A very scenic trail that climbs to 10,000 feet at Thompson Lake, then rarely drops below 9,000 feet after that. You’ll pass several... more » excellent lakes offering good camping and fishing. Almost the entire trail passes through wilderness, which is just 300 feet on each side of the trail. Stay on designated routes at all times. Do not camp within 100 feet of lakes and streams. Carry a fire permit and fishing license if applicable. No target shooting anywhere along route. Pack out your trash. Trail is for summer use only and is approved for ATVs and dirt bikes. Make sure you have plenty of mosquito repellent in the warm summer months. Located in Sierra National Forest. For current conditions call the High Sierra Ranger District at (559) 855-5355.
Difficult. Over ninety percent of this 30-mile trail is slow-speed rock crawling. The most difficult part of the trail is Thompson Hill (when driven uphill). It starts gradually and gets worse as you climb higher. Also very difficult are the last two miles of the trail, going south to north, as described here. Many other challenges await. The forest service recommends the trail be driven in a short-wheel-base vehicle with at least 32-inch tires and one locker. The fact is, even better equipped vehicles are seriously tested. Be prepared for breakdowns because help is a long way off. Never drive this trail by yourself. The trail can also be driven from the north starting at White Bark Vista.
This trail is one of 75 trails from the book, Guide to Northern California Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails, by Charles Wells, and is available at www.funtreks.com. less «