had brought my road bike. I'm thinking of going out there with a couple of teammates and doing 3 Rivers to Waksuchi on the first day and then Waksuchi to Roads End in King's Canyon on the second day. We just need to find a sucker to drive a car.
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Old 08-17-09, 02:18 PM   #12
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3 Rivers to Wuxachie only took about 3 hours, and that was stopping for pics & souvenirs.
I'd pack a bunch of hiking shoes and clothes in your car, so you'll be able to walk around up there.

It's a gorgeous road along that river down in King's Canyon, but there are a few steep & harrrd places climbing up out of that sucker.
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Old 08-17-09, 03:57 PM   #13
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Nice report, thanks. I've only been there to camp or backpack, never to ride.

Looks fun

See any bears? I don't think I've ever been up there when we didn't see at least one...
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Old 08-17-09, 09:26 PM   #14
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Fantastic! And it's not too far from LA.

So why did they make a pair of sunglasses to look like a loop of wire?
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Old 08-18-09, 10:00 AM   #15
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So why did they make a pair of sunglasses to look like a loop of wire?
The 80's were a creative era for sunglasses & music. (And by creative, I mean utterly androgynous.)





P.S. I forgot to mention: there's a $10 fee (per bicycle) to enter the park! (Sorry for failing to mention this before!)

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Old 08-18-09, 12:22 PM   #16
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The 80's were a creative era for sunglasses & music. (And by creative, I mean utterly androgynous.)





P.S. I forgot to mention: there's a $10 fee (per bicycle) to enter the park! (Sorry for failing to mention this before!)

Ah! My Oakley Razor Blades. I loved those things! I think they cost around $70 - which was ridiculously expensive for 1991. Too bad I got them in "80's pastel" - bright green and pink - or else I would wear them today.


To get it back on track - thanks for the heads-up on the fee. Not a deal killer, but it'll save me the confrontation with a ranger from just speeding right by the fee booth without stopping. (Which is what I usually do - assuming there isn't a fee.)
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Old 08-18-09, 01:51 PM   #17
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I forgot to mention: there's a $10 fee (per bicycle) to enter the park! (Sorry for failing to mention this before!)[/B]
is it $10 per vehicle? if you have a sag vehicle you could all climb in before the gate pay $10 for everybody and get out on the other side

i've often wondered why no one rides up there or at least discusses riding up there. i'm sure the summers are pretty busy with tourists but i've only been up in oct/nov. i think sept would be a great time to ride as most of the tourist would be gone and if you could hit it mid week the roads would be pretty empty. we came up from the south side which seems to have less traffic than the north side.

there's also the roads up from lake isabella which go into the forest which have even less traffic for another loop
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Old 08-18-09, 02:17 PM   #18
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Yes, you certainly could ride the coat-tails of a sag vehicle. There are a bunch of parking spaces and picnic areas immediately after the gate, so you could park and embark from just a few miles up the hill from 3 Rivers.

I couldn't find any discussion about it in here either, so I decided to investigate. Same thing happened when I wanted to kayak to Catalina--couldn't find anyone who'd ever done it or who would go with me, so I just went and it turned out to be great all three times!


Some of those roads North of Isabella are indeed tasty, but access to water after Kernville gets pretty scarce & far-between.
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Old 08-19-09, 04:59 AM   #19
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love this picture. these fantastic cali cycling pics remind me, i need to check my mega millions lotto ticket this morning. later.
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Old 08-19-09, 11:10 AM   #20
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Here's a thread with a great report and pictures. I've been wanting to ride up there, ever since I saw this a few years ago.

BTW- The entrance fee is $20 for cars.
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Old 08-19-09, 05:56 PM   #21
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Here's the map (Clicky.) You can actually see the road view thanks to Googlemap.

It's probably about a 2-3 hour drive from LA. (Sure wish I lived that close. I had to come up from Carlsbad.)

I'm still trying to get a speeding ticket on my bicycle. I hit 58mph coming down the mountain at some point, which would have made an impressive ticket, but no dice.

Thanks for the kind compliments.
Actually it is 221 miles away from my place by LAX and google maps says it will take 3 hours and 41 minutes.
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Old 08-19-09, 05:57 PM   #22
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I didn't realize it was so close. I gotta get out there!
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Old 08-19-09, 06:02 PM   #23
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P.S. I forgot to mention: there's a $10 fee (per bicycle) to enter the park! (Sorry for failing to mention this before!)
They charge into Yosemite as well but I told them I was with my wife who was waiting in line and they let me through.

Looks great up there, nice pictures. Maybe next year I'll take an extra day and hit that too. How far is it from Yosemite?
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