Saline Preservation Association

The voice of Saline Valley

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Posts: 28
Feb 25 &25 2017

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.

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Posts: 28
17156034_10154809720400546_1604308565751706315_n.jpg 16996099_10154809720375546_8150922177057130496_n.jpg 

Posts: 53
Hunter Mt road is impassible as of today....Lots of mud and snow....

Posts: 8
So Cerro Gordo to San Lucas Canyon was a walk in the park.  A few rough spots but pretty much a breeze.  As noted, Hunter Mountain is in great shape.  Lippincott Road was also in great condition and a breeze as well.

Posts: 38
@OpenTrackRacer, my buddy went down from Cerro Gordo onto to white mtn talc road out through Lee Flat back in July and said it was good shape. 
I'll be leading a group up it and out through Swansea on  November 6th, after 4 days in the back country. I can give a better report after that time. -Josh

PS- Drove my double cab Tundra up it Nov 14' when it was supposed to be in pretty bad shape but only used the sliders a couple of times. 

Posts: 16
Just came back from Lippincot and the Racertrack through Hunter Mtn.  Hunter's been graded from SV Rd to the summit and down the other side.
The guy that drove on the Racetrack Playa is a real dickhead. Did a real number on it...

Posts: 4
Hunter Mtn, Racetrack, Ubehebe, Big Pine to Eureka Dunes
I traveled the above roads on Friday, April 15. Other than some mud holes on Hunter Mountain and lots of washboard, there were no obstacles. 1998 E350 4x4 diesel van Sportsmobile

Posts: 21
Hunter Mountain is kind of a mess. I tried it yesterday from the south and wound up turning around about 1/3 of the way to Teakettle Junction from Saline Road. Lots of mud, snow and ice. I would have been inclined to finish the trip if I was with other vehicles with recovery gear options, but not solo.

Posts: 14
I have found no pertinent post to date regarding the condition of Big Pine Road from south Eureka rd over the mountain to crankshaft junction.
our group of Xterras will try this over the Veterans day week.
It was declared open today on the Facebook death valley page.  here:
looking for feedback prior to Saturday.

Hi Desert Warrior

Posts: 210
I camped over the weekend at Ballarat and talked to some campers.  They said that Grapevine and Scotty's Castle is still flooded and closed.  Sunday I traveled the Panamint/Trona road to Hwy 190 ending up at Panamint Springs.  Wildrose road is closed with barriers blocking the road.  Prior to Wildrose road from Ballarat there is a three mile section of graded dirt road.  The black top is gone and the speed limit there is posted 35 MPH.  At that speed a lot of dust is blown.  If a car is 100 yards in front of you its a black out drive from the dust.  When I had just come out of the dust road I saw a convertiable with the top down going on to the road.  Bet he really got dusted.  

Posts: 9
I went up Lippencot and out over Hunter a week ago today. Lippencot was the usual, rocky in the middle section with one off camber section where a lot of dirt has drifted down. The silt pit in Hidden valley was a real bog and it looked like I was the first up Hunter since the last rain, no tracks in the road at all and lots of rock and junk was on the road. There were a few washouts in corners that took some road away but I got around ok. Lots of mud bogs once on top near Hunter cabin. It was doable but a challenge. I drive a lifted, locked, 2001 Xterra with 33/10.5/15 BFG mud terrains. Also came in over Steele pass and it was fine until the upper springs and the road to the middle springs is just gone, tracks everywhere that just disappear, took several hours to finally make my way to the springs. Quit a challenge and I've gone in and out this way at least 9 or 10 times. Also did Echo canyon and it was in great shape, my first time up the falls as I've always come down them. Anyway Hunter was doable but the most challenging I've seen it, depending on what you're driving and your skill level and if you're with anyone else. It is quit possible that the mud bogs would be the most problem.

Posts: 50
Sounds like massive road flooding in Death Valley proper and points east.  Swift water rescue on the Amargosa.  Almost all access to the park closed right now.  Not clear how many points are things that will be cleared up in a few days and how many will take a lot longer.  Radar coverage over SV is poor, but there was a significant cell near South Pass last night that appeared to move over Hunter Mountain and Racetrack Valley.  Also looks like Eureka Valley may have had a cell over it.

From FB:


Last night the northern sections of Death Valley National Park were hit with severe thunderstorms and heavy rain. The storm specifically hit the Scotty's Castle and Ubehebe Crater area.

Eight vehicles full of visitors and three park rangers were stuck in the Ubehebe Crater area overnight. All individuals are fine. We do have a plane flying today to search for any additional visitors that may be stranded in the park.

Death Valley has received over one year's worth of rain over the past 14 days. All roads within the park except CA 190 and NV 374 are closed. Over 1,000 miles of road are closed. Millions of dollars in flood damage will take months to repair.

There is currently only one route open from Las Vegas to the park. 160 to Pahrump - 372/178 to Shoshone - 127 to Death Valley Junction (multiple water flows over 9" deep but passable) - and then 190 into the park.  [NOTE: This now closed too]

There is no estimate on any opening times and or dates at this time. The current priority is the safety of park visitors and staff.

And then shortly after that:

This just in. The only way from Vegas to Death Valley is from I-15 up through Ridgecrest/Trona area. Flooding continues.

And from another Ranger comment on FB:

The closures may be in effect for some time. This is a serious incident.
N Igma

Posts: 11
General info on Steel Pass, Lippincott, Hunter Mountain, and part of South Pass.  Anecdotal info on the North Pass and Grapevine section of South Pass. 

Ten of us went in on the 20th and came out on the 23rd.  For reference we were mostly in Rubicon JK's, LandCruiser 70's and 80's and my little Samurai.   Most of us were experieinced but we had several newbies who did just fine.  We even had a stock Durango make it over Steel Pass but that was probably luck.  It took a lot of spotting and rock piling.  A little lift and proper gearing would have helped a lot with him.

Roads are generally in good shape. 

We went in over Steel Pass.  No problems.  It is more technical than the other roads but is lower.  No snow.  No mud/  There are the tights spots around some boulders on the descent and the four steps at the beginning to navigate but the road is pretty much as it was two years ago.  Steel Pass road becomes somewhat hard to follow as it gets close to the springs.  Hard rains a few years ago really scrambled the boulder fields.  Be careful to watch for cairns and other markings.   We went out the Lippincott and through Teakettle Junction to Hunter Mountain.  Hunter mountain had snow and large mud puddles.  No one got stuck but I would be careful since it would ice up if done early morning or after dark.  We went out at sunset and it was clearly starting to get really cold on the summit.  We joined onto South road and headed out and stayed at the Boxcar camp. 

Some of the party went out the North Pass with no issues reported.  One of them was a stock Durango.  He did it after dark so perhaps th deep mud had firmed up.  In any event he posted no warnings and got out fine.  We did not do the Grapevine section of the south pass but no issues were reported by other drivers.  The valley floor is typical.  some areas of washboards but otherwise fast moving.

Weather was great for us.  Happy Holidays

Posts: 38
Just got back from 4 days in DV and thought I'd update some of the roads.  Note: I was driving a Tundra double cab 4wd, full skid row plates and Stubbs sliders
White Mtn Talc Rd-Cerro Gordo Rd (up to town) loose w/only minor spotting needed-reports of road blockage were not discovered-only hit sliders once.
Cerro Gordo-Swansea: rough in spots (actually seemed rougher than last November) tested out my skid plates on several of the lower sections of the trail. [eek]  First time going down the grade, high pucker factor for me (at least)
Harry Wade Exit route, total freeway almost as smooth as pavement, 55+
Greenwater & Deadman's Pass smooth/ fast trails very little wash board. 
Ibex Dunes, Town, Saratoga all fast/smooth
Chloride City/Cliff-good condition very fast in sections
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