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Re: Ferguson Fire Closure and Pinoche Ridge Trail

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Ferguson Fire Closure and Pinoche Ridge Trail
June 17, 2019 10:05AM
First off, sorry if I'm jumping into this forum to ask about something a bit unrelated (hopefully not offensive!) to what you guys are about.

This forum is the only place I could find any mention of a lot of the USFS trails around the Merced, so I think you all might be the only ones who can help me out.

I'm planning a mountain bike-packing route around the Sierra in September. I am trying to avoid pavement, particularly highways. My original plan was to take the Hite Cove OHV route to El Portal and carry north, but the Ferguson Fire put an end to that.

So... it seems I'm at least partially re-routed onto Hwy 41 (booooo). I'm wondering if it would be possible (and not completely stupid) to get bail off Hwy 41 at Yosemite West, and take Pinoche Ridge to Cold Canyon, down to the Merced. I'm cool with pushing my bike, carrying over an amount of deadfall, and occasionally getting lost. But could I even make it through?

It is also unclear to me on the Sierra USFS website if that area is open yet? They still have the overall fire closure map up, but then there's a more recent "trail closure" order which specifically mentions Hite Cove, but says the South Merced Trail upstream of there is open, which to me indicates the overall closure has been lifted?

Anyway, thanks for any advice.

-Rick
avatar Re: Ferguson Fire Closure and Pinoche Ridge Trail
June 17, 2019 11:17AM
What "we" are about?

:lol:

Bummer that the OHV trail is closed.
For those interested.. this is interesting:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd606564.pdf

MAYBE they cleaned the trail from Cathewood Saddle to Canty Meadow
due to the fire. So it MAY be nice. It MAY be a nightmare.
It wasn't bad before the fire. We did it twice in early 2018.
By did it I mean we hiked it. I do not know if bikes are allowed.
You would be hiking your bike mostly from in that section.
The rest should be fine. Maybe deadfall here and there (there was
in 2018... it may be cleaner now) (dunno).
Barrell Springs Road to Cathwood should be ok.
Brown Peak Road should be ok.

Good luck. You may need it. smiling smiley

I'll assume you going up Burma Grade from there.

Basilblop may have more to say.



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Re: Ferguson Fire Closure and Pinoche Ridge Trail
June 17, 2019 12:07PM
Quote
chick-on
What "we" are about?

Hiking I assumed?

My experience in the Sierra has been that bikes are allowed on nearly any trail that isn't in a wilderness or wild and scenic river corridor. Only occasionally, and generally it heavy use areas are there specific bike prohibitions. Doesn't mean it's necessarily a good idea.

Anyway, thanks for the response. Good to know that I'd probably only be committing myself to 2.5 miles of nightmare...
avatar Re: Ferguson Fire Closure and Pinoche Ridge Trail
June 17, 2019 12:15PM
Peeps do all kinds a things here. You can ask anything... Within reason. smiling smiley

Humor maybe doesn't convey too well over this thing.

Have fun

If you do it. Come back and say how it was. fwiw.... you MAY have trouble
finding the trail at points.. but you already said you were ok getting lost...
right?

So, back up Burma?



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avatar Re: Ferguson Fire Closure and Pinoche Ridge Trail
June 17, 2019 04:26PM
I'm gonna also assume you know that the Brown Peak Road will have poison oak along it.
Also plenty up around Cathewood Saddle.

Just saying.

And I'm saying this because you were gonna go Hite Cove … smiling smiley



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Re: Ferguson Fire Closure and Pinoche Ridge Trail
June 17, 2019 05:10PM
Yeah, I was thinking of asking my doctor to get me a prescription for steroids that I could just go ahead and have on hand...
Re: Ferguson Fire Closure and Pinoche Ridge Trail
July 16, 2019 05:06PM
Rick-
- The general forest closure has been lifted, but 4 trails are closed, easily through spring of 2020. 1) Hites Cove from 140; 2) Hites Cove 4x4 Rd; 3) Savage Lundy Trail; and 4) the trail segment between Savage Lundy and Hites Cove 4x4 Road, parallel and above the river. None of these affect your route. None- Mtn Bikes are prohibited on the Hites Cove Trail. NOTE: The trail on the USGS map from Brown Mtn to the saddle between Hites Cove and Indian Flat/Cedar Lodge does not really exist, and most- if not all of it- has been washed away.
- Don't count on water at any of the springs shown on the USGS topo maps.
- I heard the Cold Cyn road was littered with down ponderosas and sugar pines due to Bark Beetle die-off. I've been avoiding that road, but have not checked it out myself. I'm guessing 100 trees are across the road? Anyone have a better/ more current estimate?
- Great idea, but I too am interested in the execution of your ride.
Re: Ferguson Fire Closure and Pinoche Ridge Trail
July 16, 2019 07:41PM
Thanks for the info! My original route idea was the Hite Cove 4x4 road. (Not the trail, cause yeah, it seems wild scenic river corridors get treated kinda like wilderness, at least with trails.) Is that northern section of the 4x4 road what you're saying doesn't exist?

Good info on Cold Cyn Rd. Would like to hear more, as that will affect my decision to try going that way vs just staying on the highway.

And yeah, I very much appreciate the help and I'll let y'all know how it works out!

Quote
Explorer10K
Rick-
- The general forest closure has been lifted, but 4 trails are closed, easily through spring of 2020. 1) Hites Cove from 140; 2) Hites Cove 4x4 Rd; 3) Savage Lundy Trail; and 4) the trail segment between Savage Lundy and Hites Cove 4x4 Road, parallel and above the river. None of these affect your route. None- Mtn Bikes are prohibited on the Hites Cove Trail. NOTE: The trail on the USGS map from Brown Mtn to the saddle between Hites Cove and Indian Flat/Cedar Lodge does not really exist, and most- if not all of it- has been washed away.
- Don't count on water at any of the springs shown on the USGS topo maps.
- I heard the Cold Cyn road was littered with down ponderosas and sugar pines due to Bark Beetle die-off. I've been avoiding that road, but have not checked it out myself. I'm guessing 100 trees are across the road? Anyone have a better/ more current estimate?
- Great idea, but I too am interested in the execution of your ride.
Re: Ferguson Fire Closure and Pinoche Ridge Trail
July 16, 2019 08:05PM
Rick-- The Hites Cove 4x4 Rd generally runs north south. The closed section is between Jerseydale (roughly) and the South Fork River. It continues north, rises to the saddle, then descends to Indian Flat/Cedar lodge at ther main Merced River. That northern segment is open, though part of it has been washed away after the fire and fall rains of 2018.
It is the east-west ridge trail from the Wawona Road/Yosemite West to the aforementioned saddle that I spoke of as being washed away in areas west of Brown Peak. You may be attracted to use this site IF Cold Canyon Rd. has too many trees over it. Honestly, you'd be better off taking Cold Cyn regardless of the number of trees than try to follow the ridge trail down to Indian Flat. Hopefully, someone on this forum has a better idea of the number of trees that are across the road. I'll check with some other sources I have too.
Re: Ferguson Fire Closure and Pinoche Ridge Trail
July 17, 2019 11:02AM
When we did the Cold Canyon road pre-Fergusson fire, there were numerous large trees across it, and plenty more sick/dead ones waiting to fall. But, there were also long stretches w/o any significant interruptions. (The road south of the ridge to the abandoned mining complex was very clear and may be worth checking out, assuming it's open to bicycles....) The Cold Canyon road will definitely be easier going than the "trail" from Brown Peak to the Hite Cove saddle--or, for that matter, the "trail" from near Pinoche Peak to Canty Meadow.
avatar Re: Ferguson Fire Closure and Pinoche Ridge Trail
July 17, 2019 01:48PM
Yep. smiling smiley

Honestly... if I were on a bike... and knowing what we know...
There is no way I would NOT have a very leisurely (almost all downhill) … very fun ride …
from Yosemite West... down Wawona into Yosemite Valley... have a break in El Cap Meadow...
then continue down to El Portal and beyond.
I'd get to Brown Peak Road (or Cold Canyon Road if that's it's real name)… look at it for a second
then go back to smiling and enjoying the river on my right.

smiling smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Ferguson Fire Closure and Pinoche Ridge Trail
July 17, 2019 02:35PM
Yeah, I think based of reports of trees down on Cold Canyon... unless I hear that the USFS has come in and cleared things out (seems unlikely) I will likely do that. Or maybe even resupply in Yosemite and save myself 1800 feet of ascent out of El Portal.

Quote
chick-on
Yep. smiling smiley

Honestly... if I were on a bike... and knowing what we know...
There is no way I would NOT have a very leisurely (almost all downhill) … very fun ride …
from Yosemite West... down Wawona into Yosemite Valley... have a break in El Cap Meadow...
then continue down to El Portal and beyond.
I'd get to Brown Peak Road (or Cold Canyon Road if that's it's real name)… look at it for a second
then go back to smiling and enjoying the river on my right.

smiling smiley
avatar Re: Ferguson Fire Closure and Pinoche Ridge Trail
July 17, 2019 04:50PM
Yeah, dunno. As blop said... We hiked the road pre Ferguson. And it wasn't bad.
In so much... we did it 3 times. One up and back down... one up and out Yosemite West.
I stand by what I said in original post w/r to your route from Yosemite West.
(there's no other real route with the current trail closures) (and you def. do not want to NOT take
Cold Canyon Rd. if going along Pinoche Ridge)

Why up 1800 from El Portal?

You are not going up Burma Grade?

Bridge is out on Foresta Road...

Saw someone biked it recently... but...

ymmv

Have fun

Forgot to mention... just looked at the Ferguson fire maps... and it sure seems they used the road and trail as access...
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/photos/CASNF/2018-07-14-1535-FERGUSON-FIRE/picts/2018_08_19-10.14.13.442-CDT.jpeg

We didn't explore last winter... so...

Sierra NF Bass Lake Ranger District should know... if not... well... I wouldn't be surprised. smiling smiley



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/17/2019 05:05PM by chick-on.
Re: Ferguson Fire Closure and Pinoche Ridge Trail
July 17, 2019 09:06PM
I'm not familiar with the Burma Grade. Is that the same thing as Briceburg? I was going to go up through Foresta and past Pilot peak for better climate mostly I guess.

This is the current version of my route if you're curious: https://caltopo.com/m/0198
avatar Re: Ferguson Fire Closure and Pinoche Ridge Trail
July 17, 2019 09:49PM
Wow!

I'd highly recommend just going into
Yosemite Valley.
Dunno about alot of ur route wr
to Rd condition
but quickly looking...
Lumsten is road closed before
crossing Tuolumne.

Good luck.
We had a LOT of road damage in
2018 that may affect your route.

Wow though! V cool!
Have fun!!!



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Re: Ferguson Fire Closure and Pinoche Ridge Trail
July 17, 2019 09:52PM
That too huh! Looks like it. More pavement detours I suppose. Thank for the spot!

But yeah. I'm sure I'll get turned around a few times. Spend some long hours carrying my bike over trees. Should be lots of fun.
avatar Re: Ferguson Fire Closure and Pinoche Ridge Trail
July 18, 2019 07:26AM
Lumsden may be doozable. And v worth it!
w/r to foresta road ... find pix in here
of state of non bridge...
https://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?17,84231,84231#msg-84231

what an amazing trip u have planned!
enjoy!



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Re: Ferguson Fire Closure and Pinoche Ridge Trail
July 18, 2019 07:55AM
Yeah, getting through Lumsden will be fine, assuming this is the current issue: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd528152.jpg

The Foresta Bridge looks a little spooky! Cool pictures.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/18/2019 07:58AM by rickinlo.
avatar Re: Ferguson Fire Closure and Pinoche Ridge Trail
July 23, 2019 08:02PM
Cool.

Hopefully you can make your route without (yet) another fire causing widespread closures.

Have fun



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