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White Mountain Peak MTB — Patriarch Grove to Locked Gate
Related: hard core, Inyo National Forest, mountain biking, Patriarch Grove, peak bagging, Rides, White Mountain Peak, White Mountains
Just past the Patriarch Grove turnoff at mile 20.5, the road steepens, and the thinning air can now become a stronger factor if one has not taken several days to acclimate. Also, if the road has not been graded recently and/or rains have eroded it, there can be some jarring “washboard” sections for several miles.
At the minor summit at mile 21.6, the road takes a long dip downwards, then climbs to another minor summit, then dips a few hundred feet to a low point and 120° turn at mile 23.6, whereupon it climbs gradually towards the locked gate at mile 25.0.
Cache #3 near Patriarch Grove
We placed our #3 cache just past Patriarch Grove. This was on the way down, and I’m now feeling a bit tired. My Lupine Betty II headlamp is now mounted (orange faceplate), grabbed from the cache just in case darkness comes before we are down Silver Canyon (we beat it by about half an hour).
The climb just past Patriarch Grove at left, to an intermediate small summit.
Topping out at mile ~21.6, one gets the first good view of White Mountain Peak.
Traversing the long U-shaped dip is rather fun, then crest a minor summit before hanging a left down to a low point, then resuming climbing the highlands to the locked gate.
After a few more miles, the locked gate at parking area at mile ~25.0 comes into view. From there, it is a few miles to the Barcroft research station, steep at first, but then mellowing out.
The locked gate through which only official traffic to the Barcroft Facility is allowed to pass. Everyone else must park here and hike, except for 2 special days during the summer.