Saline Preservation Association

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Posts: 2
Came in on Thursday the 10th and back out the afternoon of Sunday the 13th.  Compact snow and ice along Whippoorwill Canyon but made it through with no issues.  A storm was brewing as we left and looks like the region was hit pretty hard on Monday the 15th.  Caltrans currently shows SR 168 east of Big Pine as closed all the way to the Nevada state line due to snow.  Good luck!


Posts: 2
I came out North Pass Fri 1/11. There was some snow/ice in Whippoorwill Canyon but not too bad. The current storm (1/14) will likely change things.

Posts: 2
Came through some ice on the way in (12/29) and out (1/3) through the north pass in the transition between Whirlpool Flat and Whirlpool Canyon. It seemed relatively unchanged over the course of five days, and considering the increased chance of snow this weekend, I would assume it'll still be there.

Be careful through Devil's Gate! There is a small patch of ice and it can come out of nowhere. It's on the exit (away from Big Pine) or entrance (going into Big Pine). I nearly got clipped by a large truck on the way in because (I'm assuming) they were coming in too fast and didn't see the ice.

Roads seemed fine to me. Watch for some areas of loose rocks in the corners. It was "fun" in my lifted Impreza but I would hazard to guess it's not as much fun in a lifted 4x4.

Also, watch for wind. Had a bad windstorm Monday (12/31) that kicked up a lot of dust.

North Pass:
North Pass 1.jpg  North Pass 2.jpg Devil's Gate: Devils Gate.jpg 


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Posts: 409
Parley,  Thank you for the excellent road report!  I wish everyone would take a moment to post something like that when they come out of the valley.

Capt John wrote: "Does anybody know why there aren’t any road condition posts?"

Yeah, I have a couple theories, based on having moderated this forum for several years now.  

First, it seems that when most folks get home after a long trip to and from Saline Valley, they have a lot of other stuff on their minds, like getting back to their "default lives".  You know, work, family, getting their vehicles repaired, etc...  Most people don't think it's important to post a road report unless something unexpected happens on the way.  That brings me to my next observation.

If you notice, parley's report from this morning describes pretty much the same conditions that basketcase reported 15 days ago.  Conditions don't change very fast unless a storm happens.  If we encounter conditions that are exactly like the last report, many of us don't feel compelled to post another identical report.  I always look at the most recent report, then at the weather forecast.  If there's no threatening weather, I just assume that the conditions won't be any worse than described in the last report.  So far, it's always worked for me!

I do encourage actual first hand road reports from everybody, but I wouldn't really worry if the most recent report was a few weeks old and there had been no major weather since.

Posts: 1
Came out North Pass yesterday (Jan 1st). Snow and ice in usual shady spots in whippoorwill canyon but nobody in our crew had any trouble going down or back up. Just take it as slowly as possible on the descent (but take it easy on the brakes), and keep your momentum climbing back up.

*You should still carry chains just in case you have issues with traction or more snow accumulates while you are in the Valley*

Other than that the road is in great shape. I also overheard in the springs that South Pass is similarly passable with some patches of snow in the crux (Grapevine Canyon) and heavy washboard between Batrock and the Lake. Good luck!

Peter Parley
p.s. be prepared for heavy winds!
Capt John

Posts: 2
Does anybody know why there aren’t any road condition posts?

Posts: 5
Came out the North Pass Monday December 17.  Very passable but extremely icy on the steep grades.  Recommend 4WD or chains especially coming out.
Happy to report I made it out of north pass last night. A few miles are covered in 3-5” of snow, most of it being on flat(ish) ground with a few icy inclines. On the beginning of the first icy climb, I found a fellow springer who wasn’t able to make it up the hill in his 2wd van. Luckily I came prepared with not only two full size spares, plug kits, compressor, but also picked up my first tow strap and set of chains. Put the old 4runner in 4 low and was able to drag him up to the top of the pass. He was preparing to camp up there, so please bring plenty of extra food, water and emergency supplies just in case. Going in was easy, but it’s never a bad idea to make friends with others at the springs and try to arrange a caravan for your exit.

Posts: 35
This is a cool map..;-118.087;10&l=snow

Says there's 3" to 7" of snow currently in the area of North Pass. 


Posts: 32
Simon Lang and I came out the north pass on 11/26/2018.

There was no snow at all along the way and the road was in very good condition.  

One could have made it in a two wheel drive sedan.

Some washboard at places.  Just drive slowly.

Posts: 147
north pass in awesome condition all the way and bone dry, but watch for a sand pit just before the top going out, likely to become a mud hole with the weather coming in.

Posts: 5
On Friday November 16 Inyo County grader working on the road about 5 miles north of Turtle Jim's.  Came back out on Sunday November 18, the road is in very good condition with the usual bone clattering washboard at the bottom of the valley.

Posts: 46
Correct. We left midday on Thursday and they were grading in a northbound direction a couple miles north of the Lippencott junction.

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Posts: 409
When we drove in  on Wednesday, November 7th, the North pass was being graded by an Inyo County Road Crew  Grading was complete from  the turn-off from the pavement to Paiute Canyon.  I heard from others who came in while we were there that the grader had made it a couple miles further and had started working on the badly washboarded stretch north of Willow Creek.

As usual, the road that has been graded is very smooth and dusty with lots of sharp rocks turned up.  Take your time and be courteous by slowing down when passing other vehicles.  Nobody likes to be "dusted", especially when the road is this silty. 

Posts: 11
After coming in South I left via North Pass Friday (3 days ago)
The North Pass was in excellent shape. Almost no washboard and road graders
were still there actively working.

Closed signs gone.  only one spot where extra care is needed. A light to medium washout
on the SV side just below the summit. May even be fixed soon.
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