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  1. #1
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    Reputation: Fast Eddy's Avatar
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    PSA: Henry Coe Dowdy Ranch is OPEN!

    Saturday and Sundays from now through the summer. I would call HQ to verify before you head out there, but I just heard that someone is staffing it this Saturday, for sure.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fast Eddy View Post
    Saturday and Sundays from now through the summer. I would call HQ to verify before you head out there, but I just heard that someone is staffing it this Saturday, for sure.
    Here's the webpage:

    Dowdy Ranch Visitor Center

    As noted therein; the gates are open whether the Visitor Center is staffed or not. RE the gates; if things go as planned (at Bell Station and at Dowdy proper) they are opened at 8:00 AM and are locked back up at 5:00 PM both days. If doing an overnight camping trip in the "back country" be sure to let staff know if leaving your car in the Dowdy lot.

    Reminder; camping is not permitted at the Dowdy facility---"day-use" only.
    The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent any policy of the CA Dept. of Parks & Rec.

  3. #3
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    This would be one of the closer places for me to ride. From what I understand there is a good bit of a drive on a dirt road to the trails? Do the trails go straight up like those on the west side? What are the trails like and are they well marked?

  4. #4
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    Hey, thanks guys. I pass this entrance on my way to Carmel and have wondered about it. Looks like I could just park off the road at 152, and ride from there to the visitor center and back for a decent 14 miles total. Would this be advisable, or would it just be boring?
    Mountain Biking Is Not A Crime stickers, free! (You pay postage. PM me for details.)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    Hey, thanks guys. I pass this entrance on my way to Carmel and have wondered about it. Looks like I could just park off the road at 152, and ride from there to the visitor center and back for a decent 14 miles total. Would this be advisable, or would it just be boring?
    Boring.
    Go to up to dowdy, ride macks corral, north fork, tie down etc.
    Or do burra burra and beyond.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    opened at 8:00 AM and are locked back up at 5:00 PM both days.
    5pm? I saw Cameron at the visitor center on opening day two weekends ago and told me that I had until sunset. Taking his word for it I casually rode out to Mississippi Lake, and started back with plenty of time to spare. While crawling up Kaiser-Aetna at about 7pm, a Ranger came driving down to find me. (I haven't met him before and don't recall his name.) In short, he was there to make sure everyone got out safely and to close and lock the gate but didn't say a word about my tardiness.

    So I'm confused by the schedule. Evidence seems to be that 5pm is what the staff prefers - earlier rather than later. Kinda sad because the most glorious part of the day is the hours before and after sunset, IMHO. This also makes an overnighter seem the only way to properly enjoy it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf View Post
    This would be one of the closer places for me to ride. From what I understand there is a good bit of a drive on a dirt road to the trails? Do the trails go straight up like those on the west side? What are the trails like and are they well marked?
    Top of Mack's Corral is hard to find because it is grassed over. There is the notorious Bermuda Triangle of Coe near Yellowjacket that everyone gets confused by, but otherwise the trail system is decently marked or obvious. Not a lot of intersections to worry about because there aren't alot of trails for the distance.

    The ride out to Mississippi Lake is 22-24 miles round trip. Less than 3000 ft climb.

    The most difficult thing about this entrance is Kaiser Aetna road, which comes at the end when you climb back to Dowdy.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by knobs View Post
    Boring.
    Go to up to dowdy, ride macks corral, north fork, tie down etc.
    Or do burra burra and beyond.
    Boring like this:

    I often have a GoPro running hoping to catch a vid of the next asteroid to hit the earth; instead I only got a roadrunner otherwise I wouldn't have bothered saving this video. (When the sound cuts out look for a speck bounding across Kaiser Aetna Rd in slo mo; that's the roadrunner)

    Otherwise this video probably isn't worth your time (and this is the short version) other than to confirm that K/A Rd is a mundane (though a seasonally beautiful) stretch of gravel road.

    Quite dusty now...

    BTW; Burra Burra, Herrsman and parts of Center Flats are the only not-too-steep trails/roads in the Dowdy vicinity; the rest of the roads and trails are typical of Coe. Dowdy is similar the the HQ area in that rides of any length take you down into a canyon(s) which must be ascended on the return trip.
    The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent any policy of the CA Dept. of Parks & Rec.

  9. #9
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    Open Memorial Day too...

    Quote Originally Posted by knobs View Post
    5pm? I saw Cameron at the visitor center on opening day two weekends ago and told me that I had until sunset. Taking his word for it I casually rode out to Mississippi Lake, and started back with plenty of time to spare. While crawling up Kaiser-Aetna at about 7pm, a Ranger came driving down to find me. (I haven't met him before and don't recall his name.) In short, he was there to make sure everyone got out safely and to close and lock the gate but didn't say a word about my tardiness.

    So I'm confused by the schedule. Evidence seems to be that 5pm is what the staff prefers - earlier rather than later. Kinda sad because the most glorious part of the day is the hours before and after sunset, IMHO. This also makes an overnighter seem the only way to properly enjoy it.
    ...this just in:

    Sent: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 10:26 AM
    To: Paul Liebenberg
    Subject: RE: Dowdy hours

    9- sunset to be safe, if no volunteer opening, I get there around 9 and will be open Monday Memorial Day

    Thanks for getting word out.

    Cameron Bowers
    Backcountry Ranger
    Henry W. Coe State Park


    In theory the Dowdy VC is staffed by volunteers from 8 until 4 (and later if a volunteer is staying the night), hence the Bell Station gate could be open as early as 7:30. Should be volunteers at the Dowdy VC both Sat and Sun this weekend according to the sign-up.
    The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent any policy of the CA Dept. of Parks & Rec.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    Boring like this.
    Paul, You need one of these:12V Revolving Warning Light for Vehicles (Red) - Free Shipping - DealExtreme

    No self respecting Naked Gun fan would be without one.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for getting the word out. I was there last saturday. Besides Ranger Cameron, there were 2 volunteers, plus ~6 visitor cars at mid-day.

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