Bikepacking West Desert

andyjaggy

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Dec 2, 2013
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I am a total noob when it comes to bikepacking, I have never done, never known anyone who has done, but darned if it doesn't look like a dang good time. My sister and I recently picked up some new bikes, and we are both really interested in doing a bikepacking trip sometime this year.

The trip that is starting to form in my head and still in it's infant stage is doing something out in the West Desert in the fall, and at some point in the way having our route take us past Ibapah Peak which we will stop and bag as a day hike along the way.

Does anyone have any experience bikepacking out that direction? Good places to start from, good routes, what type of conditions one could expect, etc.......
 

blueeyes

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regehr

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I have never bikepacked, but have moseyed around some of these areas by vehicle and think that in the right conditions it may be very pleasant biking. For example, driving from the House Range down to the middle of the Wah wahs, there are plenty of very minor double-track style roads that get few vehicles and should be really nice, if you can manage to find reasonable temps and winds.
 

Outdoors24

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One route that I have looked for an overland type trip started at Simpson Spring and followed the Pony Express Trail over to Ibapah Peak. It is a graded dirt road the whole way and depending on the time year it might have a decent amount of traffic. I was out by the geode beds last spring and only saw one other group of campers. There are several historical markers along the way as well as Fish Springs Wildlife Refuge.

If you aren't looking for big miles another good starting point could be the Fish Springs area.
 
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andyjaggy

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I thought about the pony express route as it looks like it goes pretty close to where I would want to end up, and has the added benefit of starting pretty close to my home. I was concerned however about the amount of traffic one might find on it. I have never actually been on it and am not sure what I would expect. I may head out there one weekend and ride a section of it and see how it goes.

Would you recommend a trailer or would I be better off with racks and bags on my bike? Like I said total noob. :)
 

blueeyes

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I thought about the pony express route as it looks like it goes pretty close to where I would want to end up, and has the added benefit of starting pretty close to my home. I was concerned however about the amount of traffic one might find on it. I have never actually been on it and am not sure what I would expect. I may head out there one weekend and ride a section of it and see how it goes.

Would you recommend a trailer or would I be better off with racks and bags on my bike? Like I said total noob. :)
Racks or bike bags.

On our trip we had one person that did the trailer. Real pain in the arse if you ask me. Plus it bogged down in the sand. We rode a section of dry stream bed. I have never towed a trailer on dirt and don't plan on it.

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canadug

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Nov 26, 2015
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Not quite the area you are thinking about but this guy has done some amazing trips. I have found some great hikes after reading all of his TRs

Bike-packing
 

wsp_scott

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I have not done any bikepacking either (just got a bike in Nov), but I will second the recomendation for bikepacking.com, there is a ton of info about different bags, racks, ... as well as routes and trip reports.

Lots of info to start https://bikepacking.com/bikepacking-101/
 

andyjaggy

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I was kind of surprised to see that most bike packers really shun the traditional bike rack with bag and panniers. That was what I was planning on getting but now I am not sure. I am not a lightweight backpacker, and don't really feel the need to necessarily be a lightweight bikepacker either.
 

blueeyes

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I was kind of surprised to see that most bike packers really shun the traditional bike rack with bag and panniers. That was what I was planning on getting but now I am not sure. I am not a lightweight backpacker, and don't really feel the need to necessarily be a lightweight bikepacker either.
I think it depends on the type of bikepacking you intend to do. If you are going to be on single track having all of your gear streamlined in profile with the bike you won't snag random branches and what not as you ride plus it forces you to go a little lighter weight which you would want on all single track. You are adding around 35 to 40 lbs of gear.

If you plan on riding mostly gravel roads with plenty of room on either side of you. Than racks and panniers would be ideal.

I currently have bags for my fatbike and it has taught me good packing and traveling lighter which is good. Mostly got rid of the unnecessary stuff.

I just bought a Fargo and plan to use it for bikepacking and commuting to work. In this instance I am going to get panniers as the type of rides I plan to do on the Fargo will be longer rides on mixed surfaces mostly roads, not single track.

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