Death Valley Weather Window?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Steve G., Oct 4, 2017.

  1. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    Looks like I might get a few days off mid to late November. Using Beatty as a base, what could be the latest anyone would venture into Death Valley? Wanting to do some offroad runs, nothing serious, taking my XR650L with big tank and rock guards all over.
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  2. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority

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  3. CA Stu

    CA Stu You could do worse Super Moderator

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    Death Valley Daze has been a rally there for a long time, it's in late January.

    Search for "Death Valley Daze", titles only. Lots of ride reports and photos.

    You can ride there year round if you have the right gear, although I wouldn't recommend July or August. :D
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  4. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Prime season is October to April. Hunter Mt is out from late Nov to Mar/Apr sue to snow/ice.

    I assume you mean dirt road runs as offroad runs will land you with an impounded XR.

    Death valley riding is MUCH better point to point rather than loop riding to minimize very long highway sections. You can ride dirt from Beatty to Panamint Springs to Trona/Ballarat to Shoshone or Furnace Creek then Furnace to Beatty or Shoshone to DV Junction to Longstreet to Beatty.

    I have a file of GPS tracks of every road in and around DV color coded by surface type posted on GpsXchange.
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  5. mtbdemon

    mtbdemon Long timer

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    Ohhhh Death Valley in the winter sounds like a good idea!!!......I may have to put that one on my list
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  6. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    Great info, thanks very much. Yes, dirt roads only for sure. My re-entry into dirt last year after 30 years dictates that even if I was allowed to go off marked gravel roads in a national park, I wouldn't do it, as I consider my skill leveloffroad as pretty basic, unagressive, and self preserving. I did strictly street riding last October with 2 other buddies on street bikes just to get the lay of the land, being first time ever in DV. Seeing marked gravel roads heading off the Tarmac really got my interest to come back with a smaller bike than my 1200gs to casually venture into those.
    I guess with the big circle route you've pointed out, a tent to overnight would be the chosen way to go, or set up accommodation along the route?
    I did notice that last year , high altitude places like Dante's Peak got a good dump of snow, so through the winter I would guess that it would be warm enough to ride in the valley itself?
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  7. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    I am very active in Dual Sport events, two in Death Valley. We say "The only thing I carry on my Dual Sport bike is a credit card! There are Motels at all the locations I mentioned.

    Mid Dec to end of Jan, chance of snow on high passes but like I said Hunter is usually closed a couple months period.
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  8. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    OK that's kind of how I run, don't want to carry a bunch of stuff. If you were me, driving down from Vancouver, where would you park the truck for the week?
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  9. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Any of them. Beatty on Hwy 95 is good or Panamint Springs off Hwy 395.
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  10. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Oh hell I took a tour group of Italians to Badwater Basin in August. 131 degrees. It was like standing inside a hair dryer.
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  11. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    LOL, yeah, I was there early October last year as mentioned, riding down from Furnace to Badwater, thought there was a bug on my face, turned out it was blood from my nose, 115f, 6% humidity, not used to that stuff, laughed like crazy.
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  12. CA Stu

    CA Stu You could do worse Super Moderator

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    Seems like every time I'm there in Summer, I'm surrounded by Germans :lol3
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  13. migilito

    migilito Been here awhile

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    A word of caution re DV. IF you plan to venture on any dirt roads, it can and does get remote in a hurry. You should always have basic survival gear: Bivy sack, water, food, ability to repair your bike and a Spot or Inreach. Also, may want to check out the Pahrump rally- Nov and the Noobs Rally in March which is held in DV.
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  14. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Yep Euros get the month of August off and so that is their time to make it happen.
    It's then or never.
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  15. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority

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    During the peak heat season many auto manufactures do heat testing of new stuff in the DV area. I've seen every thing from Audi with camo covers (so you can't tell what exact car they are testing) to Kenworth trucks pulling trailers loaded with large concrete blocks. I helped a buddy of mine run the Badwater Ultra endurance run in mid July. The race starts in Badwater (-279 ft below sea level) and runs 135 miles up to Whitney Portal (+8360 ft above sea level)!! I too am amazed at the large numbers of German tourists (with Japanese tourists running a distant second) there in the summer.
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  16. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    Yes, thanks for pointing that out. The remote beauty is what has me wanting to really get to know DV. All of what you say I hear loud and clear.
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  17. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I went to Death Valley Daze in January many years ago. It was awesome! You get to see all the cool stuff without getting cooked.

    It does get cold at night, though, especially on some of the peaks. The year I went, 2 guys got stranded on one of the passes and had to sleep in their riding gear. They froze their asses. A good warm sleeping bag and tent will be fine. As others have said, there are motels too.

    DV does occasionally get rain too. You don't want to be in Titus Canyon when it flows, but don't miss it if it's dry. It was the highlight for me.

    I took my XL600R, which I think it the perfect sized bike for DV. A bunch of guys had the big BMWs, and were dropping them in the rough stuff. One lady had a Yamaha XT225 and was limited by top speed on some of the long legs between sites. A 600 class dual sport is the sweet spot.
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  18. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    Ya, Titus was closed when I was there last October, really want to see it.
    I think my xr650l is the best bike I've got to do the go-to places there. I do some commuting here, will run 65-70 no problem at all on the highway, and being a plastic bike won't worry like I would if I drop my 1200gs.
    My buddies and family dont want me to go alone into the back roads there. I'll be riding in Southern Mexico in January, so will miss the time there, but am looking now at an organized rally early in the year, in case my buddies here can't get off work, like is the case this November.
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  19. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    There is not much highway if you do all the good dirt stuff point to point and not have to loop back on Hwy.

    "Don't miss" for dirt are Manly Pass, Mengal Pass, Echo Cyn, Secret Spring, Chloride City then Titus. For these a 650L with an "A" rider is fine but a 500 would be better.
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  20. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    Thanks a bunch for that list. I'm definitely not an A rider at this point. My 50 years of playing hockey have made my knees and my offroad skills that of an average rider, or as a rider who's returned to the dirt after 40 years. Gonna have to practice,,,,,
    #20
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