Due to unprecedented and historic fire conditions throughout the state, the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region is announcing a temporary closure of all National Forests. Please call your local Rangers Office prior to heading out to the trail to verify that the trails are open. Click Here For More Details

Dusy-Ershim Trail

Shaver Lake, California (Fresno County)

Last Updated: 09/21/2020
4.9 / 5 ( 12 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Temporary Closure
Typically Open: 08/01 - 10/31
Length: 31 miles
Highest Elevation: 10500 feet
Duration: About 4 days
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: North
Nearest Town: Shaver Lake
Nearest Town w/ Services: Fresno
Official Road Name: 7S32 - Dusy-Ershim
Management Agency: Forest Service
District: High Sierra Ranger District
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: Dusy-Ershim  Trail
If you haven't heard of the Dusy-Ershim trail yet, you will soon. Many believe this is the newest hardest multiday off-road trip you can do today. The trail is comprised of both overland and rock crawling. If you ask someone that has recently done the Rubicon, they will say this trail is about 3-6 times harder. The Dusy-Ershim offers some of the hardest wheeling around, from mile long rocky hill climbs, to very technical obstacles, to some of the most amazing camping & fishing you have ever done in your life. The views have something to be said about too. Just be warned, this isn't an easy trip, even the most built rigs will leave this trail with mechanical failure. Be prepared, because body damage is almost guaranteed, even for the best drivers. If you are up to the challenge, expect the trip to take you in the range of 3-5 days.

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for Dusy-Ershim Trail

Route Information

Technical Rating:
(SEVERE - EXTREME)

Read more about our rating system

Waypoints

1. Starting Point (0 mi)
This is the gateway to the Dusy-Ershim Trail, it is also the beginning of Voyager Rock Trail. For more information on this short segment of trail prior to the beginning of the Dusy-Ershim Trail, please visit the information on Voyager Rock.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 37.082539, -118.962989

Starting Point: Shaver Lake, CA

Take Dinkey Creek Rd. from Hwy 168. Then take Mckinley Grove Rd. to Courtright Rd. and turn left to Courtright Reservoir. Cross the dam on the east side of the lake and stay on the road to the Dusy-Ershim OHV Route sign. 37.082539, -118.962989 If you run North To South, From Shaver Lake CA, take highway 168 North for 20.5 miles. Turn Right onto Kaiser Pass Road just after the bridge. Continue on Kaiser Pass Road for 4.2 miles. The trail is off to the right when you crest the hill. Start at 37.291375, -119.102206

Camping

Dispersed
Improved

Trail Reviews (13)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The area is still under temporary closure and will likely run through the end of the season for this trail. Lets just hope the fire doesn't hit this trail.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
The Creek Fire has caused mandatory evacuation orders to be in place including this trail: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7147/ While this trail is not threatened by the fire, Highway 168 is threatened and authorities have chosen to clear out the entire region to help with firefighting efforts.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This was our second trip to the Dusy. We spent 5 days out there with a one day layover at Thompson Lake and another at Ershim Lake. Awesome trail!! I forgot how dusty it can be. Had a trunnion bearing on day three give up, but the crew made quick work of swapping it out. Thompson Hill and the trail from Ershim Lake to White Bark is no joke. Be sure your rig is up to the challenge. I love this trail.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Seasonal Closure
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Just heard, trail is opening on Aug 1. Have fun and invite me :)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The trail is open!!!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
3 others and I ran the trail 10/10/2019-10/13/2019 and it was the most beautiful trail i have ever ran! The trail seemed to be relatively low traffic and we didn't see another soul the entire trip. No one obstacle was notable except our final push up Thompson hill. We camped at Thompson lake, Ershim lake and lake camp lake. Ershim was the best camp sight, in my opinion. I wish i had stayed two days at Ershim lake just to enjoy the views! definitely would run this trail again! Things to note/bring with you/ be equipt with. -narrow short wheelbase is your friend.- during our trip a jk smashed his back window in one of his many 3 point turns throughout the trees -Extra fuel -Rocksliders - take at least 5 days to run the trail. -at least one locker

Author: Official Crew
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Sounds like the trail will open next week... Stay tuned. Sierra National Forest - The Swamp OHV trail opened on Sunday, 8/18/19, we are down to just one more trail to open. Our crew of Forest Service and 4wd Clubs will start working on Dusy-Ershim this Thursday 8/22. The work is expected to be completed (Tentative) by Monday 8/26/2019 and the Dusy-Ershim will be open for the season. Enjoy this very unique OHV trail that passes between two wilderness areas and practice Tread Lightly.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Trail is still closed. Sounds like maybe the of month as for now.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Seasonal Closure
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Just heard from the forest service. They are saying they think the trail will open in Aug this year... Best be in contact with them if you are planning on running this trail this year to ensure you don't get up there to locked gates.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Awesome trail, but extremely looonnnnggg. Our group consisted of two well built Toyota 4runners with experienced drivers (dual transfer cases, front and rear lockers, armor, skid plates, 4" lift, 37" and 39" tires with leaf springs). We suffered no drive train damage, however, my rear diff plug loosened up at Ershim lake, and I had to re-tighten. Both trucks sustained minor sheet metal damage through narrow tree passes in the rear quarter panel sections. The previous reviews covered pretty much everything about the trail, but I wanted to include the travel times we experienced to help others in trip planning. I had 3 kids (4, 6, and 8) with me along with my wife, which added marginally to the time it took. The leaf sprung suspension limited how fast I could go without sending one of my kids out of the windows, perhaps having a coil sprung (or coilovers) suspension could have knocked a few hours total off of the total trip, although we were moving at a decent pace considering the non-stop boulders on the trail. Day 1: Left Shaver lake at approximately 10:30 AM and Arrived at Thompson Hill Campground at Approximately 6:00 PM. Stopped at Chicken Rock at 1:00 PM for approximately 1 hour lunch. Had to get out to spot each other twice on the last 1/3 of Thompson Hill. Day 2: Left Thompson Hill at approximately 10:30 AM and Arrived at Ershim Lake Campground around 5:00 PM. Stopped for lunch for about 1 hour and made another rest stop for about 15-20 minutes. Day 3: Camping only! Great Time at Ershim Lake. Day 4: Left Ershim lake at approximately 9:30 AM arrived at the gate at approximately 4:30 PM. Stopped at Mallard Lake for Lunch around 12:00 PM. Stopped again at Lookout for 15-20 minutes for photos. Had to get out to spot during a difficult downhill about 3/4 mile outside of Ershim lake. Had to get out and spot at the boulder field just before reaching the gate. For people in Southern California, I suggest doing the Clawhammer trail in Johnson Valley to get an idea of the most difficult rock crawling sections (Thompson Hill). Also, this trail is NON-STOP rock crawling. It is not your typical trail where you hit a set of rock obstacles, then drive an easy section at relatively high speed to the next obstacle. It's a tough obstacle followed by more rocks, so you don't ever really get to move that fast. It is literally 30 miles of rocks, so be prepared mentally, make sure you go slow and take your time to help you avoid breakage.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Love this trail. We did the trail in 4 days which was kind of fast still. I am thinking we will do it over 5 days again next time. All in all the trip went great, no major failures that would cause too much headache. Bent axle, broken hub, broken bolts, and a little paint left behind. Our group did end up welding but we were ready. All in all, I can't wait for next year. The trail itself was harder than 2 years ago on Thompson while Givens was probably easier. I would still say north to south is harder because of how torn up the trail is on the north side, but due to how lose Thompson is getting, it isn't much harder. Keep an eye out for the video... #FalkenTires

Author: Official Crew
Status: Seasonal Closure
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I received notification that the trial has a chance it could be snowed over this summer and be unpassable due to the deep snow pack. They are hoping they will open the trail, possibly in the range of 2-3 weeks late this year. Please make sure you have alternate plans available as you prepare for a trip this year (2017) and do ample research prior to leaving. The areas for concern are the parts of the trail over 8500 feet (most of it). I will update this post as I receive updates. Please feel free to post trip reports in your live in the area with current snow conditions. Thank you,

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Just got off the trail and boy has it changed a lot in the last year. If it wasn't ranked it a 10 I would knock it up even a few more points. For comparison, We just finished running the Rubicon and this trail was easily 2-4 times harder and people are saying that east half is the hardest its been in a long time. We ran the trail South to North this year. Overall the trip was great, we did have some problems that required us to stay on the trail a day longer but you plan for that kind of stuff on this kind of trail. Our plan was Day 1 - Start at Shaver Lake Hotel and end at Thompson Lake, Day 2 - East Lake, Day 3 - Ershim Lake, Day 4 - Lake Camp, and Day 5 - Home. I think if I could change anything, I think I would have the group meet at Courtright Campground and leave around 9 - 10 am. Coming from Shaver was just too far to make it to Thompson in any reasonable time. We left Shaver around 10am arriving at Courtright Campground around 1pm. After a short lunch we headed up Chicken Rock at roughly 2pm. We stopped for more pictures there and headed down the trail around 2:30pm getting us to Thompson Lake around 7:30pm. Be warned, The gate for Chicken Rock is become a bit of a gate keeper. We had a vehicle take body damage right there due to the narrowness of the area and the large rocks you have to get over. Thompson Hill was a bit easier in some spots and the same in others, a couple spots were dug up that required some rock stacking not to get high centered on. I forgot that the hill is so steep that if you take your seatbelt off it will lock and you can't get it back on. It took 5 hours to get from Chicken Rock to Thompson Lake which included stopping and taking lot of photos and just enjoying the scenery. Thompson Hill took up about an hour to two of that time which was mostly throwing rock to help the ground clearance problems. Most of the Southern 3/4 of the trail was easier this year. We were able to carry much higher speeds which meant we were getting between the lakes in about 2 hours. But the Northern 1/4 was just destroyed. We had people in JK's with 6 inch lifts and 40+ inch tires getting stuck. It took a bit longer going through this area then the others. We were also going down hill most of the time which really helped us from getting stuck. But this didn't stop it. We had many vehicles get stuck in a couple sections of the trail due to ground clearance issues. Going up, a lot of rock stacking might be required for the average four-wheeler to make it up. Our group faired not bad compared to the other groups we saw. Our group incurred a steering box failure, several tire failures, broken shock, broken mirror, broken tail light, Lots of bent undercarriage items, and plenty of body damage. As for the other groups we saw, they had a good amount of body damage and driveline failure. All in all, it was a great trip and can't wait to do it again.

Questions & Answers (1)

Q: So, do you think this would be open last week in June?
–Darrin (04/17/2019)
–Josh Noesser (06/10/2019)
–Josh Noesser (04/17/2019)

Writer Information

Josh Noesser

Mapping Crew - California

Joshua Noesser grew up in Southern California but has lived in different parts of the country during his young adult life. Josh was first turned to four wheeling when he road with one of his friends dad up Surprise Canyon in the Panamint Valley at age14. After nearly 3 different roll overs later and a half dozen intense waterfalls, Josh was hooked. At 16 he purchased his first Jeep a CJ 7 and by 17 was putting his first locker in it. Currently, Josh is the owner and CEO of Nybble, an IT Solutions Company based in Orange County, California. Nybble isn't your normal IT company where everyone stays in and plays video games. Nybble's average company trip is out on the trails since a good amount of his staff enjoy wheeling too. As Josh likes to say, he offers the only IT Company with the ability to provide services in extreme locations. "If you want a server at the top of The Hammers, we will take care of that for you." Today you can find Josh out on the trail behind the wheel in one of his three different off-road vehicles. See the vehicles below for more information. If you ever run into Josh, please say high, he is a very friendly person and is always happy to have a new person join the group.
For individual use only, not to be shared.