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Western Nevada - in September?


mistral

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I am planning a ride from Texas up the Oregon coast, then up to the gorge to Lolo pass and back in September. I have ridden across the desert in September to Barstow. One of the guys going has suggested going through Las Vegas out of Kingman, AZ to Tonopah, NV. and from there on to Yosemite.

 

My question is, is western Nevada worth riding, or would we be better off taking 395 out of Barstow? I have done 395 and thought it was pretty good.

 

Thanks.

 

Ron

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I don't see much benefit to Tonopah and 95 north in Nevada.

But I wouldn't ride up 395 from Barstow either. I'd go east and north from Baker on 127 then thru' Death Valley and over to 395 on 190 and come out in Lone Pine, then go up to Yosemite from the east, assuming 120 is still open in September, which lately I think it has been.

dc

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Bill_Walker

The one good thing about coming west out of Tonopah (besides the fact that you're leaving Tonopah and heading for the Sierras) is that it gives you the opportunity to catch the short stretch of 120 from Benton back to the junction with 395 along Mono Lake: map. It's a real roller coaster ride. But you could easily detour to it off 395 via 6.

 

Although, if you're coming up 95, there's an even better road you could catch: NV-266/CA-168 ( map). This is one of my favorite roads, especially the CA-168 part. Another great roller coaster ride, with lots of challenges, and a chance to stop at the Bristlecone Pine forest and see the oldest living things on earth. This will be quite a bit cooler than going through Death Valley in September (the average LOW at Furnace Creek in September is 95). DV is awesome and amazing, but you've got to pick the right time of year.

 

Other than those roads, I haven't found much to be recommended in Western Nevada. Going across 6 or 50 to Utah is kind of interesting, but not really too much fun. Long, long straight roads in the middle of nowhere, interrupted every 50 miles or so with a section of 8-10 curves over a summit.

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Good suggestions:thumb

I'm usually riding west to east on 120(headed to Torrey,etc),but the opposite direction would be fun,knowing that the Sierras and cooler temps were ahead.

 

I'll have to look at that 266/168 route at some point.

 

It is not to everyones taste,but I really enjoy that desolate desert landscape and the Geography/Geology.

 

Looking at routes now for Central CA to Billings,MT for the MOA Rally,will likely involve some of these roads.

 

To the OP,know the weather ahead,it is not uncommon to go from 100 degrees to pouring thunderstorms or hail in the space of a few hours.I just squeaked in to Tonopah last fall ahead of a storm that left 4 inches of running water down the main highway through town(free bike wash:grin:)

All those whoop de doo's mentioned above can turn into flooded areas that would stop you dead in your tracks.

 

JR356

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Danny caddyshack Noonan
It's a real roller coaster ride

 

It's a hoot of a stretch of road! A bit unnerving due to the lack of oncoming traffic visibility, when in the wash, and the desire to wick it on a bit.

 

At 120 on the west intersection of 395 is an excellent little deli inside the very crowded gas station. I recommend the Buffalo meat loaf.

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The one good thing about coming west out of Tonopah (besides the fact that you're leaving Tonopah and heading for the Sierras) is that it gives you the opportunity to catch the short stretch of 120 from Benton back to the junction with 395 along Mono Lake: map. It's a real roller coaster ride. But you could easily detour to it off 395 via 6...

 

 

I never miss a chance to ride 120. The terrain is quite interesting as is the opportunity to catch a little air, even on bikes that aren't really designed for leaving terra firma.

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roadscholar
The one good thing about coming west out of Tonopah (besides the fact that you're leaving Tonopah and heading for the Sierras) is that it gives you the opportunity to catch the short stretch of 120 from Benton back to the junction with 395 along Mono Lake: map. It's a real roller coaster ride. But you could easily detour to it off 395 via 6...

 

 

I never miss a chance to ride 120. The terrain is quite interesting as is the opportunity to catch a little air, even on bikes that aren't really designed for leaving terra firma.

 

That must be the road my partner and I drove in the early 80's. We picked up a Rent-A-Wreck after the Yamaha dealer show in Vegas to get to San Jose and SF. I was driving and saw a sign that said 'Humps' and thought WTH is that..well, I believe the old Malibu got some air, and I know for sure our heads were hitting the roof. If it wasn't a wreck before, it probably was after that trip. :grin:

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Going across 6 or 50 to Utah is kind of interesting, but not really too much fun. Long, long straight roads in the middle of nowhere, interrupted every 50 miles or so with a section of 8-10 curves over a summit.

 

I enjoyed making time in the streches between the summit rides and finding top end. It's a sensory and visual memory I recall fondly, but I am an Easterner. Just about any riding out West left an impression on me.

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Probably good advice about heat in Death Valley in September, but if you have never been there before and have plenty of hydration, it is definitely something to see.

 

I absolutely concur on the NV-266/CA-168 recommendation. Puts you on 395 at Big Pine, just south of Bishop. You get a little of that Basin and Range effect of Nevada on a smaller scale, plus bristlecone pine, and some Joshua Tree on the Nevada end. The grade down to Big Pine is impressive.

 

You might consider doing Hells Canyon on the way to Lolo Pass Highway from the Gorge, though it will probably be hot as its name at the bottom. (the Highway 12 route through Walla Walla and Lewiston is very nice, but not as wild and wooly). Road down to the bottom from Enterprise is fairly funky in the National Forest for awhile, but fine on an RT if you are prepared for intermittent small sections of hard packed gravel now and again for about a 20 miles stretch or so.

 

At the west end of the Lolo Pass route, there is a little motel in Lowell, Idaho which is pretty Spartan, but has an OK restaurant and a gas station attached. Last services headed east for awhile. Lowell is a beautiful spot on the Lochsa River, which meets the Selway just downstream to form the aptly named Clearwater River. You are across the highway from the river, and after the sun goes down, the traffic dies down and you get to listen to the river.

 

You are headed for some great country to ride in.

 

 

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Isn't this site great?!! You ask a question and the suggestions and knowledge come rolling out!!

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The one good thing about coming west out of Tonopah (besides the fact that you're leaving Tonopah and heading for the Sierras) is that it gives you the opportunity to catch the short stretch of 120 from Benton back to the junction with 395 along Mono Lake: map. It's a real roller coaster ride. But you could easily detour to it off 395 via 6.

 

Although, if you're coming up 95, there's an even better road you could catch: NV-266/CA-168 ( map). This is one of my favorite roads, especially the CA-168 part. Another great roller coaster ride, with lots of challenges, and a chance to stop at the Bristlecone Pine forest and see the oldest living things on earth. This will be quite a bit cooler than going through Death Valley in September (the average LOW at Furnace Creek in September is 95). DV is awesome and amazing, but you've got to pick the right time of year.

 

Other than those roads, I haven't found much to be recommended in Western Nevada. Going across 6 or 50 to Utah is kind of interesting, but not really too much fun. Long, long straight roads in the middle of nowhere, interrupted every 50 miles or so with a section of 8-10 curves over a summit.

 

Another vote for 266/168.

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