(Please note that Part one is a summary of the entire 2009 SMB Forum Meeting and the remaining parts are detailed postings of individual days during the meet)

On the second day of our trip to the Kaiser Wilderness and the eventual SMB Forum meet at Sample Meadow Campground, we decided to take a look at a few 2WD routes that I had never been on. The early cold snap had moved the Fall colors to the lower altitudes, so after setting up the rest of our camp we headed out of Sample Meadow’s and back down the hill below the community of Shaver Lake to check it out.

Peterson Road Drive:

Looking at our maps, Peterson Road seemed like a reasonable route to start out on. The plan was to drive all the way down to Pine Flat reservoir and return via Trimmer Rd, but after a late start we opted for a short loop back to Dinkey Creek which in a round about way is accessible off end of Peterson Rd. After leaving Shaver we traveled about 5 miles back toward Fresno on highway 168 to Toll House Road located close to the top of the steep grade out of Prather.


Peterson Road Map

Toll House is an alternate road to the highway and is a winding route back down toward Fresno. I suspect it was the original main road to Shaver Lake before they built the highway. The Peterson turn off is about a half mile from the 168 intersection.

The road is paved for several miles at an elevation around the four thousand foot zone and passes a few homes before meandering into the more remote regions. Our basic path followed Peterson road to it’s end passing several spurs. From there we would take one of the many routes back out of the area.


(Click on smaller images to enlarge)


The route was scenic and offered a few overlooking views as well as some Fall colors.

Peterson 8 SONY DSC


We did cross a few creeks but most were dry at this time of year. We found one that had a bit of water running in it.





Peterson Road soon becomes Big Creek Rd which leads down to Pine Flat Reservoir. We would stay to the left and avoid the long drive down to the lake. There are several roads that intersect with each other but we just took the most direct route back to the main road.




Continuing on, we soon ran into Forest Service Road 9, which is a main road through the region. Turning right would again take us to the lake but time was short and the sun was well past noon.




Along the route, this unique rock immediately caught our attention. It seemed like no matter what angle you looked at it there  was some kind of face to be seen.




Peterson run 14We drove through a very large stand of Manzanita brush that towered over my van. You don’t usually see Manzanita this tall and the road seemed almost tunnel like.




The Fall colors were on display but not as brilliant as years before. I still enjoyed the drive and seeing new areas is always interesting.

Peterson run 15 Peterson run 16


Peterson run 20 Peterson run 21

Most of the road can be handled in any weather other than snow and is 2WD friendly. FR-9 soon reaches Dinkey Creek Rd where we would end the drive and head back toward town.

But at this intersection, crossing Dinkey Cr Rd and continuing on FR-9 will take you past the Bald Mountain OHV trailhead which we planned to run on Friday. In fact if it wasn’t for the Pizza shop pulling us back toward Shaver, we would have taken FR-9 on through to Huntington Lake which was actually the shorter path back to camp. But Pizza and Beer rule, and we headed off to get our fill. Pulling into camp late I thought we might see Angel, but again, except for a group of hunters occupying a front site, we had Sample to ourselves. That night we utilized my propane fire inside the dome tent. Although it wasn’t a real fire, it sure was warm. We finished off the evening with Anderson Valley brew. Man I like that stuff. If you’ve ever looked close at their logo on the bottle you’ll notice a picture of a bear with antlers. So what’s a bear with deer antlers doing on the bottle you ask. Everybody knows a bear crossed with a deer is a…… beer 🙂

Dave Boyer.


For an overview of the trip please see Part one:

2009 Sportsmobile Forum Group Meet Part I

Also see the remaining daily posts:

2009 Sportsmobile Forum Group Meet Part III