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Santa Barbara to Lone Pine
#59481 04/11/22 12:47 PM
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Hello,

I have a work trip from Colorado to Santa Barbara in mid-May. I'm going to spend a couple extra days out there, and I'd ideally like to hit the Langley snow climb from Tuttle Creek before flying home.

1. With the extremely low snowpack this year, will that snow climb still be in good condition in mid-May?
2. What's the most scenic route to take from Santa Barbara to Lone Pine? Google says through Ventura to the 5 and around Santa Clarita to CA-14 is the fastest by about an hour. Would there be any value to driving north to Maricopa and through the SJV instead of driving underneath the Topatopas through to Lancaster? What about the Lake Isabella area? I'm looking to drive straight through so I'm not concerned with any attraction, just enjoying the natural scenery. I've driven the 15 and the 40 through Barstow and the Mojave, so I've seen those high deserts.

Thanks!

Re: Santa Barbara to Lone Pine
TieDye #59482 04/11/22 03:07 PM
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1. No idea. I'm hoping to get to Whitney in 2 weeks though.
2. The drive up 150 and 33 to Maricopa is nice. After that, it's all the same. You can also turn off 33 earlier, once you pass the mountains, through Frazier Park, cross over I-5 to 138 to Lancaster. I don't know it's worth an hour of extra driving. If you were from someplace besides Colorado, maybe.

Saving some time, you could take the 126 out of Ventura, and when you hit Santa Clarita, turn north through Green Valley via SanFrancisquito Canyon Rd. About the same time as the fastest freeway route. You can't avoid high deserts. lol.

Re: Santa Barbara to Lone Pine
dukeo #59483 04/11/22 04:03 PM
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Thanks Duke, I'll look into those. I actually enjoy the high deserts grin

Re: Santa Barbara to Lone Pine
TieDye #59484 04/11/22 04:41 PM
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I would take the 126 to the 5 to the 14.

1 member likes this: LUIS DE LA ROSA
Re: Santa Barbara to Lone Pine
TieDye #59486 04/12/22 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by TieDye
I'd ideally like to hit the Langley snow climb from Tuttle Creek before flying home.

I did that route on 05-07-2009 and enjoyed it. I used ski poles, stiff boots, crampons, and one general-purpose axe. This has been a dry year, and you’re going a little later than I did. I wouldn’t be surprised if you found less-than-perfect conditions. However, there are other routes up from Tuttle Creek. I’ve also been there in January and April. You should be able to find something to your liking.

Re: Santa Barbara to Lone Pine
bobpickering #59487 04/12/22 10:19 AM
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Is there something special about heading up Tuttle Creek that you like?

In 2014, a low snow year (39%), the road to Horseshoe Meadows was open at the end of April. I headed over Trail Pass on May 4th and down to the Kern River and up to Wallace.

Last year the road to Horseshoe Meadows was open to the final gate on April 19th which is about 1/3 of mile to the trailhead. Last year the snow percents was 36%. I hike the area for a couple days.

This year, with the snowpack at 34%, I would think the road would be open at the end of April or at least by early May.

You could camp at Cottonwood Lakes and head up the from there, not Army Pass (old).... too sketchy.

Bob Pickering knows all the ins and out of that area, so you should ask for details once you decide n which route you take.

I've been up New Army Pass many times Memorial Weekend. The cornice, usually not a major issue, was never a problem for me.

Just my thoughts.

Oh, I live in Santa Clarita... so 126 to 5 is best, or 126 to the 5 and north to the 138 over to the 14. Or, take the 5 north to Lake Isabella via 178.

Paul

Re: Santa Barbara to Lone Pine
TieDye #59488 04/12/22 10:46 AM
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For the most scenic route from Santa Barbara:

Take 150 to 33 through Ojai.
Then take the Lockwood Valley Rd off from the 33 to Frazer Park.
Then the I-5 north to the 99.
Then 223 to 180 (circumvent Bakersfield).
180 to 178 through Lake Isabella to Kernville.
From Kernville, take the Sierra Way/Mountain Hwy 99 north to right on Sherman Way, through Kennedy Meadows.
Eventually, you descend into the 395 past Pearsonville.

Re: Santa Barbara to Lone Pine
Paul #59502 04/14/22 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul
Is there something special about heading up Tuttle Creek that you like?

Thanks for your response, Paul. I prefer snow climbs to the walk-up routes when available. Hopefully there is enough snow to enjoy the NE Couloir.

Re: Santa Barbara to Lone Pine
kedierluc #59503 04/14/22 10:32 AM
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Thanks for that, that certainly seems like the MOST scenic options and I appreciate that. I don't think the "Kia Rio or similar" rental I'll be in will manage the Sherman Way Rd, so I'll be cutting straight through to Pearsonville if I go through Lake Isabella.

Thanks for all the responses everyone. It'll likely be a game-time decision based on what time I finish up in Santa Barbara, whether I want to drive straight to Lone Pine for an early start the next morning or the next morning, as well as if I stop by the SFV area to see an old friend and drive out the next day. If I'm driving straight through that night, I'll just haul it through Lancaster at "California speed" cool


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