Thanksgiving Advice

A forum that'll feed your need for exploring the limitless adventure possibilities found in "other" places. Post trip reports or ask questions about outdoor adventures beyond the Sierra Nevada here.
User avatar
bobby49
Topix Expert
Posts: 967
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:17 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Thanksgiving Advice

Post by bobby49 » Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:34 pm

neil d wrote:
Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:25 pm

My favorite way in from 395 (coming south) is the DV-Big Pine Road out of Big Pine. Especially for any of the more northern features of the park (Saline Valley, Eureka Dunes, Ubehebe Crater, or Racetrack). This is a main access road so gets pretty good attention and maintenance. Some sections will be washboarded, but I don't remember any clearance issues.
That section of road south from Crankshaft Junction used to be silly that it was so washboarded.

Before you go into Death Valley at Thanksgiving time, you really need to have a well-ordered set of priorities. There are too many things that can go wrong. Having said that, I can claim that my favorite spot is the Racetrack Valley.








User avatar
creekfeet
Topix Regular
Posts: 115
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:54 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Thanksgiving Advice

Post by creekfeet » Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:29 pm

Another hot springs option in near Death Valley is Tecopa. The springs are unique in that it's a full on chest-high creek you, so there's no shortage of space. Anyhow, I've rarely seen more than 2-3 people there. You can't camp at the springs themselves, but there's dispersed camping just a few miles away.

User avatar
eyemgh
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:47 pm
Experience: Level 2 Backpacker

Re: Thanksgiving Advice

Post by eyemgh » Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:56 pm

bobby49 wrote:
Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:34 pm
Before you go into Death Valley at Thanksgiving time, you really need to have a well-ordered set of priorities. There are too many things that can go wrong. Having said that, I can claim that my favorite spot is the Racetrack Valley.
Thanks for the Racetrack Valley tip. Will you expand on the “there are too many things that can go wrong” especially as it pertains to late Nov.? Thanks!

User avatar
bobby49
Topix Expert
Posts: 967
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:17 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Thanksgiving Advice

Post by bobby49 » Sat Sep 26, 2020 10:02 pm

Most visitors to Death Valley do insufficient planning for weather. At that time of year, the weather can be anything from hot to cold and snow. Some of those roads like the Racetrack Valley Road are very hard on car tires, and getting towed out of there would be extremely expensive. Lots of visitors expect heat and lack of water, and then they get surprised with a thunderstorm and a flood.

User avatar
eyemgh
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:47 pm
Experience: Level 2 Backpacker

Re: Thanksgiving Advice

Post by eyemgh » Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:30 am

bobby49 wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 10:02 pm
Most visitors to Death Valley do insufficient planning for weather. At that time of year, the weather can be anything from hot to cold and snow. Some of those roads like the Racetrack Valley Road are very hard on car tires, and getting towed out of there would be extremely expensive. Lots of visitors expect heat and lack of water, and then they get surprised with a thunderstorm and a flood.
Ahhh, makes sense. I’ve only driven 395 at that time of the year to and from Mammoth ski races. We’ll have high clearance 4WD, 4 wheel snows and 4 wheel chains. And, we’ll bring a modicum of intelligence, a conservative approach and a flexible schedule. :thumbsup:

User avatar
eyemgh
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:47 pm
Experience: Level 2 Backpacker

Re: Thanksgiving Advice

Post by eyemgh » Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:35 pm

I think we have a plan. First day, Ashland to Mono Lake, boondocking in the section of the Inyo with the large Jeffrey Pine forest just south of the lake. Second night boondocking in DVNP. Third night at Ryan Campground in JTNP. Finally landing in La Quinta at an AirBnB for a few days around Thanksgiving.

My biggest question now is what route through DVNP?

We only have one day. We don't have to see everything. We just want the biggest bang for the bucks, ideally away from crowds. My gut says Race Track Valley, but if you were entering at Big Pines and wanted to exit on the Southeast side to get to JTNP, how would you spend your time and where would you stop?

We like hiking, but it seems like given the limited time, we'd probably spend more time in the truck sightseeing, before popping the top somewhere. We'll hike a day or two in JTNP and can hike from our house in OR.

Also, what map(s) do you prefer? I have the National Geographic DVNP map, but it's just the park. I have the USFS Inyo Atlas too, but it has some flaws. For example the turn near Zurich onto Death Valley Rd just past the Owens River isn't on the map. It shows up labeled as 9S18 on the next page, but then tracing it through the pages, the road simply isn't there on the page flip at the entry to DVNP. Obviously it doesn't end. There's also a naming inconsistency between the NG map, Google Maps and the Forest Atlas. I prefer to be sufficient with only paper if we're in the boons as electronics can fail and/or lose signal.

Thanks for all the help!

User avatar
eyemgh
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:47 pm
Experience: Level 2 Backpacker

Re: Thanksgiving Advice

Post by eyemgh » Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:44 pm

Also, a pic of the rig was requested. Let's see if this works. Finger's crossed!
You must be registered and logged in to view the files/photos attached to this post.

User avatar
bobby49
Topix Expert
Posts: 967
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:17 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Thanksgiving Advice

Post by bobby49 » Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:52 pm

I will not say that your proposed route through DVNP is crazy, but it does seem a bit naive. The Racetrack Valley Road can be very slow if you have any respect for the underside of your vehicle. I never go to the Racetrack Valley unless I have a day there for foot exploration of the various mines. It takes me another whole day to hike in and out of Marble Canyon, and another whole day to hike in and out of Mosaic Canyon.

OTOH, if you just want to say that you've seen DVNP, then drive up to Dantes View.

User avatar
bobby49
Topix Expert
Posts: 967
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:17 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Thanksgiving Advice

Post by bobby49 » Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:04 pm

eyemgh wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:35 pm
I have the USFS Inyo Atlas too, but it has some flaws. For example the turn near Zurich onto Death Valley Rd just past the Owens River isn't on the map. It shows up labeled as 9S18 on the next page, but then tracing it through the pages, the road simply isn't there on the page flip at the entry to DVNP. Obviously it doesn't end.
Yes, 9S18 is the official number. Occasionally I've seen a road sign there with words that are consistent with the northern entry to Death Valley, so I never had to think about it very much. They don't want to make those roads seem too inviting. If they did, then there would be all sorts of dead tourists found much later. Those roads were there before that area officially became part of DVNP, so the signs and naming conventions have changed through the years.

User avatar
eyemgh
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:47 pm
Experience: Level 2 Backpacker

Re: Thanksgiving Advice

Post by eyemgh » Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:10 pm

bobby49 wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:52 pm
I will not say that your proposed route through DVNP is crazy, but it does seem a bit naive. The Racetrack Valley Road can be very slow if you have any respect for the underside of your vehicle. I never go to the Racetrack Valley unless I have a day there for foot exploration of the various mines. It takes me another whole day to hike in and out of Marble Canyon, and another whole day to hike in and out of Mosaic Canyon.

OTOH, if you just want to say that you've seen DVNP, then drive up to Dantes View.
Completely naive is more like it! :D This is the kind of feedback I'm looking for. Thanks!

I only mentioned the Race Track because another poster said it was their favorite area. I know nearly nothing about DVNP thus far, just what I've read in the downloadable park handout. I'm just now fact finding.

I'm not afraid of rough road or even rutted two track if it'll get us someplace special. It can't be very technical or narrow though. We have good clearance, plates and good E rated LT tires with good sidewall protection, but carrying the 900 lb camper and gear it certainly is isn't nimble like a lifted Jeep or fully tricked out Tacoma. Also, we wouldn't want a trek that takes three days.

Now if you said the Race Track would take 5 hours of slow going, but is the coolest area of the park, we'd likely bite.

Also, given that Thanksgiving will be crowded with people on the beaten path, we are certainly willing to get off of it for the sake of isolation...within reason...which I guess is in the eyes of the beholder.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: oddtiger and 4 guests