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Old 03-17-2010, 12:03 AM   #1
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U.S. 395 in March - What to see?

We will be heading up 395 from Southern California back to Oregon at the end of March. We only have three days of travel time and I'm trying to figure out what to see on the way. Thoughts have included:

- The Race Track
- Saline Valley
- Alabama Hills
- Bodie (if snow doesn't prevent us from getting there)
- Virginia City, NV

We have been to Death Valley a couple of times and hit all the sites on the paved roads, so that's why the main part of DV is not on the list. Any recommendations on highlights that we shouldn't miss?

Thanks!
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Old 03-17-2010, 07:46 AM   #2
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Re: U.S. 395 in March - What to see?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldercrest
We will be heading up 395 from Southern California back to Oregon at the end of March. We only have three days of travel time and I'm trying to figure out what to see on the way. Thoughts have included:

- The Race Track
- Saline Valley
- Alabama Hills
- Bodie (if snow doesn't prevent us from getting there)
- Virginia City, NV

We have been to Death Valley a couple of times and hit all the sites on the paved roads, so that's why the main part of DV is on the list. Any recommendations on highlights that we shouldn't miss?

Thanks!

The 395 corridor is my favorite playground. If the weather stays warm, you should have no access issues with snow below Mammoth. Anything in DV is a long haul off 395 and would consume at least a full day, two if you overnight. Latest reports are that south pass entrance into Saline Valley is open and relatively clear. The Saline hot springs and campground are always a great time, but if you go there most of your 3 days will be gone (well worth the trade-off IMHO). Fun and with much easier access off 395 are alabama hills, keough hot springs and benton crossing area and hot springs. The rock creek area is also worth a visit, but much of the road is closed due to snow. Ditto for Bodie, with this year's snowfall, that road is almost certainly closed. Have fun. After too long away, we're heading up there in early April for a week or R&R.
Rob
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:13 AM   #3
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Re: U.S. 395 in March - What to see?

The east side of the Sierras is also are favorite area to wander. Here are some places you need to stop:

Either Erick Schats Bakery in Bishop:

http://www.erickschatsbakery.com/

or Paul Schat's Bakery in Mammoth. Get one of their turkey (real turkey!) sandwiches on Sheepherder's bread to go and find a nice place for lunch. Also get some of their pull-apart bread for breakfast. We usually also buy a loaf of Sheepherder's bread to go along with dinner.

Further up the road at the junction with Highway 120, stop of the Whoa Nellie Deli inside the Mobil gas station. I know, it sounds weird but the food is great! We always stop there on the way to Mammoth and get something to go for dinner:

http://www.whoanelliedeli.com/

Virginia City is very touristy but the train is very nice. (Of course, we are train fans.) If it is still open, the mine tour just down the hill a block or so from the main drag is worthwhile and provides a glimpse of what it was like to work underground in nearly pitch darkness...
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:05 AM   #4
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Re: U.S. 395 in March - What to see?

You could spend 3 weeks on 395 and not see it all. Here's a couple:

Camp up in the mountains at Tom's Place.

Turn off on Glass Flow Road and check out the Obsidian Dome.

It's all worth seeing.

Mike
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:14 PM   #5
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Re: U.S. 395 in March - What to see?

Thanks for the tips. I know there's not going to be enough time, but this will help us explore a few places on the way through. We'll just have to say, "I wish we had time to..." enough times to make us plan a future trip.
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:39 PM   #6
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Re: U.S. 395 in March - What to see?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yvrr
Further up the road at the junction with Highway 120, stop of the Whoa Nellie Deli inside the Mobil gas station. I know, it sounds weird but the food is great...
Last time I was there, got some awesome fish tacos! Yes, the food is really good especially breakfast from what I'm told...just never been there in the morning.
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:20 PM   #7
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Re: U.S. 395 in March - What to see?

A couple of ideas:

1. For fishing I like Convict Lake and Silver Lake.
2. For offroading and secluded camping I like Laurel Lakes (near Mammoth) But it is at over 9,000 feet so not sure about snow.

If you stop in Bishop at Eric Schats Bakery (which I also recommend), I highly suggest a block down on the other side of the street, a stop at the Mountain Light Gallery http://www.mountainlight.com/ for beautiful photos by Galen Rowell (free).

Also as you exit Bishop heading North (or am I thinking Lone Pine?) there is the lowest cost fuel at the Native American run gas station (you will see the lines).

steve
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:01 AM   #8
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Re: U.S. 395 in March - What to see?

With only 3 days you would be hard pressed to check out Racetrack and Saline Valley without having to rush. It takes about 2 hours to get into Saline Valley from 395 (North Pass) and Racetrack is at least a couple more hours once you drop into Saline. It would make for a very long day.
This area is best suited for a week long adventure.You'll see more and won't have to drive hours on teeth chattering washboard roads.
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