Registered: 1426626960 Posts: 26
Drove 395 South yesterday in the lull between the storms. Looked up East at Big Pine. There was fresh snow atop the Inyo Mountains. None was there on the 2nd when I drove North. With the latest storm there is bound to be usual suspect spots in the shade on both passes. Less snow was present above Owens Lake, I surmise South Pass will be in better condition than North pass, but new snow fell regardless. The conditions caused a good rain shadow coming off the Sierras.
The current atmospheric river is supposed to go through this weekend. NWS is calling for snow on South pass this Friday. YMMV.
Registered: 1545446405 Posts: 4
Came down South Pass 12\19. Had no problem going down without chains, about 3-4 shaded sections of grapevine canyon right below the pass that have some snow and ice. We never lost traction. We came out through Lippincott , but we felt confident that going slow, coming back up would be manageable. Of course, carry chains please.
Registered: 1454341362 Posts: 21
Left the Valley December 11th........in a hefty 4x4 truck....out south pass, just ahead of pooper scooper rig.....LUCKY MOVE! Near top section running in 2x lost traction and had to get out and lock hubs ( older rig). When opening the door , truck starts to slide backward.......heart skipped a beat.....of course berms to probably stop rig before going into a bad situation over the edge. Holding onto the truck as not to slip and having another situation go not the way I’d like.....got around to lock hubs........truck grabbed and got of SHADY ICE area.........What I’m imparting as a 4 decade ENJOYER of the Valley.........ALL......including NEWBIES .....NEED TO BE FORTHRIGHT as to your road situation and be prepared.......another rig going in with you and/ or chains! Had 4 tire chains ( 2 sets) in the back if needed and have been in the past.......Don’t depend on others or Miller’s.......SAFE TRAVELS!
I called miller towing and they said they had it removed today. So it should be gone unless the guy I spoke to was misinformed but he insisted they towed it out
I was planning to exit south pass yesterday but had first hand reports that the poop truck was still stuck and was blocking the entire road. Exited north pass instead but had to tow a 2wd van up the icy incline.
Registered: 1295390965 Posts: 805
Miller scouted today. Will remove tomorrow per facebook.
Registered: 1382978833 Posts: 9
NPS just posted that the South Pass is closed due to a stuck NPS Pumper Truck stuck in the snow and North Pass is closed due to snow . . .
Registered: 1452396689 Posts: 10
A friend drove out the South Pass 3 days ago and reported the road to be in good shape and no snow. This storm will no doubt change that. I would expect at least a few inches toward the top of the pass by now.
Registered: 1512947458 Posts: 12
On the Saturday after Thanksgiving we passed a white Toyota Yaris with a broken rear wheel/axel about half way up the climb to the South Pass off the valley floor. It was on a wider part of the road, but had it been in the twisty part (where we passed the Miller flatbed coming to rescue it) it would have been a real pain to have gotten past.
One of those hidden bumps on the valley floor going to the Bat pole claimed one of our shocks too, and we were only going at 25 or so! I managed to get it all the way back to LA driving gently, but with the sun just right the darned things are invisible, so be wary on 'Bat Road'.
Registered: 1462561975 Posts: 42
Smiffy, you have it right also. I came out a few weeks ago and the valley floor has some nasty surprises. Most vehicles will not handle them well. My rig is setup to handle it at speed, but most need to stay below 30 MPH. John from London
Registered: 1378875129 Posts: 22
Syncro and Kevin have it right - I came out on Sunday - south pass has parts that ain’t fun - definitely seen it in better shape - but some parts are okay. Some surprise bumps out there on the valley floor - take it slow people or we’ll see more rollovers again like last year!
Have seen north pass in better shape imo - washboard on valley floor was not cool....
Registered: 1305470958 Posts: 21
Came out south pass yesterday. Some parts worst I've seen, some parts not so bad. Massive dust around Lee Flats. Please drive slow when passing other vehicles, unlike that white Tacoma that dusted us big time. No matter which pass you use, be ready for "surprise bumps", they're out there!
Registered: 1452396689 Posts: 10
I camped near the covered wagon group at the bottom of the South Pass on Tuesday. They were going to try make it to the springs by Friday. They also wanted to go up over Steel Pass and were prepared to break the wagon down and lower it down the steps if needed. I can't imagine taking a wagon over Steel, IMO the section on the Saline side would probably give them more problems than the steps.
As to the South Pass condition, true any car could make it if you take it slow but it's the worst condition I have seen it in in several years. The washboard is particularly bad along with minor washouts what seemed like every 100 yards. On the other hand the North Pass is in great shape. I'll be taking the North in and out until the graders make their way to the South.
Registered: 1349384838 Posts: 20
Drove out South Pass on Thursday, 10/25. Seemed better than other times I've driven it, some washboard here and there but imo nothing a regular car couldn't handle, driven carefully.
One surprise on our way from the Springs to the main road: we passed a settler-style wagon with four horses! From the tracks you could see they'd brought it in through South Pass. Rather them than me.
Registered: 1378163212 Posts: 3
We drove out this way on Saturday and mdskier is exactly correct on description. It was 3 hours from Palm Springs to South pass with a few stops to admire the view and have some lunch. We were driving a 2013 Subaru Outback.