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Death Valley Trek

Guys, 

I am short on time and may need help planning this one.  Alain is suggesting the following which looks like a fun trip:  

Death Valley through Eureka Dunes, Steel Pass, Saline Valley and Racetrack Road.     

For campsites I see the following on the loop:
- Mesquite Springs (reservable)
- Homestake Dry Camp
- Warm Springs
- Eureka Dunes

Depending on how much ground we are covering we can pick the campsites as we progress....

Map Here:  http://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/upload/Backcountry%20Roads-2.pdf

Assuming we  meet Friday in or close to DV and go our separate ways Sunday...  Is it possible to do the saline loop and fit in the drive to racetrack? Should we meet out there Thursday to fit it all in?  Looking at the map I wasn't sure what is do-able.  I will do some more homework.  If anyone has input or suggestions let me know.

Also looks like we will have 7+ vehicles going so we will "split up" in to two groups that may happen to be driving together and ending up at the same camp sites.

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  • carl

    Here's a little gem that I read today. It explains the moving rocks at the racetrack. enjoy.

    http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/nature/post/racetrack-playa-mystery-death-valley-solved/

    August 27, 2014

  • Wouter De L.

    Great event. Some beautiful driving roads, little bit of technical driving, lots of dirt roads, great views, great group of people. Definite "let's do this again" feeling

    1 · April 30, 2014

  • Annabelle

    fabulous

    April 22, 2014

  • Alain R.

    Awesome meeting you guys and exploring Death Valley together.

    Btw, we continued onto Devil's Racetrack to camp on Lippincott Road and found one of those rental jeeps with a broken front axle. Had to drag it out of the way. Ouch!

    Looking forward to seeing you guys again.

    April 21, 2014

    • Ben

      Any photo of the Jeep? Wish I had stay longer. Awesome trip, thanks for organizing it!

      April 22, 2014

  • Wouter De L.

    This was legen- wait for it - dairy. Totally awesome trip and group of people. I finally met some other people crazy about their cars and doing this kind of traveling. Thanks everyone for an unforgettable time and we definitely need to do this again, and again, and again, ...
    Everyone please post your pictures here or somewhere we could all share them... I'd love to see them.
    Wouter

    1 · April 21, 2014

  • Faraz K.

    Guys thanks a lot to everyone for making this last trip awesome! I'm hooked (again). You can count me in on many future trips! I have never seen landscape like that before!

    1 · April 21, 2014

  • Annabelle

    big pine is the last gas food fill up . Then 2 hrs to the dunes. Its beyond olancha, unless u all are taking a different route to the dunes than me. C u all soon

    April 18, 2014

    • Eric S.

      Annabelle - warm springs tonight?

      April 18, 2014

  • Ben

    How about this Chevron gas station (Hwy 395 & 190) for meeting before to go into DV?

    Chevron Olancha
    Hwy 395 N & Gills Station
    Olancha, CA 93549

    Any other gas station in DV will be ~$2 higher/g.

    1 · April 16, 2014

    • Wouter De L.

      What time do you guys think you would make it there, so I can try to meet you here, from Orange County (3-4 hours drive according to Google Maps) (My number is[masked]

      April 16, 2014

    • Steve B.

      Hey guys looks like this this the meeting point between 330 and 4

      April 18, 2014

  • Ben

    Here's a trip logistic that may work well:

    Assuming we go on I5:
    1. Meet 7:30am at Walmart parking in Gilroy, exchange contact information, last chance to pick up supplies.
    2. Drive at your own pace and style, meet at park entrance either Eastern Visitor Center (also last chance for gas) or junction 190.
    3. Enter the DV through Keeler, get on Saline Valley route.
    4. First night camping: Warm Spring or Homestake racetrack.
    5. Second night camping: Homestake/Warm Spring depending if you have to leave on Sunday.

    Let's hear other's suggestions, :)

    April 8, 2014

    • Faraz K.

      Guys, I'm already running a bit late! Just left Fremont so probably 15 or 20 late. If I don't get to meet you guys at gilroy what's the next meetup spot?

      April 18, 2014

    • Faraz K.

      Sorry that'll be the eastern visitor center! Cya guys there don't want to keep you waiting!

      April 18, 2014

  • David

    I googled the landmarks that people mentioned and pasted them into a jpg for myself. Not sure if this is the itinerary, but maybe it will come in handy for someone. It will print in 14x8.5 (legal size). http://s66.photobucket.com/user/davidtang111/media/deathvalleytreklandmarks_zpse231ef82.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0

    April 17, 2014

  • Annabelle

    if anyone wants to eat a good big meal in Big Pine before getting to the Eureka campground, i highly recommend the Rossis Steak And Spaghetti Restaurant. See ya all soon!

    2 · April 17, 2014

  • Owen G

    Carl and I will meetup with you guys at Eureka Dunes on Friday night unless we hear otherwise. Safe travels!

    April 17, 2014

  • Duct Tape J.

    I'm bummed out...See you on the next trip guys...
    I shall wait for your pictures! Be safe guys...

    April 17, 2014

  • Eric S.

    Just a note for the crew... I have an on-board shower. I can only carry about 15 gallons in my tank. If you want to shower, please bring some water with you. Probably 5 gallons would be fine per person. It will be heated as well.

    2 · April 16, 2014

    • Faraz K.

      Wow :) thanks for offering!

      April 16, 2014

    • David

      heated too- the lap of luxury. I'll bring my best soap and 5gal. Thanks Eric!

      April 17, 2014

  • Owen G

    Carl and I plan to leave SJ on Thursday AM. It would be good to decide on a camping spot to meet at Thursday night as we may arrive to DV at different times. Perhaps pick ether warm springs or Homestake as Ben suggested? We should also pick a Friday night camp so Annabelle can meet us. What about Warm Springs (Thurs ), Eureka Dunes (Fri), Mesquite (Sat), Homestake (Sun)? Those heading back Sunday can skip Homestake.

    April 15, 2014

    • Annabelle

      Hey Owen thanks for thinking of me. Im taking my time and leaving thurse nite so I won't get there til friday Ill call to see where you guys are if i get in early on Friday etc 415+672+0524

      April 16, 2014

  • Adam S.

    If I can make it I will be spending the first night at either warm springs camp or Eureka Dunes camp... Ideally whichever is closest after the long drive. Anyone have input on which camp is quickest to get to from the pavement?

    April 16, 2014

    • Annabelle

      Eureka Dunes is the easiest to get to and the starting point for the steel pass. Its all pavement until you get to the camp site.

      April 16, 2014

    • Annabelle

      Eureka Dunes is all pavement until the camp site and very easy to get to. And the start of the steel pass trail

      April 16, 2014

  • Ben

    I am of the group leaving Friday morning 7:30am meeting at Walmart Gilroy parking lot (BTW, this Walmart opens 24hrs), and I am coming back on Sunday, I think Faraz is the same. Just need to know where Friday night campsite for meet up with others.

    April 15, 2014

    • Steve B.

      Eric and I will be meeting Friday morning in Gilroy too. Like Ben we need to know Friday night campsite

      April 15, 2014

    • David

      Hey guys, I'm down with this schedule too ->[masked] looking forward!

      April 16, 2014

  • David

    Hi there, thanks for organizing. I'm coming from Mountain View and would be able to join the group leaving on friday morning from Gilroy and coming back sunday. looking forward to meet you all!

    April 16, 2014

  • Wouter De L.

    Hey all,
    I am actually in Orange County (SoCal) right now for work, so I'll be driving up to DV on Friday morning.
    Is anyone sticking to the plan of meeting up at the "Eastern Visitor Center or junction 190. 3" after the trip down from Gilroy as Ben proposed a few days ago? I'd like to try to meet up with you guys then and head into DV together.
    I could potentially stay Sunday night as well and head back to the bay area on Monday, still to be considered with work.
    Looking forward to it.

    April 16, 2014

  • Eric S.

    Eric Sevim - cell number[masked]
    Steve -[masked]

    Friday night camp ground location?

    April 16, 2014

  • Ben

    OK Alain, Faraz, here's my number as well:[masked]

    April 15, 2014

  • carl

    Please text Thursday night campsite info to me at (408)[masked]

    April 15, 2014

  • carl

    Hey everyone. Well the 730am Gilroy logistics doesn’t really work for Owen and myself. We plan on leaving the bay area around 830 to 9am Thursday. My phone number is (408) 718-1892. Can someone please text me the destination campsite for Thursday night once it is all figured out? Then Owen and I will meet everyone the campsite. We should be there between 5 and 6pm. And then we are staying Sunday night too and will be returning Monday if anyone else wants to stay too. Carl

    April 15, 2014

  • carl

    I think Owen and I will head down Thursday and return Monday. We'll figure up meetup place with Ben's suggestions over the next couple of days.

    April 10, 2014

    • Annabelle

      im with you on the dates.

      April 15, 2014

  • Ben

    Thanks Alain for organizing this. Just to help out all members as to what to expect (from my experience last year), Reference to map link above: -Red line are paved, beautiful landscape drive, -Double grey line are unpaved gravel, even 2 wheel drive passenger car will have no problem (saw few Hertz rental at the Racetrack last year), - Double dotted grey line recommends 4x4, and high clearance vehicles. Looking at participant's vehicles, I think even #14 is doable with excitement! I do recommend good tires + full size spare.

    April 5, 2014

    • Alain R.

      Actually thank Adam for putting together the final details. This is going to be fun!

      April 9, 2014

  • Alain R.

    I just have a couple of VHF radios that I use to communicate between trucks :(

    April 9, 2014

  • Wouter De L.

    Does anyone/everyone have CB or HAM radio and would that be the best way to communicate on the trip, or do we improvise (I have neither at the moment, no HAM license either)?

    April 9, 2014

  • Annabelle

    I may have to cancel, will let you all know asap

    April 8, 2014

  • Annabelle

    Im going to be staying out for the week, so if anyone is interested in staying on for more 4wheelin', all are more than welcome.
    As for the route, it takes about 8 hours from the Racetrack thru Eureka Dunes to the town of Big Pine, so we should be good.

    April 7, 2014

  • Peter H.

    Out of town. Can't make it. You guys have fun.

    April 3, 2014

    • Adam S.

      Bummer. Catch you guys next time!

      April 5, 2014

    • Duct Tape J.

      Definetely! You guys be safe!

      April 6, 2014

  • Micheal

    And again with the bad timing!

    April 3, 2014

    • Adam S.

      Lol... thats 4 in a row... we should let you pickt the dates for the next one.

      April 5, 2014

  • Faraz K.

    Hey guys - I'm super excited to go! (Gonna be my first time in Cali! And with you guys!). Just wanted to make sure its cool since someone posted that there is a limit of 6 cars and technically I'm the 7th person. Are they strict about those rules or are they more like guidelines ?

    April 5, 2014

    • Adam S.

      Not sure how strict they are. I think it should be ok for us to split up into two groups...

      April 5, 2014

  • Adam S.

    Assuming we meet Friday in or close to DV and go our separate ways Sunday... Is it possible to do the saline loop and fit in the drive to racetrack?

    April 5, 2014

  • Wouter De L.

    I'm interested in joining (will be my first time), but curious when you guys would suggest breaking up camp and returning. I'm from the Bay Area, but might need to be in Orange County for work on Monday (which would work out OK, DV is much closer to OC so I could drive rather than fly).

    April 4, 2014

    • Faraz K.

      Hey mine too! I can leave with you on Sunday. I'm guessing there might be multiple people leaving Sunday!

      April 5, 2014

  • Faraz K.

    Hey guys - you thinking of coming back Sunday or Monday?

    April 4, 2014

    • Ben

      I will need to come back on Sunday to get back to rat race on Monday, unfortunately.

      April 4, 2014

    • Faraz K.

      Me too! that's why I was asking. I guess we can leave even if others want to stay! Awesome.

      April 4, 2014

  • Owen G

    Looking forward to a great spring trip in the desert!

    April 4, 2014

  • carl

    hey guys. I'm going to join ya'll. owen will be my passenger (owen is the +1 and he is not driving his truck down). looking forward to another great 4x4 trip.

    April 4, 2014

  • Ben

    Interested, when is the return day?

    April 3, 2014

  • Duct Tape J.

    Arrrghh! Bad timing! I've been itching on this trip but I guess I'll pass on this one. Need to be somewhere on the 19th. Oh well, I'll catch up with you guys on the next trip. Pictures! Pictures!

    March 29, 2014

  • Alain R.

    Awesome, we have a date!

    March 29, 2014

  • John A H.

    I've done this trip before through Saline. The roads were nigh on impassable last Fall but have been repaired since. Steel Pass is a great way into the valley and I agree with Annabelle that The Saline Hot Springs are very civilized (assuming you don't mind tubing enthusiasts). Never been in March/April. With a drought it would probably not be too bad though cold may be on the agenda.

    March 23, 2014

  • Faraz K.

    Is this still happening? I plan to definitely attend a trip this summer! :)

    March 22, 2014

  • Annabelle

    I need at date to RSVP with

    February 17, 2014

  • Adam S.

    If we have over 6 attending we can switch the trip to Anza Borego state park. I pulled it up on google maps and they are both 8 hours from the peninsula. The only difference being on the way home from death valley we may save 2 hours on drive time if we pop out on the 395/mammoth area.

    I will start looking into the rules/regulations on the state park (Anza B.) vs. National Park (DV) and wrap my head around this a little further.

    January 24, 2014

    • Duct Tape J.

      This is going to be another great trip! Count me in for one rig, two attendees...

      January 26, 2014

  • Duct Tape J.

    I didn't realize that there's a vehicle limit at DV backcountry roads. Does Anza Borrego has the same rules? I was just thinking if we have the same attendees like Mojave, that'll definitely keep us out... OR we'll split into two groups and pretend we just met up there... LOL...

    January 22, 2014

  • Adam S.

    Hey Alain, Sounds good to me. How familiar are you with these spots. I remember the DV park being a no camping zone pretty much everywhere I was/wanted to camp. There were a couple BLM spots to drive to and then head back in and explore. If you are familiar with DV do you have any insight on this?

    January 17, 2014

    • Adam S.

      Thanks John, no babies on the next couple trips. However, I was thinking you could give me some expert duct tape advise on how to secure the child seat into my 80 when the time comes ;)

      January 21, 2014

    • Duct Tape J.

      That I can help...

      January 22, 2014

  • Alain R.

    Here is a map to the backcountry roads and campsites, as well as info on backcountry travel:

    http://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/upload/Backcountry%20Roads-2.pdf

    From what I can read backcountry travel is limited to 15 people and six vehicles.

    For campsites I see the following on the loop:
    - Mesquite Springs (reservable)
    - Homestake Dry Camp
    - Warm Springs
    - Eureka Dunes

    @Anabelle, where did you camp last year?

    January 21, 2014

    • Annabelle

      I camped at homestake and just passed eureka dunes. But there are hotsprings that are camp-able if you're ok with naked people. midway btw racetrack and dunes. Plus, the trail from dunes to racetrack is more of a challenge than other way round, if you're up for that. its uphill= harder vs downhill= easier.

      January 21, 2014

  • Duct Tape J.

    I haven't been to DV myself, this would be a great trip if it pushes through! I'd definitely BE IN again!!

    January 21, 2014

  • Annabelle

    I did that loop last year. Its a good one!

    January 20, 2014

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