Author Topic: Help w/ Trip April '19- California (Great Western Divide hwy or Sherman pass)  (Read 371 times)

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Offline Jerdurr

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Hello all COGers!

Guys, as a Canadian who has never been through the Sequoia National Park (or all of California to be more accurate), I am in charge of planning all the routes for a 10 day trip for 20 people through Utah, Nevada, Arizona and California starting April 18th 2019. We will be renting Harley's (i know, i know - bringing our bikes down from Toronto was too time consuming).

While looking at the road we will be traveling through in Ponderosa, California (The sequoia national park), I noticed that the route I wanted to take initially, Sherman Pass rd from east to west, may be closed at that time of the year (APRIL 24TH, TO BE PRECISE).

So I planned an alternate route through the M-90, also known as Great Western Divide hwy, which is supposedly closed November thru May.

My question to anyone who lives in the area or that is knowledgeable about these roads is:

How early do these roads usually open in the year? Is there a strong possibility that either the Sherman pass or the Great Western Divide Hwy will be open to traffic by April 24th 2019?

 We were planning to go through either of these roads on April 24th, 2019. My concern is that these roads will still be closed, in which case I would have to re plan all of that area. Those roads look absolutely phenomenal and we would love to be able to ride them.

Thanks for your help guys!  :motonoises: :great:
Best,

JD

--Harley Davidson is king when it comes to turning gas into smoke, without the outcome of power--

Offline Red Fox

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Someone with current knowledge will soon chip in, my familiarity of those mtns is decades old.  That said I enjoy visiting Utah's red rock country (southern 1/2 of state) in the spring and feel that the best visitation period is mid-April through May; that good window should extend to Arizona.  Might consider an extra route or three in that direction...


20 riders for 10 days = big coordination effort.   :great:
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Offline Jerdurr

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Someone with current knowledge will soon chip in, my familiarity of those mtns is decades old.  That said I enjoy visiting Utah's red rock country (southern 1/2 of state) in the spring and feel that the best visitation period is mid-April through May; that good window should extend to Arizona.  Might consider an extra route or three in that direction...


20 riders for 10 days = big coordination effort.   :great:

Thanks man! Yeah, big effort indeed!! Sheesh!! We are doing quite a bit of Arizona as well!
Thanks for the tips!
Best,

JD

--Harley Davidson is king when it comes to turning gas into smoke, without the outcome of power--

Offline SantaCruzRider

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April 24 is very early to expect Sherman Pass or the other Sierra passes to open. Last winter was a fairly light snow year and Sherman stayed closed until May 15, 2018. It often doesn't open until late May or even early June.

That said, every year is different, so keep an eye on the Sequoia NF site. Also, they've been doing some construction up there the past year or so, so that may impact the route. I think part of Sherman Pass Road is already closed for some bridge work (and we have yet to get our first snow for the season.

If the big passes are closed, you can still get some nice mountain roads south of Tahoe and does the eastern side of the Sierra where routes typically stay open in anything but the heaviest storm.

Have fun!
Dan Breeden
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Offline Jerdurr

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April 24 is very early to expect Sherman Pass or the other Sierra passes to open. Last winter was a fairly light snow year and Sherman stayed closed until May 15, 2018. It often doesn't open until late May or even early June.

That said, every year is different, so keep an eye on the Sequoia NF site. Also, they've been doing some construction up there the past year or so, so that may impact the route. I think part of Sherman Pass Road is already closed for some bridge work (and we have yet to get our first snow for the season.

If the big passes are closed, you can still get some nice mountain roads south of Tahoe and does the eastern side of the Sierra where routes typically stay open in anything but the heaviest storm.

Have fun!

Thanks for your kind response! Truly appreciated!

However I’m a bit confused now; i called the rangers office yesterday and the lady working there told me they didn’t close at all last year, due to very mild weather. Does that mean i shouldn’t trust what inwas tild there?

I think I’m going to have to call them again, and get more specific with my questions.
Your information is invaluable to us, so thanks again. It would be a real pity not to ride those beautiful roads, they look incredible.

I’ll call the rangers office again today.

Thanks man!! :)
Best,

JD

--Harley Davidson is king when it comes to turning gas into smoke, without the outcome of power--

Offline SteveJ.

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Traveling in April in the high country is quite iffy. Flexibility would be required, a tough order when herding twenty +/- cats. Especially difficult if you are booking motel rooms.
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Offline Jerdurr

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Traveling in April in the high country is quite iffy. Flexibility would be required, a tough order when herding twenty +/- cats. Especially difficult if you are booking motel rooms.

I agree Steve, it takes a lot of planning, this is why I'm turning to the California experts in the forum to illuminate me a bit.

We are flexible, it is just a matter of wanting to ride amazing roads since we are there. We will be traveling north from Barstow, CA, so we thought why not check out Sequoia National Forest and Yosemite. My doubts as you can see in the above posts, is whether our chances of finding the high up roads closed (Sherman pass and Great Western divide Hwy) are high or if it is likely we will be able to cross either, on April 24th 2019.

thanks!
Best,

JD

--Harley Davidson is king when it comes to turning gas into smoke, without the outcome of power--

Offline bajasam

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i'm pretty sure i saw a news story saying this was going to be an El Nino weather pattern this winter, for AZ this means much more moisture this winter, not sure what it does to N.CA but might be worth investigating

Offline Red Fox

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Thanks man! Yeah, big effort indeed!! Sheesh!! We are doing quite a bit of Arizona as well!

Will you be renting/riding out of LA or L Vegas?  I ask only because a friend of mine used to run motorcycle tours where guests would fly into LV and rent; as I recall he switched to Vegas from LA after the first year because it was so difficult to herd the group out of LA (large city) on day 1. 

In terms of visiting places that could handle 20 riders at once:
* Zion Nat'l Park (Springdale, UT) has free shuttle service through the most scenic heavily used canyon in the park (no private vehicles allowed in that portion).  Shuttles have a capacity of 30+ each. 
* In Page, AZ itself the Indian tribe runs guided tours of Antelope Canyon (photographers' dream), via short minibus ride.  This is spectacular and would be a talked about change of pace for a long MC tour, IMHO.  Reservations ...
« Last Edit: November 24, 2018, 06:19:04 pm by Red Fox »
TryCities, WA.    2011  C-14, silver; 53,000 miles.