Death Valley Riding Conditions

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

  1. AZ TOM

    AZ TOM Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,776
    Location:
    Prescott AZ
    Well done!
  2. tag3

    tag3 Doofus

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Oddometer:
    16,961
    Location:
    Inland from the coast of Santa Cruz and Trona.
    Just home from 10 days. This thing rocks. 1117201047.jpg
  3. aanichols

    aanichols Racer at heart

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    763
    Location:
    La Verne, CA
    Did you wear out that 2nd set of tires? :thumb
    Chillis likes this.
  4. tag3

    tag3 Doofus

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Oddometer:
    16,961
    Location:
    Inland from the coast of Santa Cruz and Trona.
    Flat rear last day. Front goes to spare pile(shinko 705), rear Trailmax mission stays for a bit.
  5. TheWheelADV

    TheWheelADV Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2018
    Oddometer:
    31
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    Yes, I did see your friend's unfortunate tip over. Seemed like he sprung back up pretty quick. I was eyeing his parking spot as it seemed like a good flat surface where I could fix my flat. :-)
  6. Cereal KLR

    Cereal KLR Wall of Sound Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    353
    Location:
    San Mateo,CA
    Latest from DV NP Page:


    OPEN: all regularly open park roads, trailheads and overlooks. Examples: Dantes View, Zabriskie Point, Badwater Basin, Artist’s Drive, Devils Hole, Ubehebe Crater, Racetrack, Mesquite Dunes, Salt Creek, Devil’s Golf Course, Harmony Borax, 20 Mule Team Canyon, Darwin Falls, Father Crowley Vista, Emigrant, Wildrose, Telescope Peak, and all unpaved roads.

    CLOSED:

    • Bonnie Claire road and Scotty’s Castle remain closed due to 2015 flood damage.
    • The Saline Valley Warm Spring soaking tubs remain closed to entry.
    Camping
    OPEN: Furnace Creek, Texas Springs, Sunset, Stovepipe Wells, Emigrant, Mesquite Spring, Saline, Eureka, Homestake, Wildrose, Thorndike, and Mahogany campgrounds are open. Dispersed camping is available where permitted.

    CLOSED: Group campsites are closed through 4/15/21.

    Visitor Centers
    OPEN: The Furnace Creek features outdoor pass sales and information provided daily 9 a.m to 4:30 p.m. Bookstore items are available for purchase in the multi-purpose room adjacent to the Furnace Creek Visitor Center daily. Park film and exhibits are not available.



    The Oasis at Death Valley
    • Gas available; store, lodging, and food options available.
    • Stovepipe Wells Resort
      • Gas available; store, lodging, and campground open. Restaurant is open for take out and limited dine in.
    • Panamint Springs Resort
      • Gas available; store, campground, and lodging open. Restaurant open with limited hours and outdoor seating.
    Fees & Passes
    Entrance fees or a valid National Park pass are required. Death Valley National Park does not require an advanced entry reservation or pass to enter the park; park fees may be paid upon arrival.

    Due to COVID-mitigations most vendors are only accepting credit/debit cards at this time; we strongly encourage cash users to obtain a pre-paid credit card prior to your arrival.


    Marcus I. likes this.
  7. CA Stu

    CA Stu Peace and Love

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Oddometer:
    61,546
    Location:
    Riverside, CA

    I broke a chain there on my KLR and got towed to Ballarat by a friend on another bike.

    It's challenging being towed through that stuff. :deal

    I only piled it in a couple of times, luckily in the sand it didn't hurt. :lol3
  8. Luv2putt

    Luv2putt RETIRED!!

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,362
    Location:
    OC
    I remember that day, long time ago. Hello Stu :wave
    Lost Cartographer likes this.
  9. CA Stu

    CA Stu Peace and Love

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Oddometer:
    61,546
    Location:
    Riverside, CA
    Yoooooooo! :thumb
  10. headstaller

    headstaller Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,684
    Location:
    Norco, CA
  11. AZ TOM

    AZ TOM Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,776
    Location:
    Prescott AZ
    Don't let this happen!!
    Chillis likes this.
  12. Cereal KLR

    Cereal KLR Wall of Sound Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    353
    Location:
    San Mateo,CA
    Chillis likes this.
  13. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,228
    Location:
    The Western USA
    Chillis and AZ TOM like this.
  14. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,747
    Location:
    CA dez (it's a dry heat)/West Yellowstone,MT
    Some friends and I are looking for a spot to haul our travel trailers and camp off grid (aka boondocking) near Death Valley. When I was a young lad, my family camped at Ballarat dozens of times and had a great time. Always some "characters" there to make things interesting. How's that for a spot to camp now?
    Chillis likes this.
  15. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    27,870
    Location:
    Über Alles,California
    Should be fine. Rocky isn't there anymore and I haven't met the new people yet, but I heard they cleaned the place up.
    Chillis and jonz like this.
  16. bigtodd

    bigtodd Hi, wanna ride?

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,495
    Location:
    Surf City, USA
    Camping at Ballarat can get pretty crowded and sometimes rowdy. If you want off grid, consider some of the cabins in Panamint Valley. Several are very accessible by 2WD vehicle. I like the solitude of Kopper King Cabin. Dispersed camping out at Trona Pinnacles is another great spot. Lastly, always see folks in great spots camping off Saline Valley Rd a few miles in from 190.
    Chillis and jonz like this.
  17. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,228
    Location:
    The Western USA
    This trip has been postponed to the following weekend.
    Chillis likes this.
  18. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,132
    Location:
    up on the pegs, in CA
    BigWan and I camped at Ballarat a couple times in dec 2019 and jan 2020 and it was quiet.
    I don't doubt that it can get crazy there, but mid-week in the winter can be fine. YMMV.
    Here's the awesome fireworks show we had in january - just a couple of guys with campers.
    They warned us as we were setting up, as they didn't want us to freak when we heard the booms.





    We rode by Ballarat last monday and thursday - both times there was one trailer in the "campground" ($5 a night)
    and maybe one camper in one of the dispersed camp spots off of Indian Ranch Rd (near the Alien mailbox thingy).

    I understand staying at Ballarat when it's peak season and tourists are everywhere, but right now PSR kinda needs the business...
    (just a gentle reminder).

    OK, I have some DV conditions to report but I think I need to grab a couple of screen shots first...
    talcon, jonz, outdoorsman and 4 others like this.
  19. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,132
    Location:
    up on the pegs, in CA
    12/7/20 - PSR --> goler --> mengel --> geologists cabin --> mengel --> goler
    about 112 miles


    Beautiful weather - I think we hit the high 70s this day.
    Windy on the street but got real nice once we were in the dirt.


    Lots of moisture on the ground through goler, I guess from the springs.
    Goler and Mengel were in good shape, pretty much the same as in january 2020.
    The step at goler is still filled in. It took me forever to find it in the video.
    When we were riding, we went past it without even realizing it.

    Goler Pass 12:20.jpeg


    We went out to Geologists cabin, I didn't go inside this time. Matt said it looked good.


    Mengel was about the same as last time - maybe a little easier. I feel like there were fewer rocks piled up?
    Going up was easier than going down (and going down was fine).
    mengel.jpg


    After this, we just continued back to ballarat and then PSR.
    It was a good warm up ride.
    All the boring details (with pics and screen shots) will be in my "Make Booty Your Favorite" ride report, later this week.


    Swansea/salt tram next....
  20. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,132
    Location:
    up on the pegs, in CA
    Hi Bike Guy! :wave


    12/8/20 - Swansea --> Salt Tram --> Cerro Gordo --> S5 wash --> S19 (centennial flat?) --> Darwin --> PSR
    about 117 miles



    Cold and windy. We froze our asses off on the hwy to Swansea.
    The steps were kind of how we remembered, but it has been years (2012).
    The lighting wasn't great with the sun angle and shadows.

    swanseasteps.jpeg


    We remembered there was a steep hill after the steps, we had had a hard time when we were 2 up.



    It was steep and loose at the top of the first part, then it got gnarly for the second part.
    I am disappointed at how flat this looks in video...it was super scary in person! :yikes
    Oh well.
    swanseahill.jpeg


    I was sooooooo happy to make it through that part! :knary




    There was NO SNOW on the way to the Salt Tram - woooo!
    It was chilly, though. Around 10,000 ft isn't it?

    tram.jpg



    Stopped at the Tram, then continued to Cerro Gordo.
    @larryboy told us the new guy at CG needed cat food so we brought some up.
    There are 7 kittens, so if you go up there, I'm sure he'll appreciate more kitty chow. :deal



    The road leaving CG, going down the back side, is in great shape.
    I remember seeing that it had washed out, but I guess they fixed it.
    Towards the bottom, there are some sections of deep, thick gravel and some big rocks you have to weave around.
    It was a breeze going down on little bikes, but I wouldn't want to bring a big GS up that.


    From there we hit S5 (such a fun wash).
    After saline valley rd, we crossed the hwy and made our way to S19.
    Took the sand to Darwin and went towards the goldfish pond. Didn't stop.


    Super fun ride.
    There were some steep uphills and steep downhills going from Swansea to the tram and then to CG.
    We didn't stop for pics and I don't know if there's video.
    Anyway, keep that in mind if you go.



    Lippincott next...