Exploring around the Owens River Gorge area is pretty dang fun. The snow melts around this area pretty quickly, so you can ride it 8-9 months out of the year. So what if you hit a couple snowy patches? You’re not a kitty kat. I went cruising off of what the local guidebook told me. Get off the 395 at Sunnyslopes/ Tom’s Place and head east on Owens River Gorge Rd (4S01) about 2.5 miles. Park in the pullout for Pine Glade Dry Trail. Jump on the bike, backtrack on the road for .2 miles and go left on 4S40- then start enjoying. If you want step by step directions, or a gpx file, email me.
Anyhoo, you wind up paralleling the gorge, which is pretty awesome. Looks like a huge fissure, and you’re just cruising along the edge of it (don’t worry, you’re never too exposed here). Eventually, you start to descend a 450′ drop all the way to the bottom of the gorge on some pretty fun double & singletrack. This area is hardly ever ridden and it’s very under-rated to me. There are tons of options and ways to go around here, because of all the forest roads bobbing and weaving every which way. You can also go across the dam, continue on Owens River Gorge Rd to Benton Crossing Rd and combine with Glass Mountain Ridge, or a bunch of other combos. On this ride, I meandered around Crowley Lake for a bit and enjoyed the scenery.
This ride is definitely not about “technical singletrack” or lung-busting climbs. If you’re into exploration and adventure this area is fun. Just keep a map in your back pocket so you don’t get too lost, and zen your way through it for as long or short as you like. It’s worth it. I wound up doing about 13.25 miles with a little over 1,000′ climbing.