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tizzdizz 04-10-2011 03:37 PM

Mojave /Calico trip Memorial Day weekend
Edit: We're now looking at Calico Canyon in Mojave Desert instead, since higher elevations in/near the Sierras will likely still be blocked by snow at the end of May. More information to follow as the trip gets closer.

Hey guys, I'm looking to go out to the Mono Lake area for a 3 or 4 day trip around Memorial Day Weekend (May 27-30). I have a list of trails that I've done a bit of research on, but just wanted to get an idea for what you think about a trip that time of year in terms of weather, how busy, etc.

The trails I've found so far are:

Bishop area
-Volcanic Tablelands
-Buttermilk Country
-Coyote Flat/Coyote Ridge
-Sanger Meadow

Lake Crowley area
-Laurel Lakes/Laurel Canyon
-Sand Canyon Road
-Wheeler Ridge

-Mono Lake
-Panum Crater
-Devils Postpile

I realize this is a ton to fit into a 4 day weekend. I just came up with a list of whatever I could find to do, so that there are backup choices in case snow closes some of the trails. Anyone done any of these? So far there are tentatively 3 jeeps and 4-5 people in my party, and if anyone wanted to meet us up there, that would be cool. Let me know if you have any tips or thoughts.

GRN98TJ 04-12-2011 05:52 PM

Laurel Lakes , Wheeler Ridge and any trail above 6000 feet will most likley be impassable due to snow. I wonder if Tioga, Sonora and Ebbetts passes will even be open by Memorial weekend with the amount of snow we have had.


Diamond-x 04-12-2011 10:42 PM

You could check out the old ghost town Bodie.

tizzdizz 04-17-2011 10:06 PM

Based on the amount of snow the sierras got this year, we're now also looking at Death Valley over a 4 day weekend. I hear Titus Canyon is a good one to see. Any other trail suggestions?

pdangerp 04-17-2011 11:36 PM

I don't have any suggestions, but keep me updated. I'd probably be down for a long camping weekend. How far are those original places from the bay area?

tizzdizz 04-17-2011 11:53 PM

Well, it all depends on what roads open up. One way to Owens Valley is via Tioga Pass 120 through Yosemite, but it's closed, and might be closed until end of June?? CA-88 is open, and going that way it supposedly takes 7.5 hours. The question is, will enough trails be open in Owens Valley by then to make it a worthwhile destination?

I'd be thrilled to make it to either place (Owens Valley vs. Death Valley). We can plan on Death Valley being clear obviously, and then if it looks like Owens Valley is more viable, then we'll look at it in a few weeks. Plenty of things to do in either spot, and I have several trail books and maps.

Things are still taking shape, but for Death Valley, we'd probably leave from the Bay Area Thursday night May 26, get as far as we can and camp (Tehachapi or Mojave?) then drive the rest of the way to Death Valley Friday morning. We could then explore Friday after lunch, all day Saturday and Sunday, then drive home Monday the 30th. It's ~9 hours from San Jose.

Furnace Creek in Death Valley is a neat campground with restaurant, store, etcetc and I think some lodging too, if you don't like tent camping.

As the dates get closer I'll update with who's going. So far 2, possibly 3 jeeps, a few passengers, and pdangerp if you can make it.

Edit: wherever we go, I suggest we stop by Harris Ranch off I-5 and get some good meat for grilling.

KISSlover101 04-26-2011 02:43 PM

What are the ratings for these trails? i really wanna get into off roading, right now I don't have any gear on my Liberty KK. Would there be any necessary equipment for Death Valley?

tizzdizz 04-26-2011 10:51 PM

Well it's looking like I may be the only jeep going, but I'll have passengers with me. PdangerP had expressed interest in going, so hopefully he can make it. I have a list of trails I want to do, and most of them are moderate/ 3 or lower out of 10. You should be fine for the most part. I don't plan on doing any crazy rock crawling this time around.

And actually, there have been some changes AGAIN (sorry!) to the plans so it's looking like Friday night through Monday night, and we'll go to Calico Canyon in the Mojave Desert. It's about 3 and a half hours closer, so we can make the drive in one night (about 6.5 hours away).

You should come! It'll be a good time. Sounds like your jeep is stock so far? Do you have any recovery equipment such as a tow strap, tow hooks, hitch, etc?

KISSlover101 04-26-2011 11:09 PM

Sounds like fun, I don't have any gear on my jeep. Was looking at tow hooks on Ebay like the following:

Do you have an itinery/map on how to get there? I'd like to scope out a map. What time on Friday would you think about going down? I live in San Carlos. Lemme know what goes on i'm itching to go off roading and that weekend would be sick, the 29th is my bday so good reason to do w/e i want.

EDIT: I have the skyslider roof so not sure how unsafe that makes my vehicle.

tizzdizz 04-26-2011 11:24 PM

I have been compiling a list of trails/sites to see and have an atlas that I'm going to plot them into. I suppose we could come up with an itinerary once we get there, as long as I finish my list/map. I'll work on that and maybe scan it to upload/email to whoever wants one. Also, I may try to create a google map with the locations etc. I'll post up when I have something.

Those tow hooks look OK, I don't know anything about the KK, but as long as it ties into the frame with the necessary brackets it should be fine.

The plan is to leave the Bay Area around 7-8 on friday and just drive straight down. We'll get there really late, but that's OK. You being in San Carlos, I guess you could leave a bit earlier and meet us down in San Jose around the time we're leaving.

KISSlover101 04-27-2011 12:00 AM

If ur leaving from san jose at 7-8pm I could just go to work, I work in santa clara. So you would drive straight to the canyon? Like I said I'd definitely like to go so just keep updates coming with info and ill look into getting stuff hooked up for my jeep. U guys camping down there?

tizzdizz 04-27-2011 12:58 AM

Yeah we'll be camping at the campground in Calico. If we drive straight there we'll probably get there at 1-2 AM. I'm planning on switching drivers with some friends if I get tired, as I'll have 4 people going in my Jeep. If you get tired and stop at a motel part of the way, you can always meet up with us at camp the next morning. I have a google map put together, I may add some descriptions to the pinpoints later if I can.

Here's a link to the map:,3.503,0.166,0

KISSlover101 04-27-2011 11:18 AM

Thanks for doing that map helps me figure out how to drive there.

So minimum gear I would need is front tow hooks (for if i get stuck) and a trailer hitch (for if you get stuck?) and tow cables?

How long are each of the trails you plan on hitting? I'd like to check out calico looks like a fun tourist/attraction place.

EDIT: i'm probably gonna have to pass on this trip, gonna cost too much money right now to get the necessary equipment, need to gradually gather equipment.

hermitlife 04-27-2011 01:50 PM

hey, i'm interested in this run as well. have never checked out calico.
my xj is still currently stock tho, i have a BB lift in the garage waiting to be installed.
hopefully it'll be in by then.

Hamza07 04-28-2011 12:34 AM

I may not be around that weekend but if so I'm definitely in. calico is a great place to wheel. Tons of good trails and things to see. Plus it's legal to shoot = D

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