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Old 11-02-2013, 05:22 PM   #1051
roamtheglobe
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Just got back from a week in DV and the White mtns...

Had a great first trip to DV, lots of good riding to be had...
Here's a blog I put together-
http://deathvalleydirt.blogspot.com
Cheers
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Old 11-02-2013, 06:06 PM   #1052
williamsse
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Roads Update Around Saline Valley

Last week we trailered 5 bikes to Bishop and the boys on the bikes headed into the Saline Valley via North Pass as I continued around to South Pass in the support vehicle and my bike with lots of fuel and food for 3 days of soaking and riding from the springs. I will paste below the road conditions post which I posted on www.salinepreservation.org. The post mainly applies to 4 wheel vehicle as everything we saw is easily passable on 2 wheels.

Came in on South Pass on the 28th, "Road Closed" sign at 190. Road is passable by any reasonable off road vehicle but miserable. Bumpy, rocky and hard pack until you reach the valley then cross ruts from drainage and stutter bumps make the road feel like driving 20 miles of speed bumps. It took me 2:40 from pavement to the springs which was uncommonly fast according to the people at the spring who had come in that way, it took me 2 hours on the same road 2 years ago.

On the 29th we left the springs via Steel Pass on motorcycles. As mentioned earlier, the wash is in pretty rough shape. Basically you are following the natural terrain on a lightly marked road with lots of boulders and sand. This was great fun on a motorcycle but probably 2 hours in a 4x4 to the pass. After the pass the road is in good shape to Eureka Dunes (waterfalls same as last few years).
We ran into a "Road Closed" sign at Hanging Rock Canyon on the Death Valley Road. We decided to continue, there was no significant road damage over the pass to Crank Shaft Junction. Crank Shaft junction to the Racetrack Valley Road was clear with some minor damage that almost any reasonable vehicle could pass. There was another "Road Closed" at the entrance to the Death Valley Road from the Racetrack Valley Road.
The Racetrack Valley Road is unchanged from last year, easily passable with lots of washboard. We dropped back into the valley via Lippincott Pass which was also unchanged from last year which should not be a problem for smaller 4x4's with good ground clearance, say 33's. Last year I drove out Lippincott in my 4 door, long bed, Powerstroke F350 which is basically stock with slightly oversized tires (35's) and it was pretty sporty mainly because of width and wheel base issues.
Back to the springs made for about a 145 mile loop.

On the 31st I left the springs via North Pass. The road was decent with one boulder field until just before Willow Creek. There is a fairly challenging rocky section just before the ranch. The main problem I had with the aforementioned truck was several 3 point turns as guys in short wheel base vehicles have been burning in the road around washouts. I made it with no dragging, damage or "oh shxt" moments. The road remains rough until just past the Narrows. On the way out I passed 2 graders that had made their way to about half way between the Pinions and the Narrows. They will need more than graders when they hit the Narrows to repair the road but good to see the County out there working the road. I took me 2 hours from the springs to the pavement but I tend to drive faster than manufacturer recommendations. Passed the last "Road Closed" sign at entrance to the Waucoba Saline Road from the Death Valley Road

Thanks to all of you who have massaged the road to this point so I could get through in a full size truck full of support gear for riders.

Cheers
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Old 11-12-2013, 04:51 PM   #1053
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Veterans Day - Minor Update

Our group of (5) riders just completed Ridgecrest to Beatty and then some. Escape Route and Manly pass was as previously described; however, the single track washes out towards the bottom. Barely squeeze the bikes through some deep ruts. A grader was parked in front of Goler Wash and as expected the steps had been eliminated probably days before we arrived. Mengel Pass to west side Road was rocky and sandy as hell. Rattled off a few screws off helmets and other riding gear. Echo was normal; however, the step was a lot worse than last year. Cheers
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:43 PM   #1054
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Heading out this Friday to Saline Valley via South Pass, then after a couple days of soaking I'll be heading over Lippincott to the racetrack and then back via Hunter Mountain. Who knows where else. I'll report back!
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:53 AM   #1055
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reenmachine View Post
Heading out this Friday to Saline Valley via South Pass, then after a couple days of soaking I'll be heading over Lippincott to the racetrack and then back via Hunter Mountain. Who knows where else. I'll report back!
are you planning to ride UP lippencott.
I have done this, once on the 625 if you have never been on it before.

DONT RIDE UP IT.

It is a grueling uphill slog, hunter mountain is a much more enjoyable ride and loop back down lippencott if you MUST ride it, or just backtrack to HT and go the other way. It is that nice.

Just my .02

Was out there last weekend and the roads between PS and Teakettle are fine.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:16 AM   #1056
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Going up Lippencott

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSM8 View Post
are you planning to ride UP lippencott.
I have done this, once on the 625 if you have never been on it before.

DONT RIDE UP IT.

It is a grueling uphill slog, hunter mountain is a much more enjoyable ride and loop back down lippencott if you MUST ride it, or just backtrack to HT and go the other way. It is that nice.

Just my .02

Was out there last weekend and the roads between PS and Teakettle are fine.
Have not ridden up Lippencott this year but depending on a person's riding ability, he should be fine on his 650GS. There is a big difference in difficulty riding up Lippencott between a lighter dual sport bike and a big and heavy Adventure bike.

I rode up it in 2007 on my R1200GSA fully loaded when this road was in much better shape than it is today. I just barely made it on the GSA in 2007 and wouldn't even think about trying it today on a big bike like that. I would go up it on my KTM 500EXC. I might even try it on my R100GS Bumble Bee.

We need to hear from some riders who have recently ridden up it on an Adventure Bike. I think a 650cc bike and smaller would be OK but anything bigger would be much more challenging.
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:49 PM   #1057
reenmachine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSM8 View Post
are you planning to ride UP lippencott.
I have done this, once on the 625 if you have never been on it before.

DONT RIDE UP IT.

It is a grueling uphill slog, hunter mountain is a much more enjoyable ride and loop back down lippencott if you MUST ride it, or just backtrack to HT and go the other way. It is that nice.

Just my .02

Was out there last weekend and the roads between PS and Teakettle are fine.
I certainly don't HAVE to ride Lippincott but I want to. I'd describe my abilities as intermediate -- I've been around DV on the 650 before (South Pass to Saline) but I've never ridden or driven Lippincott or Hunter. I'm going to the springs first, then I figured I'd go back out over Lippincott to the racetrack and then up Hunter. That sounds like the direction you don't recommend.

My alternative is to make a day trip of it from the springs -- go south, take Hunter to the racetrack, and either return via Lippincott or backtrack.
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:09 PM   #1058
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If loaded with camping gear Up lippencott is no fun, yes other have done it.
I have done it.
Just a lot of work.
You can do the hunter lippencott loop going down and it is not as bad.
Still rocky but going down is much more manageable esp if you have gear with you.

That way no real back tracking other than a portion of Saline Valley between Lippencott and Hunter Mountain.

Make sure you have enough Gas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reenmachine View Post
I certainly don't HAVE to ride Lippincott but I want to. I'd describe my abilities as intermediate -- I've been around DV on the 650 before (South Pass to Saline) but I've never ridden or driven Lippincott or Hunter. I'm going to the springs first, then I figured I'd go back out over Lippincott to the racetrack and then up Hunter. That sounds like the direction you don't recommend.

My alternative is to make a day trip of it from the springs -- go south, take Hunter to the racetrack, and either return via Lippincott or backtrack.
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:16 PM   #1059
reenmachine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSM8 View Post
If loaded with camping gear Up lippencott is no fun, yes other have done it.
I have done it.
Just a lot of work.
You can do the hunter lippencott loop going down and it is not as bad.
Still rocky but going down is much more manageable esp if you have gear with you.

That way no real back tracking other than a portion of Saline Valley between Lippencott and Hunter Mountain.

Make sure you have enough Gas.
Just to clarify, "up" Lippincott is toward the racetrack from Saline Valley road?

I like the stretch of Saline Valley between Lippencott and Hunter, so no worries there regarding backtracking.

I can go at least 200mi on a tank, plus I carry ~2 gallons in a rotopax, PLUS this time I'm lucky enough to have friends at the springs to replenish me with food, booze, fuel, and water.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:59 PM   #1060
klinquist
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Perhaps I should re-post this closer to my ride as I know DV road conditions change often,

but I'll be there mid-Jan for several days on a Anakee3-equipped Tiger and moderate dirt skills to explore the park. Staying at Panamint Springs.

Would love someone to list passable roads given these 80/20 tires. I've got Countdown's tracks...

Thanks!
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:09 PM   #1061
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I rode a KLR from Tampa FL and met a group of awesome folks for riding at Death Valley in October, epic place!
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:39 PM   #1062
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klinquist View Post
Perhaps I should re-post this closer to my ride as I know DV road conditions change often,

but I'll be there mid-Jan for several days on a Anakee3-equipped Tiger and moderate dirt skills to explore the park. Staying at Panamint Springs.

Would love someone to list passable roads given these 80/20 tires. I've got Countdown's tracks...

Thanks!
With all due respect, riding DS, or DV has little to do with what bike you're on.
It's all about you as a rider.

Some folks in this thread like to tell people what bike they should take where, etc. Me thinks those people are really projecting their own skills or lack thereof. Telling anyone you don't know personally what bike you should take where is BS. STFU.
It aint about the bike.

Yes, it's easier to ride difficult terrain on a lighter bike, yes is safer to run knobbies on any bike when getting off tarmac, yes it's safer to ride with a partner or two or three. Of course riding a big bike unloaded is better than carrying a pile of crap on the back when the going gets tough.
Running a more aggressive tire than a Anakee, which is just a street tire marketed as a DS tire, at least up front is wise. Tires are cheaper than hospital bills.

There's established and beautiful routes that generally are doable by many motivated riders on most bikes, like Titus Canyon, out to the Race Track via Scotty's Castle, Choride Cliffs, West Side Road, out to Ballarat from PS, Dante's View, Hunter Mountain via South Pass (depending on snow), etc, etc. Subject to change.

Your best bet is to look back through this now merged thread at the hundreds of photos of various places and decide for yourself what's best for you. Yes, roads change, but generally the tough spots stay tough, the maintained trails stay easy. Then cross reference what's happening now in the thread, but just remember it's all subjective... a fat old guy that's been "riding" for 50 years but still has no skills on an overloaded pig of a bike will swear up and down a given road is too hard and should not be done by anyone with a similar bike. A racer on a light bike will say it's all very easy.

If you're solo carry a SPOT or equivalent, or at least let people know where you're going and when you shall check in. It's not like you're in Mongolia or even Baja, there's people out on these same trails, there's Park Rangers patrolling, there's help not far away, really. Have a plan, all the common routes discussed on here are well traveled, might have to wait a little while but help will come along...
Be prepared with a emergency blanket, some water, a little food and a plan. Nothing more satisfying than overcoming challenges and feeling ALIVE. If you have to sleep next to your bike with the Burro's cause you got in over your head then lesson learned, ADV story to tell, and carry on.

I've lead enough variously skilled riders around the park to understand what can be easy for some is overwhelming for others. Study the posts going back in this thread and decide for yourself what sounds like fun. Maybe fun is pavement with a little grated gravel roads with all the spectacular views, maybe your fun is concurring Mengal, Lippencott, Echo Canyon, or riding 400 miles of dirt in a day, or getting off the roads less travelled. Only you know how you want to spend your time being an Adventure Rider and having fun.


Taking a Jimmy Lewis Class would be a wise investment if you can swing it, you'll need different tires for that though....

There's tracks to download on my site too, all ridden on big and small bikes.

Have fun and Get LOST!





My R1200R with Pilot Power tires on Mengal Pass. (no, I'm not that good of a rider, but do have OK balance and control, plus the right attitude to keep calm and cary on)

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Old 11-13-2013, 11:23 PM   #1063
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Rider View Post
With all due respect, riding DS, or DV has little to do with what bike you're on.
It's all about you as a rider.

Some folks in this thread like to tell people what bike they should take where, etc. Me thinks those people are really projecting their own skills or lack thereof. Telling anyone you don't know personally what bike you should take where is BS. STFU.
It aint about the bike.

Yes, it's easier to ride difficult terrain on a lighter bike, yes is safer to run knobbies on any bike when getting off tarmac, yes it's safer to ride with a partner or two or three. Of course riding a big bike unloaded is better than carrying a pile of crap on the back when the going gets tough.
Running a more aggressive tire than a Anakee, which is just a street tire marketed as a DS tire, at least up front is wise. Tires are cheaper than hospital bills.

There's established and beautiful routes that generally are doable by many motivated riders on most bikes, like Titus Canyon, out to the Race Track via Scotty's Castle, Choride Cliffs, West Side Road, out to Ballarat from PS, Dante's View, Hunter Mountain via South Pass (depending on snow), etc, etc. Subject to change.

Your best bet is to look back through this now merged thread at the hundreds of photos of various places and decide for yourself what's best for you. Yes, roads change, but generally the tough spots stay tough, the maintained trails stay easy. Then cross reference what's happening now in the thread, but just remember it's all subjective... a fat old guy that's been "riding" for 50 years but still has no skills on an overloaded pig of a bike will swear up and down a given road is too hard and should not be done by anyone with a similar bike. A racer on a light bike will say it's all very easy.

If you're solo carry a SPOT or equivalent, or at least let people know where you're going and when you shall check in. It's not like you're in Mongolia or even Baja, there's people out on these same trails, there's Park Rangers patrolling, there's help not far away, really. Have a plan, all the common routes discussed on here are well traveled, might have to wait a little while but help will come along...
Be prepared with a emergency blanket, some water, a little food and a plan. Nothing more satisfying than overcoming challenges and feeling ALIVE. If you have to sleep next to your bike with the Burro's cause you got in over your head then lesson learned, ADV story to tell, and carry on.

I've lead enough variously skilled riders around the park to understand what can be easy for some is overwhelming for others. Study the posts going back in this thread and decide for yourself what sounds like fun. Maybe fun is pavement with a little grated gravel roads with all the spectacular views, maybe your fun is concurring Mengal, Lippencott, Echo Canyon, or riding 400 miles of dirt in a day, or getting off the roads less travelled. Only you know how you want to spend your time being an Adventure Rider and having fun.


Taking a Jimmy Lewis Class would be a wise investment if you can swing it, you'll need different tires for that though....

There's tracks to download on my site too, all ridden on big and small bikes.

Have fun and Get LOST!

My R1200R with Pilot Power tires on Mengal Pass. (no, I'm not that good of a rider, but do have OK balance and control, plus the right attitude to keep calm and cary on)

Hey LR,

Great advice in your post (and in this wonderful thread) ...
pretty much the kind of encouragement I got a couple of
years ago when first planning newbie solo KLR trips to DV ... "Just do it!"

The best thing about ADVrider is that people like 2on2off, larryboy
and yourself take the time (a lot of time) to share a passion for riding ...

see you around the campfire,
-- SFMCjohn
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:52 AM   #1064
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Great advice, thank you. I've got good dirt control (no problem doing sheetiron 300 hard splits on my DRZ). Just picked up the Tiger and it has me thinking too hard :). I won't be solo and will have a SPOT and supplies. I'll spend more time looking back through the thread.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:07 AM   #1065
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klinquist View Post
but I'll be there mid-Jan for several days on a Anakee3-equipped Tiger and moderate dirt skills to explore the park. Staying at Panamint Springs.

Would love someone to list passable roads given these 80/20 tires. I've got Countdown's tracks...

Thanks!
This should help: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...4&postcount=20
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