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Old 10-19-2012, 07:19 PM   #661
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Hardluck Mine Castle to Beatty

We rode the dirt road from the Castle to highway 267 and it was in very good condition. We planned to ride the dirt road from 267 to Beatty but it was getting dark so we rode pavement to Beatty.

Total miles for the day was about 210 miles and that was with no gas stations to refuel. My new 5.3 gallon Acerbis fuel tank worked great and I had gas to spare when I got to Beatty. Had I waited for the Safari 4.0 gallon fuel tank and bought that instead, I would have had to carry gas. My riding buddies had to carry about 2 gallons each to make this loop.

All I had to carry was my backpack, fanny pack and the 100 oz. of water in my camelbak which is built into my backpack.

Packing light made it much easier for me to make it through the rocky, sandy wash on Steele Pass. Staying in motels and splitting it 3 ways keeps the cost down and it is much easier than carrying a tent and sleeping bag. My personal preference is to spend maximum time riding and staying in motels allows me to do that. I know lots of riders prefer to camp and that is also a good option.

My small group has been staying at the Exchange Club Motel in Beatty because the rates are reasonable and they have large rooms with roll aways so we can sleep 3 to a room and everyone gets their own bed.
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Old 10-20-2012, 03:18 PM   #662
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Beatty to Scotty's Castle

I have never ridden the dirt roads from Beatty to highway 267 and I think, but am not sure, there are two dirt roads that run parallel to each other.

We rode to Rhyolite and then followed the dirt road west and then north. My Garmin GPS software does not show any road going all the way through but the Tom Harrison Map does.

We rode through a cattle gate heading N/E and decided to turn left and ride the fence line dirt road instead of staying on the road that appeared to head N/E. Not sure this was the best idea because we wound up on a dirt road that turned into 20 miles of whoops but it did go all the through to highway 267. After riding N/W for a few miles, we came to the end of the fence where the fence made a left turn. Where the fence line road made a sharp left hand turn and followed the fence, we decided to cross country it for about 100 yards as we could see a road on the GPS and we connected to it. This is where the road turned to whoops for 20 miles.


As we approached highway 267, I noticed what appeared to be a well graded dirt road to the east of the road we had been riding. The next time I am in this area, I plan to ride this section the opposite direction and connect with this road and see if it is better and also see where it comes out.

We checked out the old mining equipment which is just off the road where the dirt and paved roads meet:


Heading west, right where 267 crossed into Death Valley heading west, there is a road closed sign. No word from the park service when it will be reopened.

There is also a "road closed" sign on 267 at Scotty's Castle heading east.
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:18 PM   #663
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Ubehebe Crater to the Race Track & Lippincott Mine Rd

The dirt road, Big Pine/Death Valley Rd, just to the east of Ubehebe Crater has a "road closed" sign on it meaning that road is closed from Ubehebe Crater to Eureka Dunes. No word when it will reopen.

The road from Ubehebe Crater to the Race Track is worse than it was in May but is ridable on a dual sport or adventure bike.

Lippincott Mine Rd from the Race Track to Saline Valley Road is more torn up than last May and riding an Adventure Bike requires someone with very good skills. It is easier to ride down this road than to ride up it because of how loose the surface is. Don't ride it alone especially on an adventure bike.




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Old 10-20-2012, 07:24 PM   #664
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North Pass in Saline Valley

North Pass is in pretty good shape but you have to pay attention to every dip in the road. Some dips are fine, some have shallow washouts and others have deep washouts. Some of these you can't see until you are right on top of it so slow down and take you time when riding on North Pass.

Conditions of this road change with every rain storm based on how much rain comes down all at once. North Pass is easily done on an adventure bike.

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Old 10-20-2012, 08:08 PM   #665
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Papoose Flat to Independence

Just a few miles west of where North Pass intersects with Death Valley/Waucoba Road, you can take Hines dirt road and connect to Papoose Flat of Squaw Flat dirt road and 4x4 trail. The Squaw Flat road and Papoose road offer great views and will take you up over 9,000 ft. so you have to ride this trail either before or after the snow gets deep in this area.

This is a great dual sport trail and some of the difficult sections will require advanced skills if on an adventure bike. I rode this for the first time last spring and it is now one of my favorite trails.

Papoose eventually connects with Mazourka Canyon Rd, which is a very well graded dirt road. It will take you to Independence and highway 395.




Once on 395, we headed for Lone Pine to gas up and then road to PSR for the night and some great pizza. Total miles for day 3 was about 230 miles.
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:27 PM   #666
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PSR to Darwin

I turns out that a few of the workers at PSR live in Darwin and told us some interesting things about living so close to the military base.

We rode to Darwin on day 4 of our trip from PSR on the Old Toll Road. This road was also affected by the flash flood in August and 700 feet of water pipe to PSR was destroyed. They had it all back together by the time we stayed there.

Old Toll Road will be a challenge on an adventure bike especially riding west. It was even a challenge on our dual sports but slow and steady was the theme and by now, we had ridden so many miles of rocks that it was beginning to seem normal. We all set our suspensions to the softest settings.

Darwin is worth checking out and there is a paved road into town from highway 190 if you don't want to ride in on dirt.






We rode south on a dirt road out of Darwin until we reached the military base border. Nothing much to see there.



Then we rode south/east on Ophir road and went to the China Garden.


Other than the rocks and washout conditons, Ophir and Old Toll Road have some great views.
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:47 PM   #667
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Ballarat, Pleasant Canyon, Rogers Pass

The caretaker at Ballarat told us that when that storm hit in August, there was three inches of water running through Ballarat into the lake bed. The lake filled up to the point that the road that crosses the lake bed was under 3 feet of water. Indian Ranch Road was also flooded so he couldn't get out for over three days until the water went down. He said that storm wiped out Goler Wash and made it completely impassable. He also said road crews had been working on Goler Wash all week to get it back into shape but he didn't know when they would be done.

We rode from Ballarat up Pleasant Canyon Road. It wasn't too bad and we made good time. It was rougher at the bottom than at the top.



Riding up to Roger's Pass has the usual ruts near the summit but not much worse than usual. We stayed on the trails to the left which took us up to some of the highest points in this area where the views are amazing. These pictures don't come close to capturing the feeling you get when at the top.



Coming down the steep section of trail to Butte Overlook, was much more difficult this year than last spring. The rain washed out so much of the dirt, all that was left was slippery, shale rocks and deep ruts. I bull dogged by bike down most of this because it only take one little mistake and you are on your head. I was exhausted when I got to the bottom.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:05 PM   #668
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Middle Park and South Park

This loop has three sections and is less than 40 miles long.
1. Pleasant Canyon to Rogers Pass to Butte Overlook
2. Middle Park
3. South Park

Middle Park is by far the easiest section and is a high altitude valley.



South Park has Chicken Rock and Chicken Bridge, Briggs Cabin and a steep rocky canyon to the bottom.

If you can ride an adventure bike on this loop, you are a pro level rider as far as I am concerned. Even someone on a light weight dual sport bike should be an experienced rider. This loop is not for beginners. Again, in my opinion, it is always better to ride with someone else in case something unexpected happens.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:16 PM   #669
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South Park to Ballarat

South Park Briggs cabins is the highlight of this section. The cabins are very well maintained with an out door patio and running water.



Riding down the canyon wasn't too bad but it was the worst as far as rocks and washouts near the bottom.

Once back in Ballarat, we loaded up the bikes and headed home. Next trip I want to check out:
1. The Escape Route
2. Goler Wash, Mengel Pass and Echo Pass





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Old 10-20-2012, 09:21 PM   #670
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrsride2002 View Post


OH OH!!!! Tell me a novice dirtbike rider can make it through there!!!! I've got a bad itch to go ridding...

~Junior
I see you are on an XRL that looks set up for DV. You have the right bike so if you have the skills, you should be good to go.

If you haven't already done it, I would drop one tooth on the counter sprocket or gear down some other way.

I rode my XRL in DV and had a blast but it didn't like riding on ice on the north slope of south pass.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:23 PM   #671
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Originally Posted by jrsride2002 View Post
Dont get me wrong, i've been to DV twice on the XR, and loved it. Just from what I read from Larryboy's report, im hesitant... Thats all. Read that a lot of routes/roads are all torn up from the storms.

~Junior
What you said is true but you have the right bike if you have the skills. It helps a bunch if you have one or two riding buddies to tag along.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:30 PM   #672
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Very good.

Where are the more forested areas? Pleasant Valley? Hunter Pass? Somewhere near Darwin? Hope to see it. We'd like to ride much of what you did but will have to solve gas issues.. Stage from PSR?

Thanks,

Chuck
We spent two nights in PSR and one night in Beatty. PSR is a good place to stage from.

There are trees in pockets. Swansea Road going up to the Salt Trams has some trees you ride through. There are also some trees going up Pleasant Canyon near the top. North Pass has some trees and so does Hunter Mtn. There are trees on the north slope going north from Cerro Gordo.

The trees are at a variety of altitudes and there are not many in Death Valley. No trees in Darwin other than a few people have planted.

Yes you have to plan your gas very carefully. With my new 5.3 gallon fuel tank, I can ride just about any loop I want in DV. I love it.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:31 PM   #673
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Great write up! I look forward to going back to DV soon.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:36 PM   #674
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I just sifted through the whole album, looks like you guys hit it hard!!

Nice to see that Randy made some good progress on the labyrinth!!

The second I hit the lotto, I'm buying that castle!!!
We were impressed with the condition of the dirt roads in Esmerelda County, NV riding from Crank Shaft Crossing to Gold Point and the Castle.

It looks like Nevada is taking care of their dirt roads and it makes me want to do more exploring between Gold Point, Tonapah and Bodie. Nevada is calling me............

I'm not sure when Inyo County or Death Valley Park will do any road repairs because of budget cuts so Nevada dirt is looking good. I think it is private parties who are working on Goler Wash to keep it open. I think it is the Meyer family who still has a cabin near mengel pass.

Walt, at Gold Point, told us Esmerelda County has made a deliberate effort to keep the dirt roads in good shape so they can keep them. He said the BLM did not want the county to maintain them so the BLM could take them over at some point. Esmerelda County doesn't want anything to do with that according to Walt.
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:07 PM   #675
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This area

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2on2off View Post
Just a few miles west of where North Pass intersects with Death Valley/Waucoba Road, you can take Hines dirt road and connect to Papoose Flat of Squaw Flat dirt road and 4x4 trail. The Squaw Flat road and Papoose road offer great views and will take you up over 9,000 ft. so you have to ride this trail either before or after the snow gets deep in this area.

This is a great dual sport trail and some of the difficult sections will require advanced skills if on an adventure bike. I rode this for the first time last spring and it is now one of my favorite trails.

Papoose eventually connects with Mazourka Canyon Rd, which is a very well graded dirt road. It will take you to Independence and highway 395.




Once on 395, we headed for Lone Pine to gas up and then road to PSR for the night and some great pizza. Total miles for day 3 was about 230 miles.
Looks real interesting. Not Pleasant Valley? Been thru Mengel/Golar, Lippencott, Echo and Titus areas. Seen a lot but not enough! Going in November hoping to stage out of PSR and/or Furnace. Nice shots.
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