Saline Preservation Association

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Biotech Dave

Posts: 25
If tent camping, wind is NOT your friend in the Saline Valley, and the surefire way to ensure a wind storm is to put a non-wind tolerant tent on high open ground.  I call it "Being Optimistic About the Weather".  I dream about them when the wind hits at 5 AM and they shred while I snooze...... 

The wind can come up suddenly, strong and change directions instantly and be just as strong from the opposite way.  Wild stuff.  Sometimes you can just see the wall of wind coming across the playa.  I always keep tucked in and everything anchored and weighted.

Hunker into the terrain and vegetation.  If the ground is rocky, it is wind scoured, like ANY high ground in the area.  If the ground is full of prehistoric dust, it is where the talc will settle in the wind because it is a calm spot, and you can put tent stakes into the ground  You will eat dust, but you will at least not be blown away.  But, while washes are tempting low ground, if any weather happens in the mountains, it can be a flash flood risk.

Be aware of some of the transitory flows down hill from the tubs that happens when the drain them daily.  It won't wash you away, but not where you want to be.

Domes tend to work better than boxy tents.  Anchor heavily, use all the stake points and tie down points.  Throw away cheap tent stakes and get the BIG 10-12" Giant Nail like stakes, and bring a BIG hammer or better, a mallet.  I sometimes add bungies to the tent tie downs for wind buffeting.

Have fun!  I'm jealous, I wanna be there.......


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Posts: 40

The dirt road is about 50 miles south or north pass you the roads can be very rough so you can't go fast.  You can blow through lots of gas going slow and low.  We went in the South with a full tank and used almost 1/2 tank coming in because the road was so rough.  

Camping - just go and look where you feel comfortable.  


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Posts: 19

Hi all. New to the site and as yet have not traveled Saline Valley. Coming up from and anticipating passing through from the south starting 3/21/11. Most likely arriving at Saline Valley Rd./ Hwy 136 around noon. Driving a FJ cruiser 4x4. Any suggestions regarding a good spot to camp the nights of 3/21, 3/22? Tire pressure suggestions?


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Posts: 53
heading in at the beginning of april? north pass should be clear by then shouldnt it?

keep up with the posts and somebody will have driven through by then.

gl on your trip, JJ


Posts: 2
Wow, this forum does get alot of traffic!  Thanks guys.  The reason for the South Pass is strictly snow.  I realize that coming in the North Pass will save some mileage, but I hear(read) much less about the condition of that pass, and what i do read, usually it gets hit way harder during the storms.  This is going to be the first trip in my Bronco that i am building specifically for camping, and dont mind a little more distance to avoid having to really give her the "First Trip Work out"!

So, am I reading that right, that going in Wacouba(North) or Saline(South) are both going to be 50 miles of dirt?  Thats not nearly as far as I assumed from google earth.

WE are looking forward to this trip so kinda hurts!!  Hope to meet some of you there


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Posts: 48
You might go in the North Pass, and come out the South Pass or come out Steel Pass just to see more country. Sorry about that short range you guys have. I've been spoiled since I switched to my Dodge Cummins which goes over 600 miles on a tank, no more jerry cans!
There is a road to Upper Springs but you may like to walk it as it is a very nice stroll of 2.5 miles each way from the Palm Springs.

From Baja to the Arctic and all places in between. Saline Valley since 1982!

Posts: 30
I have not been to Saline Valley for about a year so my info may be dated.

In general I recommend that since you are coming from north take the north pass entrance because it will likely save you about 100 miles. I take the south pass because I come from the south. The north pass is a nicer view, and more paved area. Its downside is greater possibility of snow and a few steep hills where the rear tires of my 2WD S-10 spin on dry road because I am not very heavy.

I believe the distance off 395 is about same either way (about 50 miles)


Posts: 2
Howdie all you Salinites!  My name is Sean, 26, I live in Gardnerville, right below Tahoe, and am planning my first Saline Valley trip for the begining of April.  I have been researching this trip for almost two years now, but can never seem to get the time to make it happen, so this year I am going to make it happen.  I figure begining of April would be a pretty good shot at getting some great color from Death Valley, especially with how wet our spring has been.

It is me and one of my closest friends making this trip, both in well equiped 4x4's. The plan is to leave G-Ville at noon on 4/9, Lone Pine by 4:00 for our last fuel stop, then heading in the south pass.  Im not too worried about the road conditions as much as I am concerned with the mileage.  My rig has a 300 mile distance per tank, but my buddies truck is closer to 240 miles per.  Does anyone know the mileage from SR190 to the springs?  We also plan on carrying 20 gallons with us.

Also, is there a road to upper warm springs, or is that a hike?

Anyone else heading in at the same time??  We would love to caravan with some people familiar with the area, and so far, everyone on this forum seems amazingly helpful.

Thanks in advance
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