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Old 10-20-2010, 11:06 PM   #1
ericlanese OP
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death valley january

OK, looks like my options for a trip in January are going to have to be in the US. I'm thinking of trailering south from Columbus, OH and riding into Vegas and from there Saline/Death Valley, and then to Santa Cruz and south to L.A. and back to Vegas. I'm looking for advice on crossing CA from Saline Valley to Santa Cruz in January. Will I have to head back south before heading to the coast or can I head west that time of year through the parks? Main concern is snow/closed roads in higher altitudes. Thanks.
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:47 AM   #2
oldxr
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only mountain passes open in the winter are hwy 88,50,80.just go over hwy 58 to bakersfield .then hit 33 and find some county roads to 101.hwy 58 rarely gets snow.death valley is awesome in january.did a run from vegas to beatty,titus canyon,furnace creek,west valley road,shoshone and back to vegas on a rented r1200gs and had a great time.if you are on the cali coast make sure you have some rain gear
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:16 PM   #3
chazbird
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Death Valley in the winter is usually excellent. Its getting to and fro that might be an issue.

Ditto on 80/50/88 being the only ones open for a Sierra's crossing. If the weather is good and "warm" (40 on the pass at the warmest part of the day, if you're lucky, but likely much less warm than that) you might be OK, but 50 and 80 are heavily traveled and with any snow, even well plowed, it'll not be fun running along with SUV's, vans and 18 wheelers. Getting to 88/50/80 up 395 from Death Valley can be, while generally not too snowy, very windy and extremely cold. No joke, sometimes its well below zero up along there at night and in the low 20's during the day.

58 is not spectacular, and can get windy and very cold too, with snow sometimes, but is a far safer bet. What is a really nice ride is doing 58 to Bakersfield and then continue on 58 to La Panza road, then 41 Cholame Valley road, Vineyard Valley Road, Indian Valley Road, to Highway 25 to up behind Pinnacles National Monument, to Hollister, 156 to G11, G12, Watsonville, highway 1 to Santa Cruz. After Santa Cruz you can do the highway 1 down to LA. You'll need a decent sized tank for what's west of Bakersfield towards Hollister.

Going from LA to Vegas is a real chore, busy freeways and interstates and can sometimes be pretty cold and windy too.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:30 PM   #4
Countdown
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There can be snow on Hwy 190 west of DV any time in Jan or Feb. Hunter Mt dirt road is blocked from early Jan to mid Mar.
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Old 10-31-2010, 01:30 AM   #5
ericlanese OP
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thanks for the info, all of it useful

thanks for the info, all of it's useful.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chazbird
Death Valley in the winter is usually excellent. Its getting to and fro that might be an issue.

Ditto on 80/50/88 being the only ones open for a Sierra's crossing. If the weather is good and "warm" (40 on the pass at the warmest part of the day, if you're lucky, but likely much less warm than that) you might be OK, but 50 and 80 are heavily traveled and with any snow, even well plowed, it'll not be fun running along with SUV's, vans and 18 wheelers. Getting to 88/50/80 up 395 from Death Valley can be, while generally not too snowy, very windy and extremely cold. No joke, sometimes its well below zero up along there at night and in the low 20's during the day.

58 is not spectacular, and can get windy and very cold too, with snow sometimes, but is a far safer bet. What is a really nice ride is doing 58 to Bakersfield and then continue on 58 to La Panza road, then 41 Cholame Valley road, Vineyard Valley Road, Indian Valley Road, to Highway 25 to up behind Pinnacles National Monument, to Hollister, 156 to G11, G12, Watsonville, highway 1 to Santa Cruz. After Santa Cruz you can do the highway 1 down to LA. You'll need a decent sized tank for what's west of Bakersfield towards Hollister.

Going from LA to Vegas is a real chore, busy freeways and interstates and can sometimes be pretty cold and windy too.
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Old 10-31-2010, 01:30 AM   #6
ericlanese OP
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thanks for the info.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Countdown
There can be snow on Hwy 190 west of DV any time in Jan or Feb. Hunter Mt dirt road is blocked from early Jan to mid Mar.
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Old 10-31-2010, 01:31 AM   #7
ericlanese OP
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thanks for the response and helpful info
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldxr
only mountain passes open in the winter are hwy 88,50,80.just go over hwy 58 to bakersfield .then hit 33 and find some county roads to 101.hwy 58 rarely gets snow.death valley is awesome in january.did a run from vegas to beatty,titus canyon,furnace creek,west valley road,shoshone and back to vegas on a rented r1200gs and had a great time.if you are on the cali coast make sure you have some rain gear
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Old 10-31-2010, 01:32 AM   #8
ericlanese OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Countdown
There can be snow on Hwy 190 west of DV any time in Jan or Feb. Hunter Mt dirt road is blocked from early Jan to mid Mar.
thanks
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