Saline Preservation Association

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Just Bill

Posts: 25
I know this is not related to the north pass....But..... just got report ( 2-4-2019...9:00am) from son driving down from Reno...Avalanche blocking 4 lanes of highway at June Lake turnoff area. Lots of snow ....north should be getting more interesting and challenging! Be careful, go prepared!

Posts: 26
Snowing more in Bishop right now; 1-3" expected tomorrow and then clearing and really cold through weekend but no more precipitation expected. So N Pass will be "fun". 

Posts: 8
Out of SV on Sunday afternoon, had to chain up at 7000’ wet snow up to 8”, slippery, heavy. Snowline at around 6300’ at bottom of Whipplepool Cyn. Moved couple of big rocks out of the way at the bottom of the Cyn. Not advisable for two wheel drives.
Just Bill

Posts: 25
Exited north pass on Tuesday 1-29 ..........messy , muddy ,some ice , lots of fun in 4x4.....need to have.........deep ruts .......low clearance or 2 wheel drive also all wheel drive would have real tough time....maybe impossible !
I’m sure things have changed with new storm fronts. Yea Winter keeping folks out!!! See ya Presidents!
Capt John

Posts: 2
We had a great time at the springs!

1/18: The N pass had 8 to 10 in of snow in normal spots. F250 with poptop and Jeep TJ both made it without chains going slow downhill. Encountered a 2 wheel drive Crysler van driver who spent a cold night at the beginning of the uphill and could not make it up...gave him gas and water to make it out the S pass.

1/24: Mostly nice weather during the week except one windy night and next day. Coming out N new snow...had to chain up all 4 on F250 to get out...Jeep had now problem without chains. We saw 2 vehicles coming down and no one going up.

The Eclipse was awesome!

We heard the S pass was open with very little snow but boulders on the road at top and rough the rest of the way. Two wheel drives van/cars with car tires and no chains are very risky and should think twice about getting stuck.

Posts: 20
From CalTrans District 9

SR168E (Westguard-Gilbert Pass) IS CLOSED FROM BIG PINE TO JCT. 266, Due to Heavy Snow. Motorists are advised to use an Alternate Route.
as of 6:11 PM 1/14/19

Unknown if you can make it to the turn off from 395 on 168 or continue past that on Death Valley - Waucoba Road

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 


Avatar / Picture

Posts: 421
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: 39
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. 

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