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Death Valley racetrack road??

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Death Valley racetrack road??

Postby rams » Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:46 pm

Hey,

I've been meaning to visit the Racetrack Playa in Death Valley for some time now, but have read so many horror stories online about how you're basically guaranteed to get a flat tire or need some sort of car repair after going out there. Has anyone been on that road that's also driven some of the unpaved roads in the eastern Sierra? If so, what Sierra roads would you compare the racetrack road to in terms of clearance requirements or washboardiness (if that's a word)? The worst Sierra roads I've traveled have been Sherwin Creek to Laurel Lakes (wasn't the driver though) and Parker Bench overlooking Grant Lake (was the driver). Some lesser dirt roads I've tried in the recent past have been Green Creek and the Lundy beaver dams. Sorry for such a long-winded question!



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Postby Trailtrekker06 » Tue Nov 07, 2006 8:52 pm

rams- can't really compare for ya, but can tell you that it is definately the most washboard-y road I have ever been on. Been over it only in four wheel drive, but have seen 2wd vehicles out there. I just remember it as a very long ride and extremly bumpy. It was worth it, though!!
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Postby rams » Thu Nov 09, 2006 10:50 am

Thanks for the reply, Trailtrekker. I ended up going last weekend and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It's not as bad as some of the eastern sierra dirt roads I've seen, except for the fact that it's 27 miles each way. Other than some sharp rocks here and there that might puncture a tire, it seemed like people grossly exaggerate the difficulty of that road. Although, I definitely wouldn't want to be stranded out there. And I guess I have to drive it after some flash floods come through before I can be too cocky.
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Postby Trailtrekker06 » Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:56 am

It can get pretty freakin' washboardy! Last time I was there, it was at 2AM and the road form the U. Crater out past Teakettle seemed to go on and on and on. I stayed vibrating for about a half an hour after we stopped!!! Be going out that way over Thanksgiving to check out the Corridor. Hopefully it won't get too washed out before then. Glad ya didn't have any problems. What did you do out there?
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Postby rams » Thu Nov 09, 2006 1:02 pm

Hmm, driving at 2 am sounds a little crazier than what my friend and I did. We ended up just spending about an hour at the playa photographing the moving rocks. Right up until we were getting ready to leave, we were the only ones there, which added to the spook factor. I couldn't believe how quiet it was out there. I'm going back sometime between thanksgiving and christmas since my dad's been anxious to see it for the first time. Maybe we'll see the racetrack road in its "normal" condition (hopefully not). But as of 11/4/06, it wasn't anything to worry about (other than some sharp rocks). Have fun out there.
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