Saline Preservation Association

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Posts: 14
Water roaring through. Now that would really be something to see. Scary. Amazing. Awe-inspiring.

Posts: 34
Whoops.  I should have said six times in 50 years, but I will still stick with a return frequency of something on the order of once every 10 years.

Posts: 34
Well based on this information, there were washouts of some magnitude in 67, 69, twice in the 70s, 03 and 13.

That seems to say that washouts have occurred about five times in about 50 years, so a washout seems to have a return frequency of about 10 years based on this anecdotal information.

Posts: 4
To my recollection there were major washouts the summers of '67 and '69. Both summers had extensive thunderstorms. Also, there were two Labor Day weekends in the late '70s that had dying hurricanes that came up through the Sea of Cortez and occluded over the Sierras. There were a lot of washed out roads at those times also. Suggest you look at the weather records as summers with extensive thunderstorms probably have about a 20% chance of washing the road out.

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Posts: 125
I truly don't remember any other washouts like the two in '03 and '13. Those storms were very powerful and damaging.  I lived in Oregon from 1991 to 2009 and had to use South Pass on most occasions because of snow, not the road being gone. It was usually only one trip a year, on Presidents Weekend.
My Dad took me out to the Springs in 1982, he had been buggying out in the area for quite a few years before we went. We had "Baja Bugs" when I first started to come out on a semi regular basis. Those vehicles would go most places out in the area, and we explored many, many places in them.
I believe that I only missed 2 or 3 years since 1982 of not coming into Saline, but sometimes memories can be a little fuzzy.


Posts: 158
love your halo

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Posts: 420

The 2003 washout occurred about 3/4 of a mile north of Willow Creek. If you look on Google Earth,you can see a major ravine coming out of Paiute Canyon. That's the one that stopped most people in 2003. I say most people because it was possible to get around the washout, but you'd have had to drive into the "Designated Wilderness Area" to do so. To the best of my recollection, nobody that I know did that. I just heard that it was possible. [angel]


Posts: 34
Thanx for the 2003 photos.

Was the 2003 washout in the same vicinity as the 2013 washout, i.e. at Willow Creek?

Does anybody else have photographs or at least recollections of the occurrence of major washouts prior to 2003?

Can someone say something like "I've been coming every year since 1872 (or whatever) and saw such a washout only X times other than 2003 and 2013?"

Posts: 13
Seems the damage in 2003 was similar to and about as severe as 2013 (these photos were taken on Oct. 25, 2003).  I don't recall any similar massive washouts in the intervening years.  As for years prior to 2003, hopefully someone else can comment.


Posts: 34
A 24-inch culvert is not a very big culvert, especially considering the amount of area that drains to this site, so I would not expect it to handle really big storms.

On the other hand, the storm last year may have been a very rare event, say maybe a 50-year or 100-year storm. 

Has anyone seen any data on the estimated return frequency of the storm?

Has anyone who has been visiting Saline Valley for a long time ever seen as much damage?  (I am looking for anecdotal evidence of what the return period might be.  Who can tell me that they have never seen such damage in X years?)

With regard to Bat Rock Road, a merry work party crew of 14 people did a good job of improving the worst spots hear Saline Valley Road during the Thanksgiving week.  I am hoping to return for President's week and/or Easter week 2014 and to organize road improvement expeditions on one or two days during each of my visits.  We would start around 0900, drive out, work for about two hours (if it goes more than two hours it becomes work instead of fun), have a wine break or two , then drive back.  About three hours total.  Come one, come all.  The more the merrier and the more improvement that we can make to the road.  Be sure to bring shovels, picks, rakes, and pinch bars (breaker bars or whatever you call them).  You probably bring some of these things anyway.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Bonneau Dickson
The Wine Guy
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