Freeway 108 — lengthy a biking, climbing, tenting, fishing gem within the excessive Sierra — simply turned extra with addition of lift-served mountain biking and slopeside disc golf to the venerable Dodge Ridge Resort only a few miles above Pinecrest Lake.

As a 27-year Nationwide Ski Patroller at Dodge Ridge (now an alumni), I’ve lengthy been touring up Freeway 108, to the Pinecrest space and Sonora Cross. In 1852, 75 pioneers in 13-mule-drawn wagons departed from Ohio and Indiana, headed west to California’s gold and promise of a greater life, blazing the rugged Sonora Cross route.

Immediately, it is one of many highest passes within the state, and the realm simply west of the cross is a summer season and fall mecca for fisherman, hikers, bikers and admirers of the excessive Sierra.

Dodge Ridge Mountain Resort opened the mountain to chairlift-accessed mountain biking on Aug. 13, making it one among two lift-serviced mountain biking resorts within the Central Sierra (together with Bear Valley) between China Peak close to Fresno to Northstar on Lake Tahoe. 

Dodge Ridge cyclists descend from the highest of the Motherlode Chairlift 3 on the 7,400 foot elevation and traverse throughout the mountain with almost 5 miles of newbie/lower-intermediate freeride rollers and banks; path crews are additionally engaged on extra intermediate technical and  intermediate freeride trails to open shortly, with roughly 9 miles deliberate for this season (DodgeRidge.com/Mountain for updates). 

Hayden Worth and Douglas Lowe of Tracy have been each close to the top of the road at 9 a.m. 

“We’ve been skiers and long-time passholders right here, however now stay up for utilizing the realm by the summer season and fall for each mountain biking and disc {golfing}.” Worth mentioned. I watched as they loaded mountain bikes onto one of many chair’s bike carriers for the six-minute experience to 7400 ft.

The bike park will likely be open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday by the top of October (climate allowing), Jeff Hauff, a resort spokesman mentioned. November biking will likely be evaluated primarily based on situations at the moment.

Extra journey guides:

Single day raise tickets are $49 for ages 13 and older, $39 for teenagers 12 and beneath. Mountain bike season passes are $199 and $139 respectively, with mountain bike season cross reductions accessible for 2022-23 Dodge Ridge winter season pass-holders. Rental packages are additionally accessible with full suspension bikes, together with helmet, knee and elbow pads.

Mountain biking provides to summer season enjoyable at Dodge Ridge, together with chairlift-accessed disc golf, picnicking and climbing, together with yoga courses and bounce homes for teenagers. The brand new menu on the resort’s Base Camp Bar & Grill matches up with free reside music each Saturday and Sunday, together with a full record of free yard summer season video games like cornhole, ping-pong, foosball, shuffleboard, horseshoes, big Jenga and extra.     

Pinecrest is a self-contained resort space, on the shores of Pinecrest Lake, with Dodge Ridge Resort simply three miles above the lake. At nearly 6000 ft, the lake options cool mountain local weather and attracts vacationers, campers and cabin house owners all summer season and fall. The world affords a tremendous, family-friendly restaurant, the Steam Donkey, and lodging choices at each Pinecrest Lake Resort and Pinecrest Chalet. Two giant campgrounds can fill quick throughout the summer season, so ebook early for finest choice.

Further climbing and biking trails bisect the realm; cease on the Stanislaus Ranger Station, nook of Freeway 108 and Pinecrest Street for ideas (or, use the AllTrails telephone app). A favourite is a rail Path following the outdated Sugar Pine Railway and S. Fork, Tuolumne River, from close by Strawberry west 5 miles to Lyons Lake (no lift-service, you’ll must depend on leg-power).

Heading larger into the Sierra, you’ll discover almost a dozen campgrounds alongside the Center Fork of the Stanislaus River. Our favourite is reached by way of the Clark’s Fork Street flip off; the Clark’s Fork Campground on the river of the identical title affords 80 campsites on two loops, with the river working alongside and crisp nights at nearly 7000 ft. The Clark’s Fork Street dead-ends just a few miles north within the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness, providing a wide range of climbing trails and fishing choices close by.

For extra data: Dodge Ridge Resort, dodgeridge.com; for eating places, Steam Donkey Restaurant, 209.965.3117, Strawberry Inn (each restaurant and lodging), 209.965.3662. For lodging: Pinecrest Lake Resort, 209.965.3411, Pinecrest Chalet,  209.965.3276; Kennedy Meadows Resort, 209.965.3900; tenting, Stanislaus Nationwide Forest, fs.usda.gov/stanislaus/, (209) 965.3434. 

Contact Tim Viall at tviall@msn.com. Comfortable travels within the Sierra.


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