California is known for its variety of scenery, and White Mountain Peak is no exception. Rising almost 10,000 feet above the surrounding valleys, this 14,242 foot monster serves as the highest peak in the Basin and Range Providence of the West. Oddly enough, a hut-sized laboratory is located at the summit for high-altitude experimentation, meaning that a “road” goes to the top.
From the Barcroft Gate of White Mountain Road, riders start their way up this 2,000 foot climb on slightly rocky but completely rideable doubletrack. Make sure to take in the enormous views of the barren, moon-like peak above and the desolate Owen Valley 8,000 feet below. Watch out for marmots, too; a motorist warning sign is posted at the beginning of the ride as rumor has it the cute, furry alpine creatures have crawled into engine compartments before. At this altitude, the relatively smooth road won’t be the problem. It will be the fact that the ride starts at more than 12,000 feet above sea level.
Once riders make their way into the “upper alpine,” the zone where grass doesn’t even grow, the road becomes significantly more technical. Instead of being a dirt track with a couple rocks, it becomes a pile of loose scree. Because of its steep, loose, and rough nature, even the toughest climbers will be pushing their bikes by that point.
Something very cool about riding up to14,252 feet- and then dropping 10,000ft back down to the valley floor. And just before the snows arrived… #giantxtc #ridelife #giantbicycles – – – – – #mountainbike #mtb #whitemountainpeak #highaltitude #dirt #cyclinglife #getoutstayout #adventurecycling #adventure #adventurerider #exploremore #cyclingpics
Soak in the views, snap some photos, and eat something at the top. Once riders start down, they’ll need all the energy they can get, for going down the scree road isn’t much better than going up. It is so loose that the best pace many riders can achieve is a slow, shifty rock-crawl. But that will eventually give way to dirt on the lower portion, and it will be smooth sailing from there.