Thanksgiving Death Valley ride, Nov 2014

Packed the bike and after work I headed out to explore Death Valley for the long turkey day weekend. The plan was to head to Saline Valley hot springs (on recommendation from the Sweeneys!) for turkey day then head south over Lippincott Pass to The Racetrack, then on to Cerro Gordo, Lone Pine for gas, then Stove Pipe Wells for the second night. After that I headed north out of the park and over Wyman Creek road to the Bristlecones then into Bishop for gas. I called Benton hot springs but they were full up so i decided to head north with the idea that id camp at one of the many hot springs up by Mammoth Lakes. As i neared Mammoth the winds picked up and it was really hard to ride, so i decided to grab a hotel in Mammoth instead. After a good nights sleep and and hour or two looking for open highways (many passes had closed), i decided id take a chance with HWY 50. Turned out ok, but i did get snowed on which is not super fun on a bike (visor kept freezing up and i had very little visibility for most of the high elevation part). All in all a great ride! 1172 miles altogether.

Note on Steele Pass (mainly for Sweeney): Met a GS800 rider in Saline that had ridden Steele and it looks like going south it was hard but doable. He said he would not try it going north and had to unload his bike and rev/push the bike up parts. Also theres a really interesting road that was sign posted “designated passage through a wilderness area” that had an image of  a dirt bike and quad at 37°22’60.0″N 117°49’57.9″W. Might be worth checking out next trip…


Posted on December 2, 2014, in KLR, Places and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Wow … great ride! How was Cerro Gordo? Did you borrow gas at Saline or did you have enough to make Lone Pine?

    • Hey Sweeney 1,
      Cerro Gordo is pretty darn cool. Hard to get to the way i approached but the road from the west is easy (STEEP) enough. I guess theres a seasonal hotel there which i think you two need to go stay at and let me know about! I wish i had more time to explore CG but i got there at sunset and needed to hustle.
      As for gas- i filled up at Big Pine just before going in and was fine all the way through saline, racetrack, cerro gordo then out to Lone Pine to top up before heading back into Stovepipe.

  2. The other Sweeney here… What an epic trip ryan! Beautiful shots as always. The mix of photos give a neat snapshot of the community of folks that gather in saline valley for tday along the starkness of the desert

    • Hello Sweeney 2,

      Yes, the crew at Saline is something else for sure. Such a contrast as you put it between lifeless sparse desert and rich and bountiful Turkey day crew and food at the springs. Pretty neat spot for sure. Next time i need to go with a posse….

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