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Old 10-06-07, 08:36 PM   #1
jpm1665
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Eastern Sierras in Late Oct?

Hi All,

I've been toying with the idea of going to the Eastern Sierras for some riding sometime in the next few weeks, most likely near the end of October. In particular, I think I would like to go to the area near Mammoth Lakes. I was hoping people with experience in this area might be able to answer several questions:

1) Is this even feasible at this time of year, i.e. what are the chances of it being snowy and overly cold?

2) Any recommendations of routes? I'm looking to do a couple of 50-60 mile rides with 5000' + feet of climbing each.

3) Any recommendations of other places to go on 395 near Mammoth Lakes? For example, how are Bishop and Lone Pine?

4) The route suggested by Google Maps (from the south bay) takes me on 120 through Yosemite. How's the drive in late Oct? Snowy?

Thanks -
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Old 10-06-07, 08:43 PM   #2
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It's a bit of a crapshoot this time of year, especially getting through Yosemite. It could be nice and sunny, or there could be a blizzard.

Bishop/Mammoth, etc. daytime temps should be decent still, but probably cold at night and at altitude. Much stronger chance of snow at the higher elevations. But, it could be gorgeous. Your best bet is to be flexible, because things could change drastically.

If they are open & rideable, suggested routes:
- Mosquito Flat/Upper Rock Creek (takes you to 10,000+ feet if you go all the way up
- Whitney Portal
- Bristlecone Pine Forest Rd.
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Old 10-06-07, 08:49 PM   #3
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It snowed in Mammoth last weekend!
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Old 10-06-07, 10:21 PM   #4
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I went camping on a geology trip. We went to Owens Valley, Lone Pine, Bishop, Darwin (lol that place is crazy... population = 50!), Mono Lake, etc, etc..

We went around this time of year. The weather was great at lower elevations. But got down to 20-something degrees one night at 10k feet or so (in Yosemite).

I have some pics too:

Near Lake Crowley:


Bishop Tuff:


Basalt Flow:


Owens Valley:


Darwin:


Mt. Whitney sunrise:
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Old 10-07-07, 09:10 AM   #5
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You have to be prepared to any type of weather at this time of the year. They had snow last week but it's kind of unusual this early in the season. Mornings can be very cool but temperature can be very pleasant during the day and the evening on clear days. The scenery is beautiful at this season, yellow aspens and cottonwoods everywhere.
I never rode my bike there (usually go for photography) but some plenty of road shooting off 395 towards the mountains mainly to the West (Sierra) but also to the East such as the Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains (but that's a very tough one). June Lake Look and the Mono Lake area would offer pleasant rides with not too much climbing, Bishop Creek road is more of a challenge but beautiful, the road from Lone Pine to Death Valley would have both flats and climbs.
Accommodations can be found in Mammoth, Bishop, Lone Pine or Lee Vining (motels), June Lake (public or private camping, motels).
If the weather is good you cannot be the scenery of this area.
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Old 10-07-07, 10:49 AM   #6
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I just got back from the Grizzly Century, which is in the Sierras about 20 miles south of Yosemite. The snow line got down to about 4,000 feet overnight (most melted off quickly), and there was enough ice on one of the roads that they changed the ride route. This is not the normal weather for this time of year, but it can happen.

JB
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Old 10-07-07, 10:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by jonathanb715 View Post
I just got back from the Grizzly Century, which is in the Sierras about 20 miles south of Yosemite. The snow line got down to about 4,000 feet overnight (most melted off quickly), and there was enough ice on one of the roads that they changed the ride route. This is not the normal weather for this time of year, but it can happen.

JB
Come on JB ... don't tease us like this. Give us a full ride report ..

This is just too long of a drive, and I have been out of town too much lately, so that's why I didn't do it.
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Old 10-07-07, 12:05 PM   #8
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I'd be very interested in seeing some of these pictures. Do you have them posted anywhere?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpelpel View Post
You have to be prepared to any type of weather at this time of the year. They had snow last week but it's kind of unusual this early in the season. Mornings can be very cool but temperature can be very pleasant during the day and the evening on clear days. The scenery is beautiful at this season, yellow aspens and cottonwoods everywhere.
I never rode my bike there (usually go for photography) but some plenty of road shooting off 395 towards the mountains mainly to the West (Sierra) but also to the East such as the Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains (but that's a very tough one). June Lake Look and the Mono Lake area would offer pleasant rides with not too much climbing, Bishop Creek road is more of a challenge but beautiful, the road from Lone Pine to Death Valley would have both flats and climbs.
Accommodations can be found in Mammoth, Bishop, Lone Pine or Lee Vining (motels), June Lake (public or private camping, motels).
If the weather is good you cannot be the scenery of this area.
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Old 10-07-07, 12:06 PM   #9
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What happens with 120 when there is snow? Do they close it down, require chains, or anything like this? How is the drive overall from the bay area?
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Old 10-07-07, 12:29 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jpm1665 View Post
What happens with 120 when there is snow? Do they close it down, require chains, or anything like this? How is the drive overall from the bay area?
They generally just close it down, not even chain controls. If it's brief snow they might clear it and/or allow it to melt & re-open, but they don't make a huge effort at it from October 1 onward. Check the Caltrans Road Conditions website and have their phone # handy, too because if there's weather you could be in for a long backtrack/detour.

http://dot.ca.gov/

1-800-427-ROAD
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Old 10-07-07, 10:35 PM   #11
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Does anyone know how the cycling and weather are this time of year further south - near Sequoia and Kings Canyon, in the Three Rivers area?

Thanks --
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Old 10-07-07, 11:34 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jpm1665 View Post
I'd be very interested in seeing some of these pictures. Do you have them posted anywhere?
I'm not the poster you asked for pics, but I have some for you to look at.

Here's a link to my report of the 2006 Grizzly Century, with some pics:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...hlight=grizzly

Here's a link to my report of the 2006 Sierra Fall Century (Mammoth Lakes), with some pics:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ghlight=sierra
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