Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sierra Vista National Scenic Byway, Sierra National Forest, California

Sierra Vista National Scenic Byway, Sierra National Forest, California

as always click on picture to enlarge.  it is worth clicking on the above picture.

This is a most unusual posting.  Yes, here it is the end of February and this is a posting of a National Scenic Byway through the High Sierra.  Well, there is a definite lack of snow in the Sierra's this year.  So we decided to see how far up the Scenic Byway we could get before encountering snow.

The Sierra Vista National Scenic Byway goes from North Fork, Callifornia into the High Sierra in the vicinity of Mammoth Pool before looping around and ending close to Oakhurst, California.  The entire trip should take six to seven hours according to the brochure.  I would allow more time since there are many great stops and vista's along the way.  Here is the link for additional information on the byway:  Sierra Vista National Scenic Byway.

We started out climbing out of North Fork with views of Redinger Lake.  This part of the road is paved and goes through an oak-woodland landscape.  Lots of great views straight down the hillside!!

After a bit the road goes to Ross Cabin the oldest structure in Madera County.  It is worth the stop.

Snowpatch and Bugaboo were rather excitied to explore the cabin and hurried along the short trail ahead of us.  The cabin is well constructed with a great fireplace.  There are newspapers on the wall that was used for wall paper.

There is a nice incense cedar just next to the cabin.  We continued on the road passing through patches on snow on the road.  There were several small campgrounds along the road at Fish Creek and Rock Creek.  These campgrounds are small, not suitable for trailers and very shady.  The patches of snow kept getting more and more frequent until we hit Mile High Vista.

At this point, the snow appeared to be continuous and so we turned around.  I hate unsticking vehicles.  One summer I worked on the Boise National Forest and my work partner could stick a vehicle just by getting in to it.  He must have stuck four or five times during the course of the summer and almost always on Friday afternoon when I was looking forward to that beer at the Pine Tavern.  So we turned around.  Generally, getting past a rough spot will almost always find you stopping just 50 yards down the road anyway.  Our turnaround point was at 5393 foot elevation.  Not bad for the end of February.

Here is the Forest Service sign at the start of the Scenic Byway.

I would wait until summer and do the entire loop.  It looks like a great drive with the more interesting stuff up higher.  So one of these days we might come back down in the summer or fall and complete the loop.  Really to explore the National Forests of California the best RV is probably a camper on the back of the truck given the road and campground conditions in California's National Forests.

1 comment:

Donna K said...

Love that picture of the Sierras. There are so many beautiful places to explore in that region. Wish I had a Jeep sometimes but still plenty to see where we can go by car. The dogs look like they're having a good time too.