Death Valley Riding Condition

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by 2on2off, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

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    For those of you who have actually recently ridden in Death Valley and the surrounding area, please post any current information and pictures about the riding conditions you have personally experienced or heard first hand from those you know.

    It is very helpful to know about any washouts, closed roads (paved and dirt), snow and ice especially on the dirt roads throughout the park and surrounding area.

    Throughout the winter, many of the passes can get snow and ice which can make particular sections very difficult or impossible to get through. Passes often closed because of snow include:
    South Pass in Saline Valley
    North Pass in Saline Valley
    Hunter Mountain Road in Saline Valley
    South Park near Ballarat

    The summer can bring heavy rain in some areas causing sections of dirt and paved roads to be completely washed out.

    Thanks for any information you can provide.
    #1
  2. NSFW

    NSFW ktm's "the tourist"

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    #2
  3. traveltoad

    traveltoad Aaron S

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    I'll be there in a couple weeks... I don't know when your trip is.
    #3
  4. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

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  5. AngryScot

    AngryScot .

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  6. loner

    loner explorer

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    The mountain ranges got snow over Thanksgiving weekend. That's probably all melted now, I'll see if I can track down current info.

    I was in Butte Valley, the ranges only got a dusting of snow. Looks like the Panamint side got a lot of snow that is still there.

    Butte Valley: 11-27-09

    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

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    Check out your link. It hasn't been updated since 11/28/09 unless I'm doing something wrong. That is why I don't rely on it anymore.

    Thanks anyway.
    #7
  8. FEBUT

    FEBUT Been here awhile

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    was there 2 weeks ago. jackass canyon light snow and hunter mnt to racetrack not passable (some snow 6-8 inches) ice was the problem though we were on 1200 gs bikes.
    #8
  9. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

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    Where exactly is Butte Valley? Are you talking about Butte Valley near Klammath?

    I like your bike. What size gas tank is that in the pic and who makes it. I've been riding a friends 2003 dual sported KTM 525EXC and I like it. It is the first KTM I have ever ridden. I've also got a DRZ400S that I have set up with a 4 gallon tank and I find the two bikes completely different but I like them both for different reasons.

    Have you had any issues with your 450EXC? It has the new motor and I don't think I need the power of the 530 so if I bought a new one it would probably be the 450. Do you have any regrets buying the 450?

    I find that I never use the full power of the 525 and rarely get into 6th gear while off road so I think the 450 might be better than the 530 because of the way I ride.

    #9
  10. loner

    loner explorer

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    If you head up Pleasant Canyon all the way to Rogers Pass, you would overlook Butte Valley, so it's just over the mountain range, to the southeast.

    The tank is a 3.4 gal Acerbis, and it was a perfect fit. Stock is 2.4

    There are some issues with this model. 2008, it has an oil migration problem, where the engine oil makes its way into the tranny oil. The seal needs to be replaced with an updated one. Mine is still stock. Also, the cam came with a faulty decompressor, fixed in 09'. My dealer says there is no problem, I say he is a f'n liar. Not to mention useless jetting, plugged up pipe, weak battery, very poorly designed rear turn signals, poorly designed rear fender, 2x4 like seat, and harsh front suspension. But it's all pretty easily fixed, and then it becomes a great bike.

    No regrets, but it takes some work and $$$ to make it right.
    #10
  11. A.Vern

    A.Vern One Man Wolf Pack

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    I'll be out there on Monday morning,

    Should be able to get you a heads up to how it's looking.
    #11
  12. RiverRat

    RiverRat Endless Chores

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    as of dec 19th.

    South pass is super washboard, very muddy and has ice and a little snow remaining. Didn't stop a 40' fifth wheeler from making it in though!

    north is 10-12 inches of snow and ice for miles.

    south pass would be doable imho if you are determined and on a bike you can push. north pass would be a real challenge.

    snow is melting but new storm coming in next week iirc.

    nice thing is hard pack and no dust down in the valley woohoo!
    #12
  13. A.Vern

    A.Vern One Man Wolf Pack

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    River Rat,

    Are you becoming a personal resident of Saline Valley? I can imagine you out there now, sipping on a cold one, typing away on your SAT net, sharing the barnacle tub with some hottie from Mammoth.

    Have fun out there, I'll be in the area on Monday around 2:00 PM'ish.

    :freaky
    #13
  14. RiverRat

    RiverRat Endless Chores

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    Shhhh!!!

    :lol3
    #14
  15. spafxer

    spafxer Long timer

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    Aaron,

    You have it all wrong about RR ....... The HOTTIE from Mammoth was in the hot tub of the White Mountain Research Ride......:wink: :clap


    Welcome back from overseas, and thank you very much for your service.

    Thought for sure you were going to give us a snow report from your other ADV vehicle!! Hope to see you at the March Noobs Ride...

    Hoping to get out to DV in January again, so if anyone can find out why the daily report is not happening that would be great.

    Probably like the National Weather Service getting their weather reports wrong over half the time. When they built their new building, they didn't have money in the budget to put in WINDOWS! No money for the daily report now either....


    Spafxer
    jim
    #15
  16. trailrider383

    trailrider383 867-5309

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    The morning report is on this site now. It's not all on one page like before though. You have to click on road conditions and weather separately. Last updated on December 16th.

    http://www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm
    #16
  17. loner

    loner explorer

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    Lack of Morning Report explained:

    We share your aggravation about access to the parks morning report from
    the internet. Unfortunately, to our and the public s frustration, we are
    hampered by new homeland security and internet safety protocols that do not
    allow us to easily post the morning report in a timely manner or on a daily
    basis.

    We have tried other alternative means to post our morning report including
    posting it onto our park s cooperating association s web site. Here too,
    we have run into roadblocks that prohibit us from posting to an outside
    site.

    The decisions to put into place additional restrictions on how and where we
    can post our daily report are beyond the park level. We have been trying
    for several weeks to work with our Regional and Washington contacts to come
    to some type of solution that will allow us to post a daily morning report
    on our web site or that of our park partner, but with little success.

    We will continue to pursue avenues that will allow us to return to a daily
    posting of the park s morning report for our visitor s convenience, until
    then, we have created links on our park web site to the National Weather
    Service s current forecast for Death Valley, which is what we use on our
    morning report. We have also added a link to our Road Conditions page that
    will be updated as road conditions in the park change. Daily temperatures
    will be available via the park s phone messaging system. With spring a few
    months away, many visitors will want to start getting information about
    rainfall amounts and potential wildflowers. We will start posting a
    Wildflower Report on our web site to allow visitors the opportunity to plan
    their spring visits.

    Again, we understand your frustration about the morning report. Until we
    find a solution, we hope that the alternative links to the weather and road
    condition information will help in the interim. Thank you for your patience
    in this matter.

    Sarah Craighead



    Sarah Craighead
    Superintendent
    Death Valley National Park
    (760) 786-3240
    #17
  18. A.Vern

    A.Vern One Man Wolf Pack

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    Spafxer,

    It's great to be home. I was bummed to miss the White MTN ride. Hopefully I'll be around for it this summer, but I will definetly be at the March noobs ride.

    Loner,

    Thanks for the info! Glad to see some one working with the Park Service that appreciates ADV riding! Hopefully we'll see you on a future ride.

    :freaky
    #18
  19. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

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    I thought it might be somewhere in DV and didn't have my map handy. Thanks for the info. Even though the KTM's can sometimes be a hasstle, everyone that owns one seems to love 'em. At least getting to the carb to rejet is easier than most other bikes.

    Thanks for the explanation on The Morning Report as well.

    #19
  20. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

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    If you are riding the 1150GSA, be careful on the ice riding down South Pass. It gave me fits two years ago going back up, south, on an XR650L which I dropped twice. Once on each icy section. Going down I had no problem.

    If you can post some pics of the mud and ice, that would be great.
    #20