It is amazing what some people will do in search of FUN. At one time or another I have walked this entire 4X4 rout to T-fish in these areas, which is much more comfortable than trying to drive it in my view, not to mention the vehicle repair costs you will have that go with your entertainment.
I find it completely baffling that people find damaging and polluting the natural world to be fun. I don’t think I’ll ever understand this behavior. It both upsets me and saddens me at the same time.
Peder, I agree 100%! In the old days, when they were using WW II vintage Jeeps, things did not get nearly as torn up as they do today. On this rout, where people attempt to take an easier line, they block those routs off with boulders and logs so they can’t be used. So to have any hope of doing this route, you have to have one of the Super Hyped Up Machines, most of which are not street legal and are towed up to the starting point with truck and trailer rigs. This goes through the John Muir Wilderness Area and is a narrow ribbon of non-wilderness ground charted through the wilderness that the users are not supposed to deviate from. But they drive over to the edges for the views rather than getting out of the vehicle and walking over to see the sights. The plant life at these elevations (9 to 10,000 plus feet for the whole 33 miles) is quite fragile.
But on the positive side of things, the 4 Wheel Drive Clubs do a good job of policing their own members very well, and this area is much cleaner (almost no trash left behind at all by the clubs) than it used to be in the past. And there are elements within the US Forest Service that are pushing for shutting off all Off Highway Vehicle Use in the future, but that is not going to happen under this administration.
The two vehicles pictured above are not reccommended for doing this trail, as their wheel bases and overhangs are too long to safely handle the terrain. There are places not shown in this video that are considerably worse than anything that was shown here. I picked this video because it shows a nice cross section of the terrain, beautiful lakes with one nice fish, some stream crossings, and is not totally devoted to showing scads of vehicles working their ways through Extreme Boulder Fields, which takes up most of the footage in many of the other videos I viewed.
I do not know if you caught this but, this trail does not open until the First of August (snow melt permitting), and most of the Horse Packers and Backpackers prefer to avoid Jeep Trails at all cost, so I can have these areas mostly to myself for most of the Summer each year.