Saline Preservation Association

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dautremont

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Posts: 48
 #1 
Went in Steel Pass May 28.  Road in fair condition, with plenty of rocks stacked in the Dedeckera steps for easier passage.  Good packed sand around Eureka dunes, with Death Valley road and the dunes road well graded.  Completely deserted, but a fair number of recent tire tracks visible all the way through.  The eureka outhouse is locked.  
Gracie Grader

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 #2 

First time exited through Steele Pass after fearing it for 30 years, in Jeep Grand Cherokee (mild street tires).  Wow!  Most beautiful road ever driven in almost a million miles.

March 23, 2020.  Always curious about the "steps" and the "narrows."  Same location for both.  Passed some full sized pickups who advised there was some "technical" driving and they - maybe - scraped a little metal along the way.  It seemed like I had mere inches to spare.

Technical driving?  A few places including the narrows.  Helpful to have someone in front "micro-guiding" your steering so you don't drop off of a rock and hang up on your frame.

The "road" up from Palm Springs to the pass, maybe 13 miles, totally washed out gravel - the tracks "picked out" by earlier drivers with larger higher rigs.  Very passable with 4WD and reasonably high clearance.  Extra credit given for previous off-road driving skills.  Advise 2-3 mph and enjoy the peace, quiet and view.

I always carry two spare tires into SV if I'm going off the beaten paths (other than SV Road and Springs Road).  Got a flat from a small pointed stone while at the salt tram area.  Fixed it back at camp with a tire plug repair kit and used that tire through the rugged exit trek.  With one spare and an unfixable flat, I would immediately leave the Valley by the shortest route to services - most likely the North road.

Given the above precautions, Steel Pass will probably remain in great shape throughout the spring, and everyone who loves SV should drive it once.  It took us 5+ hours from Palm to Big Pine.

Flipper

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 #3 
Please read the posts in General topics concerning the springs.
Rexbo

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 #4 
Came through Steele Pass Friday 3/20 after the storm on Thurs. Some mud on the Eureka dunes side but nothing serious, and some snow at the pass that was quickly melting. No rain washouts or anything out of the ordinary. 
dautremont

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 #5 
Went in over Steele pass Monday March 2, after the snowstorm.  Road was in good shape, with lots of melting snow in the big plateau area.  Terrific view of Saline Valley beginning the descent from the pass.   pic1.jpg  pic2.jpg 
Wombat

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 #6 

Went out (from Saline) via Steele Pass on 3/1. All clear and nothing out of the ordinary.

Macfly

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 #7 
Drove in to Saline through the pass on Monday Feb 24, all easy and straight forward with nothing beyond the usual expected little tight spots.

No snow, ice or other impediments.
SteveO90290

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 #8 
My F-350 is a 30 year old "ranch" truck but it sounds like i'd be better off in my Grand Cherokee after I install sliders.  The wide track on the raptor might make my friend reconsider since his is brand new.

hughman

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 #9 
@slash2 pretty sure I'd have told them they'd die so turn around and go back to your rental car and find a motel 6.

There has been a debate regarding groups like overland bound that while helping people be more prepared have increased the population in the hard to get to places. These ungrateful folks Chumura gave a lift are likely the spawn of Social Media blowing up spots. Recently the official Death Valley NPS IG feed featured the springs. I'll just say it I don't like it! Every time I visit the springs there's more and more people! If I wanted to be in close proximity to a bunch of people I'd just stay in Los Angeles.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B6wXn1wJr1N/?igshid=rjqh2ojihd1u
peneumbra

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 #10 
Sometimes we do...
slash2

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 #11 
Came in Steel on the 7th in a Tacoma with a popup camper and stock size BFG K02's, had no problem negotiating the steps, just take it easy and know your line, and the locking rear dif is a big plus too! I have maybe 2" of lift with the airbags inflated to support the camper.

Saw the rental parked at the base of the steps and later encountered Chumura bringing the 3 people who had left their rental car there to hike into the springs back out. I have to give Chumura praise for 1) picking them up and giving them a ride to the springs, possibly save their lives, and 2) giving them a lift back out even after they were less than grateful for his efforts.

Sometimes I wonder if we shouldn't just let natural selection take it's course. 
dautremont

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Posts: 48
 #12 
NFS rangers are probably some of the people most familiar with Dedeckera Canyon and Steele pass, knowing how conditions can change quickly, and what vehicle might make it, under what conditions, with possibly some considerable continuous experience with the local roads.  Trying for the first time, unguided, is dicey even for the accomplished off road driver.  It took me three tries before I made the complete transit over Steel pass 10 years ago, although I go through now with relative ease most times, in the same vehicle I struggled with back then.  
hughman

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 #13 
A video is worth a lot of words. I drive a lifted fourth gen 4Runner and have scraped my rock rails a tiny bit though they flare out by the rear wheel but that's their purpose. I wouldn't want to drive along wheelbase through Dedeckara but I know people have. I'd imagine a lot of spotting and probably taking a line where you wheel up over the rocks in the narrow sections. Just be prepared for multiple outcomes whether that's vehicle damage or having to backtrack. Good luck and embrace the adventure.
joe

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 #14 
Posted some time ago. A 4 minute GoPro head cam video of my solo trip through in ‘13 in the FJ.
Forgive the sound, but is was better than me narrating ...

MadMax

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 #15 
Last year when I was staying at Eureka, the NFS Rangers took both a modified Tacoma and a level lifted 2018 Ford F-150 crew cab, short bed through Dedeckera without issue. When we came through the next day, we verified that they had cleared the canyon and Steele pass by chatting with some of the folks at the springs. 

IMO, you could probably make it though with the CCLB F-350, but you'll be spotting a lot through the whole drive and having to navigate tight, unforgiving corners with the real possibility of some damage. All depends on how much the truck means to you. 
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