Into the Sierras Part Two: Huntington Lake / Kaiser Pass

Big Creek / Huntington Lake / Kaiser Pass: 57.2 miles, 8,360 feet of climbing

 

Day two of our Sierra weekend didn’t seem that auspicious.

We were still feeling sprite and today’s ride was only eight miles and 1,800 feet of climbing more than the day before.

No biggie, right?

 

Still, certain factions of our group was a bit crabby from the late climb sloped in the high teens at the end of the last ride.

I can’t control everything.

Today’s ride featured two big climbs and they were situated in the first half of the ride.

The first was out of Big Creek featuring four miles at about 10%, then a fluctuating seven miles up Kaiser Pass averaging 6%.

 

Summer??? Come back!!

 

Wakey wakey bike!

 

The cold will wear off.

 

Backtracking a little from yesterday to head to Huntington Lake via Big Creek

 

Short, early climb to wake up the legs.

 

Hello Sierras!

 

Some tough hills ahead motivated us to not stop for the beauty of Balsam Creek.

 

Climbing time begins.

 

Big Creek is the small town of under 200 where a good chunk of people work for the Edison plan just underneath. The Big Creek General Store is now an Airbnb.

 

The railroad used to take a U-turn into Big Creek to a straightaway that ends here. The trains would then go in reverse to make the final ascent up to Huntington Lake. It’s a cool spot to take in a view.

 

…views like these.

 

Entertainment.

 

Coming out of town, the climb to Huntington Lake is almost four miles averaging 10%. Yikes!!

 

Always remember to look back…

 

At the end of the climb, Huntington Lake comes right up on you.

 

The north side of the lake is mainly flat and you’ll find a number of cabins laced in the woods. There’s a little more activity than this.

 

A quick stop at the main little market in town.

 

The start of the climb for Kaiser Pass is just gorgeous as there are waves of mountains flowing beyond.

 

Closer to the top, the road narrows into one lane with switchbacks and steep pitches as a reward!

 

As you reach the top, the scale of this mountain gets lost in the rocks.

 

Narrowness.

 

Kaiser Pass Road

One last bend…

 

Reaching the pass, I didn’t really feel the 9,184 feet of elevation, but that might come from a slow ascent.

 

Kaiser Pass was our turn around, so I told Brian we had to turn back. So what happened? He went the wrong way. Sasha went to chase him down, I hung to alert any drivers to look for them. Twenty minutes later, they finally returned.  Ugghhh…

 

Coming down from the top is a bit narrow, so you can’t open it up as much, but those trees….

 

After all the zigzags, we returned to the wider part of the road where speeds of 50 mph+ were hit.

 

Our last stop for water at the bottom of Kaiser Pass Road

 

‘Taking Tollhouse Road back would slowly distance ourselves from Huntington Lake as we’d also be riding above it.

 

It was a pretty open road.

 

Climbing or descending. That was the constant see saw.

 

Just wow…
 

If you’re done the math, there is definitely your fair share of climbing after Kaiser.

 

Making our last descent into town.

 

Back to Shaver…and rest til day 3??

(Part Three: Dinkey Creek)