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Discussion Starter #1
This past Sunday we ran three trails we'd been wanting to do. The X didn't have any problems at all on any of them, winch was never unspooled.

First we drove up from Mike's place in Angels Camp to Bear Valley. We'd seen a LOT of smoke in Angels Camp from the Yosemite "Rim Fire" and we were worried it would be worse at altitude.

We were wrong. The smoke got less and less dense as we climbed, and by the time we got to Bear Valley it wasn't bad at all. We took the Round Valley / Mount Reba trail off of Highway 207 all the way to the end. It takes you up to almost 9000 feet, and the view from up there is magnificent in all directions. We could clearly see the smoke rising from the Rim Fire in the south west direction, but all of the ridges between us and the fire were still clearly delineated, and all the other directions were crystal clear. We didn't encounter any vehicles at all on this road.

We stayed aired down and drove slowly down highway 4 to the eastern entrance to Corral Hollow Trail, and ran that trail from there to the Cabbage Patch western end. We did the spurs off of it to Jelmini and Bear Trap basins, and it sure isn't as pretty now as it was earlier in the year. All of the gorgeous greenery is gone, everything is dry, dusty, brown, and kind of ugly. The big meadows where the cabins are look like they've been mowed. We encountered a couple ATVs and a guy in a full size Chevy 4x4 crew cab pickup, but that was all of the traffic we saw.

After getting back to Cabbage Patch and Highway 4 we aired back up for the drive down to Dorrington and Boards Crossing / Sourgrass trail. It was quite a bit warmer at that altitude. We turned south on Boards Crossing road (paved) until we got to the Sourgrass Campground, where we locked 'er in 4WD low and started up the Sourgrass trail. This trail does have some rocky obstacles that required spotting, but no winch work and no skidplates making contact. It's only about 2.2 miles long, and runs along next to the Stanislaus River. You have lots of views of the river from the trail. Again, no traffic at all on this trail. We were swarmed by some kind of non-biting black bugs each time we got out of the vehicle.

Overall, I think I would rather wait until some rain or snow falls before going up to that area again. it is so incredibly dusty that I think there was as much dust on me and Mike and the inside of the X as there was left in the Sierra, and with all the plant life being burned up and brown from the sun and lack of water, it just really wasn't very pretty anywhere on these trails, other than the distant vistas.
 

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Thanks for the report.

I don't mind running dusty trails (have many times in the past) as long as I end up in the shade near water. :D

But waited for a touch of rain wouldn't be such a bad idea.

I've seen a trail report somewhere about Sourgrass ... seems to have quite a bit of dispersed camping and spur trails in that area as well. Did you see indications of such?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well the trail starts at a regular campground, and there is a clearing at the end of it with some rock fire rings and stuff where people camp. Most of the area is pretty well shaded too, and the river is never very far away.

As for spurs, the Stanislaus River is on your left as you head up the trail, and you are in a pretty steep walled canyon as you follow the trail, so I don't recall seeing much in the way of spurs or campgrounds, although we did follow one spur down toward the river and it opened up to a pretty nice camp area right by the river. Getting in there was VERY tight though, it would be pretty close for a 2nd Gen X.

It seems to me to be too short a trail to 4 wheel in and camp though, unless you want to spend loads of time in camp and not much 4 wheeling. That's not usually my choice, but I realize it is for lots of folks.
 

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Getting in there was VERY tight though, it would be pretty close for a 2nd Gen X.
That's good to know before venturing onwards.

Spending time in camp is fine with me. I don't mind sitting around a campfire chewing the fat, going fishing, hiking, etc. Although a good trail run is always welcome.
 
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