I know this is way ahead of time, but keep a free weekend open late spring/early summer next year. I will be putting together a Central California meet in which we will be doing the Shuteye Trial up to Shuteye Peak and likely Whiskey Ridge Trail (I have not confirmed Whiskey Ridge yet, I still need to check it out.)
Today, for my birthday, my father and I decided to scout out Shuteye Trail, and make sure our trucks can make it to the top safely, without too much trouble. The elevation of the peak is ~8,400ft so I was a bit skeptical about making it to the top, but the mission was a success. We encountered some old snow which had a thick hard icy top from the recent sunny weather. This made a few obstacles a bit tricky.
Here's a Google Maps link with the peak marked to get a general idea of the area:
37.349281, -119.428425 - Google Maps
For those who are interested in making this run next year, there are PLENTY of obstacles throughout the trail and picking a good line is common practice to get through it unscathed. I touched my skids a couple times and had a rear tire more than a foot off the ground 2 or 3 times. I would suggest a couple inches of lift and a suitable off-road tire, whether it be an AT or MT. Armor (skids/sliders) are optional but would have certainly made my day a lot less stressful. If you have less than a 2-2.5" lift and 265/75r16 tires I would definately recommend armor to compensate for a lack of clearance. Also, based on my experience today, a rear locker/LSD would certainly make your life easier in getting through some of the sections. My suspension was flexing all over the place, and several times my chosen line (usually the more difficult) required me to flip the locker on to climb up smoothly. This doesn't means it's a must, and as a last resort, rocks can always be stacked.
There is also plenty of great scenery, especially once you get to the top. With that said I will leave you with a few teaser pics for now. Today was more about spending time with my Dad, and limited daylight leaves little time to complete this trail. I will be running this trail once more before the official meet next year with the focus on getting detailed trail photos for those thinking about attending the meet.
I haven't figured out which peaks these are, but they were the most prominent and probably ~50 miles away:
Conquering the Hill! (the lookout tower where I shot the panoramas from) The angles didn't look right with my truck level to the ground, so I flexed it out, naturally
And just because I like the way this photo came out:
Like I said, I WILL be running this trail again sometime before the meet next year. Keep it in mind if you would like to join me at that time. It will be more "objective based" - The idea being to get photos during the progression of the trail to help those who are on the fence at the time decide if they want to make the trip for the actual meet. I figure it's the least I can do for those who would consider making a long-ish drive for a trail which has no content on these forums (yet,
). It's certainly a winner in my book.