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Old 10-19-2012, 05:19 PM   #12
2on2off OP
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Joined: May 2007
Location: Central California
Oddometer: 1,218
Death VAlley Road Condition Update

Until I can figure out how to post pictures properly, I will give a report of what we saw during our 4 day ride:

Day One:

Swansea and Cerro Gordo Road up to the Salt Tram:

An experienced rider on a 400 lb. or less weight dual sport bike can do this but if you are on a heavier bike, you will need better skills than I have. If you ride alone, you should be able to pick your dropped bike alone and it might be upside down.



We hauled our bikes (mostly to save the knobbies) to Panamint Springs Resort (PSR) last Friday and unloaded and rode to Swansea Road and headed north up the hill riding clockwise. This is only my second time on this road and it is rougher, at the steps, then it was last May probably because of the August 1 floods and heavy rain.

A good rider can make it up the steps as long as you keep your momentum. If you have to stop or drop your bike, you might have to go down a bit and then start up again because of loose rocks and the steps.

The beginning of Swansea and Cerro Gordo Roads, where they connect to highway 136 are only about 3 miles apart. The loop starts at 3,600 ft and you can ride up to 9,900 ft. at the top. The section of road on the summit is over 8,000 feet from the Salt Tram to Cerro Gordo so this road is closed in the winter when there is snow and ice. The Cerro Gordo Road is open most of the winter from 136 to Cerro Gordo because there is an AT&T and US Naval antenna's at Cerro Gordo.

In my opinion, this loop offers one of the best three views in all of Death Valley and it is a shame more dual sport riders haven't been on it. The Swansea Cerro Gordo loop starting and ending from highway 136 is only 34 miles but it is one of the most memorable loops you will do in Death Valley if you have the right bike and skills.

We rode from the Salt Tram to Cerro Gordo and stopped in Cerro Gordo and got a personal tour of the town by Robert, the only resident in Cerro Gordo. We had the time and he had the information. You can call Robert at: 760-876-5030 if you want to stay the night and get a tour. He has motion sensors on the road so he knows when people come through. Keep your speed down and the dust down and you will have a good time in Cerro Gordo.

Here is Robert:


We loaded up and headed to PSR for some burgers and a comfy room.
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