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Old 04-01-2009, 03:38 PM   #31
meat popsicle OP
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Panoche/Tumey Hills

I called BLM Hollister and they have a tenative vehicle closure date of April 17th, but to call back after the 13th for an update. With Easter Weekend family stuff that leaves this weekend, and specifically Sunday, as the only day I could actually go...

So I am thinking about it - anyone up for a lil' exploration? I don't think I'll be camping out at Mercey Hot Springs, exploring Panoche/Tumey Hills should not take all day, but that is an option for others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLM
How to get there:

a) Panoche Hills: From I-5, take the Mercy Hot Springs exit. Continue west on this road, past the Little Panoche Retention Dam. You will see a BLM sign on your left, indicating the entrance to the Panoche Hills. The gravel access road bisects the Panoche Hills, but has no outlet on the east side. The road is closed four miles up the road during fire season, which is roughly April 15-October 15. From Highway 25, take the J-1 road at Paicines, and head east. Turn left onto "Little Panoche Road", and continue until you see the BLM sign described above. A good landmark is the Mercy Hot Springs Resort, which is almost directly opposite the access point.

b) Tumey Hills: From I-5, take the Panoche Road exit. The first Tumey Hills access point is located roughly 3 miles from the Highway. Be aware that within 2 miles of I-5, Panoche Road turns to dirt. The second access point is about 5 miles beyond the first. The Tumey Hills are closed to vehicle access with the onset of fire season, as described above. If you are coming from the Hollister/King City direction, take Highway 25 to the town of Paicines and head east on J-1, which is the other end of Panoche Road. A 14-mile stretch of this road is unpaved, beginning soon after the intersection with Little Panoche Road.
Probably get b-fest in somewhere around Hollister, and get a soda at the Panoche Inn afterwards. They have a nice shade tree. Not sure if I will run up to see the mayor of New Idria.

Not finding much info on Ciervo Hills... anyone?
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:47 AM   #32
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EDIT: tomorrow it is! I can't find any better directions that those above. Panoche's entrance is easy - right across from Mercey Hot Springs. If I have to come back out Panoche I'll go over and down I-5 to use the mileage directions for Tumey above. But Ciervo Hills is a complete mystery... it says closed to vehicles during fire season, like Panoche and Tumey, but it has no directions. The closest road to the actual Ciervo Hills is New Idria, so I might end up going to New Idria ISO Ciervo Hills' entrance.


meat popsicle screwed with this post 04-04-2009 at 03:24 PM
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:36 PM   #33
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Scoping mission a success!

Well, last Sunday I got down to Panoche/Tumey Hills... I left home around 0730, and got to Flapjacks around 9. Tempted by biscuts and gravy but I wasn't really hungry, so just a bit of coffee to warm me up. These fellas were on their way to Pozo...


Chuckwagon is in the background. On the way back through Tres Pinos in the afternoon it was filthy with Harleys - maybe a hundred at the two saloons in town? - but in the morning it was quiet. Nice.

So most reading this have turned at Paicines, and headed thru the canyon into Panoche Valley, so I'll spare ya, but I have to give this shot of the turn at Little Panoche Road, on the way to the Panoche Hills BLM entrance:


desolate, pastoral valley, but nothing like the desolation that awaits in the hills... so at this sign you can head in!


The road begins rather plainly: fading gravel road and boring grades. But once you get back a bit it gets very interesting. Ever see those ranch roads on the other side of the 152 from San Luis Reservoir? Look fun eh? Well, Panoche Hills has em. They are mostly like this:


But they can get like this too:


That don't look too steep in the pic eh? Well, you know the pic lies... another shot:


I am at least an intermediate rider, and don't mind a challenge, but by myself, a day or two's walk from civilization, with a steep drop on one and a bad enough drop to the other, and discretion was the better part of valor for me - this was as deep as I got into Panoche that day. Looking forward to a ride with others so we can go deeper.

Other pics from Panoche:


Some gates; obey the signs please:


Don't go through this one:

it is supposed to be locked, like the sign 4miles back said. But I went for the view of the San Joaquin Valley:


So I did about 40 miles in Panoche Hills, and didn't even touch any of the myriad of lesser roads and two-track going off all over the place. There is riding to be had in them there hills. Speaking of which, I had only touched one area; Tumey Hills awaits. But I needed grub so I went out to I-5, buzzed down to Panoche Road, and gassed/ate there (FYI - The Apricot Inn has a nice old metal lunchbox collection in the rafters, but the food is mediocre at best :|). Then up Panoche Road, which quickly turns to dirt. Shortly up the road is the first entrance to Tumey Hills. Same deal as before, close gates behind you, and there are three or four in a row! Here's a shot of what I call Three-quarters Dome near the first entrance:

Can you just picture the tourists clambering up to the top to take a pic?



Tumey Hills felt even more desolate:

and I think it goes even deeper, all the way to the Ciervo Hills by New Idria! But I just had a little taste, down to the Tumey Gulch and back was about 20 miles:

it had downcut so far there was no way to the bottom... which was kinda cool:


So I took a few pics:

and started to get homesick in what felt like a long ways from home, so I headed out. I found the way to the other entrance, further up Panoche Road:


Hope that gives someone a taste. I am surprised more folks don't go in, probably the "no motorcycles" sign dissuades them, but the resource manager in Hollister says that is for dirt bikes, not plated street bikes.

Too bad it closes for the summer next week, although it would be hotter than shite so you might as well wait until October when they reopen and we can try to get to Ciervo Hills! We need GPS, and some mapping work, but I think there could be a full weekend of riding in them; maybe a long weekend...

Hey Nate! Here's a flashback for ya:

A blast thru for a quick shower and I was pleasantly cooled and ready for the Panoche Inn.


A soda and a bit of banter with the Harley crowd (first time I heard anyone called "Foolio" ) and I was on my way home! Home by 4pm. Easy. For deeper trips into the hills I'd recommend a stay at Mercey Hot Springs... anyone?
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:15 AM   #34
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Nice report Meat,
My inlaws live in Livermoore and I am up there a few times a year. How far is
this area from there, I would love to bring my bike up and check this area out next fall.
Thanks
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:39 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCsurfer
Nice report Meat,
My inlaws live in Livermoore and I am up there a few times a year. How far is
this area from there, I would love to bring my bike up and check this area out next fall.
Thanks
From Livermore you could just head over to I-5, then South past 152 (Los Banos/Pacheco Pass) to Little Panoche Road and S/W to Mercey Hot Springs, well just before the "resort" is the entrance to Panoche Hills. Check it out on Google Maps or some such; it's not far.

You could also just take Mines Road south out of Livermore, to The Junction (a restaurant/bar in the sticks), then del Puerto Canyon Rd (130), and check out Frank Raines OHV park on the way to I-5...
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:15 AM   #36
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NIce
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:27 AM   #37
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NIce
Heya Bob, you need to come on the next exploration. You have a GPS unit... shall we start planning for October?
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:15 AM   #38
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If my little 250 can hang in there I'll give it a go!

Right now i'm waiting on a 3.8 gallon tank to give
it enough range but it already has a nice GPS
setup on it.
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:22 PM   #39
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I rode Panoche Rd. and then Panoche hills like you did only in reverse on my GS last year.

A guy (not a RAnger) said no bikes in the Hills.

I called the sweet girl at Hollister and she quoted me " http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/holli...gulations.html " But she didn't even know where the Hills were??

I guess it is just a matter of playing dumb (easy for me) and enjoying OUR public land.

Oh and I just saw this http://www.southbayriders.com/forums...ad.php?t=75531

Keep me posted.
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Old 04-07-2009, 04:09 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h20pumper
I rode Panoche Rd. and then Panoche hills like you did only in reverse on my GS last year.

A guy (not a RAnger) said no bikes in the Hills.

I called the sweet girl at Hollister and she quoted me " http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/holli...gulations.html " But she didn't even know where the Hills were??
...
Keep me posted.
I spoke with the BLM Resource Manger for Panoche/Tumey Hills and he said street bikes are fine and they should clarify that... I am guessing they hope nobody will bother and stay out.

Will do.
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:15 PM   #41
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Bump

I'm gettin' a hankerin'...

anyone up for exploring Panoche, Tumey and Ciervo Hills? I have yet to get to Ciervo (I guess it is accessed thru Tumey because I see no access from New Idria Rd.) but the other two are interesting enough. I am working on base materials (i.e. maps). A call to the BLM will be in order to see what they have to offer.

Maybe just a day trip, or there could be an overnighter at Mercey Hot Springs (right across the street - Little Panoche Road - from the entrance to Panoche Hills); they have tent/RV/cabins available, and hot tubs to boot. I don't think you can get thru Panoche to Tumey (across Panoche Road), but a detour thru the Panoche Valley and a sam'wich at the Panoche Inn couldn't hurt.

Anyone?
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:48 AM   #42
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I'd be up for doing some exploring down that way.
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