Hello Southwest TW,
I'm putting together a multi-day route through Death Valley for TTORA members in southern Nevada. Last year I planned a DV over-nighter trip that turned out to be a great event.
Please get on Nevada TTORA Upcoming Events, all planning specifics and discussion will take place over there.
Post Trip Pictures and Details: http://www.ttora.com/forum/showthread.php?t=185155
This year I’m planning a more ambitious four-day / three night trip (Friday-Monday) to explore the northwest Saline Valley region. I’d like to make this trip accessible to as many folks as possible so I’ve posted a range of possible dates and there will also be the option of departing on day three for those who need to return to Vegas on Sunday. Please post your preferences, and as soon as I get an idea of the interest level I’ll decide on a solidified date.
For those who have not explored this area, Death Valley is an incredible experience, especially when you have a vehicle that can take you well beyond the pavement. The national park and surrounding areas have a lot to offer the overland enthusiast, but it is also an area where you need to adequately prepare, and take every precaution while in the backcountry.
February 15th to the 18th
March 1st to the 4th
March 8th to the 11th
Departure Details For Vegas:
Where – Blue Diamond Travel Center (Blue Diamond RT160 and Charleson Blvd RT159)
When - (Date TBD-See Above) Meet at 730. Depart by 8.
Departure Details For SoCal:
(TBD) If there is interest from socal, someone will have to take charge and plan a group departure/meetup.
Cold weather clothing and camping gear
4WD w/ low range (NOT 2WD friendly, 4x4 w/ rear locker preferred)
IFS skid or some form of oil pan skid plate (thicker than stock preferred)
Tires with decent off-road tread and at least one full spare
2-3 inch lift preferred, but not required
Basic tools, supplies, spare parts, and recovery gear for your vehicle
4-5 gallons water supply
10-15 gallons extra fuel supply
6+ bundles of firewood (the more the better)
Sense of humor
Last year a couple of folks experienced minor damage (stock bumpers, X-members, etc.). Do not attend this event if you’re not modified/protected, if you can’t afford the damage, or if want your baby looking show-room fresh. These are tough trails; some wear and tear is to be expected out here.
Friday (Day One): Leave Vegas around 8am and arrive at overnight campsite before 6pm.
We will approach DV from the southeast through Pahrump, via Hwy 190 (3~4 Hours). At Panamint Springs we’ll have the chance to top off fuel and water. Fuel is expensive here $4.50~5.00/Gal., but this fill up will be REQUIRED to make it into and out-of the Saline Valley.
12 miles west of Panamint Springs we’ll leave the pavement (until day three), air down, and head north towards Hunter Mountain. We’ll take South Pass (6000ft) and keep heading north towards Hidden Valley. Time and light permitting we’ll cross Hidden Valley to connect with Racetrack Valley Road and head south past The Racetrack playa, home of the “sailing stones”. The campsite will be just south of the dry lakebed at the Homestake Dry Camp.
Saturday (Day Two): Depart around 9-10am, head south on Lippincott Trail to enter the Saline Valley, only 3-4 hours of travel, camping at natural hot springs, enjoying the afternoon/evening.
Lippincott is a difficult trail with very narrow sections of shelf road, uphill traffic has the right of way and we will be going downhill, but recent reports put it at the best conditions it’s been in a while (7 miles ~2 Hours). From here we’ll connect with the Saline Valley Road and head north. This Valley is incredibly expansive and isolated. It is also a training area for military aircraft; last time I was here we saw some incredible dogfights. It’ll be ~30 miles to the warm springs. There are three separate spring areas; the lower two areas have been built up into many large pools. There were only a few folks here when I came out. Apart from soaking as much as you want, you’ll also be able to shower and wash dishes here with running hot water.
I heard that that this place turns into a hippy community when there is a crowd. Just be ready for some leftist conversation and copious nudity. Volunteers do a great job maintaining the springs and everyone does a communal potluck dinner on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. This is where we’ll camp on day two.
Sunday (Day Three): Depart hot springs around 8-9am and head north over Steel Pass.
Steel Pass is a rough 30 mile trail with a degree of winding canyon climb. Once over Steel Pass we’ll visit the Eureka Dunes and then turn back south through Hanging Rock Canyon to approach Scotty’s Castle. Time and interest permitting we can take the 5 mile trip to check out Ubehebe Crater. From here we’ll rejoin the pavement and head south towards Stovepipe Wells (~30 miles).
For those who need to return Sunday night, they can rejoin the CA-190 and head south towards Pahrump.
For those who wish to camp Sunday night, we’ll head south on the CA-190 to meet up with the Echo Canyon Trail. We’ll camp a legal distance from the pavement along the trail and then complete the trail heading northeast in the morning of day four.
Monday (Day Four): Continue northeast through Echo Canyon (narrow and challenging). Check out Inyo Mine. Rejoin pavement on Amargosa Farm Road. Return Las Vegas and other points east via Route 373 to Hwy 95 South.
I hope to get a great group together like we had on last years run! Please post up any questions/comments/suggestions and your interest level and preferred date(s)!