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Sierra Nevada Adventures Sierra Nevada Adventures Sierra Nevada Adventures
Fab Four Passes
Next Ride: None Scheduled

If you’ve been dreaming of exploring historic wagon routes and scenic mountain passes, then this is the dual sport adventure ride you’ve been dreaming of. The Fab Four Passes explores the fabulous four scenic mountain passes in the Sierra Nevada and combines the perfect combination of historic dirt wagon routes, rugged twisty mountains passes and historic mining sites in the High Sierra. 


The Fab Four Passes dual sport adventure ride is the ultimate alpine adventure perfect for medium (650cc) to large (1200cc) dual sport adventure motorcycles.     

Your adventure begins in the Gold Country on the western side of the Sierra Nevada and takes you on an adventure through deeply wooded forest to the high alpine scenery on the four most rugged and scenic passes known as Carson Pass, Ebbetts Pass, Sonora Pass and Tioga Pass. You will also have the opportunity to explore historic gold mines, pioneer grave sites, ghost towns and the forgotten wagon routes traveled by the emigrants during the California Gold Rush.


Carson Pass (8,574 ft) is a scenic mountain pass on the crest of the Sierra Nevada that is traversed by State Route 88. It lies in Alpine County on the Great Basin Divide, with the West Fork Carson River on the east and the South Fork American River on the west. The historic pass was a point on the Carson Trail during the California Gold Rush and was used for American Civil War shipping to California until the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad.


Carson Pass was named after the mountain man Kit Carson who was an American frontiersman and Indian fighter. Carson left home in rural present-day Missouri at age 16 and became a mountain man and trapper in the Wild West. Carson explored the west to California, and north through the Rocky Mountains and lived among and married into the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes during his legendary explorations. In the summer of 1843 John C Freemont hired Kit Carson to guide the Fremont Expedition to explore the West. January 1844, Kit Carson led the Fremont Expedition west into the Sierra Nevada during winter conditions towards Sutter's Fort in California for supplies. Local Washoe Indians told them of a route through the mountains, but warned them not to proceed through the snow. Fremont duly ignored the advice and directed the group westward. The Washoe were right in that they would not be able to find food or game, and they ended up resorting to eating dog, horse, and mule just to survive. On February 14, Fremont and his cartographer Charles Preuss made it up Red Lake Peak and became the first recorded white men to see Lake Tahoe in the distance. On February 21, the expedition made it through the now-named Carson pass west of Red Lake and arrived at Sutter's Fort on March 6th with no fatalities


Ebbetts Pass (8,730 ft) named after John Ebbetts, is the eastern of two passes in the area traversed by State Route 4. The western pass is the Pacific Grade Summit (8,050 ft). Ebbetts Pass is one of the most intimate and untamed mountain passes in the Sierra Nevada and listed as a National Scenic Byway.


In 1827 Legendary mountain man Jedediah Smith became the first non-native to cross the Sierra Nevada near the present day Ebbetts Pass. Jedediah Smith explored more extensively in unknown territory than any other single mountain man in his life time. Jedediah Smith explored the central Rockies, then down to Arizona, across the Mojave Desert and into California making him the first American to travel overland to California through the southwest. In a most amazing journey, the heat became so unbearable Smith and his men had to bury themselves in sand to keep cool. Smith also was the first American to travel up the California coast through the Giant Redwood forest to reach the Oregon Country. Not only was he the first to do this, but he and Robert Stuart discovered the South Pass. This pass became the main route used by pioneers to travel to the Oregon Country. Surviving three massacres and one bear mauling, Jedediah Smith's explorations and documented discoveries were highly significant in opening the American West.


Sonora Pass (9,624 ft.) is the second-highest and oldest trans-Sierra emigrant trail to California. Today’s Sonora Pass is much the same route as the Old Sonora-Mono Toll Road.  Completed in 1864, it was finally constructed to increase the flow of supplies from Tuolumne County to Bodie and other new gold camps on the east side of the Sierra Nevada.


The Bartleson-Bidwell Party, with mules, horses and oxen, made the first crossing on October 18, 1841. This route was not attempted by wagons until 1852 due to its steep and rugged terrain. “Grizzly” Adams took the trail over Sonora Pass in April, 1854, and reported “on all sides lay old axle trees and wheels....melancholy evidence of the last season’s disasters.” The rugged and scenic Sonora pass is extremely steep (exceeding 8% for most of the traverse, and up to 16% grades in some locations), narrow and winding between Kennedy Meadows on the west side and Leavitt Meadows on the east and closed in winter, generally between November and May, due to snow accumulation. It was said to take three weeks for a six-horse team to make the round trip between Sonora and Bridgeport.


Tioga Pass (9,943 ft.) is the highest and most scenic mountain pass in the Sierra Nevada and one of the most scenic mountains passes in the United States. "Tioga" is named for a Mohawk term meaning "where it forks". That name applied to the pass geography, since the snow-pack and springs supply water to the Tuolumne River's Lyell Fork, which flows west and forms Tuolumne Canyon, and the Dana Fork which flows east toward Mono Lake.


Tioga Pass was originally  an Indian footpath used by the Miwok Indians in the summer seasons to trade goods with the Mono Indians on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada. In the 1870’s silver was discovered on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada near the present day Tioga Pass summit. After the discovery of silver the Tioga Mining district was organized and the Great Sierra Consolidated Silver Company was formed and the mining settlement of Bennettville was established. Getting the mining equipment and supplies to the camp was no easy task, so the Great Sierra Consolidated Silver Company decided to build a wagon road to the Bennettville. In 1882 work began to construct a 56 mile wagon road from the west from Crocker's Station (near modern day Big Oak Flat) to Bennettville and the road was called the Great Sierra Wagon Road. Meanwhile, a tunnel was being built into solid rock to intersect the Sheepherder and Great Sierra lodes. The tunnel was to be 1,784 feet long by 1884 when a financial disaster hit and the camp suddenly closed down. Over $300,000 had been spent, $64,000 on the Great Sierra Wagon Road with no returns ever being made from the mines. The Great Sierra Wagon Road “Tioga Pass” has been nicknamed "the road to broken dreams"...and perhaps it was true in the 1800’s but one thing is certain...over the years its many miles of unexcelled scenic grandeur have fulfilled a different type of dream to those who seek adventure.


Multi-Day Ride
This dual sport adventure ride is perfect for medium to large dual sport adventure bikes.
Off-road terrain is rated "mild to moderate" with lots of gold rush history & adventure.
Ride distance 600+ miles round trip (200+ miles dirt roads)
Gas stops (150 mile range required)

Breakfast Lunch & Dinner at restaurants (meals NOT included)

*more details listed under "Book this Ride"


Fab Four Passes
Step 1 of 2

Available Dates

Date Selected: December 31st 1969

Cost: $Open Spots: Ride Days:
Additional Info:
There are no more open spots for this event, please select another date if available.
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Please print the waiver and bring it with you to this event.
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Registrant Information
Motorcycle Tours, Terms and Conditions:

Riders will be required to carry a valid U.S. or similar International drivers license with valid motorcycle license endorsement.
Riders must demonstrate solid riding ability.
Riders must be at least 21 years of age.
Helmets are required by law and must be worn by all riders.

Booking Requirements:
Tours: You will be responsible for your own motorcycle, food, gas, & lodging costs and any incidentals along the way.

Payments for the tour can be made in U.S. funds by VISA / MasterCard / AMEX / Discover. If completing the registration on-line, please remember to print and complete the waiver and bring it with you to the event. Tours require payment in full with registration.

Cancellation Policy:
Payment for the Tours is due at time of registration. There are no refunds 0-14 days before departure. If you do need to cancel, we would be happy to apply your payment to a future tour. There will be no refunds for unused services or accommodations once the tour has started. If you cancel a Tour 14 days or less prior to the tour date, there will be a $25 cancellation fee. There are no refunds if you cancel 72 hours or less prior to the tour, however tour fees can be applied to future tours. We rarely cancel or postpone a trip, but we reserve the right to do so when necessary: due to dangerous weather conditions or other reasons beyond our control. In the event of such an occurrence, we will refund your fees or apply them to another trip, but we are not responsible for any travel expenses incurred.

Travel Insurance:
Participants are responsible for their own medical insurance.

Storing unneeded luggage or gear:
If you are coming in the region with more gear than you can carry on your bike, or possibly are on an extended vacation, it's commonplace to locate a place to store this extra gear. If you are renting a motorcycle, typically the rental facility will be more than happy to store your luggage or spare gear. This is also commonplace with area hotels. Arrive a day early at your local lodging facility and request they store your extra gear. They'll be happy to comply.

Meals are NOT included in the tour cost so please bring some extra money to be able to partake in the restaurant’s the group will frequent. What is commonplace on the rides is the participants all split the ticket, or simply get separate tickets.

Overnight Tours: Lodging is always pre-booked for you. However, you will be responsible for your lodging costs. Sierra Nevada Adventures Motorcycle Tours will reserve a block of rooms for our tour participants months in advance. Our lodging typically is in Best Western or Holiday Inn type motels that have a pool and jacuzzi, and typically are within walking distance to our dinner destination. Costs range $70-$150 per night depending on the region of California we are in.

Arriving early:
If you are arriving the day prior to the tour, refer to the tour description for a link to a local recommended lodging facility near the launch point for the tour. If you are traveling some distance to reach the launch point, arriving the night prior will ensure you're fresh and ready to ride Friday morning!

When riding in California, we highly recommend that you dress in layers, to adjust to change of weather. In addition, Sierra Nevada Adventures Tours strongly recommends you wear motorcycle specific protective gear while riding a motorcycle. Temperatures during California summers are warm, although the variety of terrain covered in your tours will experience a wide range of temperature and weather conditions.

Tour Safety:
Helmets are required by law in California and Nevada. Tour participants are responsible for any traffic violations they might incur during the tour. Alcohol or drug use during the course of the tour is not permitted under any circumstance or while riding the motorcycle. Over-consumption of alcohol during our evening stop-overs is discouraged also, though we want everyone to have a good time!

California Weather:
The weather in California is often rather predictable during the summer months, namely six months straight of sunshine. Our tour dates are chosen to take advantage of our beautiful summer days, but despite our best efforts, we cannot control the weather, so please come prepared for the possibility of spring/ fall rain showers or summer heat as we will be covering a wide range of climates from high mountain elevations, to coastal areas. Sierra Nevada Adventures Tours reserves the right to make modifications to the tour at any time for any reason.

Bringing your own bike:
The majority of riders on Sierra Nevada Adventures Tours ride their own motorcycles. Sierra Nevada Adventures Tours is by no means a brand specific company. We welcome all makes of motorcycles and tour participants from all walks of life. We only ask if you bring your own motorcycle to ensure you have a new, or nearly new, set of tires and have your motorcycle in excellent running condition. Please ensure your motorcycle is ready to make a week long tour or more. Also consider obtaining some type of road side service for your motorcycle prior to arriving for your tour. You also might find it convenient to trailer your motorcycle to our starting point. If you need a place to store your vehicle and trailer, we can accommodate you provided you're arriving the day before the tour date.

Shipping your own bike:
Often, shipping your bike to your tour destination will about equal the price of a rental bike- however, you'll need to be in California at least 7-9 days to break even. If you plan on riding for a month, it will be cheaper to ship your bike across the domestic United States. Shippers may also require extended shipping times. For example, here for a month? Your shipper may require 2 weeks on the front side, and 2 weeks on the backside of your trip. Motorcycles normally ship uncrated with minimal fuel and are transported business to business. Our rental facilities will be more than happy to receive your motorcycle and have it ready when you arrive. If you would feel more comfortable aboard your own motorcycle, our helpful staff is happy to aid you with this option. We have also seen shippers deliver to dealers also to add to helping you providing a commercial setting to receive your bike.

Renting a motorcycle:
Sierra Nevada Adventures Tours does not rent motorcycles. However, we are more than happy to aid you in your rental process. BMW's and KTM’s dual sport adventure motorcycles are readily available in the San Francisco Bay Area. To ensure you get the bike you want, reserve at least 3 months in advance. Call the rental facility of your choice direct to have them familiarize you with the rental process and costs. Riders will typically pick up the bike the day before the tour date, and arrange to drop it off the following morning at open of business to return the motorcycle. Contact us for questions about rental options.

Non-U.S. Residents:
You must have your passport with you at all times when renting or touring with us if you are not a permanent resident of the United States or Canada.

Flight Arrangements:
Sierra Nevada Adventures Motorcycle Tours does not, and cannot, make flight arrangements, nor is the cost of your flight or travel cost to the starting point included in the tour price.
I agree to the terms and conditions

If you choose to pay at the event please make sure not to forget a valid form of payment. You will not be able to participate in the event if you do not bring cash or a valid credit or debit card.



Fab Four Passes Ride
Total: $
Please on hit the register for event button once. You will be charged the amount shown and a copy of this invoice will be emailed to the address you registered with.
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