Death Valley, March 2013. Day 1.
Trip report from day 1 of the recent trip to southern Death Valley around the start of March, 2013.
Day 1: around 150 miles. Ridgecrest to Furnace Creek Campground.
We met in Ridgecrest, after I drove down from the bay area on friday night and Jon driving from LA early saturday morning, and unloaded and readied the bikes. We left the trucks parked in the Walmart parking lot with no issue.
Ridgecrest to Manly Pass:
The route was out to Trona and then just north we turned onto Stockwell Mine Road, and this lead into to the hills. There were a few off shoots but the route is fairly easy to find. This road winds its way through the hills here and eventually passing through Manly Pass. This route turned out to be a little more technical then I thought it would be and might be difficult for any long wheel base 4×4 (but it was super fun on the dual sports!). At Manly Pass we rested and took in the first really good view of the changing geography. While we were not in the park yet we could see the beauty of the landscape with its colors and geological striping.
Manly Pass to Goler Wash:
We proceeded down into the valley on fairly easy dirt roads, and found our way to Coyote Canyon road which turned into Goler Wash. This was a fair bit tighter then the previous passage but as the day was heating up the shade the the shear walls created was appreciated. There are a lot of side routes leading to who knows where once we were in Goler Wash, but after we tried a few out to see where they went, we quickly abandoned them as they turned into tire eating sand pits.
Goler Wash to Furnace Creek:
The canyon was fun to explore but the sand was exhausting to ride in so we decided to B line it out and eventually shot out the other side and with a straight shot across a shallow valley and another quick climb we dropped into Death Valley proper. At this point it was around 3pm so we set course for Furnace Creek with thoughts of cold beer, sweeping through Artist Pallette on the way.
Dinner, beer and camping in Furnace Creek. Perfect weather and temperature. Not too many people but a LOT of road bikers riding there.