WanderingBackRoads.com Home

Cherry Lake on the Concours in 2016

June 8, 2016

I needed to break in a new rear tire on the Concours. I decided a mid-week leisurely ride to Cherry Lake would be just the thing.

I've been to Cherry Lake numerous times on both the Magnas and the KLR, via a variety of routes (some all dirt). This would be the first time on the Concours and I would stick to the two major roads in and out, Cherry Lake Road and Cottonwood Road.

Cherry Lake leads off Hwy 120 just a few miles short of the northern gate to Yosemite. It's a curvy, narrow road with a bunch of switchbacks and elevation changes that leads you in a meanderingly direct path to Cherry Lake itself.

In my rides here, I've seen deer, bear, racoons and on this trip, one seriously large wildcat (not a mountain lion). You also come across a range cow now and then.

Normally it is tree lined, starting with oaks and finishing with pines. But a major fire (in either 2014 or 2015, I don't rmember for sure) has brought a definite change to the landscape. After passing the Tuolumne River at the SF Power house bridge you start to come across all the fire ravage mountains.

Stripped and blackened trees are everywhere you can see. Looks like the alien planet from a cheesy sci-fi movie. BUt you can see the life returning and nature recovering. There are far more wild flowers, fields of them, than there has ever been in the past. The lack of shade from the big oaks and pines is allowing them to flourish.

In some of the photos, you can see a tree lined ridge across a ravine - thats what the foreground should look like also - in fact you should be able to see the horizon at all.

Arriving at Cherry Lake itself, I'm pleased to find it is close to full. That's been a rare occurance in California for a while, lakes mostly full.

Then it's off back down the mountains to Tuolumne City.

When I arrive they are having a Wedbesday Live Music in the Park event. It was nice to stop for a while. Talk to some nice folks, listen to some live classic rock and have a nacho cheese covered hot dog with some ice cold water.

The Veterans Memorial Hall is open for viewing and in the park is the narrowest gauge train engine I've seem

The road overall was in good shape. This route might be slightly geared more to large adventure bikes as it's a little rough in places, but the Connie handled it no problem. A quick note on conditions, is a few places you have sand washes over the roads in corners and areas where they a logging and leaving a fair amount of debry. Leftovers from the fire that will probably be done soon.

This isn't a curvy race track - it's a curvy scenic ride that is still fun. I recommend it to all.

© Copyright 2016 Keith E WIlliams
All Rights Reserved