December 19-22, 2008
Death Valley National Park, starting at Panamint Springs, California.
This is going to be an epic tour of a large percentage of the off-road trails located within the north-west portion of Death Valley National Park. The plan is to spend all four days camping and off-roading. We will see The Racetracks, Eureka Dunes, Scotty's Castle, Stovepipe Wells and all that there is to explore in between including beautiful desert scenery and many old ghost towns.
General Plan and Meeting Places:
Day 1: Friday, Dec. 19th: Panament Springs to Homestead Dry Camp. 66 miles.
Top off our tanks in Penament Springs and leave by 9:00 a.m. driving west to the entrance of Hidden Valley Road to The Grandstand and The Racetrack and ending the day at Homestead Dry Camp
Day 2: Saturday, Dec. 20th: Homestead Dry Camp to Eureka Dunes Dry Camp. 52 miles.
Leave Homestead Dry Camp at 9:00 a.m. taking Saline Valley Road past Warm Spring Camp Ground to Steel Pass Road to Eureka Dunes Dry Camp
Day 3: Sunday, Dec. 21st: Eureka Dry Camp to Mesquite Spring Camground. 87 miles.
Leave Eureka Dunes Dry Camp at 9:00 a.m. Continue north along South Eureka Valley Road to North Eureka Valley Road. We'll head up a 4-wheel drive road through Cucomungo Canyon then north to Hwy 266. We'll be on pavement for 10.7 miles to Lida where we'll head south along Tule Canyon to join Big Pine / Death Valley Road. We will finish up the day at Mesquite Spring Campground. This plan may have to be altered if no gas is available at Scotty's Castle.
Day 4: Monday, Dec 22nd: Mesquite Spring Campground to Stovepipe Wells Village. 106 miles.
Leave Stovepipe Well Village at 9:00 a.m. then stopping by Scotty's Castle to explore a bit. We'll continue northeast up Hwy 267 crossing into Nevada to Bonnie Claire then head south on dirt roads to Beatty. From Beatty we'll go to Titus Canyon Road. We'll be on pavement once again as we end the day in Stovepipe Wells Village.
There is gas in Panamint Springs, Beatty, and Stovepipe Wells. The longest distance between fill ups will be about 210 miles. Bring an extra 5 gallons if you are concerned.
Expect temperatures to be from 70F during the day to 30F in the evening. Bring some warm clothes and a decent sleeping bag.
Bring plenty of water. A 5-gallon container of water is standard emergency backup.
Travel prepared. Things can go wrong quickly in the backcountry. Pre-trip planning could save your life. Bring basic tools, a shovel, extra water and food with you. In the higher elevations, snow and ice conditions may require tire chains. Top off your gas tank before starting a trip. Flat tires are a common problem for backcountry visitors due to rough road conditions or from having unsuitable tires. Make sure your vehicle is equipped with “off-road” tires rather than highway or street tires. Carry at least one inflated spare tire (preferably two), a can of fix-a-flat or tire plug kit, a 12-volt air-compressor, a lugwrench, and be sure all parts of your jack are on hand. Know how to use your equipment before you head out.
Backcountry Roads at nps.gov (includes map)
Travis Gill (aka Snoopy) at [email protected]
We will be using FRS Radio channel 12, subcode 24 for communications.