a Mountain RangE
Highlights: Highway 190 • Sherman Pass Rd - Kennedy Meadows • Nine Mile Canyon • Fossil Falls • Mt Whitney Portal • Horseshoe Meadows Rd • Highway 168 • White Mountain Rd • Lower Rock Creek Rd • Manzanar War Internment Camp
When was the last time you got on the bike and just left?
No plan, no direction. Just a couple bucks for gas money and a block of time to do nothing but just ride. You remember the sensation as glorious! Rolling through wide open countryside, with nearby mountain peaks offering endless curves to fill the day. It was relaxing, carefree and just the medicine you needed. You rode off into the horizon to decompress, decommission, and it delivered. That was one of the best rides you ever did.
How long ago was that? 5 years? A decade?
Remember what you said? You swore you'd do it again first chance you got. But then life got in the way, schedules, deadlines, expectations, someone to answer to. Progress reports, TPS Reports, The Boss. What have you done for me lately? What are you going to do for me tomorrow? What are your projections for what you're going to accomplish in the next quarter, next month, next cycle? Ready to leave all that behind?
We too. And we've got just the thing.
Ready to leave all that behind? Ready to get back to Glorious? We too. And we've got just the thing. Circle Sierra reaches out and gives the Sierra Nevada Mountain range a generous hug, taking in the very best roads and some new ones we have not done before. Open desert, mountain passes, views that stretch for miles and to top it off, we'll head into the bowels of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. It's the ride you've been longing for. The escape you've been dreaming of.
Leave TPS Reports behind and come ride with us, feel the open road, the endless road, the majesty, the camaraderie of friends who share The Love of The Ride as much as you do. This ride starts in the Sierra Nevada Foothills and rides up and over the Sierra Nevada Range falling off into the wide-open spaces of the Eastern Sierra. There's no traffic, no people, no bosses, no expectations, just endless scenery.
The group meets in Angels Camp at the base of the Sierra Nevada and rolls up and over Ebbetts Pass and Monitor Pass, two of the best motorcycle roads in the region, then we'll skirt along the edge of 6500 ft Mono Lake. It’s a juicy taste of open high desert, wide open spaces and wide-open road.
Sagehen Summit. 8139 ft....
It doesn't sound all that impressive. Sagehen? Never heard of it. We know it better as the Benton-Crossing loop. It's remote, deserted, and fantastic! The very edge of the Nevada state line, the ride offers a picture-perfect immersion in the eastern Sierra High Desert. With elevations averaging above 6000 ft, a treeless landscape of sagebrush, salt plains and jagged peaks draw the scenery with a paintbrush across the horizon. And the whoops... Bonus!
The Eastern Sierra Nevada might not rank high on your list for a motorcycle tour. It's in the rain shadow of the Sierra range. The roads are long and straight. Doesn't sound fun? But there's something unique and magical about the Eastern Sierra. Wide open spaces punctuated by mountains peaks on both left and right. It's beautiful. Majestic.
And we're going to ride to the top, making our way up to the highest paved road in the Sierra Nevada. Doesn't ring a bell? That's because you'd never know it's even there. But Highway 168 leads high into the White Mountains and once you roll past an elevation sign of 10,000 feet and we're still headed up - you've truly made it to the roof of the Sierra Nevada.
3000 Years and counting...
And the top? A Bristlecone Pine Forest - 3000-year-old trees - fascinating stuff! These trees have a remarkable ability to survive in extremely harsh and challenging environment. In fact, they are believed to be some of oldest living organisms in the world, with lifespans of nearly 5,000 years.
Ever heard the term Spider Roads? Decidedly Pashnit? Whitney Portal Rd is one such road, a dead end that detours off the main route like the legs of a spider.
MT Whitney is the highest peak in the Lower 48. As we ride partway up to the staging area, the valley floor drops away and it feels like we’re headed straight up the mountain side. Feels that way because we are, switch-backing up the side of the mountain climbing rapidly. The view is amazing. But this one’s a dead end and we’ll need to back track to get up and over the Sierra Nevada and over to Lake Isabella.
On the east edge of Lake Isabella is one of most unknown but most amazing roads in all the Sierra Nevada range. Previous tour groups have marveled at the twists and swoops and the lack of opposing traffic. One of our all-time favorites, it will require a pause at the summit to catch our breath before we drop into Bodfish.
Just south of Bodfish is what looks like a cattle ranch road, complete with gate and cattle guards. This is Breckenridge Rd and our road is visible in the distance weaving straight up the edges of the mountain range in front of us, it’s narrow bumpy, sandy and fit only for goats. But it’s paved for the duration and leads up to a fire lookout and appropriately, cattle. Lots of them.
It’s become a favorite on the Southern Sierra tour but we never ride the full length of Breckenridge, today we get to immerse ourselves in this remote mountain range as our route pushes up and over Breckenridge Mountain and drops us back into the Central Valley. The only activity up here is a cattle ranch and road names like Cow Flat Rd. Seems appropriate.
Breckenridge Rd is a deserted ranch road that widens, twists and narrows with impunity. Bumpy, sandy, the usual goat trail attributes are always possible and the dirtiness of the road is cyclic with the seasons. With elevations approaching the 7544 ft at the crest of Breckenridge Mountain, get ready for a dramatic change in terrain and vegetation.
Breckenridge Road takes on a meandering cut through the rolling hills, always climbing in elevation. The road is what you would expect, paved, bumpy, but sometimes smooth and a competent rider on the right bike will maintain a brisk pace through the smooth corners. Endlessly twisty, it commands your full attention and delivers a raucous fun ride descending back into the Central Valley and Bakersfield.
Meet: Angels Camp, CA
Arrive: 7:00 AM, Safety Brief 7:30, Depart 8:00 AM
Cost: $460 per rider, $119 Passenger
This tour includes narrow single lane paved mountain roads. The ride includes steep grades and negotiating tight hair-pin corners. All roads on this tour are paved.
EXPERIENCED RIDERS ONLY:
This tour is not recommended for beginner riders or Very Large Motorcycles. Riders are expected to have at least several years of enthusiastic experience on their motorcycle riding remote challenging paved mountain backroads along with at least 5000+ miles of concurrent recent experience.
This tour is limited by the amount of rooms at our host lodging. We have booked rooms months in advance and our tours sell out by the end of January. Get on our mailing list to be the first to know about new rides. Tours are planned & announced in the late fall of each year.
Book early to ensure a spot on this new ride. Check with us to see if any available spots are open. Some of our rides may have waiting lists to be able to join the group.