Alpine: East Fork Carson River-Silver Creek

Thursday, June 26, 2014

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Michael and I are out on another short three day cycling trip around the northern Sierra Nevada Mountains. Day 1 is a short out and back ride from Woodfords to CA-89 S and scenic Highway 4 W. It runs through the canyon floor along Carson River East Fork and Silver Creek and continues into the dense green forests of Toiyabe National Forest towards Ebbetts Pass to the 7000′ elevation mark.

We exit Woodfords Inn and head south on CA-89 through the alpine homes nestled in the woods.

The rolling climbs on CA-89 N drops us down into the valley with lush green open meadows and outstanding mountain views.

The road tilts up from the valley towards Turtle Rock Park; it’s a half mile climb with gradient ranges of 6-8%.

CA-89 N drops down through the dense conifer woodlands and jagged volcanic rock formations around Turtle Rock Park and Grover Hot Springs Park into Markleeville.

The bridge crossing over Markleeville Creek leads us out of town; the road opens up to grand views of the grassy river valley below.

CA-89 N rolls down into the canyon floor along the scenic East Fork Carson River.

The road continues to snake around the canyon into the Toiyabe National Forest with stunning views of the Carson River and the beautiful steep alpine green mountains and forests.

At the Monitor Pass junction, we head west on scenic Highway 4; this road continues along the scenic rushing Carson River into the gorgeous unspoiled wilderness with thick pine forests and steep granite walled canyons.

CA-4 W begins to gently rise up from Centerville Flat at the lower gate towards Ebbetts Pass with gradient ranges of 5-7%; this remote mountain road winds up through the high alpine woodlands with stunning views of the towering granite peaks rising from the canyon meadows.

The road snakes up along Silver Creek pass some ranches and old abandoned mining camps.

We cross Silver Creek and continue up on CA-4 W through acres of dense forests and rugged mountain scenery before running into some friends from the Bay Area.

We ride together for the next couple of miles; the road pitches up for a short bit with steep grades of 8-11% up to our turn around point at the upper gate to Ebbetts Pass at the 7000′ elevation mark. We bid farewell to Randy and Chris as they continue climbing up to Ebbetts Pass.

The descent on CA-4 E takes us back through the canyon along East Fork Carson River to CA-89 N pass the Carson River Resort and Campground.

We cross Hangmans Bridge for the short climb back over the valley into Markleeville. Take a second at the top of the hill to enjoy the wide open green meadows around Indian Creek Recreation Lands-WOW!

The climb out of Markleeville on CA-89 N to Turtle Rock Park is 2.3 miles with an average grade of 4.3%.

The road quickly drops us down through the valley back to Woodfords Inn with awesome views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains!

This out and back route is a nice short warm up ride with endless mountain peaks and forests. The remarkable scenery and fresh mountain air quickly reminds us that this is one of the most spectacular remote cycling regions in California! You got to love it!

Garmin Stats:
37.04 Miles with 2871′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 6595′
Max grade: 11%
Terrain: Moderately hilly

Weather: Overcast with patchy grey clouds and intermittent light sprinkles. Temps ranged from 51F in the morning to an afternoon high of 71F. Breezy SW winds with 76% humidity.

Click here to view the interactive route map & elevation profile


Follow this route for today’s ride:

One Comment

  1. Fantastic places to be! Thanks, Nancy and Michael. jim

    Jim, It’s absolutely beautiful up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains! Nancy


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