Thursday, April 4, 2013

June Lake Loop

We need to begin a series of posts detailing the riding in the Eastern Sierras.  Here's a start.

The picture is Sam on Route 158 passing Grant Lake, maybe 30 miles north of Mammoth Lakes, California, in the Eastern Sierra.  The loop runs 25 miles or so from the junction with US 395, past the failing or failed June Lake ski area, through the town of June Lake, around June, Gull, Silver, and Grant Lakes, and after rejoining 395 about 6 miles back to the car.

Most of the loop is closed in the winter, with a metal gate and signs warning of avalanche danger and unmaintained roads.  On March 13, 2013, when we encountered the road, the closure was still in effect but the snow was gone and there was certainly no avalanche concern.

So we rode the remaining ~15 miles, around Grant Lake and back to US 395, with the road utterly to ourselves.

In the background you see one of (or more than one of) Carson Peak, San Joaqin Mountain, June Mountain, or White Wing Mountain.  The ice remained on the edges of the lakes and at some points on the road snow was still piled up on the shoulder, but the pavement was dry and for the most part in great condition.  With the only glitch being equipment related -- Sam's chain broke and I had left my chain-tool in the motel -- this to me ranks in the top few of all-time great rides.

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