Saline Preservation Association

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Posts: 40
Go North Pass, sounds like a freeway at this point. South Pass is still snowed in.

Posts: 1
Hey all,

Some friends and I are planning a trip to Lower Warm Springs for the weekend of the 3rd. We'll be driving two high clearance Jeeps and were wondering what would be the best way in at the moment? South Pass, North Pass, Steele Pass? We want to leave on the evening of the 2nd and stay in either Mojave or Big Pine that night. Where we stay would obviously depend on how we're planning on going in. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Ranger Ric

Posts: 29
North pass has been graded pass springs turnoff now for a few days.  Easier access as before.  Look for Major Tom updates on the other thread.  Willow Creek fixed.  Don't know about the snow level on north pass.

Posts: 16
Jimmy:  You can take Steel(e) Pass AND/OR Lippincot. These are separate routes in and out.  I often come in to the valley via Lippincot and leave via Steele.  That's just my preference for the drive and scenery.

Marty:  Lippincot is easier heading in (west) because it is downhill.  The road is one lane and the uphill traffic has the right of way so you may find yourself backing up to let uphill traffic pass.  I feel Steele is also easier coming "in" (south) except for the steps in the canyon which aren't too hard in either direction.
I plan to take the Steele Pass / marble bath route in on Monday but do I have to take the lipncot road too?, I hear it's rough!
Anyone interested in meeting there on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday? I would prefer another vehicle.

Thanks everyone for the great info and tips. After hearing your suggestions, and speaking with Inyo Road Dept (interesting enough, the person I spoke with said the North is still closed due to "repairs," and that the South has been closed for "over three years), I will probably opt to make my first Saline trip later in the year. Since we would be traveling alone, it seems the wiser bet. Will just enjoy other parts of the park.

Just curious, GT Shane, is Lippincott easier to negotiate when heading "in"/west, as opposed to "out"/east? Just curious about your suggestion regarding Lippincott being better in, and Steele being better out… probably won't take this route either since it will be a solo vehicle trek, but curious for future reference. 

Thanks again for the help folks!

Geothermal Shane

Posts: 6
Greetings, if you are at all considering the high passes carry chains, shovels and travel in the warmer part of the day. Even still there is a risk of becoming stuck if you are traveling alone. The conditions of the South pass as of one week ago are described above and i doubt that the higher North road is any better. Although it is possible that some snow has melted off the road don't hesitate to turn back if it becomes dangerous. I agree about lippincott in/steele pass out as potentially the easiest route at the moment although they are both notoriously rugged, long and slow. No matter what route be sure to carry extra water, food and gas, and allow plenty of travel time- dvnp starts to get dark after 4pm at this time of year. If you have any question about the integrity of your tires carry two spares. Remember- Your first trip in should be a pleasant journey not a regrettable disaster! There are other times of the year when the Valley is more easily accessible. Have safe travels and t.l.!

Posts: 40
It has been reported that the wash out on North Pass has been fixed; at least that is what I remember.

Posts: 6

North has been washed out since the rain but is said to be passible with high clearance 4x4, but expect body damage. GT Shane has said South is snowed in. That leaves; down Lippincott thru the race track, and through steel pass thru Eureka Valley. Both fairly rugged.
Can anyone chime in regarding the current road status? I have been doing loads of research in preparation for my first Saline trip. NPS this AM reports Saline Roads (both north and south) are CLOSED. Thought I heard it sometimes stays listed as this despite it actually being clear of snow and ice. Any current reports or insight? I have a high clearance 4wd (Tacoma) and was hoping to head in from the north sometime tomorrow…
Thanks for the advice!

Posts: 169
awesome explanation, thanks
who unplugged the webcam on the pass?
Bob from Tahoe

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Posts: 103
I hate discontinuous cover of varying depths!
The Squirrel

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Posts: 19
yeah... yeah... me too. 

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Posts: 217
That's exactly what I was gonna type
Geothermal Shane

Posts: 6
NOAA forecasts based on projected meterological and geographic models. These cannot take into account localized exceptions due to topographic variation. The road through the upper extent of Grapevine cyn begins on a north facing slope beneath a 6000' < divide at the crest of the Nelson Range; subject to extreme wind funneling and subfreezing chill that is otherwise lacking at lower elevations in the area. In the case of the 12/19 storm event, accumulation of snow formed drifts over existing patches left by previous storms. The north facing aspect prevents direct sunlight from reaching the road at this time of year, allowing minor snowpack to buildup due to a very slow thaw rate. Wind driven drift accumulation has created deep patches in some areas while others adjacent remain bare, so there is a discontinuous cover of varying depths. From Racetrack Valley on sunday 12/22 I could see that the majority of North facing slopes in the Hunter Mt area were still totally snowbound above about 6000'.
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