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North Ranch Mountain Bikers' Off-Schedule Ride


 High Sierra, Coyote Ridge


Walt ()


 July, 2007 (Contact Walt to find out the exact date)




 Could this possibly be the best mountain bike trip in California? Many believe it is. This exceptionally remote full-day epic route has everything! Approximately 24 miles of jeep trails, doubletrack, singletrack, technical climbing and descending, route finding, stream crossings, and stunning scenery rivaling anything in the country.

This route begins from Bishop Creek, climbs 2700' over 11,000' Coyote Ridge (tough climb), descends 1,500' to Coyote Flat then traverses the Flats 5.5 miles to the Baker Creek cabin. Along the way the Sierra Crest comes into view as the trail wanders towards the Palisade glaciers and 14,000 peaks. At Baker Creek, 6 miles of spectacular technical singletrack begins as the trail climbs and dips over ridgelines and through pine forests enroute to a final 2600' descent into Big Pine Canyon. Here, an additional 9 mile 3,400' drop on pavement leads to the town of Big Pine and shuttle vehicles.

Although only 24 miles on the dirt this ride kicks a**. There is over 4,500' of climbing (with some hike-a-bike and sandy areas) and the altitude averages 10,000'. Coupled with the technical descending and the route finding difficulty and this ride is best suited to a small group of NO MORE THAN 6-8 STRONG ENDURANCE RIDES. (If you're in shape, this ride is very reasonable)

This 3-day weekend trip is not all about the ride. To help create a real enjoyable trip the plan is to leave very early on a Friday morning, drive to Big Pine or Bishop to drop a shuttle vehicle(s), and continue up to the Bishop Creek Lodge by noon. The lodge is well known to trout fisherman across the states and features cabins, a convenience store, restaurant and saloon. We stay here Friday evening and return Saturday night after the ride. Depending on the number of riders we can book one or two cabins, which can sleep up to 4 per, 1 queen & 2 singles. As a bonus, the Lodge Bar looks out across the valley to the start of the route.

After arriving on Friday, the Lodge owners will have sack lunches and beverages waiting for us to take up the road to South Lake, a spectacular alpine lake. After hang'in out awhile, folks can head back to the lodge and a siesta, go hiking or hit the saloon (Best idea!!) til dinner. The restaurant cuisine is excellent. Next morning, an early breakfast to provide digest time before THE CLIMB. No one wants to stumble onto someone else's trail debris. Do the route, and return to the Lodge for dinner again or stop in Bishop for eats. Leave Sunday whenever.

A 4-person cabin runs apprx. $200/night. Do the math. (Camping is also available, just not recommended). Dinners at the lodge are from $1225. Sack lunch ??. Shared gas for the trip, $10,000.!!!! Gas is so damn expensive.

As of May 24, there is still room for 3 more, but no guarantee of a cabin. Camping might be available.

Attached are links to a photo set and the Lodge. Click on individual photos for a description.


Photos from a previous trip

#1 - Sunrise from the trailhead.JPG
#2 - The CLIMB.JPG
#3 - NOTone of the Bishop Creek Lodge Cabins.JPG
#4 - Climbing above timberline.JPG
#5 - View from Coyote Ridge.JPG
#6 - View of 14,280' White Mtn. with town of Bishop 7000' below.JPG
#7 - Start of 1500' descent to Coyote Flat.JPG
#8 - Heading south towards Baker Creek.JPG
#9 - Takin a break on WIDE open Coyote Flat.JPG
#10 - The Palisade Group from Coyote Flat.JPG
#11 - Switchbacks into Baker Creek.JPG
#12 - Baker Creek Cabin, start of the singletrack.JPG
#13 - Trail, what trail !!!!!.JPG
#14 - Palisade Glacier.JPG
#15 - No poison oak on this trail !.JPG
#16 - The drop into north fork of Big Pine Creek.JPG
#17 - On the hikers trail, Big Pine Creek.JPG
#18 - Awesome views !.JPG
#19 - South Lake from Doug.jpg



Thanks for looking at Steve's guide to mountain biking trails in Ventura County, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) and other locations frequented by the North Ranch Mountain Bikers.