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Old 10-16-2013, 06:33 PM   #1
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Secret spot request

I am heading into the sierras tomorrow either from hwy 80 before Donner or from 89 before Graeagle. I'm familiar with the Gold Lakes Basin and Meadow lake/ White rock lake areas but wondered if anyone has a good suggestion that is accessible by 4wd only and has water for fishing,stream/lake at the end point. Thanks.
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:54 PM   #2
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Re: Secret spot request

Well...try Smith Lake.
Its a gorgeous little lake at the end of a 4x4 trail.



I don't fish much anymore so I can't vouch for the fishing, but the area is beautiful and very very remote.
Here are the coordinates
39.654619░ -120.722769░

There is one OUTSTANDING and one good campsite there.

You can reach it by a few routes.

Take the Gold Lake 4x4 trail all around the lake, then up over the pass and down into Gold Valley. (Thats the way I went in), or

The road around Sardine Lake (paved), then up over the pass and out Butcher Ranch road to Gold Valley. (The way I came out), or

Sierra Buttes Trail out of Sierra City.

All three routes eventually meet up and take you into Gold Valley. Dropping down into the valley, there is one very short but very difficult section for a long wheelbase rig. I took the wrong line, became high centered and had to winch myself off the rocks.

Yup, that there is air under the passenger rear tire. I think the real cause was magnetic flux brought about by the SMB magnet on the front fender. I hear they are collectors items now.

As a disclaimer I must tell you I had a "little problem" while in the general vicinity (it didn't happen on the trail to the lake). You can read about it here. viewtopic.php?p=84356#p84356


We were in the vicinity last weekend (Poker Flat) and I would have ended up there, but the rain pushed us out of the mountains. Have a good trip, and if you find another secret spot let us know.
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Old 10-17-2013, 05:51 AM   #3
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Re: Secret spot request

Charlie, that can't possibly be air under the rear tire, I heard that SMB's have 26" of suspension travel?


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Old 10-17-2013, 09:13 AM   #4
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Re: Secret spot request

Thanks Charlie...Smith lake it is.....beautiful.
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:39 AM   #5
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Re: Secret spot request

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
Charlie, that can't possibly be air under the rear tire, I heard that SMB's have 26" of suspension travel?


Herb
Probably the travel is somewhat less when the differential is on a rock.

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Old 10-20-2013, 07:29 PM   #6
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Re: Secret spot request

Smith lake had no spot on the lake to camp that we could find so we headed for Gold Lake having come in over Packer saddle. The trail is definitely 4wd only and you'd better choose your line carefully. But this is stunning country. About 2.5 hours and 6 miles later we descended into Gold Lake. WOW. As soon as we hit the lake the first camp site was absolutely perfect. Right on the water, pit toilet nearby and a complete view of the entire lake from the west end. There are about 20 improved sites here and we were alone. No deer hunters and no thru traffic. It's only about 2 miles from the Gold Lakes Highway but going out took about an hour. I would highly recommend this spot for a late fall meet up. We hiked the perimeter and it's about 6 miles. Fishing was good. Truly a fine area for my tastes. Thanks Charlie for getting me oriented to explore this part of the Sierras that I have been to many times without venturing into the back country.
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