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bmxmtbman

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 #16 
I have ridden my DR650 and DR200 all over saline and death valleys. Provided you can sort of ride dirt, any way in or out should be breezy, regardless of conditions (unless its snowing. Then it sucks.)
Oobleck

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 #17 
I'm planning a trip to DV next week (1/15) on my DR650. I have never ridden a motorcycle into SV before. How would the South Pass be on two wheels under current conditions?
Spank Monkey

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 #18 
Good report Trigger, thanks.  Your truck sounds a lot like my "Truckzilla" so I guess I won't have any problems on South Pass.  My Cornell tires from Pep Boys are supposed to be a cut above the Toyos so I'm not worried there. 
Gene

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 #19 
Thanks Trigger, South Pass sounds way better than it was on 10/23 when we came out the South.
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trigger

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 #20 
My pleasure Silver Bob
SilverBob

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 #21 
Thanks for the excellent report, Trigger.  It sounds like the road is slowly improving as more people use it.  Now if we could just get some snow up there the fun could really start!

I couldn't agree more with your comment about including your vehicle and experience info in a road report.  It allows everyone else to apply some perspective to your report.  Good job, and thanks again.
trigger

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 #22 
South pass report! Went in north pass came out south pass on 12/8/12. 4x4's with lift kits and aggressive tires are best suited for south pass right now. There are a lot of rocks in the road. Some are pretty good size. You have some deep washouts in a couple spots especially the canyon. Some deep silt on the valley floor with scattered washouts along the way. Wash board on the road is bad so you need to be aired down a lot for comfort and to help maintain tight vehicle bolts. I did put my truck in 4wheel drive at one point going up the canyon but that was mostly due to my tires just about needing to be replaced and slipping.. I actually managed to damage my steering stabilizer on my truck after making slow speed contact with a rock while entering one of the deep washouts in the canyon. I also managed to drag my rear hitch while crossing a deep washout several feet deep. No damage there. Can you do this in a stock 4x4 and get away with it? Ya, but you'll have to be extra careful. My girlfriend and I prefer south pass and it was fun driving it. Just be prepared. We did not think it was bad just worse than we've ever seen it before. The damage was slight to the stabilizer thanks to the lift. Manufacturer fixed it for free. Our vehicles are a lifted Toyota fj cruiser with 33 " toyo mud terrain tires and a factory rear locker. The other rig is a 4" lifted dodge ram with 35" toyo mud terrain tires and a winch. We have desert and offroad driving experience. I only give you our vehicle and driver experience to help you determine what might sound easy to us might be hard for others. Not enouch people list their veh specs and driver experience. Road was very dry even in the canyon. It took us 2 hrs 45 min. with a couple load adjustments.
Tule

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 #23 
Went in and out North Pass over the 12/1 weekend. Road was in good shape for the most part. The wash-outs have been "repaired" . Talked to two others who came in via South Pass in trucks, one of which was 2wd and pure stock. They said it was slow. The weather this weekend was the best I have ever experienced in SV. The NOAA weather forecasts were completely off. BTW, the Ranch House Cafe in Olancha is closed until 12/15.
Yonderman
 #24 
Greetings!
I have just got back from a fabulous Saline Valley motorbike experience. My 13th Saline Valley visit, and my first on a motorbike. I rode a Suzuki DRZ400 dirt bike down the sth pass last Saturday, and out on the north pass yesterday (Monday). I had all my gear and supplies on the bike except for water, which was kindly left for me at Lee's place by Siberian Mike aka Sam. Thanks so much Sam  - you are wonderful! I left Lee a generous donation.

The South Pass was bad. It was well within the capabilities of a "lifer" motorbike rider on a decent machine, with the roads being rough after Lees Flat (rocks sticking out even more than I remember from last time), and really bad in Grapevine canyon...numerous washouts, deep channels, and one particular section that made me put both feet on the ground and inch my way down (big rocks, ruts, steep slope, and side slope). But wonderfully great in the context of trailbike riding. However,  I wouldnt ride out that way... I instead rode out North Pass yesterday, which was like a highway by comparison. It was alarming to see the number of street vehicles driving down the north pass route to join the Thanksgiving party. Flash low clearance street vehicles should not be going down to Saline! I stopped to chat to two ladies in one low clearance street liftback, and they cheerily asked me if they could give me anything I needed. While I had light thoughts of massages and  wine, all I could seriously think of is that its not ME who needs the help! I hope they made it down. I will describe north pass in the north pass section...

The other thing....I have had every Saline visit since 2000 in the month of Sept. At that time of year there are only say 3 camp groups at the top springs and 4-5 at the lower. To see perhaps 30 camp groups in the weekend before thanksgiving just amazed me. I liked the folk, but I didn't like how populous Saline was as a result. I guess its been a long time since I saw a Saline big weekend (Easter 1997).

Thanks again Sam/Siberian Mike for leaving the water for me. It made my trip viable, and was intensely kind of you. I will go this mode again...

To Janice and Joe - so sorry to miss you. You like the big thanksgiving weekends, so obviously you like big crowds!! I hope to have a Saline with you in the future, but maybe not one of the biggie weekends.

I am on my flight to NZ tomorrow night (Weds). Happy Thanksgiving to you all...and no, we dont celebrate TG in NZ. Its a USA history thing. We do the equivalent in Christmas.

Yonderman


RpzInc

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 #25 
We made it in the south pass friday morning. it took some time but it was do able in 2wd the entire time. one part that would concern me if i only had 2wd is near the end of grapevine and its slanted with rocks in the ditch. one of the rigs we took in was a stock toyota tacoma 2wd with out lockers. the other was a 4wd 4runner loaded down so much it only had 1 inch tire to wheel well. I would not advise climbing out with out 4wd low range, but driving in with caution its do able.
Gene

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 #26 
Hi Mark,
Yes, I remember you. I'm the same "Gene". Nice to hear from you. A motor bike would be a piece of cake both North Pass and South Pass.
Gene

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From Baja to the Arctic and all places in between. Saline Valley since 1982!
Yonderman
 #27 
Hi Gene - thanks for the information on nth and sth passes. I will be heading in there on a dirt bike in mid Nov. I am wondering if you are the Gene I met a few times at the springs over the years. I am a New Zealander and have played drums with you and your campmates in the past if you are the Gene I am thinking of. Gene of Ventura rings a bell.
Cheeers
Mark aka Yonderman
Gene

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 #28 
The grader made it only a bit north of the intersection with Hunter Mountain Road. The really bad stuff hasn't been touched by the grader. It's going to take a lot more than just a grader. Normally the heavy equipment would be there hanging around as the road is worked on. It looks like they've given up for now. My guess is it's going to be a long time that the road stays like this. Winter will bring a snowed in North Pass, the South will likely remain difficult. Lippincot and Steele are as usual. Should make for a nice quiet winter at the springs
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 #29 
Thanks for the report. Did you see the grader working? How far has it made it?
Gene

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 #30 
Anne and I just got back tonight from a few days at the Springs. We went in the North Pass. NP was rougher than I have seen it other than when it is impassable. Lots of washouts. We went out via the South Pass. It is pretty much the same at what SilverBob shows in the pictures. The pictures do not nearly tell the real story, they are not 3D and the boulders are much, much bigger than the pictures reveal. There was very little plowing done so far. Thankfully my Dodge Cummins is a manual 6sp with very low gearing. The boulders and steep sections I pretty much idled up at 2 mph. Also, I was happy to have a locker rear end, it made the difference. My Toyota Tacoma's gears ain't very deep, I would have certainly fried a clutch.

Going down in any 4x4 (please no Subarus) with good clearance and a driver with good experience should pose no problem. Going up, I'd think you'd need some serious low gearing like you'll find on some 3/4 ton manuals or larger ring/pinion if you're driving one of the Japanese vehicles.

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From Baja to the Arctic and all places in between. Saline Valley since 1982!
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