Sierra Nevada Adventures Single Day Rides

Bear Trap Basin


Here’s your opportunity to explore the forgotten Kit Carson West Point pioneer route to the beautiful alpine mountain meadow known as Bear Trap Basin.

Your off-road adventure explores the forgotten West Point pioneer route discovered by the famous scout Kit Carson while searching for a pass over the Sierra Nevada. Kit Carson was an American frontiersman, fur trapper, wilderness guide, Indian agent and U.S. Army officer who made important contributions to the westward expansion. After meeting explore John C. Fremont in 1882, Carson became Fremont’s personal guide and friend on their quest to explore and extend the boundaries of the United States of America.

Historical reference indicates that while searching for a way to cross the Sierra Nevada, Kit Carson traveled through present-day Bear Valley to Big Meadow before exploring the south ridge of Blue Creek which is a tributary of the majestic north fork canyon of the Mokelumne River. It’s believed that Kit Carson then veered west along the dividing ridge between Forest Creek and the north fork Mokelumne River before reaching present-day West Point. Kit Carson found himself stranded at this location and unable to proceed further due to high flood waters of the middle and north fork of the Mokelumne River which had blocked his path. While stranded at the confluence of the raging Mokelumne River Kit Carson named this western terminus, West Point.

Your adventure begins in the foothills where you will venture out on a series of curvy back roads through the historic Gold County before reaching Kit Carson’s western terminus. Your off-road adventure begins shortly after this historic point as you will find yourself exploring the forgotten Kit Carson West Point pioneer route through remote forest and mountain scenery. At this point, you can only image the difficult effort Kit Carson endured while exploring through this dense forest and rugged mountain landscape with no maps, no towns and no guarantee of surviving the elements or Grizzly Bears that roamed the Sierra Nevada back in the day.        

Beyond the dense forest you will soon find yourself in the beautiful alpine meadow known as Bear Trap Basin which is full of wildflowers and surrounded by large quaking aspen trees. For example, two quaking aspen trees in Bear Trap Basin were recently recorded by the Calaveras Ranger District as the largest quaking aspen trees in California. You will have the opportunity to enjoy your lunch in this alpine meadow including the opportunity to visit the historic Bear Trap Cabin. This historic two-story cabin is owned by the forest service and opened to the public. The small mountain cabin is maintained as an emergency refuge and is generally stocked with dry food and fire wood in winter. It can be used at other times under a special permit from the Calaveras Ranger District. The cabin is sparsely furnished and has a stove for heat which could be a lifesaver if one finds themselves stranded during a winter storm. Bear Trap Basin and the surrounding area is known for extreme winters and record setting snow depth. For example, nearby Tamarack holds the greatest snow depth ever measured anywhere in North America. Tamarack holds the U.S. snowfall record for one month 390 inches (32.5 feet) recorded January 1911. Tamarack holds the U.S. seasonal snow depth record 454 inches (37.8 feet) recorded March 1911. Tamarack also holds the Sierra Nevada record snowfall during one season 884 inches (73.7 feet) recorded 1906-07 in Tamarack California.

After your visit at the beautiful Bear Trap Basin, your adventure continues exploring on a perfect combination of curvy back roads and scenic off-road adventure through dense forest and the historic California Gold Country.


Single-Day Ride: (20 rider max)

This dual sport adventure ride is perfect for medium (650cc+) to large (1200cc+) adventure bikes.
Off-road terrain is rated "mild to moderate" with some "challenging" 

Note: Ride not for beginners 

Ride distance 200+ miles round trip (75+ miles dirt roads)
One gas stop (125-mile range required)

MEETING TIME: 8:45 a.m. (ride starts at 9am)

MEETING LOCATION: Starbucks Folsom

195 Placerville Road Folsom CA. 95630

Ride returns to Folsom CA (approx. 5pm)

MEALS: (Not included)

Bring lunch, snaks and water 


-Hampton Inn and Suites Folsom, CA. 155 Placerville Rd. Folsom, CA. 95630 (916) 235-7744

-Truck/Trailer can be left in parking lot at Hampton Inn and Suites in Folsom CA.

Note: additional hotels available in Folsom CA.

MORE DETAILS: listed under "Book this Ride"

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