Visiting Nor-Cal/Nevada...need advice -

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post #1 of 7 Old 02-07-2012, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Visiting Nor-Cal/Nevada...need advice

Hey all, my name is Adrian, Im a 28 year old dude from the western suburbs of Chicago. I run with a local club from the Chicagoland area called 'Down & Dirty Offroad'. I would say its probably one of the biggest and fastest growning clubs in the area. We do monthly trail runs throughout the year, mostly consisting of runs to a local park called "The Cliffs Insane Terrain", a yearly summer run to "Silver Lake Sand Dunes" in Mears Michigan, as well as a couple runs to "The Badlands ORP" in Indiana. I drive a 2002 Grand Cherokee Limited, just to give you an idea of my setup, you can check my vehicle info to the left...

I guess my real intent here is to get input from those out on the west coast. I want to travel out towards the Nor-Cal/Nevada area and do some wheeling. I was thinking an 8-10 day trip including the drive. I was fortunate enough to visit the Reno/Lake Tahoe area last March, did some skiing/snowboarding with my GF and we absolutely loved the area. I love the climate there, I love the mountains, I love the atmosphere and vibe that I got from the people, it was very laid back.

I really want to get information as to where there are good offroading trials, campgrounds, cabins, bed+breakfasts, lodges, etc. Anywhere within the said area would be perfect, and if there are any national parks I can visit, sights, paths less traveled, small hole-in-wall bars or pubs, great places to eat. Ideally, I would like to eventually end up as far west as Eureka, CA. I want to visit the Lost Coast Brewery out there before heading back home to Chicago. Any info/advice/guidance would be greatly appreciated...I'm hoping to set this trip up sometime between October 2012 and March of 2013.

Also willing to meet up with any local clubs who would let me tag along on any trail runs if I plan my trip accordingly

2002 Grand Cherokee Limited

4.7L Powertech V8 l Iron Rock Offroad 3" Suspension Lift l Bilstein 5125 Shocks l Bilstein 5100 Steering Stabilizer l 17x8 Unique Steel Wheels l LT255/75R17 BFGoodrich Mud Terrain KM l Kevins Offroad Transfer Case Skid l Kevins Offroad Roof Rack Tire Carrier l Hella 500 Black Magic
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-07-2012, 05:32 PM
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Northern California is a pretty big area to cover. If one felt so inclined you could spend ten days just at Yosemite. Are you planning to just be around Eureka or are you looking to just end up there? I would send you back to the sierras on hwy 88 and just turn you loose. Anything behind Caples lake and Silver lake would take ten days just in your jeep. Don't plan on camping from October to March!

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post #3 of 7 Old 02-07-2012, 08:52 PM
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With our winter seasonal closures, might want to rethink time frame.


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post #4 of 7 Old 02-07-2012, 09:48 PM
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Yea and seeing how we had zero winter this year it'll probably be bad next year. So camping is probably no buenos
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-09-2012, 01:18 AM
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Early Oct may be ok but like said above winter may come early. We did Rubicon last Oct and had great weather.

Bay Area and Norcal Region
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-11-2012, 10:37 PM
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There are lots of great trails and things to see in Northern California. I'd try to combine wheeling and scenic... I'd also agree with the others that that timeframe is very, very bad for seeing the Sierras and wheeling. Many of the best trails are not even passable or legally open until June or July, or even later some years. October is a maybe, but even then it might be miserable and raining... not to mention you don't want to get stuck in the mountains that time of year.

This is what I would do... come in the summer, try to stay on mountain roads and head north... start at Yosemite, go up 395 to hwy 108 or hwy 4 in the Bear Valley area, maybe do Slickrock... up again to 395, down hwy 50 and take the Rubicon trail back up to Tahoe (2-3 days)... up to hwy 80, see Truckee, then head to the northern part of the state via hwy 49, which is a very scenic drive toward Graeagle/Quincy. Now you're getting into less populated forest. Stop near Graeagle at a nice difficult little trail called Snake Lake near the Lakes Basin area... up to Quincy, nice little mountain town. Maybe stop at Buck's Lake wilderness, maybe not if no time. Head up toward Lake Almanor and on up to Lassen Park, camp along the way, maybe even to Shasta. Of course that's too much for the time frame you proposed, but more or less...

Oh, and order some National Forest Maps from the forest website ahead of time... each forest has its own map... about $8 each. There are lots of OHV trails on the forest maps, but most are mere dirt roads and you'll have no time to explore much... but they will tell you a lot about what's around you. The well known ones are Rubicon, Fordyce, Barret Lake, Slickrock, Ridge trail near Slickrock, Deer Valley, Hell Hole (both in the hwy 80/50 area).


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post #7 of 7 Old 02-12-2012, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the replies and the input. Seeing as you all know the area and weather much better than I do, I will take that advice and push my trip back to early summer then. I might make it 2 weeks instead of the originally planned 10 days. As far as my original plan goes, I want to end up in Eureka, as I mentioned, and maybe spend a day, but that will be towards the end of my trip just before driving back toward Chicago. I definitely want to explore some of the areas between Eureka and South Lake Tahoe. I'll be sure to look up some of the mentioned trails and parks and order maps of where I decide to travel to. I hope to have my truck fully and properly equipped for this "mini expedition" that I'm really looking forward too.

I guess I should have also specified, I dont plan on doing any hardcore wheeling, just something mild, but more than anything I want to experience the adventure, and camping out in the wilderness, and soaking up the scenery. I'm sure my GF will also want to take plenty of photographs along the way. Something I do want to prepare myself for also is having the proper accomodations for my 3 year old chocolate lab. I definitely want to bring him along as well

2002 Grand Cherokee Limited

4.7L Powertech V8 l Iron Rock Offroad 3" Suspension Lift l Bilstein 5125 Shocks l Bilstein 5100 Steering Stabilizer l 17x8 Unique Steel Wheels l LT255/75R17 BFGoodrich Mud Terrain KM l Kevins Offroad Transfer Case Skid l Kevins Offroad Roof Rack Tire Carrier l Hella 500 Black Magic
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