Dusy-Ershim Trail (Sierra Mountains) - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 23 Old 08-25-2010, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Dusy-Ershim Trail (Sierra Mountains)

I, Hatch from Safari Straps, his son Kevin and two other Jeeps tackled the Dusy-Ershim trail in the Sierra Mountains. We drove 6 hours to the trail head. The trail is 33 miles long and has some of the most intense off-road driving I have ever done. And I spent 20 years in the Army driving Jeeps and Humvees all over the world. We wheeled for 5 days on what seemed to be a never-ending rock crawling trip.
Day 1 and 2 were the best days of the whole trip. We tackled Chicken Rock. It is a smooth slope that goes up at 45 degrees for about ¼ mile. Looks worse that it is. But it will make you think about it while you are looking at the sky driving up! We camped at Courtright Reservoir and caught some very nice rainbow trout that made for some good eats!
On Day 3 we tackled the infamous Thompson Hill. Thompson Hill is like doing the Hammers on a 45 degree slope at 9500 ft. The rocks are relentless and seem to move around after every Jeep goes across them. Trying to get the right line is very difficult as each Jeep moves the rocks around as they drive over them. I followed a CJ and we did a lot of rock stacking to get him through and then had to restack the rocks for me as he shot them out all over the place. At one point I had to put a tow strap on the CJ while he was hung up. The scary part was he was uphill from me and I had to pull him back towards me. It was a very slow, methodical move! I don’t have many pictures from Thompson Hill as we were too busy trying to survive it to take many pictures! After we got through Thompson Hill we made camp at Thompson Lake.
Day 4 saw us head for Ershim Lake. The trip to Ershim lake was a long one. We were going to split the trip to Ershim Lake into two days by staying at East Lake but decided to wheel all the way to Ershim Lake from Thompson Lake so we could spend two days camping before we wheeled out. The trip took almost 8 hours over some very treacherous terrain. Not as bad as Thompson Hill but pretty close in some spots! Needless to say we were all exhausted after that day of wheeling.
Day 5 was relaxing at Ershim Lake. We did some fishing but didn’t have the success we had on Day 1 and 2.
Day 6 we headed to Lake Camp Lake for overnight stay.
Day 7 was the day we wheeled out. Just as we started back on the trail the CJ lost it’s clutch linkage. After some very quick trail repair we were on our way. A little down the road my steering stabilizer got all jammed up and locked up my steering. After we removed that we were again on the way. Those were the only two mechanical failures we had on the whole trail. That in of itself is quite amazing considering what we put the Jeeps through. As we left the trail the most amazing views came into view. At 10000 ft. we could see all around the mountains. The views were amazing and to see all the lakes from that vantage point was breath taking!
We completed the trail and of course after airing up my JK developed Death Wobble. We tightened some steering bolts and off I went. I had to adjust the steering several times to get her home but she got home in one piece.
Now the fun begins…cleaning everything up and repairing the damage!













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post #2 of 23 Old 08-25-2010, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 23 Old 08-25-2010, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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post #4 of 23 Old 08-25-2010, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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post #5 of 23 Old 08-25-2010, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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post #6 of 23 Old 08-25-2010, 10:35 PM
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Nice pic's, love that trail!

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post #7 of 23 Old 08-26-2010, 10:01 AM
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i think i saw a jeepbeach tshirt! great pics, thanks for posting

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post #8 of 23 Old 08-26-2010, 10:39 AM
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Awesome, I've been trying to gather info regarding Dusy-Ershim. One of my concerns for a long trip is ice and water. On my 3 day, Rubicon trips, I take 4lbs of dry ice and cover it with 40 lbs of bag ice in a cooler for ice only. Drinks and more ice go in another cooler and perishable food go in a third cooler with ice packs. The cooler with ice only, replenishes the other coolers as we go. How did you guys manage water and ice and what would you do differently if anything?

Normally , I like to wheel for six hours and camp. At that pace, how long would it take to complete the trail? I was told by someone that a large portion of the trail is dusty and you're on rocks that are to big to go fast and to small to make it interesting. Any truth to that?

Are there rangers out there? How do you prepare for emergencys?

Lastly, what bait did you use when fishing? Worm? Powerbait?

I'm sure I could go on but I won't.

Great Trip and Writeup
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post #9 of 23 Old 08-26-2010, 01:09 PM
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Great pics, very cool!
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post #10 of 23 Old 08-26-2010, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubirobv View Post
Awesome, I've been trying to gather info regarding Dusy-Ershim. One of my concerns for a long trip is ice and water. On my 3 day, Rubicon trips, I take 4lbs of dry ice and cover it with 40 lbs of bag ice in a cooler for ice only. Drinks and more ice go in another cooler and perishable food go in a third cooler with ice packs. The cooler with ice only, replenishes the other coolers as we go. How did you guys manage water and ice and what would you do differently if anything?

Normally , I like to wheel for six hours and camp. At that pace, how long would it take to complete the trail? I was told by someone that a large portion of the trail is dusty and you're on rocks that are to big to go fast and to small to make it interesting. Any truth to that?

Are there rangers out there? How do you prepare for emergencys?

Lastly, what bait did you use when fishing? Worm? Powerbait?

I'm sure I could go on but I won't.

Great Trip and Writeup
WOW...OK One at a time:

Ice and water were easy. I froze two cases of water bottles and put them in the bottom of my huge marine cooler (see it in the picture below). I had another two cases loose in the front for drinking. They got cold at night (temps in 30s).


They were still mostly frozen after seven days. I had another cooler just for ice but my "buddy" put his warm beer into it on night one becasue he had a few too many and wasn't thinking. He had very cold beer...I had no more ice! It worked out however as we used the frozen water bottles as ice. So the answer is to freeze water bottles and use them as ice and for drinking as you go along. The only real thing i would change is the amount of food I brought. I brought way too much but better too much than not enough is my theory.
We wheeled for an average of 6 hours a day so you can do it in 4 days if you wheel/camp/wheel/camp etc... We decided to do two two day camping sites. The group in front of us did it in 4 days but they were exhausted after!

I can tell you that the rocks on that trail are anything but small. They are large and in great numbers. The trail is very dusty so prepare for that. You will spend most of the trail in 4LO if that helps you understand. There were some VERY tight squeezes between trees for the JK on wheel spacers (mine). I climbed up the side of many a tree getting through the trees.

There were no Rangers that we saw on the trail. We did run into a couple different groups of people however. There is no cell phone coverage anywhere but at the end of the trail. You will have to have first aid kits and someone with some sort of first aid training. Getting out of the trail would not be easy for sure in an emergency. It is a risk vs. reward thing!

We used worms for bait and they seemed to work best. I tried powerbait and salmon eggs but they netted no fish. One guy cuaght one fish on a lure. I recommend worms.

Hope that helps!


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Last edited by SFCCotton; 08-26-2010 at 01:35 PM.
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post #11 of 23 Old 08-26-2010, 01:42 PM
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Thanks, Good info. Now I can be better prepared. That's one hell of a trip. I look forward to it probably next season.
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post #12 of 23 Old 08-26-2010, 05:11 PM
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post #13 of 23 Old 08-27-2010, 09:12 PM
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Nice trip report. Great pics. The tires on the silver rubicon are general grabbers yes? How well do they work in the rocks?
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post #14 of 23 Old 08-27-2010, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Nice trip report. Great pics. The tires on the silver rubicon are general grabbers yes? How well do they work in the rocks?
They didn't. I could not keep a line in the rocks to save my life. I kept slipping off the rocks and had to readjust my line constantly. That was probably the worst part of the whole trip....the tires I was running.


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post #15 of 23 Old 08-27-2010, 10:19 PM
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Ouch....they look better for high speed desert or allterrain. Love my Toyos, aired down they stick like glue
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post #16 of 23 Old 08-27-2010, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Ouch....they look better for high speed desert or allterrain. Love my Toyos, aired down they stick like glue
Yeah, I am probably going to go with KM2s or MT/Rs. Toyos are too heavy for me.


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post #17 of 23 Old 08-27-2010, 10:47 PM
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Awesome trip, have to do it some day!

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post #18 of 23 Old 08-28-2010, 01:05 AM
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Cool trip! Good pics to, what a view.

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post #19 of 23 Old 08-28-2010, 05:57 AM
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Awesome views!

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post #20 of 23 Old 08-28-2010, 10:45 AM
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Sweet trip...
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post #21 of 23 Old 08-28-2010, 11:11 AM
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Thank you for the write-up and the awesome pics!! Looks like a great time!

on the list...


ps- looked like alot of sausage on this trip!

HUNDY
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post #22 of 23 Old 08-28-2010, 02:51 PM
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Awesome pics guys! I cant wait to run that trail one of these days, looks like you guys had a blast! Glad there was no major problems, and thanks for the food/water info.
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post #23 of 23 Old 08-28-2010, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the write-up and the awesome pics!! Looks like a great time!

on the list...


ps- looked like alot of sausage on this trip!
Yeah it was a Sausage Fest...we cooked a lot of sausage!


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