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Old 03-31-2013, 11:46 AM   #1
TwilightZone OP
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Easy-Peasy Roads in Death Valley

I'm taking my current spouse to death valley, we plan on a few days riding. She is comfortable on Forest Service roads, and other back roads with gravel, what will be new to her is rocks and sand.

Early considerations are Mahogany Flats, Charcoal Kilns, Skiddo.
Leadfield and Titus canyon? (been there many years ago)

So, what other roads can I take her on with out too much sand and big rocks?
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:39 PM   #2
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I would go any where on your DR350.

On the big bike, Echo, Warm Springs - Goler, Lippencott, Saline, Steel Pass are out

Hunter Mt, West Side, Harry Wade, Furnace Creek (Dantes - Shoshone), Skidoo, Wildrose, Titus (sand at exit), 20 mule Team, Triangle Rd (Scottys to Beatty) has whoops, are OK.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:44 PM   #3
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I rode Titus Canyon yesterday. You can drive a lowered Honda Civic with no wheels down it and not scratch anything under the car at the current moment.

West Side Road is in good shape right now.

Most of the smaller roads off of West Side Road are also in excellent condition and freshly graded.
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:41 PM   #4
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These are all gravel over hard pack. Skidoo and Augueberry point rds off Wildrose on the west. Either mining points of interest, a view or both.

Westside road that parallels badwater road. Desert and then some more. An entry point for other roads.

Twenty mule team is a loop road off l90. Short, but if you are in the area.

Death Valley/Race track rd to Ubehebe Crater, turn off south of Scottys Castle.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:03 PM   #5
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Nudie Hot Springs!

My very favorite is Saline Valley Road, out to the hot springs. We camp at Panamint to be closer to the start. Fabulous views and emptiness. Some uphill/downhill, but surface is not too bad (at least last time I was there). Once in the valley, washboard and a little sand, but not too bad. The hot springs are a real trip !! We are old people on little bikes, so if we can make it, anyone can !!


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Old 04-01-2013, 06:55 AM   #6
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My wife and riding partner is at a similar level of riding comfort.

I think Aguerreberry Point road would be doable. A small not-exposed section of rocks, but mostly
nice graded dirt road. View at top is spectacular.

I don't think I'd recommend going out Saline Valley from South Pass--the road over South Pass has
some steep rocky washed out sections with some exposure. I think going over Hunter Mountain would
be OK, but it's pretty sandy along the top right now, may be too much, and it's a steep drop down the
other side into a lot of sand. If you go that way, may just want to plan on turning back after you
reach the top.

A good ride my wife and i did last year was to truck the bikes out to Ubehebe Crater (or Scotty's
even) and then ride Racetrack Road out to----the Racetrack! Very easy graded road, great views, and
then ride back to the Crater.

Also, just north of Panamint Springs is the dirt road to Darwin Falls and then out past China Garden
and then to the town of Darwin. There is a small section of rock about a mile into it, but not bad, and
not much sand. A good ride.



Good luck, hope you both have a great time!
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:36 AM   #7
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Thanks for the great recommendations!

Leaving on Saturday from Humboldt County (WR250 and XT225 bikes in the truck)... then Susanville, Bishop, and then 3 days in Panamint Springs! Dunno about return trip, figure it out from there.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwilightZone View Post
...Leaving on Saturday from Humboldt County (WR250 and XT225 bikes in the truck)...



It's the twilight zone alright...me: WR250R; she: XT225


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Old 04-01-2013, 07:54 AM   #9
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I took the Darwin road several times to get in and of out PSR. There are several options, GPS ran me through a short box canyon. Okay on a dirt bike, not much for a vehicle or new rider. Don't know what to recommend as a first timer. New riders have trouble with no-name turns in our riding area too.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tundradirtbiker View Post
I took the Darwin road several times to get in and of out PSR...not much
for a vehicle or new rider. Don't know what to recommend as a first timer...
Yeah, it may be too much. It's so hard to guess at someone's skill/comfort level. The best advice is that if it
looks too difficult, turn around and go back. At least the Darwin road is never too far from pavement.

In my wife's case, she is much more comfortable going uphill than downhill, and the amount of
exposure (if I go off the road is it a long way down???) plays a big factor in comfort level too. She motored
up the Darwin rock section with no problems, but there's no way she would be able to ride down that same
stretch. One time I rode her bike down for a 100 yards or so through the rocks, and another time we just made
a loop, going out through Darwin to pavement and back on 190.

I'd rather her be safe than sorry, so as always be your own judge of conditions.

(I'm trying to say don't listen to me!)
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:11 PM   #11
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Darwin/Ballarat

You can easily ride to the Darwin Falls trailhead, and hike to the falls, although big floods kinda messed up the trail (the hiking part). It's just cool to see an actual waterfall in Death Valley, and all the vegetation on the way there.We hang our riding gear on the bikes at the trailhead and proceed in our under layers. (We always wear hiking boots anyway, but I've seen it hiked in moto boots). As far as the whole route, once past the trailhead there is a pretty scary rocky uphill with drop-off on one side. It's short. We would usually go to Darwin in the dirt, and ride back on the highway to avoid having to go back down that section. Recently we've finally gotten up enough nerve to ride down it.Actually, it's short enough that you could ride her bike up if needed. As far as the rest of the route, it's pretty nice, but there are large sections of deep gravel (flat, like in a wash) where the bikes wiggle a bit, but it's not too scary if going slow. And some sand, but not bad; would be good for practice.

Also the dirt ride to Ballarat is pretty nice. Pretty flat, usually hard packed surface, might be some mud or sand, but nothing too bad. You have the option of riding back on the highway. I don't remember any rocky sections.You can actually ride a ways past Ballarat towards Goler; the road is good for awhile. You'll know when it's time to tun around !!!
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redninja View Post
As far as the whole route, once past the trailhead there is a pretty scary rocky uphill with drop-off on one side. It's short.
I did that rocky uphill in my stock Subaru Forester (manual trans), and it was not easy and I actually think it might be tough for a beginner on a dual-sport. Alternatively, if I could do it in my Subaru, maybe any bike can manage it. Regardless of vehicle and route, +1 on seeing Darwin Falls if you haven't. It's a unique experience for DV.

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