Death Valley Jan/Feb 3-4 Days

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by nasher75, Nov 12, 2021.

  1. nasher75

    nasher75 Adventurer

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    So, I've never been to Death Valley and recently fascinated with seeing it, so I'm planning a trip... My birthday is Jan. 31 and instead of the typical ski trip for my birthday, I've decided that this is when I'll go to see Death Valley and I'll do a solo on my moto.

    I'm not much of a camper, so my plan is to stay in Panamint Springs and rent a cabin for 3-4 days. This is not intended to be a solo trip, but I can't imagine I'm gong to get any takers in Jan/Feb.

    Looking for suggestions of where to go on my day trips from Panamint. I'd like to see the sights in Death Valley, but also want to make sure I get plenty of dirt/off road miles. I'll be on a Multistrada 950S with Rally STR's and have a little dirt experience on rutted fire roads, so I'm not looking for any challenging technical climbs/descents, especially since I'll most likely be by myself.

    So throw out your suggestions of where I should journey out to during my stay.

    Thanks!
    Erik
    #1
  2. Todd157k

    Todd157k Long timer Supporter

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    Hey Erik.. sounds like a fun trip. Although your bike limits some of the riding there, it's still a huge playground. I have tons of tracks for DV however most are off-road trails. If you need something specific, drop me a pm and I'll see if I have it. Here's a pic with some of the highlights. As far as I know, Scotty's Castle is still closed and Hunter mnt will be snowed over by then.

    Death Valley National Park - Map.jpg
    #2
  3. nasher75

    nasher75 Adventurer

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    Wow, that is an extensive and impressive list of information.

    I had to laugh at the comment of my bike limiting me. Pretty sure it's me limiting me, lol.
    #3
  4. Kampfire

    Kampfire Trucky on two wheels

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    Four of us went down there in early April and stayed in Amargossa Valley. Spent four day riding, and covered "most" of the eastern half of the Park.
    Going back down in March and staying near Panamint or Lone Pine to start on the Western side sites.
    Do some research and pick some destinations you would like to see on the first trip. The place is absolutely amazing, stop and take in the sights.
    #4
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  5. goldentaco

    goldentaco Been here awhile

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    Some Easier things to see...

    Wild Rose Charcoal Kilns: Just past Wild Rose cg and just off the road there's a collection of old Charcoal Kilns. In this area you'll likely see a herd of Burros...they like to trop up and down the road.
    Augerberry Point: Cool view of the East side of the part from the West. Easy two track 12miles total out and back. Not much traffic.
    Titus Canyon: It's one way East to West. It's popular, fairly easy ride.
    Twenty Mule Team Canyon: 3miles cool little sandy canyon. Easy ride. You'll probably get stuck behind a minivan.
    Timbisha Tacos: Just outside of Furnace Creek. Great Indian Tacos served on FryBread and Hawaiian shave ice. Google says it's closed but worth a trip if in Furnace Creek.

    Full day loop 150ish miles
    Ubehebe Crater: It's in the middle of nowhere. Paved easy to get there just a ways out of the way.
    Teakettle Junction: Not much there, just a been there done that type of thing. I don't recall any tricky sand just tons of washboard.
    Racetrack, Grandstand: Same as Teakettle. Tons of washboard like 25 miles of it. Not tricky but you'll have to find a speed that you're comfortable with.
    Lippencott to Saline valley rd.: A little technical. Only one tricky spot you'll be walking/paddling bike down some 1-2ft boulders. It'll take about 5-10mins to clear the 100ft section. If riding it from East to West it's easy to Intermediate as you'll be riding downhill. Going West to east is much harder.
    Saline valley Rd South to 190: A bit of washboard/hard embedded rocks, bumpy. Eventually smooths out and enters a beautiful Joshua Tree forest. Last 10-15 miles of this you can be cruising on a wide gravel rd 50-60mph.

    I did all these a few years ago solo on my 1200gs. Front had Anekee Wild. My buddy has a Multistada 1260 enduro with STRs and we've done tricker stuff that the tires were fine on. I had them on my Tenere 700 too and all the routes above should be fine with them.


    J
    #5
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  6. heirhead

    heirhead worlds worst mechanic

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    Skip Lippincott!!
    Do not ride alone, easy to meet peeps at PSR.
    If nobody to ride with stay on pavement, plenty to see.

    hh
    wwm
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  7. Longflow

    Longflow n00b

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    Dante's View is an easy, paved ride up the mountain, but has views overlooking for miles and miles. This pic I took doesn't do it justice. Enjoy the trip!

    dantes.JPG
    #7
  8. yobuddy

    yobuddy Been here awhile

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    Totally agree!
    #8
  9. BaddAndy

    BaddAndy Been here awhile

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    I've ridden most single/two tracks, dirt and paved roads SOLO multiple times thru ought DV during winter time. No issues as long as you're prepared for self sufficiency. Half the tracks are out n backs. If you're screwed, just walk back out. If on a major route, just sit and wait as someone will come along eventually. Leave a note on your basecamp vehicle stating the days route.
    #9
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  10. skag

    skag No Monkeys

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    Titus canyon is a piece of cake. You can drive a Prius through it. The Racetrack also very doable. When the pavement ends it’s all washboard. It wouldn’t hurt to take along a Spot tracker.
    Eye of the Needle in Echo Canyon is a good photo op. It’ll be on out and back, there is a rocky section just before a rock waterfall.
    #10
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  11. heirhead

    heirhead worlds worst mechanic

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    A 500 lb Multistrada, 120 hp with a LITTLE dirt experience, staying in a cabin.
    He most likely will not be self sufficient. Flat, broken cable, fall over on hill, or especially if he snaps an ankle or worse, Buddy UP!!
    I ride solo also but am very self sufficient unless bike falls over on me and breaks my foot. Then I am F'ckd.

    hh
    wwm
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  12. Kenny M.

    Kenny M. Been here awhile Supporter

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    Feb is a great month to be in Death Valley. Usually high 60's to high 70's. I will be there camped at Furnace Creek. Titus Canyon should be fine to ride solo. Conditions change month to month but it is usually kept in good condition and fairly well traveled. Spectacular scenery and geology.
    #12
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  13. Davethestick

    Davethestick Long timer

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    even the paved stuff through DV in January/Feb will be fun on a performance bike. Dont forget that Pahrump & Bishop aren't too far away.
    #13
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  14. el Pete

    el Pete toda su base

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    If it’s your first time in Death Valley, make sure you spend a day or two checking out the basics (Badwater, Devils Golf Course, Artists Palette, etc.) and don’t worry about grinding out to a place live Saline Valley. If you’re like most folks, you’ll be back, and there will be plenty more to explore. DV is big and it can be unforgiving, so say on well traveled roads and don’t try to be a dirt hero.

    For doable / solo dirt, look at:
    • Titus Canyon via Rhyolite
    • Geologist Canyon / Stripped Butte (from the West Side Road)
    • Aguereberry Point / Eureka Mine (from Emigrant Canyon Road)
    • Echo Canyon – turn around when it’s too much work
    • Hole in the wall
    #14
  15. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial Supporter

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    I’ll be in Death Valley with a friend in about two weeks. Planning a day ride from Furnace Creek north toward Beatty, and then back through the Titus Canyon, north past Ubehebe Crater and down to the Racetrack. From there, we’d like to continue south along either Saline Valley or Hidden Valley/Hunter Mountain Road (both non-paved) to 190 and then to Panamint Springs.

    Death Valley veterans, let me know if that sounds like a haul for a one-dayer. Not terribly concerned about anything before the Racetrack, but wondering about road conditions of Saline Valley or Hidden Valley/Hunter Mountain Roads.

    Both of us are experienced dual sport riders.
    #15
  16. napster

    napster Been here awhile Supporter

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    I always visit tecopa hot springs and china ranch for some dates (the fruit). Can be done totally on pavement, well except for the driveway to china ranch but anyone who can't ride that probably shouldn't be on a motorcycle (though it can require your attention). I find my DR 650 can be a heavy handful on some stretches of the outback (wish I still had my DR 350) so I would heed those warnings on a heavier bike. Titus and augerberry point are usually well travelled so if disaster strikes you won't perish. sometimes a weather event will shut down an area you can check with park. no cell service generally so things can potentially turn to shit. Place is awesome and plenty of hiking too. Eureka sand dunes in the north is a nice quiet amazing place usually not many people. I like to find a quiet place and listen to how quiet it is. If you live in the city the stars at night will impress you.
    #16
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  17. napster

    napster Been here awhile Supporter

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    another fun paved ride is dante's view. do it early before the tourists clog the road. emigrant canyon is fun too. don't forget to visit Darwin.
    #17
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  18. Motopsychoman

    Motopsychoman Not a total poseur Supporter

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    PSR is an ideal location, if they can stay in business. They're having a real hard time right now. Might want to have a Plan B (like Stovepipe Wells).

    Higher elevations can be very problematic in the winter. Hunter Mtn can easily be impassible for a bike with snow.

    Stay away from canyons and washes if there is any chance of rain. Flash floods are a real thing in the desert.

    Always carry a good amount of water (I carry 3L), some food and a way to stay warm overnight. It will drop below freezing in many parts of the park at night.

    Do you own an inReach or a Sat phone? Traveling alone it would be a good idea. There is little or no cell service anywhere in the park.

    Hopefully you have a map. Don't count on a GPS map to be correct. The National Geographic map is pretty good. Signage in the park is decent but sparse.

    Places that are pretty safe include Ballarat, the Charcoal Kilns, Aguereberry Point, Skidoo, and all the pavement points.

    Keep an eye on the Rallies Forum. The DV n00bs Rally (last weekend in March) should be posted up soon. The best way to explore DV is to ride with others who know the place.

    Stay safe and Stay Healthy!
    #18
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  19. aanichols

    aanichols Racer at heart

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    I think that’s fine for a day ride, just keep an eye on road conditions/snow level in the area you’re concerned with.
    #19
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  20. CA Stu

    CA Stu Peace and Love

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    The days are short this time of year. The route you propose, you had better get up before the sun if you plan to make that loop in daylight.

    Looks like ~240 miles, figure in time for rest breaks / exploring / checking out the sights should be a full day.

    If you're both experienced dual sporters*, should be a cake walk.
    The road from the Racetrack over to Saline valley (Lipincott) is rocky, but you'll be headed downhill.

    Just keep an eye on the weather, there are places on Saline Valley Rd. / Hunter mountain Rd. that are in shadow all day and the snow and ice can build up there and make for a short challenging section or two. If there's been a heavy storm recently you may want to reconsider. Or not, depending on what your definition of "fun" is. :D

    *I guess this means you don't need to be reminded that fuel stops are few and far between in the area? Pack plenty of water and some extra gas.

    Edit: Keep an eye on this thread: https://advrider.com/f/threads/death-valley-riding-conditions.912416/page-191
    #20
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