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James Sel

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Posts: 336
 #31 
Growing up in Ridgecrest has given you superior desert driving skills.

SalineJim

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Posts: 32
 #32 
Replying to the poster about coming from LA.  I've been going to Saline now for 16 years.  I grew up in Ridgecrest so even though I now live in Palm Desert, I always stop in Ridgecrest and then head up 395 from there.  I will tell you there is not much difference in time.  If both roads are in good condition south pass coming from the south might be at most 15 minutes faster maybe.  I've made it from Ridgecrest to the springs in 3 hours most of you remember probably about 5 to 6 years ago they graded the south and it was like a smooth highway.  But I've done the north from ridgecrest in less than 3 1/2.  So, bottom line is the north is no problem coming from LA, and because the south is in such bad condition it's a no brainer to take the north if and until it gets snowed it.
paul belanger

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Posts: 248
 #33 
Hmmmm, any confirmation on road work being done on the grapevine section of the south pass?
Hi Desert Warrior

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Posts: 207
 #34 
Went to the springs last Monday via north route.  Had no problems going through the wash outs and didn't have to use 4X4.  It took me 2 1/2 hours to get to the springs.  The road is marked closed, but puck-ups, mid size SUV's and 4X4s can make it in O.K..  At the lower springs was an RV and a few pick-up campers.  About 10 vehicles in all.  I camped at the middle springs and there were 12 vehicles there, mostly SUVs.  Monday and Tuesday had a great view of the Space Station passing overhead at dusk.  Talk of the day was about Debby a woman in her 40's who walked from Big Pine to the springs without water and food.  Luckly, a Ranger picked her up on saline valley road about 3 AM and gave her a lift to the lower springs.  All she had was a day pack with a down jacket and a ground cloth.  One camper took her in and shared his food and tent with her when it rained.  A 80 year old man came to the springs late Tuesday in his small Ford pick-up truck by way of the south road.  He said a grader was up at the grapevine grading and moved some boulders for him to get by.  It took him 10 hours to get to the springs.  He was leaving Friday morning after the big storm by way of the south pass and we talked him into going out the north. Wednesday night a storm came through and droped snow on the mountains that burned off by the end of the day.  Thursday's Big storm covered all the Inyo mountains with snow Friday morning.  About 8 vehicles left the springs that morning, including me.  Going out the north pass I passed 4 vehicles comming in to the springs.  Didn't see any stuck vehicles on the way out.  Incomming traffic said the next couple of days it would be 100 plus at the springs.  Burros were a no show Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  As of last Friday, pick-ups, mid size SUVs and 4X4 shouldn't have any trouble getting to the springs by the north route, that's what I believe on what I observed on the road.
paul belanger

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Posts: 248
 #35 
If you are coming from the LA area through Olancha, it doesn't seem that far to go around.  From Olancha to Big Pine is 65 miles, another 52 to the springs, approx 37 or so off pavement.  Olancha to junction of Saline Road & 190 hwy is 31 miles, another 52 off pavement, to the springs.  (OK, the first 10 miles are semi-paved.)

Approx 36 additional highway miles to go around, about a half hour at highway speed.  (Is my math right?)  Add in the north pass is, usually, slightly easier than the south pass, and it doesn't seem too much of a burden to go around.

Unless, of course, you are like me and want to see it for yourself before going around.  Conditions are very changable out there.  It wouldn't surprise me if, with collective effort, south pass becomes passable with a stock 4x4 (in my case, pulling a trailer) before too long. Hmmm, maybe by Thanksgiving?  Now, only about 6 weeks away?
James Sel

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Posts: 336
 #36 

Yea, that's it threaten them with a lawsuit unregistered...... They'll just close it completely.
Unregistered
 #37 
A good lawsuit against the park can speed up the release of endangered gravel.
Tule

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Posts: 103
 #38 
I spoke with the Inyo County Road Dept yesterday and was told there are no plans in the works to repair the road through south pass.  They are having difficulty getting the materials they need from their former SV area gravel pits as the pits are now located within the park.  Are we surprised at this?
SilverBob

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Posts: 385
 #39 
Yeah, we just did the South to see and report exactly how bad it is.  I have no intention of doing it again any time soon.  North Pass is much quicker, not to mention easier on the vehicle.
Lysdexic

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Posts: 65
 #40 
Doesn't look so bad. I'll still take North Pass though.
Christine

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Posts: 3
 #41 
$3000?!?  One might be tempted to remove all ID numbers and leave the vehicle.  Only the photos which include vehicles give any sense of the real conditions.  I'll be leaving the south to you rock crawling wizards!
SilverBob

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Posts: 385
 #42 
Doh! I forgot to log in again before making that last post.
Unregistered
 #43 
Hi Christine,  the Ranger's Jeep is only one of the vehicles that's been through.  I also learned that Miller's Towing has had to haul two vehicles out the South Pass in the last week and a half.  Mr. Miller is energetically lobbying Inyo County to get the road at least graded enough that his tow trucks don't get damaged every time they go in.  By the way, Miller's charges $300 per hour for off-road rescues.  The two vehicles they towed recently were charged $2500 and $3000.  Everyone needs to keep that in mind if you decide to take a shot at the South Pass.
Christine

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Posts: 3
 #44 
Great report and photos Bob and Michelle.  Looks like the prior tracks might be the DV Ranger.  Check out this facebook album:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.355195274571133.84877.355187667905227&type=1
Unregistered
 #45 
thank you so much for your great info.  Going in Friday, have done this trip many times.  Dodge RAM 2500 4WD with oversize tires.  Tires are all terrain and brand new.  Based on your description, SPass is a mess  
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