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Mutau Flat

Mutau Flat Road, in Lockwood Valley. We’d been here before, but not with both dirt bikes. A great road, plus we had the extra fun that it had recently snowed! — A second set of pictures comes from a later visit, Labor Day Weekend of 2011, when we explored the road more thoroughly.

GPS track of our second visit, where we explored the roads but didn’t take any single-track trails. Both the triangular area at the top and the Half Moon campground at the bottom are entrances to the region of trails to the east, between here and Hungry Valley.

Same GPS track, projected with Google Earth.

Nov 29 2009, 14:34:21

I’m afraid I balked at this water crossing: it was wide and the bottom looked soft, and I just didn’t want to sink into the mud and get stuck half-way across. So this is as far as we got; there’s another 7 miles of road to explore on the other side… [On the second visit, we did cross, without difficulty; but these water crossings can in fact be treacherous, so I may have been right to be dubious the first time.]

Nov 29 2009, 14:34:38

Nov 29 2009, 14:35:05

Nov 29 2009, 14:36:47

Nov 29 2009, 14:37:37

Nov 29 2009, 14:48:30

Nov 29 2009, 14:48:47

Nov 29 2009, 14:50:26

New vantage point; we are now heading back out of the valley, and have turned around to look back down into it and take a few pictures. What a place! Notice the occasional snow.

Nov 29 2009, 15:07:11

Nov 29 2009, 15:07:17

Nov 29 2009, 15:07:27

Nov 29 2009, 15:07:33

Nov 29 2009, 15:07:38

Nov 29 2009, 15:07:44

Nov 29 2009, 15:07:55

Nov 29 2009, 15:08:14

Nov 29 2009, 15:12:14

Nov 29 2009, 15:12:30

Nov 29 2009, 15:12:36

This and the next few photos are in a different spot. There’s a secondary road leading off to the east (marked on Google Maps as San Guillermo Road). It’s a loop road, but at its end is an extension, and this leads to a single-track motorcycling trail. There was a chain across it, and we didn’t want to break the rules, but we walked a little way down the single-track to look at it. It leads into a little meadow with a creek.

Nov 29 2009, 15:34:17

The Day Fire came through here in October 2006, and there is still plenty of evidence of it. In many places it has weakened the pines and the borer beetles have taken over.

Nov 29 2009, 15:39:47

Nov 29 2009, 15:40:31

Nov 29 2009, 15:45:18

This piece of erosion has exposed a curious greenish underlying clay.

Nov 29 2009, 15:46:35

Nov 29 2009, 15:46:44

Back to Lockwood Valley and civilization. John stopped to take a bunch of artsy shots of the valley, the main road, the snow, the sunset light, and the moon.

Nov 29 2009, 16:06:38

Nov 29 2009, 16:06:57

Nov 29 2009, 16:07:05

Nov 29 2009, 16:07:10

Nov 29 2009, 16:07:14

Nov 29 2009, 16:07:49

Nov 29 2009, 16:07:55

Nov 29 2009, 16:08:49

John go snow! Go, John, go!

Nov 29 2009, 16:11:58

From our second visit. We have now passed the first crossing and have gone to where the right branch of the road ends, at Thorn Meadows. Some nice people in a truck took our picture. Notice the interesting rocks in the background. We did not blow up the toilet; it was like that when we got here. Really.

Sep 4 2011, 14:51:04

Here we are once again at the thing I earlier called San Guillermo, the beginning of the Yellowjacket single-track trail. There was no chain this time, and we could have tried it, but we didn’t. But we did pause for a stroll and a couple of photos.

Sep 4 2011, 16:29:01

Map Coordinates

Digital zoom from John’s smartphone, so not very sharp, but it shows nicely his setup with the little pack attached to the front fairing.

Sep 4 2011, 16:29:53

Map Coordinates

On the way home we stopped at the truck stop in Gorman and saw this odd “cloud” formation. John realized this was actually smoke from a wildfire and took this photo. Sure enough, it turned out to be a huge fire south of Tehachapi, caused by the crash of a small plane.

Sep 4 2011, 17:52:50

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Next: Nordhoff Ridge

Table of Contents > Dirt Biking > Older Dirt Bike Rides