High Sierra Adventure Cycling Tour
Dates: (8 days, 7 nights; (Fri-Fri)
Assembly Point: Truckee
(includes all lodging, breakfasts and dinners, support van, round-trip shuttles between Reno and Truckee, leaders, tour maps & narratives)
High Sierra is high adventure in its boldest expression for a biking trip. For years, the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce has sponsored its famed Death Ride, 120 miles and more than 16,000 feet of vertical in a single day’s ride. We’ve long been drawn to the rugged Sierra passes that are the core of the Death Ride. Those mountains belong in a program that is predicated on the challenge and thrill of high-alpine adventure.
And so, Ebbetts and Monitor have joined “Timberline Country” that long has included the likes of Beartooth, Independence, Trail Ridge, Logan, Red Mountain, Slumgullion and so many others. But High Sierra extends well beyond Ebbetts and Monitor. Sonora Pass (9,624'), perhaps the “mother” of all Sierra climbs, the Pacific Grade Summit and Luther Pass (twice) are some of the additional constituents that suggest High Sierra will become Timberline’s ultimate alpine adventure.
Truckee, north of Tahoe, is our assembly point for High Sierra. We’ll ride into Nevada on Day 1 through Incline Village and trace the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe as we head to South Lake Tahoe and our first overnight.
We’ll leave the Tahoe Basin early-morning of Day 2 and climb moderately into the Toiyabe National Forest for our first encounter with Luther Pass (7,740'), a mere warmup for what lies ahead. A quick descent and we’re in Markleeville for lunch, and then it’s on to magnificent Monitor Pass. Thirteen memorable miles and we’re at Monitor’s 8,314-foot summit with its awesome vista overlooking the western fringe of Nevada’s Great Basin.
We’ll spend the evening at the Meadow Cliff Lodge in Coleville and then challenge awesome Sonora Pass the next morning. Our 27-mile climb to Sonora’s summit (9,624') is rewarded with a spectacular 14-mile downhill plunge to the Dardanelle Resort on the banks of the beautiful Stanislaus River.
The descent continues through much of Day 4 as we visit Sonora in the Sierra Foothills. An axiom in cycling, however, suggests that “whatever (or whomever) descends at some point must again ascend.” And so, as Day 4 nears its conclusion, we’ll once again turn eastward into the Sierra as we begin a long climb that ultimately will crest atop Ebbetts Pass.
We’ll spend the night in Murphys at the historic Murphys Hotel and we’ll be engaged for much of the following day in a steady, but moderate ascent through the Stanislaus Forest. Along the way, we’ll visit Calaveras Big Trees State Park and continue on to the Bear Valley Ski Resort. The Bear Valley Lodge is “home” for the next two nights and a layover day that offers some extraordinary Sierra hiking options just beyond Yosemite’s northern perimeter.
Our engagement with Ebbetts continues following the layover day. We’ll ride to Lake Alpine and climb on to the Pacific Grade Summit (8,050'). We’ll lose 1,000 of those vertical feet in a rapid descent into Hermit Valley, but not for long. Another 5-mile climb and Ebbetts (8,751') is ours. A long, beautiful descent along the Carson River leads to another lunch in Markleeville. It’s then on to the Tahoe Basin, but not without a final visit to Luther Pass.
We’ll spend our final evening in South Lake Tahoe and then trace Tahoe’s magnificent western shoreline, including a spectacular climb to a stunning vista above Emerald Bay, in the course of our otherwise leisurely return along the Truckee River to Truckee where our High Sierra Adventure Cycling Tour concludes.
Truckee (6050’)-Brockway Summit-Incline Village-Lake Tahoe-South Lake Tahoe (6252’)
|Day 2||South Lake Tahoe (6252’)-Luther Pass (7740’)-Markleville-Monitor Pass (8314’)-
|Day 3||Coleville (5160’)-Sonora Pass (9624’)-Dardanelle (5800’||46 miles|
|Day 4||Dardanelle (5800’)-Sonora (1825’)-Murphys (2171’)||70 miles|
|Day 5||Murphys (2171’)--Bear Valley (7073’)||40 miles|
|Day 6||Layover day at Bear Valley; hiking options|
|Day 7||Bear Valley (7073’)-Pacific Cascade Summit (8050’)-Hermit Valley (7060’)-
Ebbets Pass (8731’)-Markleville (5501)-Luther Pass (7740’)-South Lake Tahoe
|Day 8||South Lake Tahoe (6252’)-Emerald Bay-Tahoe City-Truckee (6050’)||39 miles|
Total mileage – 365^ Top