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George Creek TH

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George Creek TH

Postby thegib » Sun May 12, 2013 11:41 am

I've never done the bushwhack. Am I kidding myself about getting a prius to (and from) the trailhead? Anyone been recently? Thanks!



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Re: George Creek TH

Postby maverick » Sun May 12, 2013 1:06 pm

Forest Service site writes: "A high clearance 4x4 vehicle is strongly recommended
to reach the trailhead." http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsint ... orge+Creek
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Re: George Creek TH

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon May 13, 2013 6:38 pm

I have not been to the trailhead in years, but each time I was in a 4wd SUV. I used to have a Toyota Corolla wagon that I got up many 4wd roads but I think the Prius has much lower clearance. My Corolla was beat up with a book value of $3000 so I did not get to concerned. I personally would never take a Prius to that trailhead. If you do the numbers, you can walk 3 mph on a road so even walking a couple extra hours is worth a huge repair bill. Depending on what you want to climb, there is another valley that you can reach to reach Mt. Williamson that does not require as long a drive on dirt roads. Sorry forgot the name - the route is described in some guidebooks. As for George Creek, it is all route finding- I've been either up or down it six times and with good route finding it is not too bad. We crossed the creek many times on logs.
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Re: George Creek TH

Postby thegib » Mon May 13, 2013 9:26 pm

The feedback I'm getting is consistent. I'll have to rent a car sometime. Thanks for the replies.
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Re: George Creek TH

Postby KathyW » Tue May 14, 2013 5:57 pm

I think some of the problem is that there is more than one way to get into that trailhead. I've been in there a couple of times - both from near Manzanar. It wasn't a bad road, as far as rocky dirt roads go, until about the last 0.25 to 0.50 mile. The first time we didn't have any trouble getting in from Manzanar, but the last time I went in June 2011 the road behind Manzanar was gated; so I had to make my way over some faint dirt roads to get to the main one that takes you to the trailhead. Anyway, I don't think 4WD is needed as long as you are willing to walk that last little bit, but I do think you would be better off in something with more clearance than a Prius.

Here's the route we took the first time in 2008 (red line):


http://www.langenbacher.org/BarnardTroj ... gRoute.png


The second time (2011) I had trouble righ there behind Manzanar becasue of a locked gate, but once I found a way around the gate and onto the road it was an easy drive in pickup truck. I would not even have tried to get past the gate in a vehicle with low clearance.
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Re: George Creek TH

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed May 15, 2013 8:58 am

I agree - you need clearance, not necessarily 4wd. One strategy is to just go as far as you can and walk the remainder. Also a lot depends on when the road was last graded. I wonder if you could call the Forest Service or BLM and find out when was the last time the road was worked on, or when they plan to grade it this year, if ever. With the old regulations, we always had to go up George Creek early May, well before any summer road work started.
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Re: George Creek TH

Postby KathyW » Fri May 17, 2013 4:49 pm

The other issue is tires - you'll want good tires (preferably all-terrain tires) and a full size spare to be driving on those backcountry roads.

I had a flat on a backcountry road in New Mexico recently when driving a rental vehicle (a Nissan Rouge, which was considered an SUV by the rental company). The road wasn't a bad road and the little Nissan did fine on it, but the tires did not do so good. Much to my dismay, when I opened the spare tire compartment I found I had one of those doughnut/balloon type spares. I was really nervous driving on that tire on the dirt road after getting a flat on the regular tire, but everything worked out okay.

A full size spare and everything you need to change your tire (including a cheater bar if you have trouble with the lug nuts like I do) are really important to have when heading down rocky dirt roads. Even with the all-terrain tires, I get flat tires out there in the backcountry where AAA isn't going to come help. :)
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Re: George Creek TH

Postby sparky » Fri May 17, 2013 5:33 pm

+1 one tires. Most important part of a vehicle....next to brakes :wink:

A can of fix a flat should be a part of your emergency car kit also.
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Re: George Creek TH (tires)

Postby giantbrookie » Thu May 30, 2013 2:37 pm

I totally agree about the tires. My '92 Pathfinder, my dirt road steed, has a legitimate spare and I've changed out flats at least 3 times on rough roads--the most dramatic was a full out blow out when I was driving too fast on a 2WD road and hit a 2-foot plus block at fairly high speed, whereas I've had others (in my Pathfinder and other vehicles) that were simply the results of unfortunate angles with sharp point on rocks. All told, I think I've changed out flats a good half dozen times on remote dirt roads, and I would be very nervous about driving around on the little toy doughnut spares, to be sure.

By the way, I would presume the "cheater bar" KathyW refers to is a length of pipe that gives you a longer lever arm on your lug wrench (you put it over the lug wrench arm to lengthen your lever arm). This can be hugely helpful depending on what sort of lug nut wrench comes with your car. Without it foot power is the best way to go (position wrench so that you can give the end of the handle a good blast with your foot to loosen the lug nut).
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