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theksmith

Fall 2022: PRE-Planning Dusy Ershim near Shaver Lake, CA: 4x4 Difficult, Primitive Camping

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I've been reading through The Dusey facebook group - the trail opened early this year and a few groups went through before the new statewide national forest closure. Here's what I'm seeing based on comments from people who actually ran it recently:

 

  • Most rigs will need 4 or 5 gallons of extra fuel to run the entire trail and make it back to a gas station.
     
  • The trail is TIGHT! 4 door rigs can expect at least some minor body damage. Smaller more nimble rigs have the advantage on this trail.
     
  • Almost every group had at least a couple mechanical problems. Issues were typically in steering or axle components... sheared track-bar bolts/sector shafts/TRE's, bent/broken tie-rods, ripped off axle tabs (on control arms, shocks, and track-bars), broken hubs/axle shafts/driveshafts. Rigs must be in TIP TOP CONDITION to survive this trail! All components should be high-quality and well tested previously on multiple 4+ rated trails.
     
  • Due to the length, difficulty and number of obstacles, it is NOT feasible to constantly spot people through this trail. Anyone that wants to go must have plenty of experience picking their own lines from the driver's seat on 4+ rated trails.

 

 

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Great information K!! Thank you for doing research and posting info. 

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Thanks Kris, I think I am going to buy my TJ back

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I talked to Mac when we went wheeling with the Bullhead boys. he emailed me yesterday - looks like a basic brain-dump of info about running the Dusy. I'm going to invite him as my guest because I feel that his experiences would be a valuable asset to the group.

 

Hello

Mac Ruiz. Though i am unsure of where we are going in june Rubicon looking for snow as well so that looks like it may well be. I will say last week of June unless its a dry 2022. Anyone interested can go with the right jeeps. I run it from Air port flat 1st dirt and make Went worth my day camp. leave the tow rig at tahoe side.
 
Dusy normally opens Aug 1st - last day of Oct. Normally. It's been years since I have seen normal that did not close for a period of that time.    With deep snow packs it can start Sept. I would plan for that. If it does open say Aug 1st then i would worry about Fire. Last two years have had that happen and trail was closed during a fire. But a 1-2 week of Sept time frame would seem a good bet.
 
If i was asked what is Min. on this trail today. Az 4.0-4.5; tire size 40-35,T Hill much of the trail is az 3 and with some 4 at points. Its slow going, loaded with all the needs for say 4-5 days. 35s locked and all the lift you can get. A winch that works and recovery gear. This is no place to break down as well, parts can save the day from a rescue, it really is a place to winch before break. Total miles from last fuel is about 100 miles. Trail is about 31 and the rest is very steep mountain roads. You can get through on a tank BUT people have not as well. Some vehicles may need a lot. I always pack 6 gallons and could do it on a tank but it would be very low. People that get stuck a lot will burn more fuel as well. Its 31 miles of rocks and not much is all that smooth.
 
It can be done in 3 days but that would mean driving home at the end of a long trail day and starting like that as well. So I always camp a day at the end and normally the start too an added days but up the trail a wee bit Voyager camp ground or Upper is better for being into the trail more camp a full day there. No hotel rooms.  It is a amazing long trail.at 31 miles of rocks boulder fields. lakes along the way
 
What i pack for parts all 4 axles< covers all JK Rubicons. U joint ,brake line, fluids.  Most common break on the dusy is a axle. steering parts stock can be an issue, i do not run stock stuff. Rocks are big and trail is steep on T hill. Rest is luck maybe,,,,,Few people run this trail in the end that have said they were interested, some went so far and said enough. One time i had a air bag go off and that ended my run, broke my arm total fubar. . Its not open very long. Some its to much to pack for being that long. far away for most. Its about 9 hours to where i leave the truck and drive the jeep near Shaver Lake. Those that tow will want to park where I do. There is room for many trucks and trailers. Its early yet we can run this anytime through aug1st- last week of sept<thought that will be a cold time at 9,000+ feet for days. last camp is near 9500. This is like the Ultimate Over-landing trail. aug its very cold up there and can snow. Day temps are cold so we have never ran it then. I know Bob Smith and Doug did and they said never again and back then the trail was easy compared to today. then it was 33s at least one locker two would roll it. 35s locked i never had to spot or look just rolled along. Today its exposed so many rocks from the added use has made it now much harder then Rubicon today even going what is the hard way left today. 
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Sounds like a great challenge!

The mantra " Plan for the worst, hope for the best and deal with what you get" might be appropriate".

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On 7/19/2021 at 10:28 AM, mesach said:

I'm out, I'm not allowed to go to 35's, it's already apparently "too high" with my 2.5" lift and 34's

 

🤣 That's why I put LoD Armor Lite sliders with detachable drop steps, otherwise my wife will never ride in my JL or the Gladiator. Her JL has Amp Research steps.

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I asked Mac if he would be my guest. He wrote back, and is happy to go with us. He brain-dumped a little more - kind of hard to understand, but I can get the  gist of what he's saying:

 

Well that makes that the easiest Dusy plan ever we would like join. Its the greatest of the Trails in Cali. Fordyce/Rubicon and the Dusy. 2022 if it goes as planned will be the 8th run for us and the dog, we had two but one passed and he loved this place too. 

Thats late sept so bring the winter gear, even with a permit that is more for the propane stoves use fires may not be allowed, they have had issues past few years. So on the 26th you plan to go up T hill on the first day. From courtright? or say from Voyager meaning people that want to be there early Voyager is like a few miles in from the south gate easy pezzy. First camp with a lake its all dispersed has bear volts etc free.. Our dog likes the lake so we would be there say in the after noon the 24th camped at Voyager, near the lake if i can get that spot if not upper area by the hill. From there its still 3 days no extra days. at 10 miles a day. You make the top of T hill first camp is T lake but its not much more then a pull out, lake is walking. Depending how long it takes to get up T hill you can disperse camp any good spot and there is more then just that few miles added makes that second part a bit faster early camp at Ershem lake. From the lake its a rougher day getting out not T hill hard but a few boulder fields. Its to late by then for me to head to Az so we camp up at the top there at 9800 at the north gate. Nice camping up there but i wont be raining if it does........My wife will need my artic bag she gets cold easy that bag is to hot unless its like -15 to 30.
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Official sign ups are now open!! Let us know if you want to go!

 

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Hello Diane and all.  I need to read this thread but just checking in.

 

We have ran this trail 7 times in past years. Each year it gets a bit harder over all since its seen so much more traffic.  So far the forestry has not done here what they have done to Rubicon. Few years ago one could do this on 33s with lsd and good driver. Today No one should go with out lockers and 35s min., its just to hard on axles to be spinning tires with that much gear on a jeep.   T hill is steep and has big rocks. Last year we ran solo and i did pull rope(first time ever too here) to not break the jeep and not get well stupid in very remote place..  My 4.5 lift on our jk is at about 2.7 lift loaded for this trail.  

 

Towing I have the location for good parking.  We tow. Shaver has some super steep roads. I would not tow to any of the main Dusy gates. Where we stage trails its about 25 ish miles to Court Right Res.  shaver is half way point in this near 100 mile loop. Fuel can be an issue. I never ran out but we have had and seen those that have.  Long ways out and back for fuel and parts.  

 

Do to the time of year you can count on a no fires allowed as well i would bet.  Everyone needs a permit to use even a gas stove. They are free on line. Little test of your how to make camp fire that you wont get to do... I get one ever year.

 

We just came back from Rubicon 13th-19th. Snow, wet, muddy . was a great early springs /slash last of the snow run. Hardly a sole on it. first two days we watched so many S-64s dumping rock , not countable. Must have cost hundreds of thousand of dollars. They do not do that at the Dusy.  Trail was raw and as always in may/June, like heaven on earth.

 

Here is a pic of the start of T hill its about .8 mile from here up its gets steeper rocks bigger narrows to a shelf road of boulders. From start its about 10 miles in first day from the south gate. Trails is mostly rock so its slow. 

20190906_103213.thumb.jpg.4c0ad8ceb02621c8e68c1c0adb2b0fa4.jpg

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