Death Valley Riding Conditions

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

  1. GCecchetto

    GCecchetto Long timer Supporter

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    It's already consistently in the mid 90's. My buddy and I are thinking we'll go up the north coast instead. We'll ride in whatever comes are way on trip, but planning to go into those temps we try to avoid.
  2. Clem Kevin

    Clem Kevin Nude With Boots

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    Feeling similarly. Ever ride the lost coast region? There's a real cool state park camp site on the beach in Petrolia. There's also a really beautiful one on Usal road with this dark grey sand (but no facilities).
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  3. GCecchetto

    GCecchetto Long timer Supporter

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    No, I haven't, but it was the other location we were looking at for this trip. We decided on DV when we found out Usal road was closed. Now it's likely we're back to planning something up there.
  4. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    Too much to bite off in one day?

    Google is calculating an average speed of 17mph,that seems a bit slow given all of the pavement.

    I'd guesstimate my average speed to be closer to 20-25mph, but I have never ridden the section between the Crater and Saline Warm springs.


    Screenshot_20190414-175158.jpg
  5. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    Less than 6 hours riding time unloaded, add camping gear then add a couple hours. Throw in a couple hours at the hot springs for about a ten hour day.
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  6. jbean114

    jbean114 4 wheels moves the body, 2 wheels moves the soul

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    Did something very similar today except we went through teakettle to the racetrack and up over lippencot. From there, we went up the back side of Cerro Gordo and ended in Lone Pine. Took us 8 hrs but we took out time and stopped to see the sites.
    mb300 likes this.
  7. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    Excellent, thank you gentlemen.
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  8. jbean114

    jbean114 4 wheels moves the body, 2 wheels moves the soul

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    RR - Beaty to Lone Pine via CABDR

    Titus is graded and easy for big bikes

    Road from Ubehebe to racetrack has some sandy spots, but mostly graded dirt with washboards. GS friendly.

    Lippencot pass is tore up in spots. Tough stuff is all downhill if you are westbound, so you have gravity on your side (depending on your relationship). I thought it would be a little hairy on a GS, but a wuss, so take that as you will... should have taken a pic, but was too busy concentrating. Another inmate here posted a recent video, which was representative.

    Cerro Gordo pass from East approach was open and much easier than Lippencot. A couple sandy and loose rocky sections near the bottom as you travel through a wash, but the ascent was nice and easy. GS friendly.

    Get out here before it gets too hot. Pushing 90’s in the valleys.
    renogeorge, Square1, mb300 and 2 others like this.
  9. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    @jbean114 thanks for the report. I need this stupid leg to heal up so I can get back out there... DV is an easy weekend for me...
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  10. phycospecialties

    phycospecialties Been here awhile

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    The salt tram road is still snowed in 2-3 miles north of the tram. Our buddys 950 got stuck and we had to use straps and man power to recover it. Yes, we used an awkward approach because his clutch was already acting up previously and we wanted to tread lightly.

    Watch "Ktm 950 stuck in snow salt tram death valley" on YouTube
    jbean114 likes this.
  11. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Not sure if it'd be of help now that most everything is back open, but we just returned from 6 days of riding DV and had a blast. Short recap on road conditions from our rides:

    • PSR to Furnace Creek via Ballarat, Goler Wash, Mengel Pass, & Westside Road - all good. The steps were easy to get up, had water running down 'em, had to pick a good line. No problems getting over the pass. Westside road was wash-boarded, but sticking to the very edge helped.
    • Furnace Creek back to PSR via Chloride Cliff, Rhyolite, & Titus - all good. Chloride was fun to ascend on our small bikes, such a killer view. Tracks up to Chloride were rocky in spots, but nothing too bad. Titus was outstanding, they'd just opened it the Friday we arrived (4/5), so it was great to ride it and not worry about getting a ticket. We took a short rip out to Marble Canyon and it was soft on the way out there and the wash had some soft spots, but it was a cool out-and-back rip and glad we took it (original plan was to hit Emigrant Canyon on the way back from Titus, but it was still closed), so we did this instead.
    • PSR to Saline Valley HS - short day and the road into Saline Valley was good. First part of the ride was good, road down into Saline was a rocky nightmare and there was a ton of washboard - sucked, but easily passable if you slowed (lots of baby heads for pinch flats).
    • Saline Valley loop - out Steele Pass by Eureka to Big Pine, back via North Pass - riding the wash out to Steele Pass wasn't bad, some soft spots, but easy to keep a good pace. Dedeckera canyon was fun, steps down toward Eureka no big deal. Riding back via North Pass was great, no issues and it was an easy descent back to the HS
    • Saline back to PSR via Lippincott, Racetrack, Ubehebe. Going up Lippincott was a first for me - rough and my buddy fell once when he stalled in a hole and couldn't get a foot down, but not bad on small bikes. Pick a good line and keep momentum, was a workout, but damn good fun. Road by the Racetrack and to Tea Kettle was a washboard nightmare, even sticking to the edges. Same goes for Tea Kettle down to Ubehebe - surprised I didn't find bolts missing on the WR when we reached Ubehebe...lol.
    • PSR loop out through Darwin toward Olancha, bailing on the sand (buddy was done with it...lol) to 190 up Cerro Gordo the easy way and down the backside - the climb up and over to Darwin had some rocky spots, but nothing bad. I had fun in the sand going away from Darwin, not so much for my bud...lol. We bailed on the main track and hit 190, then Cerro Gordo road - easy. The back side of Cerro Gordo was easy going down too, some deeper gravel/rock to navigate on the way down, but nothing tough. Learned the salt trams were still snowed in when we got to Cerro Gordo - glad we didn't hit the Swansea option like originally planned (bud's KTM was puking coolant, so we opted for the easy route)
    That covers it, we had a great time and I'm planning to have a ride report posted in the 'day trips' forum in the near future (still digging out from work hell).

    Such a killer place to ride and explore, wish I had more time :-) :-)
  12. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    Thank you for the detailed update
  13. Cereal KLR

    Cereal KLR Wall of Sound

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    We drop in end of next week, forecast temps are edging over 100 deg so will plan real early rides while there.
    Davethestick likes this.
  14. renogeorge

    renogeorge Let's ride!!

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    I see guys posting that they have ridden up to Cerra Gordo from Keeler then over into Saline Valley. I am wondering about the loop from Swansea by Burgess Mine and down to CG. Anyone ride it yet this year?

    Thinking about taking my small group that way. Group includes a couple of fairly new, but competent, dirt bikers and a quad or 2.

    Any input on conditions appreciated. Thanks!
  15. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    It was under snow when we were there 4/12. Not sure if there's a phone number for Robert (caretaker at Cerro Gordo), but would be worth giving him a call if so. He indicated a group of SxSs were going to try and make it using that route the weekend after we passed through (4/13). Check the video in post #2990, that's from 4/15 and shows a fair amount of snow still.
    renogeorge likes this.
  16. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    I just tried to make it from Cerro Gordo to the Salt Tram (via Swansea road/trail) on Sunday Apr 21.

    I ran out of skill and daylight at 36.5697274, -117.8210933. The only tracks that were on that trail were from 2 dirt bikes (I was on an Africa Twin, it was *not* the right tool for the job). Definitely no side by sides or any other 4 wheeled vehicles, as the trail was partially blocked by boulders.

    Whoever you take on that trail better be comfortable with exposure, steep loose climbs, and not prone to whiskey throttle.

    IMG_20190421_190158.jpg

    IMG_20190421_190216.jpg

    IMG_20190421_190202.jpg

    Edit - I could see it snowing north of where I got stuck, but where I was at the trail only had snow in shaded areas.
    BillUA, TwilightZone, Kyron and 6 others like this.
  17. MattLikeyBikey

    MattLikeyBikey Been here awhile

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    It looks like some unseasonable coolness for Memorial Day weekend. Anyone heading out to DV?
  18. zeefrenchy

    zeefrenchy Adventurer

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    We is,
    heading north pass into Saline. will report on the snow/road condition/temps..... Never been in this late, but the last people we talked to had cool temps, and nice time at the springs
    MattLikeyBikey likes this.
  19. MattLikeyBikey

    MattLikeyBikey Been here awhile

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    Thinking about making it this weekend for one last hurrah before summer. How much of a Darwin Award contender would it be to take the "Big Easy loop" (image) solo? Would there likely be other riders or 4x4s out there at a reasonable frequency if help needed? Based on a quick ruler check - it looks like there's about 50 mi of pure off road/middle of nowhere on the loop - clockwise from Panamint from where it gets onto dirt then down to the Racetrack area. Sounds ambitious.

    I would like to also do Titus separately. I suspect Titus is more frequented, correct? I could do just that route and not worry about the loop until the next Noobs.

    Happy to join others that may be planning to get there.

    Attached Files:

  20. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    I can't speak from personal experience, but Titus is the most visited non-paved road in the park. I'd bet that traffic through there would be regular enough all year.
    rjnutt likes this.