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Route Sheet and Map for Day 1 to Patterson
Route Sheet and Map for Day 2A to Knights Ferry
Route Sheet and Map for Day 2B to Columbia
Route Sheet and Map for Day 3 to Big Trees
Route sheet for Day 4 long route to Lake Tahoe
SAG shuttle details for Day 4 - long route

4-Day Ride to the Start of Sierra to the Sea

San Jose / Patterson / Columbia / Big Trees
to Lake Tahoe
June 14-17, 2017

Ebbetts Pass will be Closed until July. Major road damage.
Contingency Plan #4 - The group is camping at Big Trees. Going over Carson Pass

Ride Leader - Don Axtell

This ride was created to give people on the Sierra to the Sea Tour (S2S) the option of riding up to the start and not take the bus. This ride is also good for people that are not on the S2S, as this 4-day ride is a very fine mini-tour all by itself.

This ride started in 1995 as a 1-Day ride and then in 2000 as a 2-Day ride to the S2S start in Columbia. Then in 2006 the S2S start location was moved to Bear Valley so this ride changed to a 3-Day ride with a third day added to get from Columbia up to Bear Valley. Then in 2017 the S2S start location was moved to Lake Tahoe so this ride was changed to a 4-Day ride with a fourth day added to get from Bear Valley over to Lake Tahoe.

SAG vehicle(s) will be along to carry everybody's gear. People are expected to help with the driving. Usually there are enough volunteers so that if someone wanted to ride their bike the whole way they could, but that is not guaranteed. People on S2S should bring their full S2S tour bag for transport up to Lake Tahoe. Those people just doing the mini-tour will (hopefully) have smaller bags to carry. People not on S2S will be able to coordinate with others on the S2S who are looking for somebody to drive their car back. Please study the SAG Details.

Whatever arrangements you make for this trip, please let Don know what they are. This way he might be able to assist in hooking people up to share a room or coordinate transport. Don might be able to help, but please be aware that you are responsible for making your own arrangements.

Day 1 - Wednesday June 14

We plan to leave at 7:00 AM, from Don's house (4637 Holycon Circle, near Branham and Snell). It is best if you can ride your bikes to the start, or get dropped off. You could drop your tour bag off a day or two before. If you need to leave a car, there is space on his street.

The Day 1 route is 73 miles with 6600 feet of climbing. We climb up over the top of Mt.Hamilton, then drop down the backside and on to The Junction for lunch. The special is pulled pork sandwich with fries. After lunch we cruise down Del Puerto Canyon to Patterson. ETA is 3:00 PM. We are staying at the Villa Lago Inn. Make your own motel reservations (details at the bottom). Check-in time is 3:00 PM. If you do arrive sooner, then it is possible to hang out at the pool until your room is ready.

Dinner in Patterson is at any of the restaurants nearby. Thursday morning's breakfast is at Dennys.

Day 2 - Thursday June 15

The Day 2 route is 90 miles with 4010 feet of climbing. A 7:30 AM departure will get you to Columbia by 4:30 PM. This includes a coffee stop in Ripon, a lunch stop in Knights Ferry, and an ice cream stop in Jamestown.

We plan to stay at Marble Quarry Campground in Columbia. Don has reserved the campsites, and the cost for those that camp will be $8.00 each, payable to Don. We will be making our own dinner and breakfast in camp, so we will collect a few dollars in Columbia to cover this cost.

Day 3 - Friday June 16

We moved the camp from Lake Alpine, down to Calaveras Big Trees, which makes Day 3 much shorter. This allows for a more scenic/rustic route, and more touring stops. We start off by dropping down to cross the Parrots Ferry bridge, then climb just a mile up the road before another scenic stop - Natural Bridge is a 1/4 mile hike down to the creek, where it goes through a limestone cavern a few hundred yards long. Next we ride on into Murphys for coffee. Then we take Sheep Ranch Rd to visit Mercer Caverns ($16 tour entry fee but well worth the price.) Next we continue along Sheep Ranch Rd, then turn right to get to Avery, and back on Hwy 4. We will stop at the Big Trees Market in Arnold for lunch, and to buy supplies for our camp dinner and breakfast.

Day 4 - Saturday June 17

The Day 4 route is long, no matter which way we go. If Ebbetts Pass is open, then it will be 90 miles with 10000 ft of climbing. We climb first up to Pacific Grade, then drop down to Hermit Valley then up and over Ebbetts Pass at 8730 ft elevation, then stop for lunch in Markleeville. Then it is through Woodfords and up over Luthor Pass then down to South Lake Tahoe to meet up with the S2S tour group. If Ebbetts Pass is still closed, then it will be 116 miles with 14000 ft of climbing, going back to Sheep Ranch Rd, cut over to Hwy 88 and come up over Carson Pass.

Either way, we will be using special SAG leap-frogging to move the group along faster. Either direction each riders daily totals will be 50 to 70 miles with 5000 to 8000 ft of climbing.

This is the official end of the mini-tour. Those people on S2S will have their camping, dinner, and breakfast included as part of the Sierra to the Sea tour. Those people who are not part of the tour can either drive home that evening or arrange to stay overnight and drive home the next day. Camping/lodging and meal options are discussed below.


Costs and Fees Information

Some costs are group-related and money will be collected before the tour to cover these items. Other costs are individual and so each person will pay for their own at that time.

For 2017, $90 is being collected for this ride. This amount covers SAG costs, camping in Columbia and Lake Alpine, and some meals, as shown in the following table. If you then drop out later than 2 weeks before the start of the ride, $40 is non-refundable and only $50 will be returned. In addition to the group fee, you will be expected to reserve and pay for your own motel(s), and many meals, totalling about $150 (double occupancy).


Reservation Information

  • Wednesday June 14, we will stay at the Villa Lago Inn, 2959 Speno Dr, in Patterson, near Hwy 5 and Sperry Rd. Very nice motel, with all rooms opening to an inside atrium, and an outdoor pool and hot tub. Call them at 1-209-892-5300 and ask for the bicycle rate. As of 4/19/2017 it is $95.19 +tax for 2 queen beds non-smoking.

  • Thursday June 15, we will stay at Marble Quarry Campground, in Columbia. Don has made the group's camping reservation, so all camping fees will be collected as part of the group fee. If you are not camping then let Don know.

  • Friday June 16, we will stay at Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Don has made the group's camping reservation (sites NG01 and NG10, right across from the camp host), so all camping fees are included as part of the group fee. Dinner will be in camp (pizza delivery again maybe?).

  • Saturday June 17, the S2S tour will stay at Campground By The Lake, in South Lake Tahoe. If you are on S2S then this is already paid for. Don has reserved one campsite (C31) good for up to 6 people. Don Fujino has a house where people can also stay.

  • Sierra to the Sea reservations