Registered: 1543872264 Posts: 2
Lots of patches of snow and ice on Hunter Mountain Pass as of 12/31. I lost traction for a few seconds on an ice patch on a really steep portion right into a hairpin turn so that was fun. It was my first time through the pass but it seemed like it was in pretty good condition. Just be mindful of snow/ice in the upper elevations and it should go well. For reference my vehicle is a lifted Impreza so I would imagine any 4x4 would be fine. It all depends on who's behind the wheel!
Registered: 1542065716 Posts: 2
Cerro Gordo coming down towards Saline Valley is a little rocky but nothing too bad. White Mountain Talc road was recently graded but there's some big sharp rocks sticking out of the shoulders. We took Hunter Mountain over to Teakettle Junction and it was in good shape. Had some ice on the backside doing the switch backs from one of the springs coming out of the hill but otherwise it's fine.
I know it's more Panamint than Saline, but Goler Wash was in good shape. Not a lot of sand but a little muddy from the springs running down the middle. Mengel Pass was rocky but mild compared to a couple years ago. I did the whole thing in 2wd unlocked from Goler. High clearance recommended though.
Sparky of SoCal
Registered: 1293639657 Posts: 85
Went up to Cerro Gordo starting at Swansea and it really hasn't changed much since last year. Dropped down to Lee Flats and that road is a little ratty in the wash but there are numerous lines around rock out cropping. Not a Subaru kind of road but other off-road type can get through it. If your asking if you can make it you probably can't.
Registered: 1419805884 Posts: 11
The final Warm Springs road sandy section before Bat Rock pitches you up/down like a roller coaster.
otherwise rest of road is in average condition. I can see why people veer to side or even off road to avoid. not maintained by county. Volunteers could smooth it with the drag hitch mechanism.
Registered: 1452396689 Posts: 10
According to Inyo County Roads Department White Mountain Talc Road should be passable again by mid October. They will be heading in soon with heavy equipment.
Registered: 1452396689 Posts: 10
I tried driving the White Mountain Talc Road to Bonham Mine yesterday 8/26. On the way in past Lee Flat I came across Miller Towing trying to make their way up the backside of Cerro Gordo to recover a stuck vehicle. Miller Towing was on their way back out the Talc road to go around and up the front of Cerro Gordo. He said he had spent 4 hours trying to dig and pick his way to the Cerro Gordo turn off and couldn't make it reporting 4' deep washouts across the road in a few spots. I was towing a off road teardrop with a Rubicon Unlimited. He said if I dropped the trailer I might be able to make it but no way with the trailer. I ended up spending a nice night in Lee Flat.
Registered: 1349384838 Posts: 20
I tried it back in October. The drive down the valley to the point where the road turns left up the mountain is easy. From there, it is badly washed out, big rocks and can only be done at a slow walking pace. Even then it's pretty uncomfortable. After about a quarter mile of this, my passengers rebelled and we turned around, finishing the journey via the main road and the regular road up to Cerro Gordo. Despite being a very long way round, it was probably a lot quicker. I tried to find out about the road afterwards - my impression is that it's doable but will take several hours.
Do please post what you find if you decide to go ahead with it.
Registered: 1265088264 Posts: 45
In June the road from Swansea to Burgess Mine and back along the crest to Cerro Gordo was in standard condition and getting heavy traffic.
Registered: 1456963584 Posts: 7
I drove the coyote loop summer 2016 from bishop to big pine. Very easy up the hill, through the flats, and down the initial plateau heading south. then it gets hairy - there is a sign posted that "most difficult "rating ahead, and they mean it. a few tight spots for wider vehicles, then some large boulders to negotiate over / around - easy to get high centered. Then very loose, sandy. gravelly, and steep downhill, until the flats west of Big Pine. Once you are past the big boulders it is not so bad. Best to drive it from Bishop to Big Pine, to get familiar. Of course, conditions change all the time. I drove a lifted Grand Vitara with rear locker and 31" tires. Very fun but challenging...
Registered: 1265122403 Posts: 390
I've travelled that road twice. First time I was on my dirt bike and it was a piece of cake. The second time was with the PanamintValley.com group. We had about a half dozen drivers of various levels of experience and rigs ranging from a stock Tacoma to my lifted Hi-Lux. We all made it, but it was a bit of work to get a couple of the rigs through. There are only a couple spots where you might have problems, but if you do have problems there, things could go sideways (literally) in a hurry.
The good news is that the first questionable spot isn't too far down from the top. If you get there and decide you can't or don't want to continue, it's easy to turn around and go back up. Once you get through the first side hill section though, it would be quite difficult if not impossible to go back up. So, if you're asking "Can I make it?" I dunno. I've never seen you drive. A group of experienced drivers should have no issues, but I don't suggest trying it alone.
Registered: 1379868812 Posts: 8
Went to the Racetrack via Ubehebe on Saturday 5/27. Per NPS graded a few weeks ago at least from the volcano to Teakettle Junction and a little beyond. Reverts to hellish washboard along the playa to the junction with Lippincott. Grading machine was parked by Teakettle. I wish they would do the part along the Racetrack Playa itself, because that part is awful. You can't even go faster to get on top of it, so I would say that section at least is as bad as ever. Saw a passenger car there.
Explored into Hidden Valley a bit and it was also well graded and smooth.
Registered: 1477952468 Posts: 31
Oriental Wash was no problem a few weeks ago, but the highlight of that route was Gold Point, a fun spot to stop and look at all the old mining paraphernalia, especially in the old bar, that would be a fun place to spend a couple of hours before finding a campsite.
Genocache, did you make to the Magruder Corridor? I'm considering a hot springs tour trip up that way in June and I was wondering if it's passable that time of year. /2
Registered: 1388032894 Posts: 28
Feb 25 &25 2017
Registered: 1269535114 Posts: 40
@jynxx1970 The lower pic where the Rubi is deep in muck, where was this pic taken? Our Jeep club just went over Hunter on 3/18 and we didn't encounter anything like that. We all made it from north to south and joined Saline Valley Rd with a mix of stock and modified Wranglers and a mix of driver experience. We did have a Subaru Forrester that came up behind us get stuck just passed Quail Springs (high centered on some deep snow), but we only had to pull him about 50 yards and he made it the rest of the way without incident.
Registered: 1388032894 Posts: 28