Dusy-Ershim OHV Trail [CLOSED] is a 30 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Lakeshore, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for camping, fishing, and ohv/off road driving and is accessible year-round.

Length30 miElevation gain4691 ftRoute typePoint to point
CampingFishingohv / off road drivingForestLakeViewsWildlifeClosed
Description
Waypoints (11)
Tips
Getting There

As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. See park page for more information. A very scenic trail that climbs to 10,000 feet at Thompson Lake, then rarely drops below 9,000 feet after that. You'll pass several excellent lakes offering good camping and fishing. Almost the entire trail passes through wilderness, which is just 300 feet on each side of the trail. Stay on designated routes at all times. Do not camp within 100 feet of lakes and streams. Carry a fire permit and fishing license if applicable. No target shooting anywhere along route. Pack out your trash. Trail is for summer use only and is approved for ATVs and dirt bikes. Make sure you have plenty of mosquito repellent in the warm summer months. Located in Sierra National Forest. For current conditions call the High Sierra Ranger District at (559) 855-5355. Over ninety percent of this 30-mile trail is slow-speed rock crawling. The most difficult part of the trail is Thompson Hill (when driven uphill). It starts gradually and gets worse as you climb higher. Also very difficult are the last two miles of the trail, going south to north, as described here. Many other challenges await. The forest service recommends the trail be driven in a short-wheel-base vehicle with at least 32-inch tires and one locker. The fact is, even better equipped vehicles are seriously tested. Be prepared for breakdowns because help is a long way off. Never drive this trail by yourself. The trail can also be driven from the north starting at White Bark Vista.

Trail conditions can change without notice.

The trail can be driven in a day under ideal circumstances, but it would be an exhaustive experience. Taking two days is still tiring, but many people do it. If you drive the trail in two days, camp at Voyager Rock Campground the night before and start early the next morning. Three days on the trail allows more time to relax and fish.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (27)
Photos (18)
Recordings (17)
Completed (48)
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Tim Meahan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 24, 2020
Hiking

Good place

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marcus bates
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 8, 2020

I was part of the group that left Ershim lake at 7:15. We managed to bomb through the trail and get our kids to safety a bit earlier than the large group. We all appreciate the heads up and the experienced info we received from the other groups. We are very happy the previous reviewer and the group made it out with minimal complications. Glad everyone is safe and sound!

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wpsinstall .
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 3, 2020
OHV/Off-road driving

Second time through the Dusy, this time as a passenger and with four rigs. Day 1: We came in from courtright and Camped at the base of voyager the first night waiting for the rest of the group, took to the trail before first light the next morning, ran into an old pal, Thompson” at about 10:30, we winched three times, another rig in our group also winched three times and blew the front driver tire off the bead, took lunch near the top and finished the hill just after 1 pm. We rolled into the Thompson lake camp ground shortly after. Day 2: We set out at about at about 9 am, made a push to make it to East lake by lunch time, passed up a couple guys from Manteca that had broke a leaf spring, offered assistance, but they said they were almost done. We achieved our goal and enjoyed a cold beverages and some sandwiches. This particular rest stop offered one of the cleanest back country “Johns”. As we started back onto the trail, we recognized the initial smoke plum from the Creek Fire and decided to reach to the outside world (via an inreach) and get an update that would later influence our decision to continue to drive straight out. A couple rigs from our group stopped to help the guys from Manteca, this time with a broken leaf pin on the pass/ rear. Once repaired, we continued on to Ershim Lake, where we set up camp and began cooking dinner, we got news that the fire had grown significantly pushing north to mammoth pools designating the landscape there and made the decision to pack up and head out. We left Ershim lake at 7:15 pm, this time we were in a group of 13 rigs, all with the same idea, get off the trail before the winds changed. Right out of camp one member of our original group realized he had left his phone at the lake, he pulled over and hiked back to get the phone while everyone continued climbing out of the draw that feeds the lake. We pushed on doing our best to stay as a group and not leaving anyone behind. Day3: Just after midnight, We got just above lake shore when the other guy from Manteca noticed he couldn’t make left hand turns, upon further investigation, he found that the steering box had pulled away from the frame in doing so he tore the frame to shreds. Luckily, another member of the collaborative group had a small wire feed welder, the stinger broke when we were unloading, but with a little oakie ingenuity, we were back in business, we used a piece of a high-lift and a couple wrenches and welded it back together as best we could. The rig still couldn’t got more then 10 degrees to the left past center but at least he could roll. We pushed on and out reaching the black top at Kiaser pass just after 4am, a couple of the rigs were barley running on fumes, so we rendezvoused at the gas station in Shaver. The sky was dark red and the smoke was thick, there were emergency personnel everywhere. This trip will not be easily forgotten for anyone involved for some time.

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Sean Ritchie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 30, 2020
OHV/Off-road driving
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DENTED JEEP john french
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 23, 2020
OHV/Off-road driving
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Matthew Downey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 13, 2020
OHV/Off-road drivingRocky

Long, punishing, dusty and rough. Lucky to finish with no breaks. The nature beautiful scenery and off-grid status for 4 days was well worth the commitment. Bucket list checked.

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Jay Weisberger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 17, 2020
HikingBugsScramble

This was beautiful and saw ZERO people the entire time on the Nelson spur. Major mosquito area in the quarter mile leading to the first lake. Be aware that the use trail to the upper lake is not well marked and you likely will need some wayfinding skill. There is old barbed wire to watch for as you do, as well. If you’re prepared, this will be a stunningly gorgeous walk.

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Brian Hitchcock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 25, 2019
OHV/Off-road driving

Unrelenting trail that poses every obstacle imaginable. 3 days of fun!

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wpsinstall .
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 25, 2019
OHV/Off-road driving

First time running the Dusey, seemed like a good place for a winch-less snipe hunt. Came in from Courtright, played chess getting to the top of Thompson Hill without the winch, Oh Boy! Camped overnight at the top of Thompson, took back to the trail the following morning, made it to Ershim by 4pm. While attempting our luck in the lake, Charlie and Travis fell in, caught two. Headed out the north side first thing first thing. Amazing trail, true challenge. To sum it up in one word I would argue, “ gauntlet.” You need your big boy pants for this one.

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Jake Baker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2019
Hiking

I love this trail and this forest. You need to pack for a few days, bring tools and spare parts and you need to know your rig. I’ve gone the past 3 years and had a blast each time. Go with a group of capable off-roaders and remember it’s about 33 miles. I wish they had a consistent date it opened each yeah so make sure you check the site before you make the drive!

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Dan Stanevich
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 31, 2019
OHV/Off-road driving

The Southern Nevada Landcrusier Assoc. Drove this trail many times in the 1990’s. We also have driven the Rubicon multiple times. The Rubicon is a challenging trail and the trails of Moab are also. But the Ducy (back in those days) was a mother. As any hardcore wheeler knows trail riding means moving big rocks by hand and mear fact that the Ducy is all over 9000 ft. is a killer. Great scenery and a great run but expect to be really tired every night. Make sure it’s on your bucket list you will never regret it.

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Rob Samuels
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 11, 2018
OHV/Off-road driving

Just finished it. The only place I used any spotter was a downhill left turn at the very end of the boulder field. I’m in a 4 door JK on 37’s. With thecspotter it was cake. I could have done it with no spotter. The rest of the group was Cherokee’s on 33’S and 35’s and a 4 door JKnon 35’s. It’s a rough relentless trail but very few overly difficult spots. Great camping and the scenery was awesome.

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Rod Ploeckelmann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 29, 2018
OHV/Off-road driving

Most challenging trail I’ve done, with a trailer! Be prepared for this trail and awesome views!

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AllTrails User
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 16, 2017
OHV/Off-road driving

Incredible trail. Very long. Challenging. Scenic beautiful camping spots.

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Colin Constable
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2017
OHV/Off-road driving

The Dusy is one tough trail.. So do not go alone and be prepared for breakage. After 2 days of intense wheeling we completed the trail but wished we had more time and could have spent 4 days or so doing it.. 2 days was pretty brutal. have fun!

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Craig Paton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 25, 2016
OHV/Off-road driving

Went from South to North in my jeep JK First 16 miles not too tough. Very narrow, lots of areas where it was tire to tire between trees. After that it is constant rock crawling Very tough on vehicles. Broke my sector shaft on steering box, lost part of my exhaust, stripped the lugs on my wheel spacer. Skids took a beating. I have done the Rubicon and Fordyce trail many times. This trail is a lot tougher. But a lot of fun Bucket list material

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Alex Serrano
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 10, 2016

awesome trail. most difficult

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Edward Geraghty
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 13, 2013
Walking

This is a review for the hiking trail east of Maxson Dome. There is also the beginning of the Dusy-Ershim OHV trail next to the hiking trail. We hiked to the trail junction up to Hobler lake fork. Round trip from the parking lot at courtright reservoir was three and a half hours, approximately 6 miles. Very nice easy hike. You walk a long way on virtually flat ground and even stroll through a small giant sequoia grove. The sequoia's are no greater than 4 feet in diameter but still very impressive. The trail is well marked and easy to follow.

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Dan Unsicker
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 22, 2020
Hiking
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Kris Holden
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 12, 2020
OHV/Off-road driving
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Erin Bishop
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
OHV/Off-road driving
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Travis Laird
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 25, 2019
Hiking
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Todd Wilson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 11, 2019
OHV/Off-road driving
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Ron Inman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 14, 2018
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Tom Tostenson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 14, 2018
Hiking
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Monette Taylor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 2, 2017
Hiking
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Leanne Larson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 30, 2016
OHV/Off-road driving