Sand Canyon & Wheeler Ridge with camping
August 14 & 15, 2021
Meet in Vons parking lot at 9:00am August 14
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Suitable for aggressive stock SUVs with high clearance and 4-wheel drive.
- Sand Canyon is 9.4 miles one way and offers views of Rock Creek Canyon, Crowley Lake, and several 13,000 ft+ mountain peaks. Early in the summer wildflowers will be scattered everywhere and in fall the Aspen Trees will on full display. The trail ends at a secluded tule lake at the edge of the John Muir Wilderness where you can camp and fish.
- All high clearance 4x4s are welcome and encouraged to join us on the Sand Canyon Trail. It is a very fun and scenic trail offering a couple of challenges along the way. Camping and fishing are available.
- Difficulty: Most Difficult
- Under carriage and body damage is possible due to protruding rocks and narrow passages between trees and rocks.
- At least 35” tires
- At least one locker
- Adequate attachment points front and rear, i.e., tow hooks, receiver, etc.
- Tow balls are not permitted as attachment point.
- Experienced / skilled driver
- Wheeler Ridge Trail follows an old mining road that is rated as MOST DIFFICULT. It is an incredibly beautiful trail cutting back and forth over large boulders and in between trees with red, yellow, and purple flowers everywhere finally topping out at 11,000 feet. Over the top is a large dry lakebed with plenty of room for many rigs and recreational opportunities. Further on is an overlook that offers spectacular views of Bishop and the valley 6,000 feet below. This trail has become more difficult over the years and requires some experience at picking a line and navigating over large, exposed boulders, rock ledges and around trees.
- I have pre-run this trail three time over the last month and find it to be DIFFICULT in some areas. I am running 37s with lockers on both ends yet we still rubbed a skid plate, dragged a pumpkin, and needed to use the rear locker briefly to get up and over a bolder ledge. A friend and fellow ES4x4 member following me in a Rubicon with 35s had a few more issues than I did and stated “33s need not apply!”
I apologize for requiring at least 35s with one locker and some experience behind the wheel. Anything less and we will be pulling you out more than once, you will get damage underneath your vehicle and the day will be very long for everyone.
Please have your rig set up with these minimum Cal4WD safety requirements:
- Roll bar or factory installed hard top.
- Emergency brake, parking brake, line-lock, or other redundant braking system.
- Tow strap or rope (recommend rated at 2 times the vehicle weight).
- First aid kit.
- Jack capable of lifting the vehicle & tools to change tire.
- Spare tire within 3 inches diameter of other tires, or, for tires 37” or larger, run-flats or tools to repair/reinflate tire.
- Fire extinguisher with gauge indicating good/full, appropriately stored.
- Seat belts for all vehicle occupants
- Antennas must be rigid or restrained in a manner to prevent injuries.
- Adequate attachment points front and rear, i.e., tow hooks, receiver, etc. Tow balls are not permitted.
- Battery hold downs (no bungie cords).
- Recommend a CB Radio for communication with others.
This is an overnight camping trip so please pack accordingly. Temperatures at 11,000 feet at night can be very cold even in August and the possibility of thunder showers is always present. Also, there is less oxygen at 11,000 feet which may affect some people with breathing and/or altitude sickness.
Again, all high clearance 4x4s are welcome and encouraged to join us on the Sand Canyon Trail. It is a very fun and scenic trail offering a couple of challenges along the way. Camping and fishing are available.
The Wheeler Ridge trail head is near the end of the Sand Canyon Trail. All vehicles choosing to run Wheeler Ridge will please line up behind me at the trail head to be inspected for tire size, locker, and tow points prior to departure.
“The trail is AMAZING and if you are a new Jeeper/Wheeler it might seem a little difficult, from 1 to 10 maybe a 6 or 7. But remember, you have your fellow comrades to help you no matter what. We love it and enjoy all that nature has to offer; you just must let yourself go experience what nature has to offer you and embrace it.” rcs