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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    Here is a video I shot with my iPhone this past weekend. Left my GoPro at home this time as I had packed in a minimalist way. The iPhone now has zoom capability when shooting video so I was getting used to it.

    All the pictures and video I shot last weekend were with my iPhone.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0YzX5x3IBU&feature=player_detailpage
  2. GalacticGS

    GalacticGS 1200 GS Rider

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    Nice video! Well done...
  3. RAZR

    RAZR u may run the risks my friend but I do the cutting

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    we'll get it on helmet cam. not sure if Rob will be in front of me though. :evil
  4. dunerat

    dunerat WTF?

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    Gohler don't look like that no more homie:norton
  5. notmybikemodelname

    notmybikemodelname KOTW is a myth!

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    That's a good story, have another one?

    I imbedded for you. Not bad at all, I've seen way worse.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/P0YzX5x3IBU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  6. Baja Ho

    Baja Ho Been here awhile

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  7. superhobie

    superhobie Soil Sampler

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    I rode there one time.
  8. johngil

    johngil Reseda, CA

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    Just back from a couple of days of riding.
    Great weather and friends!

    First day out of PSR was to Darwin, though Centennial Flats, to Keeler, up Swansea to the salt tram, back down to CG and out to White Mtn. Talc Rd. to Santa Rosa-ish and back to the 190.
    All was great with the exception of Cerro Gordo Rd. down to White Talc Mtn. Rd. from Cerro Gordo. Totally hammered and tough in a few spots with a small ADV bike. Allow a little extra time there.

    The loop from Big Pine to Eureka Dunes down to the hot springs through Steel Pass was fine. A couple of miles above the hot springs was pretty tore up from storm damage.
    From the hot springs to DV Rd. via Saline-Waucoba was pretty damaged in spots and not even 4WD friendly in places.

    As for closures, I made note of a few. (This wouldn't be a problem for most industrious ADV riders.)
    - 190 @ Panamint Valley Rd. (PV Rd. closed)
    - DV Rd. @ Eureka Valley Rd. heading to Crankshaft Junction.
    - Saline-Waucoba @ DV Rd.
  9. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

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  10. roamtheglobe

    roamtheglobe Been here awhile

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  11. williamsse

    williamsse Seth

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    Last week we trailered 5 bikes to Bishop and the boys on the bikes headed into the Saline Valley via North Pass as I continued around to South Pass in the support vehicle and my bike with lots of fuel and food for 3 days of soaking and riding from the springs. I will paste below the road conditions post which I posted on www.salinepreservation.org. The post mainly applies to 4 wheel vehicle as everything we saw is easily passable on 2 wheels.

    <TABLE class=post_body height="100%" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=post height="100%" vAlign=top colSpan=2>Came in on South Pass on the 28th, "Road Closed" sign at 190. Road is passable by any reasonable off road vehicle but miserable. Bumpy, rocky and hard pack until you reach the valley then cross ruts from drainage and stutter bumps make the road feel like driving 20 miles of speed bumps. It took me 2:40 from pavement to the springs which was uncommonly fast according to the people at the spring who had come in that way, it took me 2 hours on the same road 2 years ago.

    On the 29th we left the springs via Steel Pass on motorcycles. As mentioned earlier, the wash is in pretty rough shape. Basically you are following the natural terrain on a lightly marked road with lots of boulders and sand. This was great fun on a motorcycle but probably 2 hours in a 4x4 to the pass. After the pass the road is in good shape to Eureka Dunes (waterfalls same as last few years).
    We ran into a "Road Closed" sign at Hanging Rock Canyon on the Death Valley Road. We decided to continue, there was no significant road damage over the pass to Crank Shaft Junction. Crank Shaft junction to the Racetrack Valley Road was clear with some minor damage that almost any reasonable vehicle could pass. There was another "Road Closed" at the entrance to the Death Valley Road from the Racetrack Valley Road.
    The Racetrack Valley Road is unchanged from last year, easily passable with lots of washboard. We dropped back into the valley via Lippincott Pass which was also unchanged from last year which should not be a problem for smaller 4x4's with good ground clearance, say 33's. Last year I drove out Lippincott in my 4 door, long bed, Powerstroke F350 which is basically stock with slightly oversized tires (35's) and it was pretty sporty mainly because of width and wheel base issues.
    Back to the springs made for about a 145 mile loop.

    On the 31st I left the springs via North Pass. The road was decent with one boulder field until just before Willow Creek. There is a fairly challenging rocky section just before the ranch. The main problem I had with the aforementioned truck was several 3 point turns as guys in short wheel base vehicles have been burning in the road around washouts. I made it with no dragging, damage or "oh shxt" moments. The road remains rough until just past the Narrows. On the way out I passed 2 graders that had made their way to about half way between the Pinions and the Narrows. They will need more than graders when they hit the Narrows to repair the road but good to see the County out there working the road. I took me 2 hours from the springs to the pavement but I tend to drive faster than manufacturer recommendations. Passed the last "Road Closed" sign at entrance to the Waucoba Saline Road from the Death Valley Road

    Thanks to all of you who have massaged the road to this point so I could get through in a full size truck full of support gear for riders.

    Cheers
    </TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=bottom colSpan=2 align=center></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
  12. kekoadavis

    kekoadavis Braaapppp

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    Our group of (5) riders just completed Ridgecrest to Beatty and then some. Escape Route and Manly pass was as previously described; however, the single track washes out towards the bottom. Barely squeeze the bikes through some deep ruts. A grader was parked in front of Goler Wash and as expected the steps had been eliminated probably days before we arrived. Mengel Pass to west side Road was rocky and sandy as hell. Rattled off a few screws off helmets and other riding gear. Echo was normal; however, the step was a lot worse than last year. Cheers
  13. reenmachine

    reenmachine Rain or Shine

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    Heading out this Friday to Saline Valley via South Pass, then after a couple days of soaking I'll be heading over Lippincott to the racetrack and then back via Hunter Mountain. Who knows where else. I'll report back!
  14. DSM8

    DSM8 Where fun goes to die....

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    are you planning to ride UP lippencott.
    I have done this, once on the 625 if you have never been on it before.

    DONT RIDE UP IT.

    It is a grueling uphill slog, hunter mountain is a much more enjoyable ride and loop back down lippencott if you MUST ride it, or just backtrack to HT and go the other way. It is that nice.

    Just my .02

    Was out there last weekend and the roads between PS and Teakettle are fine.
  15. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

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    Have not ridden up Lippencott this year but depending on a person's riding ability, he should be fine on his 650GS. There is a big difference in difficulty riding up Lippencott between a lighter dual sport bike and a big and heavy Adventure bike.

    I rode up it in 2007 on my R1200GSA fully loaded when this road was in much better shape than it is today. I just barely made it on the GSA in 2007 and wouldn't even think about trying it today on a big bike like that. I would go up it on my KTM 500EXC. I might even try it on my R100GS Bumble Bee.

    We need to hear from some riders who have recently ridden up it on an Adventure Bike. I think a 650cc bike and smaller would be OK but anything bigger would be much more challenging.
  16. reenmachine

    reenmachine Rain or Shine

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    I certainly don't HAVE to ride Lippincott but I want to. I'd describe my abilities as intermediate -- I've been around DV on the 650 before (South Pass to Saline) but I've never ridden or driven Lippincott or Hunter. I'm going to the springs first, then I figured I'd go back out over Lippincott to the racetrack and then up Hunter. That sounds like the direction you don't recommend.

    My alternative is to make a day trip of it from the springs -- go south, take Hunter to the racetrack, and either return via Lippincott or backtrack.
  17. DSM8

    DSM8 Where fun goes to die....

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    If loaded with camping gear Up lippencott is no fun, yes other have done it.
    I have done it.
    Just a lot of work.
    You can do the hunter lippencott loop going down and it is not as bad.
    Still rocky but going down is much more manageable esp if you have gear with you.

    That way no real back tracking other than a portion of Saline Valley between Lippencott and Hunter Mountain.

    Make sure you have enough Gas.

  18. reenmachine

    reenmachine Rain or Shine

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    Just to clarify, "up" Lippincott is toward the racetrack from Saline Valley road?

    I like the stretch of Saline Valley between Lippencott and Hunter, so no worries there regarding backtracking.

    I can go at least 200mi on a tank, plus I carry ~2 gallons in a rotopax, PLUS this time I'm lucky enough to have friends at the springs to replenish me with food, booze, fuel, and water. :clap
  19. klinquist

    klinquist übergeek

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    Perhaps I should re-post this closer to my ride as I know DV road conditions change often,

    but I'll be there mid-Jan for several days on a Anakee3-equipped Tiger and moderate dirt skills to explore the park. Staying at Panamint Springs.

    Would love someone to list passable roads given these 80/20 tires. I've got Countdown's tracks...

    Thanks!
  20. steveWFL

    steveWFL Long timer

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    I rode a KLR from Tampa FL and met a group of awesome folks for riding at Death Valley in October, epic place! [​IMG]