This is a good day trip with some challenging 4WD roads to travel. This area is in the Sierras just off of Hwy 88 on the ridge before you get to Silver Lake. I show it on the map below. The forest service map shows the staging area called Mud Lake OHV. When you turn off there are summer homes and you will have to drive through the paved area. Just a little further down the dirt road you will see the staging area to the right. We took this trip in mid August and it seemed like spring time. It was beautiful with all kinds of wild flowers in bloom and still some large patches of snow on the ground. There are a lot of small lakes as you can see on the map in which we were close to but didn’t even see from the trail.
ANY OF THE PICTURES BELOW YOU CAN DOUBLE CLICK ON THEM AND YOU WILL GET A LARGER PICTURE.
As you can see from the map above, where we staged, the road that we started on was 9 N 05. When we got down the road a bit the veiws of Silver Lake were spectacular.
We traveled down to the “Y” in the road and took a right and then down to Mud Lake. You can only travel half way around the lake on Quads, the rest is for Motorcycles. At the lake Keith and I stopped and took a break and enjoyed the veiw of the lake.
After spending some time at the lake we started heading back the way we came to where the road split and went to our right on 17 E 24 then to 17 E 79 and along the ridge and then a right back on 17 E 24 down the hill and to Allen Camp. I believe that Allen Camp is where the “NRT” is on the map.
The camp lies alongside a big meadow as you can see below.
We headed on on 17 E 24 until we got to a “T” on the top of a ridge and then made a right and continued on up into the higher country. We then came to a great big snow drift. Keith and I looked it over and I think Keith was looking at it to see if it was OK to ride on it. There were tracks from other people riding on it. Just how slushy was it?
From there we headed further up the trail and up to the Martell Flats area.
We stopped our quads and walked up this rocky hill and from atop this small ridge we had a great vista point. We looked out across a vast area with little lakes and valleys.
These are the two lakes that we saw from the vista point. One you can see through the trees. I would like to hike to one of those lakes sometime.
This part of the trip the road started to get rockier and harder for Keith’s quad to make it through and also tougher on his clutch. We made it a little ways further but decided to turn back because it didn’t look like the trail was getting any easier. On the way back we drove by the meadow again and I couldn’t help but stop and take some more pictures.
On the way back down the mountain Keith had some fun riding in the snow. It wasn’t too slushy to ride on.
We headed on down the hill passing the turn off in which we came from and continued down towards Pardoe Lake.
My 2007 Suzuki King Quad sure takes a beating. With the rocky roads it has been on and with over 3500 miles, it just keeps going and going with no problems. I guess I should knock on wood. I use this quad for plowing snow in the winter also.
This is a zoomed in picture of Pardoe Lake. You can’t drive to the lake, you have to hike to it. But you get a good view of it from the overlook. After taking a break at the Pardoe Lake overlook and talking to some folks that were there, we started heading back up the trail to the truck and staging area.
On the way back we turned on 17 E 32 and stopped at Porthole Gap and took some last minute pictures before we got back to the truck. This is a cliff or a bluff that we are looking over and Silver Lake in the background.
After that stop a couple more miles and we were back to the truck. I think the whole trip was only about 25 miles long but it was a technical one so it took time.
Happy Quad Riding!
Harvey Bolton @ ONEwithQUAD.com