South Round Valley Road

Distance: 12.6-mile out and back
Elevation gain: 425 ft

As with all the rides in Bestrides situated along Hwy 395, I encourage you to read the “Eastern Sierra” section of our By Regions page, to put this ride in context.

This is not a great or thrilling ride, but it’s perfectly pleasant, a short, flat stroll through the Owens Valley fields with nice Sierra mountains as a backdrop to the west. I include it because our Eastern Sierra riding is short on recovery-day rides, and this is an ideal one. If you want to add on to it, there are two harder rides at its turn-around point (see Adding Rides below).

Turn off Hwy 395 onto Saw Mill Rd.—yes, to my surprise, if you’re coming from the south you can cross the divided highway. Park in the large dirt parking lot at the intersection of South Round Valley Rd. and Saw Mill. Ride SRVR to its intersection with Pine Creek Rd. Return. Other than the prison you pass, there’s not much to talk about.

Shortening the ride: Not imaginable.

Adding Miles: Your turn-around point is on Pine Creek Rd., which is one of the better climbs in our By Regions list of area rides if you go left. If you go right on PCR, in a stone’s throw you hit the southern terminus of Rock Creek Rd., also in By Regions. Either will satisfy any climbing jones you may be having. If you want more easy riding, cross Pine Creek Rd. and continue on North Round Valley Rd., which will about double your mileage—see Robert’s comment below for details.

2 thoughts on “South Round Valley Road

  1. Robert Kellum

    I live about 5 miles southeast from your starting point and I have likely taken this route 200+ times. Yes, it is a wonderful way to spend part of a Sunday morning.
    To add miles and scenery, continue north, crossing Pine Creek Rd. (at which point South Round Valley Rd. becomes North RVR), for a couple more miles, then turn R onto Birchim Lane and continue until it ends at Old Sherwin Grade Road (beyond Birch NRVR turns to gravel). Turn L onto OSGR and continue north. It soon changes its name to Lower Rock Creek Rd. (discussed in the Rides by Region section on the Eastern Sierra–JR). About 4-miles up there is a big S-curve that marks the start of the serious climbing. You will also find a hiker parking area with an outhouse. Turn around there and you will almost double your mileage (from my house it is a few ticks short of 40-miles). Or you can continue riding and climbing for another 10 miles and a 1000 feet of gain until you reach Highway 395.

    1. Jack Rawlins Post author

      Not sure where Bob’s figure of 1000 ft comes from, but RWGPS puts the total elevation gain of Old Sherwin Grade Rd. plus Lower Rock Creek Rd. at 3000 ft, and I can attest that it feels like more.


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