Registered: 1266967865 Posts: 215
Perfect! Exactly the road conditions we like.
Registered: 1549262236 Posts: 12
Current conditions on South. Not passable, but a crew of people are stacking rocks and clearing it so vehicles can get by. Somewhere in Grapevine Canyon is the best I got location-wise. Inyo County is aware, but reports washouts on North and South Eureka Valley, Willow Creek Road, Death Valley-Big Pine road, and said they sent a crew out to take a look, but it wouldn't be cleared this weekend.
Registered: 1549262236 Posts: 12
Came out South yesterday. a very light dusting of snow on top from a Friday night storm, but nothing to slow you down really. Some minor washouts and gullies from recent rains & rocks on road at spot, but even large sprinter vans were able to get around them fine. The only vehicles I imagine might have trouble are the large 6x6 military trucks, but the rocks would be movable with such a vehicle I imagine. South is much slower and bumpier than north at the moment. Things get better about 5 miles south of the salt lake to the springs turnoff.
Registered: 1265075744 Posts: 95
Got word today that the South pass currently has no snow or mud on it. It was described as "slow but doable"
Registered: 1505353296 Posts: 8
Met rangers heading into springs on Batroad on my way out via North Pass Sunday afternoon 2/3. They came in via South Pass and reported no snow, just muddy, they did not mention rocks. Didn’t sound too bad.
Registered: 1479250210 Posts: 1
South pass-coming out last night 2/1/19 @ 9-12am was raining hard all the way till I got to the highway. Whiteout fog around 5500 feet all the way up and over. Never got below freezing at any point on the drive (37F). Not much in the way of rocks on the road except one boulder that anyone could get around. This boulder was on the way into the valley. Washboard along the basin drive for most of the way. Rattled me almost out of my vehicle.
Registered: 1380958348 Posts: 7
Salt Peter,I went out South Pass at 7pm on Monday, 1/21/19. There was no snow, no ice and only a few big rocks coming out from Grapevine Cyn. So not sure what makes you doubt the previous trip report.
Registered: 1336869293 Posts: 360
The snow was all melted in the last storm. Driving slowly and around rocks are the issues now.
Registered: 1485527723 Posts: 8
The picture does not do justice to the situation. All the "snow sections" were very very icy. Please factor that in your trip planning.
Registered: 1485527723 Posts: 8
Taken on December 31 2018.
Registered: 1379868812 Posts: 10
Came out South Pass for the first time ever on the 13th. Weather was spectacular ahead of the storms that have been nonstop since the day after. I found the road to be in pretty good shape. Having somewhat aired down traveling over Steele Pass, the washboarding didn't bother me much or strike me as particularly bad. When the dirt became rock hard with scattered rocks as the road climbs up in elevation towards the pass it became a lot rougher but it wasn't bad. Near the top of the pass about 7 vehicles were stopped (pulled over) while some in the crew worked on one of the vehicles (a ford truck I think) which had apparently broken down. Quite a lot of traffic coming to and fro in Saline Valley in general it seemed to me.
Registered: 1265244387 Posts: 64
Went to springs on Dec. 28 and out on Jan. 6. Going in the entire road was about as good as I have ever seen, took approx. 3 hours asphalt to Palm; only a few areas of moderate washboard in the valley. Going out was a much different story, mostly moderate to heavy washboard until after Lee Flat, then not bad to asphalt; took almost 5 hours.
Coming out on Bat Rock Road, almost to county road, there was the biggest and longest dust trail I have ever seen entering valley at top of alluvial and moving fast. We were able to continuously observe dust trail across entire valley, the vehicles approached us near Moyer's (3 mail boxes), it was a caravan of 7 SUV's. They were driving so close to each other that all but the lead vehicle had off-road lights on; they slowed to approx. 20 mph to pass us. Based upon our speed, time and distance traveled, the caravan had to be AVERAGING in excess of 50 mph, maybe closer to 60 mph. On both legs of our trip, only about half of the vehicles, which passed us, bothered to slow down, the other half would slow to a crawl or some even stopped. A lot of "P" rated tires at springs, mostly on vehicles which should not have been off a hard surface road. Based upon the amount of road surface degradation during such a short time; I believe Inyo County is just wasting a lot of time and money grading either pass and should just do repairs only when and where there is a major washout or blockage. It seems to be nothing more than a challenge for some to destroy a road in shortest possible time. There were those individuals in the tubs which compared and bragged about their short travel times. Have a suspicion that quite a few people just got a new SUV for xmas. Happy soaks if you don't mind the mess. Geo.
Registered: 1426626960 Posts: 32
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: 25
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!