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

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,402
    Location:
    Central California
    There is a big storm coming through California that is dropping lots of rain and snow in the mountains. It should be heading for Death Valley.

    The forecast is for rain all week and snow in the mountains. Anyone planning on driving south pass in Saline Valley needs to watch the weather very closely for the next week.
    #81
  2. A.Vern

    A.Vern One Man Wolf Pack

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    974
    Location:
    Transplanted in North Padre Island, Tejas
    Managed to get away from the desk yesterday...

    Here's was I could see.

    Lot's of snow on the South Pass of Saline Valley RD. Hunter MTN looked buried. Racetrack is about 1/3 lake with some bits of snow on the rock at the North end, however, there were two trucks out there driving around so the road looks workable.

    Lippencott appeared to have some big ruts, but it's hard to tell from altitude.

    Cerro Gordo, covered in snow and the North Pass will be buried for some time (I'm sure River Rat will make it in though :lol3 )

    Good amount of snow on the El Paso's in the South. Manson cabin is snow free, but it was sad to see it without a roof for the first time since the fire.

    Middle of 190 heading through Panamint valley is surrounded by a lake.

    Indian Springs RD heading up from Ballarat looked in good shape.

    Apparently ol' Phil the Ground Hog declared 6 more weeks of winter....

    Hope it melts in time for the March noob ride:wink:
    #82
  3. traveltoad

    traveltoad Aaron S

    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Oddometer:
    6,769
    Location:
    San Fernando Valley
    Should we go check it out in a couple weeks?
    #83
  4. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,402
    Location:
    Central California
    Thanks for the report. I hope to ride DV weekend of Feb 12th but haven't finalized anything yet.

    Any idea how the road looks between Crankshaft Junction and Eureka Dunes and Steele Pass? Thats where I want to ride. I'm hoping to ride a loop starting at Ubehebe Crater to Lippencott to Warm Springs to Steel Pass to Eureka Dunes to Crankshaft Junction and then back to Eureka Dunes.

    I'll have to haul the bikes to the crater to make that loop without running out of gas. I might alter the route if my buddy decides to come with his R1200GS. He wouldn't be able to ride Steele Pass on the big GS based on the reports I have gotten of the big adventure bikes attempting Steele Pass.

    I think there will be lots of riders, both on and off road riders, heading to DV this month so the "snow report" is very important to a lot of us.

    Thanks again Vern and keep the reports coming if you can.
    #84
  5. luv2race

    luv2race Confused

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,334
    Location:
    OC
    On Sunday, we rode from Furnace Creek to Ubehebe Crater, Racetrack, Lippencott, Saline Valley, Warm Springs, Steel Pass, Eureka Dunes, Crankshaft Jct, and back to Furnace Creek. 250 mile loop and the roads were in excellent shape. Even Lippencot was perfect. The recent rains packed it down and the open roads were killer and dust free. Some were even recently plowed smooth. Take the GS, you won't have any problems if you're capable. RAZR should be posting the RR soon. He took a ton of pics that you will drool over when you see them.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=546922
    #85
  6. Fubars

    Fubars What would Scoobydo?

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,832
    Location:
    Ventuna, California
    I'm hoping Hunter Mt. will be passable the first weekend of March.
    #86
  7. RiverRat

    RiverRat Endless Chores

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,836
    Location:
    Shackled, in a trailer, down by the river, AZ
    Haha. I spent 1/2 of friday trying to unstuck the truck on south pass. Damn 3' snow drifts.

    Great air show though. Those dudes fly just over the pass. :eek1
    #87
  8. Windrat

    Windrat just a poser

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,980
    Location:
    The Beach
    Here's lot's of snow all over... and winter is still on
    #88
  9. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,402
    Location:
    Central California
    Thanks for the update. Were any big adventure bikes in your group and if so, did they ride over Steele Pass?

    What is the location of that technical single track in the ride report?

    Did you have to stash some gas to complete that 250 mile loop?

    Looks like you had a great weekend.
    #89
  10. RiverRat

    RiverRat Endless Chores

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,836
    Location:
    Shackled, in a trailer, down by the river, AZ
    Last friday.

    Hunter mtn up to the right.

    [​IMG]
    #90
  11. A.Vern

    A.Vern One Man Wolf Pack

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    974
    Location:
    Transplanted in North Padre Island, Tejas
    Come on RR, you could of jumped that snow drift on the 125 !:ricky

    You know the road's bad if River Rats rig isn't at the springs :evil
    #91
  12. A.Vern

    A.Vern One Man Wolf Pack

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    974
    Location:
    Transplanted in North Padre Island, Tejas
    Yet another 650 rider baiting the fat kids :lol3
    #92
  13. Trumper

    Trumper Eclectic Dilettante

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    535
    Location:
    Humboldt, California, Earth, Sol, Milky Way
    I'm heading out there the weekend of the 12th-15th.

    The NPS site has almost all roads listed as "Closed."

    http://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/road-conditions.htm

    What does "closed" actually mean? You can't enter? You'll get ticketed and busted if you go around a "closed" sign?

    Some of this doesn' make a lot of sense: Wildrose and Emigrant Pass closed? That's paved. Mustard Canyon and 20 Mule Team closed?!? That's graded, graveled, easy stuff down in the valley floor. But there are folks on here saying they did the gnarly stuff (Lippencott, Saline, etc.).

    This will be a newb group I'm with, but the NPS site is making it sound like even the easy tour stuff (Dante's View, Emigrant, Wildrose, Mustard, etc.) is closed...?

    What happens if you just go around a "Closed" sign?
    #93
  14. RiverRat

    RiverRat Endless Chores

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,836
    Location:
    Shackled, in a trailer, down by the river, AZ
    Basically closed means closed inside the park. Don't go past a closed road sign with a vehicle. Everything should dry out soon and you'll be good to go.

    If you go past you may make it through, find impassable conditions, nps, chp, or ca dot workers. You better have a good reason to be on a "closed road".
    #94
  15. A.Vern

    A.Vern One Man Wolf Pack

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    974
    Location:
    Transplanted in North Padre Island, Tejas
    Depends on which road you go around the closed sign on....

    For instance, Saline Valley RD usually has a closed sign on it during the winter months. The reason being that Inyokern County determines if the road is passable for an average passenger car, if not then it is "closed"....

    Meaning, travel at your own risk. Right now, it's filled in with 3 foot snow drifts.

    Down in Death, it's usually different and a closed sign means stay out.

    The best thing to do is call the rangers and ask them what roads are "own risk closures" and what roads are "gonna get a big ticket closures."

    If you're looking for easy rides, it appeared that the road past Ubehebe crater, Tea Kettle junction to the race track was open the other day...

    At least there were non Park Ranger trucks on it. (note that Ubehebe crater parking area is closed).

    The DV site says Wildrose is closed in the lower canyon due to flood damage... in this area the road basically follows a dry river, that looks like it was flowing during the last storm. There may not be pavement left?

    I would try it out and see how it is, it doesn't appear to be completely closed. Looks like you can make it to the Charcoal Kilns as well from the web site, just might be a little snow up there.

    Indian Springs RD (out of the park) to Ballarat is a good ride and you can take that all the way down to the mouth of Goler Wash, check it out and then loop back up to Panamint Springs. Looked good the other day.

    West side Road is open as well, and if you haven't ridden Green Water Road to Tecopa, that's another scenic easy ride that looks open.

    Have fun out there,

    :freaky Vern
    #95
  16. RiverRat

    RiverRat Endless Chores

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,836
    Location:
    Shackled, in a trailer, down by the river, AZ
    sunrise on south pass 1/29

    [​IMG]
    #96
  17. airborndad

    airborndad Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,639
    Location:
    Montclair Ca.
    I heard from a very unreliable sorce that Highly trained snipers will take you out, then eat your corpse as part of their survival training
    #97
  18. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,402
    Location:
    Central California
    Now that just looks like too much fun. Looks like they could open all these passes for snowmobiling...........I'm anxious to see all this in person if a few weeks.
    #98
  19. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,402
    Location:
    Central California
    Did anyone ride DV this last weekend?

    I'm interested in conditions on Death Valley Road east of Big Pine to Eureka Dunes, Echo Pass and Lippincott Mine Road to the Race Track.

    Also, are there many people staying at the Warm Springs in Saline Valley this time of year with South and North Pass Closed with the only way in and out being Steele Pass and Lippincott Mine Road?

    Does Lizzard Larry live at the Warm Springs year round? If so, how does he get supplies this time of year?

    Do any of you know of anyone who has ridden a BMW R1200GS or similiar size bike, over Echo Pass from Furnace Creek to Beatty? I hear there is a "work around" to avoid the "steps" on this trail but I have never been on it.

    Thanks for an info.
    #99
  20. Sam Buca

    Sam Buca a.k.a. Daniel

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,898
    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA



    Similarly interested in conditions along Saline Valley road, over Hunter Mountain, Hidden Valley and around the Race Track to Teakettle Junction to the crater. Is it better (easier) to ride on the Eastern side (Hunter Mountain Rd) or the Race Track, or follow Saline Valley Rd along the West of the Race Track along Lippencot Mine?

    What is that road like generally for two GS Adv's and two city slickers with nothing better to do?

    The road from Ubehebe crater to the Race Track is very doable.

    Any feedback will be appreciated.

    Thank you.



    .