Walker Ridge – Indian Valley – Christmas day

walker_ridgeI took a trip over the hills to see a friend over the Christmas holiday and on Christmas day, we decided to get in the Jeep and do some sight seeing.

It had been many years since I visited an area that lies between Williams, CA and Clearlake, CA just off of Highway 20. The main road coming off of Highway 20 is Walker Ridge Road. I remembered it as a very rough road and the dirt is the type that turns to absolute snot when wet.

We had not gone too far, perhaps a couple of miles when we came to the turn off that could take us to the dam and we see a guy and his dog walking along. The guy, I never did get his name, falgged us dow and said he was “a little stuck” just up the road. I hate to see other travellers in trouble and knew that his chances of finding other help in that area were a bit iffy at best so I gave him and the dog a ride back to his car.

He certainly was a “bit stuck”! He had pulled over to admire the view, see the panorama above, and managed to get his entire car high centered! I did have a shovel and a small pick for digging so I handed those to him and we set to work digging the mound of dirt and large rocks out from under his car. It only took about 2 hours of digging until we got to a point where I thought I could pull him out with the Jeep.


Some of you may be wondering about the chains I am using. Yes, those are my tire chains! I had nothing else to use and he certainly wasn’t going to get out without some sort of a pull. I now have a shiny new tow strap for future use!

Well, the pull did get the car back onto the road but the poor guy’s troubles were far from over! He decided to find a wide area to turn around in and we followed him. Not more than a couple of hundred yards down the road he stopped becuase of loud noises coming from the engine comartment. His fan was loose and making a terrible racket but he was also loosing coolant! I gave him a partial jug of coolant I keep with me and told him to keep the empty jug to fill with water. My friend then noticed that the front passenger side tire was flat! Luckily he had a doughnut spare and a jack but no lug wrench. I found a socket to fit the lug nuts and helped him change his tire.

The poor driver did manage to get turned around and headed back toward civilization. I hope he made it ok! We didn’t see him along the side of the road as we came back that way later on in the day.

My friend and I did manage to explore the area a bit and of course there was more sign of mishaps.


It doesn’t take much to determine how this one happened!

This is not really the best time of year to visit Walker Ridge and Indian Valley. The snow can cause you to be stranded and the mud is terrible.The lake is pretty dried up as well.


Other than that though, some of the views are really great!! Here are the final pics from the trip.



Thanks for reading folks! Next trip will be Northern Nevada again!

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