I live in Washington state and if I had this option, given the criteria, I would head south, stopping to tour Crater Lake, Shasta, and maybe Lassen. I would check out the Sierra for sure, even with the state of the current snowpack, mostly because I love the Sierra. I would still check out the Tahoe basin and maybe do Tallac if possible. And then keep heading south to check out Sonora Pass.
That's what I would do. I'm in the same situation pretty often as you. My girlfriend and I love to take roadtrips and camp out along the way. I splitboard and she does not, but she is pretty low maintenance and can keep herself occupied with just hanging out in the mountains.
The good news is that either way, you can't lose. Alaska or the Sierra is a win-win for me. I'm sure your chance of finding a touring partner is much greater if you go the California route.
bozeman, to cooke city, to jackson, to slc. Cooke is off the hook in may, riding wise, nothing for the girl is she doenst. we have had snow in bozeman everyday since friday and it doesnt look like its letting up soon.
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 5:44 pm Posts: 671 Location: The Magic City
Sounds funny to recommend coming out to the mountains of the Greater Yellowstone when I'm constantly dreaming of heading your way, but things will probably be pretty good around here at that time. Plus May 1st, a bunch of free camping options open up in the Jackson area. Also, if the ladyfriend doesn't ride, Yellowstone is right there. It can be pretty awesome to experience the typical tourist activities that time of year since it's outside the main touron season. Can't say if all the roads would be open by then or not though... but would be worth looking in to.
I would spend some time on Hwy 20, climbing in Mazama and touring near Wa Pass and Rainy Pass then head east and north into Canada towards Revelstoke and then further north and circle west towards Pemberton. From there I'd head south to tour and ride bikes in Whistler and then camp and climb in Squamish before making the drive home. I know it's not very exotic but there is a lot of good stuff close to home.
Another option would be to go explore Vancouver Island. I haven't been over there yet but I bet there is still plenty of snow at the north end of the island. I'd head over to Port Angeles, tour at Hurricane Ridge and then catch the ferry to Victoria. Surf for a day on the west side of the island and then start driving north.