Pollock Pines on Highway 50 to
Silver Lake on Highway 88 (via Mormon Emigrant Trail)
round trip from Sly Park Lake (near Pollock Pines on Highway 50)
to Silver Lake on Highway 88. Long, long, LONG climbs, but
never very steep. You don't need immense strength, but you
do need a lot of stamina for this one. Beginning elevation
is 3500 feet, with the high point at about 7800. Total
climbing is around 6-7,000 feet. There is no water anywhere
on the ride except at Silver Lake (the turnaround point), so make
sure you bring enough...at least two full large bottles! We
did this ride on August 22, 1999.
The ride starts out past
the lake at Sly Park; very pretty, nice pavement, deceptively
After a few miles, we're
"roller" on the way up Mormon Emigrant Trail. This
is an exposed climb that can, and did, get rather warm (90
degrees). Bring lots of water, as there's none on the way.
None of the climbing is
really steep, so for most riders a 39 front with maybe a 25 or 27
tooth rear cog will do just fine. The climbs are long,
however...miles and miles and miles long!
of the Sierras...too bad it was somewhat hazy!
Still on Mormon Emigrant
Trail, riding past a beautiful meadow, just a mile or so from the
Finally! The end
of Mormon Emigrant Trail, with a left turn taking you up (or
course UP!) 88 towards Carson Pass.
While there's lots of
traffic on 88 on weekends, the shoulder is fairly wide and it's
not much of a problem. Scenery and clouds? Fantastic!
Did we say this ride
involves climbing? Here we're climbing towards the summit in
between Mormon Emigrant Trail and Silver Lake, which is about 7800
The descent into Silver
Lake Resort is fast! Fairly easy to reach 50mph here, but be
careful as the surface gets very bumpy.
Silver Lake Resort,
complete with thunderstorm in the background! Kirkwood is
over the next small hill, but this was our turnaround point.
Back on Mormon Emigrant
Trail again for the return home. Even though it's mostly
downhill, there are still a few climbs tossed in here and there to
make it interesting.
And back at the start of
our ride, the intersection of Sly Park Road (accessible from
Highway 50) and Mormon Emigrant Trail.
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