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Big Jeff

Posts: 98

You should rent or buy a SPOT(there are other brands) personal rescue device.   The newer models have the ability to send text messages in addition to a distress signal.   Also learn how to use it before you go.

Posts: 11
Thanks very much for these comments. Its a difficult call for me. I went alone last year, very carefully, and on a well equipped bike via the South Pass.

Posts: 5

The road to the dunes from Big Pine is passable with most any car. However, just past the dunes, there is a sign that says the road to Death Valley is closed.

Posts: 5

Personally, I do not like going on long rides on my motorcycle by myself.  I have broken down or crashed  enough times that going alone scares me.  I would consider any venture into Saline Valley a long ride.  Also, there were very few people at the hot springs which means there is not much traffic in and out to rescue you if you have a problem.  There was one guy sunning himself on the grass and nobody in the tubs, although they were quite clean.  I saw 3 campers at the lower spring and two campers at the upper spring.

Posts: 1
Does anyone know how the conditions are if one wants to go to the Springs via Death Valley Road from Big Pine
through Eureka Valley to Death Valley. Then go to Race Track  and down Lippincott Trail to Saline Valley?

Posts: 11
Gidday from New Zealand. Thanks for this useful message. I make the trip into Saline Valley every year, but last year went in on a motorcycle for the first time (Suzuki DRZ400 - ADMO bike rentals) in Nov as the roads were so damaged. It turned out to be the funnest way I have ever gone into Saline. I would like to head in there again this mid Nov (in a months time), but have been reading of all the damage to the roads so am naturally concerned.


From what you have said it sounds like I should be able to get to the springs pretty easily via South Pass. I wonder how bad it is compared to last Nov? It was pretty easy to me back then...only one seriously rutted/bouldery/sideways sloping steepish section at Grapevine canyon. Would you have any reservations if I asked whether I should go in solo in mid NOv? I am an experienced rider, and would be relying on filtering water at the springs for drinking. Apparently the chemical content is not the concern there...its bio from the burros.

Mark aka Yonderman


Posts: 5
Good Morning Friends:
Yesterday, Saturday, 10-12-13 David (my son) and I went on a motorcycle ride through Saline Valley to scout it out for a potential 4 X 4 trip next weekend, or maybe the following weekend.
We unloaded the biked at the point where the paved road meets the dirt road that goes into Saline Valley.  The north road.  From where we unloaded the bikes to the hot springs, is about 43 miles.    For about the first 10 miles, the County has graded the road and it is real nice.  After that it gets rough but passable for even a motorhome until you get to "the" washout we all saw in the pictures.  The County will need more than road graders to fix that.  But, as I had expected, it is definitely passable with a 4 X 4.  You just have to go around the washout to the right as you are going down hill.  The "go around" is pretty rocky, but with a bit of shovel work and rock moving, it should be pretty easy.  The more folks who go through the better it will be.  From there to the springs, is rough (meaning not freshly graded) but not difficult. 
On the way to the hot springs, we met up with a guy with a 4 X 4 truck who said he had no problem coming in from the south.  At the hot springs we talked with three guys who also came in from the south.  They did it in a VW bus.  So, that tells you how difficult it was.  They did express a bit of a concern about their ability to get back up the road.  They were leaving the next day, so I told them that if they were still in the canyon next week, we would give them a hand getting out. [smile]
David and I then rode through Steele Pass to the dunes.  It was a 27 mile ride.  The first 4 - 5 miles were pretty rocky but after that it smoothed out quite a bit.  In a 4 X 4 it would be very slow going for 4 - 5 miles.  The tight canyon that you go through just before dropping down to the dunes had recent rain but I am sure I could get my 4 Runner through it.  There were 3 - 4 slight waterfalls you have to go through, but not too bad.  I would think it would be easier going down from Saline to Eureka, than the other way.
From the dunes, back to where we parked I would say that any car could do it.  Be careful around the dunes if you don't have 4 wheel drive, because there are a lot of places where you could get stuck in the sand or mud.
The entire round trip was about 105 miles.
So, for a trip back to the hot springs, I would suggest going in from the south.  Going through Steele Pass, I would say any Jeep or something like my 4Runner would have no problem, but the first 4 - 5 miles would be very slow going.  It is a very pretty drive.  If you only want to go to the dunes, don't go through Saline Valley.  Just continue on the paved road to the Eureka Valley turnoff.  The graded road that goes to the right from the paved road is very washboard, but passable with any car.
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Bill McGarvey

Posts: 2
Just like us folks that cut the mountain when the bulldozer was in the way - way back when Presidents weekend was a time for  "saliners" to come together and overcome the obstacles that get in our way. The north or south will rise again (road) when the time is right and folks want to soak.......I'm a believer of the spirit for 34 years of experiencing  the SPIRIT!!!!! Best to everyone!!  we will soak again.

Avatar / Picture

Posts: 103
Did we get hit again?

Posts: 6
We were planing on going to hot springs in October. It looks like this trip will be a wash.

*ba-dum-ching* [biggrin]

Posts: 3
Thank you soooo much. We were planing on going to hot springs in October. It looks like this trip will be a wash.
Salt Peter

Avatar / Picture

Posts: 571

I think this is gonna be a good year at the springs for those of us with capable vehicles. Maybe not via North Pass but there are other ways in. It will be sad for those uninformed traveling by car using North Pass. By the time they get to that major washout they can see the springs and probably think it is all good. Damn that would suck.


Posts: 3
YIKES! That is not for my Dodge and camper. No Smoking Dogs was just so so. Had about 35 folks and we did OK. Lee and Mark furnished the music but missed the Dog House Band.

Was suggested to have Thanks giving her if all else fails on the Saline Valley road. There will be a few try it with normal cars and end up in a distress situation ya can bet. Oh well!

Saw Jim

Posts: 1
My group is in!!! Just say when and what pass?


Posts: 291
Work party? I'm in. I could help from late October to mid November. Only question is which route in? I know another vanagon westfalia made it through Steele Pass but I still worry about the height factor.
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