Ride Director’s Message
Wild weather pounded the Sierras last winter, and as a result, the 2017 Tevis will start at Soda Springs, California. The last of the snow in the high country (at about 7000 feet) is finally melting. Since we cannot get into the Granite Chief wilderness to assess and repair the trail, an alternate route for the first eight miles of this year’s ride has been locked down.
We will camp at the town of Soda Springs one mile off Interstate 80 and just after the intersection of Donner Pass Road and Soda Springs Road next to the beautiful Yuba River. Camping is open from noon Wednesday August 2nd until Saturday the 5th. I recommend you arrive midday Thursday or mid-morning Friday because parking will be tight and shade scarce. Please bring a pop up for mid-day shade if possible.
Check in will be from 10 am until 6 pm Friday. Please allow sufficient time to check in at the camp and then walk or ride your horse to the sheep pens in the beautiful Van Norden Meadow to present to the veterinarians for vet in at that location starting at 12 noon.
The trail this year will proceed about five miles through the Royal Gorge cross country ski area connecting to the Soda Springs Road. From there you will ride to Forest Service Road 51, which will take you up to Lyon Ridge and the Western States Trail.
Once on the Western States Trail, you'll head west over Cougar Rock and on to the Red Star vet check. Just out of Red Star, you'll make a left turn onto Forest Service Road 96 for .7 mile then right on the historic Red Star Ridge trail to Duncan Canyon and up into Robinson Flat for the first one hour hold. At this point the time and mileage is almost identical as it would have been with the traditional start in Truckee.
The Duncan Canyon trail is technical and, therefore, slower but stunning. From the Robinson Flat vet check, we will follow the traditional trail on to Auburn.
If the water level in the American River is too high to cross at Poverty Bar, we have identified alternate trail above Francisco's that will take us across No Hands Bridge and into the Fairgrounds in Auburn. The highest altitude for this route is 7400 feet and will most certainly be clear of the last of the snow.
A note about crewing : The drive time from Soda Springs to Robinson Flat is more than an hour faster than the travel time from Robie Park in Truckee and we will be releasing crews from the start at 4:30 am to drive to Robinson Flat to optimize their ability to arrive ahead of their rider(s).