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Old 07-28-2013, 05:25 PM   #1
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Exclamation Death Valley Trip questions

I am interested in putting together a road trip to Death Valley. I'm thinking 2 days for travel to and from San Diego and 2-3 days exploring. I'm thinking Christmas vacation or Spring break perhaps. I'm thinking we should bring extra fuel. I'm thinking of towing a tent trailer or not,lol.... I'm thinking a group of 4 rigs would be ideal. I don't belong to a off road group so perhaps I should join one,lol. I wonder if I need a lift on my JK? Anyone ever do a Death Valley camping trip and can give any advice?

Thanks,

Gunner

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Old 07-31-2013, 11:07 AM   #2
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Yes take extra fuel only one gas station in the park I believe at Stovepipe wells last month $5.85 gallon. Great for emergency fuel to get to next station.

Only been to one place west side outside the park camping at Briggs Camp. Nasty 8 mile climb plenty if rocks. 4X4 and lockers recommended up there.

There are a tin of trails to all the old mines in the area so keep looking to plan your trip. Just recently had some bad storms last week and almost all major roads were washed out and closed. So check the National Parks web page for road conditions and any weather advisories regularly before you head out.

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Old 08-12-2013, 06:51 PM   #3
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Death Valley

I've thinking about a family trip up there as well this winter, I don't know about accomidations either, I would trailer my jeep behind my motorhome and camp, I have a fuel tank under my trailer, so i don't think fuel would be a problem. I too don't belong to a club/group, but would like more info on the trails, difficulty etc. I would prefer easy trails, being it's so far away from anything as far as repairs are concerned.
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:09 PM   #4
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Great opportunity for photography, geology, kicking around abandoned mines, etc.

If you go in the winter, be prepared for wind. It can kick up duststorms if a cold front blows in. Bring old panty hose to cover over the engine air intake inlet and keep fine dirt out.
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:23 PM   #5
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I don't know if things have changed recently [I doubt they have], but cell phones don't get service in most of the park! There are emergency telephones in the offices, resorts, museums, etc.

If it causes worry or any one in your family isn't in top physical condition, rent a satellite telephone.

The other thing that causes problems is people shooting recreationally. Shooting in the park is a huge NO-NO.
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:32 PM   #6
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Taken from the Park website:

Off-road Driving
Vehicles, including bicycles, are restricted to established open roads. No off-road driving is allowed. There are 785 miles of paved, high-clearance and 4X4 roads in the park, and they are open to all licensed vehicles. ATVs and California "Green Sticker" vehicles may not be used in the park.

Things To Know Before You Come - Death Valley National Park

Backcountry Roads - Death Valley National Park
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:08 PM   #7
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I have been in DV many times...I don't know a single road in the park that stock Jeep would not make it. Most of the roads are well maintained including main dirt roads through the park.






There are some 4x4 trails just outside the park that are more rough but never relay had a chance to explore them.

As for camping...it's too hot during the summer month. I spend couple of days in DV during the Christmas week 2 years in the row...day is perfect, night get's chilly at the higher elevations. I usually camp in Emigrant campground. It's free, has a water and bathrooms... Last year I got there too late and all the spots were taken (first come first serve). Ended up going up the hill to Wild Rose...bone chilling wind was blowing all day and night...




Bring your trailer, set up in Emigrants campground then go explore...that's what I would do. if you want more security use paid campgrounds in the Stovepipe Wells or Furnace Creek campgrounds. Both has store, gas, water, bathrooms...and more.

While you in the park check all the touristy spots and drive true the Titus Canyon early in the morning...It's an awesome place.





I hope this helps...good luck and who knows I may see you out there as I do Christmas week road tripping each year. Usually I head South to Mojave or DV...this year I maybe head to Utah...or not...
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Old 08-30-2013, 04:57 PM   #8
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I have been to DVNP many times. FANTASTIC place for you and your Jeep. Gas is available in Furnace Creek, Stovepipe Wells and Panamint Springs. Watch out though they can run out on big weekends. I got home only because of the kindness of strangers one time. Bring gas. The place is a mess right now because of some storms that blew through this month. My wife keeps sending me road reports and there is a lot of damage. I usually go at Thanksgiving or in the first few months of the year. I have been snowed on several times. Even in the really low places it can be cold and windy. If you wimp out you can stay in motels at Stovepipe Wells or Furnace Creek. The back country camping is great if you are willing to rough it. In between there are several campgrounds, but the wind and the cold will still be there. Favorite roads would be Titus Canyon (you could do it in a rental car), Goller Wash (Charles Manson used to live in that area), Cottonwood Canyon/Marble Canyon (huge cave you can camp in), Chloride Cliffs (make sure to hike into Monarch Canyon), Echo Canyon, Darwin Springs, the Race Track area... The list goes on and on. This year might be pretty bad with the washed out roads. I know some of my favorites may be out of commission for awhile. I might put it off until next winter. I have some great books on the area. Roger Mitchell wrote the ones I like the best. They sell his books in the park. He walks you though lots of good trails to drive from easy to pretty chalenging.
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Old 11-15-2013, 04:16 PM   #9
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Both Death Valley and Panamint Valley have not fully recovered from the summer storm damage. Here are two places to check for road and campground closures. The Death Valley Morning Report gives weather and road condition info. Go to the Death Valley NPS main web page. http://www.nps.gov/deva/loader.cfm?c...&pageid=439529

Also the Death Valley Talk forum is a great place to ask questions. http://www.deathvalley.com/dvtalk/dvtalk.shtml

I'm heading to Panamint valley in two weeks. Difficult to get around since Panamint Valley Rd is closed between the 190 and Ballarat, but we'll get around using Nadeau rd.
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:35 AM   #10
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I'm heading to DV after Christmas. First timer and the info here is very helpful. We're planning on tent camping and bringing lots of warm clothes!
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:29 PM   #11
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This is a picture of the flood damage to Panamint Valley Road north of Ballarat. Checked today's Morning report and it is still closed.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:09 PM   #12
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This is a picture of the flood damage to Panamint Valley Road north of Ballarat. Checked today's Morning report and it is still closed.

Looks like it's going to be a long time before that road gets opened.
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Old 12-17-2013, 01:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadtripExplorer View Post
I am interested in putting together a road trip to Death Valley. I'm thinking 2 days for travel to and from San Diego and 2-3 days exploring. I'm thinking Christmas vacation or Spring break perhaps. I'm thinking we should bring extra fuel. I'm thinking of towing a tent trailer or not,lol.... I'm thinking a group of 4 rigs would be ideal. I don't belong to a off road group so perhaps I should join one,lol. I wonder if I need a lift on my JK? Anyone ever do a Death Valley camping trip and can give any advice?

Thanks,

Gunner
An alternative idea might be Dove Springs

Dove Springs Off-Highway Vehicle Area

It's not too bad, far enough to play in yet close enough to trek back if you need something in town.

Burro Schidts tunnel is another neat place to see just up from Dove Springs.

Burro Schmidt's Tunnel - DesertUSA

Here are just a couple ideas without having to drive as far as DV yet still get some desert wheeling time in. Shoot, if you do decide you like that area, I might join ya.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:36 AM   #14
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If youre up for a drive and a hike i recommend trying hanaupah canyon rd. which will take you up to the trailhead to telescope peak (summit at around 11,000'). Check a map for distances as i cant quite remember exactly how long the road is nor how long the hike is. I would recommend driving to the trailhead and making camp for an early start the next morning. In the winter, prepare for snow (yes that means snowshoes) and wind as was mentioned previously. There is a spring about 1-2 miles up from the trailhead in case you need to filter water

Even if you simply do hanaupah cyn rd and not the hike, you will get an impressive view of the valley floor and the low spot from about 3500' up before you start to wind into the canyon toward the trailhead.

As far as cell service, it is very spotty so i carry a SPOT gps messenger with a tracking function. You can pick this up at REI or online for $100 and choose a messaging plan which will require a few more dead presidents ($50-?? I paid $100 for a year). It comes with an SOS function that will ping your coordinates to rescue services in case of an emergency. There are further details on that but you can check their website.

I also recommend stopping by the visitors center at furnace creek as the rangers there are very helpful and appreciate an adventurous spirit. You will be able to fuel up yourself (restaurant, bar, general store $$$$) and your rig (chevron $$$$).

Good luck, death valley is a beautiful and harsh place

-The Coyote
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:48 AM   #15
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It's a cool place.

I feel like this is applicable though
How Long Could You Survive? – LewRockwell.com
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:41 AM   #16
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I'm experienced in DV, and we're headed out there in 2 weeks.

Just wanted to if anyone has any info on Lippincott Mine Road's condition? Would like to run it again if it's open?

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Old 01-18-2014, 09:07 AM   #17
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1 week away from my DV trip...anyone hear anything at all about Lippencott's condition?
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:42 PM   #18
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I posted a question about the condition of Lippincott Mine Rd., for you, on the Death Valley Talk forum. Link to the forum is on the 9th post in this thread. We'll see if we get any info.
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Old 01-19-2014, 02:25 PM   #19
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Thanks!....obviously I wasn't aware of that sub-Forum.

'Preciate the help Sir!

Leaving early Friday AM 24th.....if no one else knows anything by then, I'll post the conditions when I get back.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:02 PM   #20
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Got an answer for you on the Death Valley Talk forum. Looks like Lippincott Rd. Is passable and not in all that bad of shape. Have fun on your trip.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:15 PM   #21
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RichardM>Thanks so much for the help!

Those are some good Forums you've found there....real "keepers".

Thanks again!
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Old 01-20-2014, 04:16 PM   #22
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Saline Valley Talk is new to me. I've been using Death Valley Talk and Panamint Valley.com for quite awhile. With those three you can find anything and everything about those areas. Looking forward to your trip report.
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:22 PM   #23
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Just back from and EPIC trip to DVNP!

Most roads are open now.....Wildrose is still closed....and the road remains closed between Ballarat and the 190....but a 2 hr off road trip on Nadeau Rd (as mentioned in this thread previously) will circumvent that closure.

BTW, Nadeau Rd is an interesting trip on its own merits. Had never run it before, but it was cool.

We had 4 days there....did the following runs>

Hole in the Wall
South Saline Valley Rd to Lippencott to Racetrack to Ubehebe Crater
Goler Wash to Mengal Pass to 178
Darwin Falls

Weather was mid 70's day, lower 40's night....sweatshirt weather when at altitude.

Saw: Burros, fossils, petroglyphs, stunning rocks, bobcat paw print, and bighorn sheep prints.

Saw: Incredible views, amazing rock formations, Geologist's Cabin, Nelson Ranch.

Drove through ice & snow (not much....but it was on the ground), sand, rocks, and Joshua Tree forests.

In other words.....pretty much a complete Death Valley experience (AGAIN!).




We really love that place!

Here's a couple shots of the 455 photos we took>
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:23 PM   #24
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Few more>
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:48 PM   #25
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Just a heads up Trona road opens tomorrow thru the Panamint Valley.
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Old 01-31-2014, 09:28 AM   #26
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Just a heads up Trona road opens tomorrow thru the Panamint Valley.
That's good news....they say 1 lane of dirt road for about a mile and a half will be open.....but we'd have missed those 7 burros if we hadn't taken our "detour". :-)
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:40 PM   #27
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:20 AM   #28
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Try running Nadeau at night for the first time. As you are aware the "recent" rains have changed the road and it no longer follows the gps. The nerve of some roads today.
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:21 AM   #29
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Dave, you really did have it tough that night. We did that road (took us 2 hrs in broad daylight) and it was rough.

Nice scenery though.....I'd honestly suggest you try it again, in the daytime sometime.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:34 AM   #30
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Might do that some day. Ya should have taken the yota boys up to Roger's Pass into South Park, then brought them around through Mengal. That way they could have seen Butte Valley from both perspectives. Long day but what else ya got going on? Your in Death Valley.

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