Westgard Pass

Westgard Pass – Gilbert Summit, Bad Roads for RVs

Westgard Pass – Gilbert Summit is on California Highway 168 west of Big Pine California to Oasis California. This is a bad road for an RV. In Oasis Highway 168 connects to Nevada Highway 266. Westgard Pass connects to White Mountain Road and leads to Grandview Campground.

Nevada Highway 266, south from Oasis is also a bad road for an RV

At the top of the pass is Gilbert Summit.

In the winter this road is closed.

The summit is fourteen miles east of Big Pine, near the summit is a 1/4 mile single lane cut through the rocks.

Warning sign: Tractor-trailers over 30′ are not advised. Steep Grade, sharp turns, narrow roads. Not recommended for large or heavy vehicles.

Snippet: Westgard Pass - Gilbert Summit Satellite View
Westgard Pass Satellite View


Elevation: 7400 feet

Length: 38 miles

Terrain: 6-9% grades on both the east and west side of the pass. On the west side, the 9% grade starts at the summit for the first mile and then is between 6-7% for the next six miles. On the east side, the 9% grade starts at the summit for about a mile and then 7% for the next three miles. After the summit of Westgard Pass and descent, eastbound you then encounter Gilbert Summit, which is also 6-9% for about four miles. Then when eastbound from Gilbert Summit, the downhill section is 8% for one mile followed by 5-6% grades for two miles.

Turns: There are many 20 mile-per-hour turns on both sides of the road with steep dropoffs.

Turnouts: I counted four turnouts west of the single-lane section and no turnouts on the Gilbert Summit section.

Turnaround locations: None until at the top

This would be worth a one hundred mile detour.

Runaway truck ramps: None

Snippet: Westgard Pass - Gilbert Summit Single Lane Section
Westgard Pass Single Lane Section

Westgard Pass – Gilbert Summit — Our experience

We drove our 34 foot RV over Westgard Pass in the fall of 2019 and will not do that again. My reasoning was that since the Grandview Campground was on White Mountain Road near the top of the pass — it must be ok for RVs. I was wrong.

Here is our post about crossing Westgard Pass. We found our comfort limit

I also knew that the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy “CARMA” telescopes were at the top of the pass and thus since these were huge, building size radio telescopes it must mean that trucks delivered them to the site. They are there, and they were delivered by truck, but that fact doesn’t mean the route was good enough for RVs. Here is a link to CalTech Astronomy CARMA

Our Route was going to Death Valley and we knew that the road to Death Valley on California Highway 190 was not recommended for RVs so we routed through Nevada down the east side of Death Valley to Pahrump Nevada.

We should have taken Highway 6 north out of Bishop to Tonopah and then turned south on Highway 95.

Here is our link to our interactive map. Bad Roads for RVs

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