Posted by Been There on March 13, 2003 at 01:41:57:
In Reply to: p168 posted by Ed on March 12, 2003 at 23:06:18:
I have done the Slate range crossing from east to west. From Wingate to the Slate Range you have to traverse a very long section of mostly flat volcanic rock field. In spots the road is barely descernable from the rest of the surroundings (more rocks). The rocky section is similar, but worse, than the rocky portion of Warm Springs road between Butte Valley and Westend road and it is as equally (really more) unpleasant as the washboard on Wingate between Goler and Briggs mine. I had to take it slow to avoid tire damage from numerous sharp lava rocks.
However, once you get to the Slate Range itself the route is fun, the ascent is steep, and the views are excellent. Certainly worth doing at least once. You can plan on 2 hours from Goler to Trona if you take it slow through the seemingly endless lava field. Perhaps there is a more direct route, but the way I went was by no means quicker than going through Ballarat.
Also, when I did this route it was before all of the recent rains. Portions of the route very well may now be soggy, as the route between Wingate and the Slate Range meanders around and through a normally dry lake bed.