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Posts: 15
Has anyone been over Big pine road from the Eureka dunes side over to crankshaft junction and down to Scotty's castle recently after the floods and rain?

I have seen the reports of it being clear from 168 all the way to S Eureka Dunes, but no reports of its continuance over the mountain to crankshaft junction.

I called Inyo county roads department today and they told me that regardless of what DVNP says, they (Inyo) consider it closed.

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: 39
The Racetrack road is officially closed from the playa to Ubehebe Crater, and the Ubehebe road is closed where the river crosses it, and the Scotty's Castle Road is closed - severe washouts between the Castle and Titus Canyon - so you couldn't go out that way at all - if you go in South Pass, you'll be going out South Pass (or North pass - folks have done that lately).  Hunter - no reports, but there's most likely ICE at the muddy spring crossing - it freezes above 5000 ft. now every night.  

Posts: 19
Has anyone attempted Hunter Mountain since the storms?  I hope to come in South Pass > Hunter Mountain > Racetrack > Lippincott this week and I haven't heard any recent intel on Hunter/Lipp.  Anybody?  THANKS!
James Sel

Posts: 365
FL is it Damn?, Damn!!, or just Damn.

Posts: 295

Posts: 54
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: 7
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
Old Timer

Posts: 2
Thanks, ski3pin.  Those photos help a lot.  Even though it might be illegal, it looks like it wouldn't be a problem getting through.

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Posts: 4
Here are some current photos that I found that should help .

Blog Report
Old Timer

Posts: 2

Is it possible to get through to Wildrose Camground using the Lower Wildrose Road from Panamint Valley? I was at Wildrose for four days in March and saw a lot of vehicles going down that road and I never saw them come back up. I talked to a Ranger and he said that the NPS has completed repairs on their portion of the road, but that Inyo County was responsible for the rest of it. It doesn't seem like a priority for them to repair their section.


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Posts: 384
Reports on the other forums indicate that the road in question is in poor shape and will definitely require 4wd, as well as high ground clearance.  Going downhill is easier than going up, but the road is now the wash in some places, so you're driving over the rocks. 

Most folks just call it "the backside of Cerro Gordo", although some refer to it as Talc Mine Road. 

Have a good trip, and let us know what you find!
Hi Desert Warrior

Posts: 211
In a couple of weeks, I plan on visiting Cerro Gordo and then on to the springs via Lee Flat and south Saline Valley road.  Can anyone tell me the road condition and if I need four wheel drive to make it to Lee Flat?  What is the name of the road that leads from Cerro Gordo to Lee Flat?
Major Tom

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Posts: 349
It has been pointed out that there needs to be a place for information on roads such as the Cerro Gordo and Wildrose-Trona road, so here it is.
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