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Old 10-08-2014, 02:19 PM   #1
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Cherro Gordo from the East?

This question goes to all you experienced Death Valley travelers:

the hubby and I finally scored a long weekend and we were planning to head to Saline Valley, but are more intrigued by doing some exploring around the area instead...
Is there a way to head towards Cherro Gordo from the east - Lee's Flat area?
We would love to get on top of the Inyo's, but the long steep uphill from the 395 to Cherro Gordo might be a bit too much for our old Mothership (before tune-up and improvements).

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Thanks and happy exploring,
Anette
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Old 10-09-2014, 10:34 AM   #2
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Re: Cherro Gordo from the East?

I'm certain you mean Cerro Gordo (fat mountain), the privately owned mining ghost town at the top of the Inyos. I've been there dozens of times and knowing the longtime owners (now passed), I am sort of an expert about the area. The road from Keeler is not that bad and doesn't require 4WD. Real nice drive, goes through Joshua tree forest and with great views. The back side from Lee Flat is not that bad but I haven't done it in many years so I can't say the current condition. I don't remember if you need 4WD there. Nice pretty remote area, back there. If you're 2WD, I'd suggest the main road from Keeler.
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Old 10-09-2014, 11:11 AM   #3
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Re: Cherro Gordo from the East?

I've never driven there from the east side but I know the road goes through and connects to White Mountain talc road. Google map it, looks pretty well established.

You can also call Bob and ask him. Remeber it's private property so best to ask for permission before showing up. Bob Desmarais (760) 876-3050
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Old 10-09-2014, 01:24 PM   #4
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Re: Cherro Gordo from the East?

I descended the back road 18 Mos ago or so. It's a rougher road than the west side by quite a bit, and less maintained. I needed 44 a bit due to a couple of washouts; that area has been getting hit by gully washers and that east side road just doesn't get used as much. The west is also a prettier drive. If you aren't comfortable with the west I wouldn't recommend the east.
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Old 10-10-2014, 10:02 AM   #5
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Re: Cherro Gordo from the East?

Thanks for your advice, everyone.

We weren't going to go all the way to Cerro Gordo, but at least make it up on the top of the range for the views. So since it's on short notice I don't want to encroach on the property.

Our plan at this point is to head into Saline Valley from the north first, then take the south pass and explore the Lee's Flat area a little bit, heading north west on White Mtn. Talc Road. We only have the weekend, so I am not sure how far we'll actually get.

We do have 4x4, so washouts are usually fun
What I am worried about coming up the west route is the long steep uphill which seems to make our good old Mothership overheat... One of the things on the list to remediate!

Again, you guys rock. Thanks for sharing the knowledge!

Anette
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Old 10-23-2014, 04:09 PM   #6
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Re: Cherro Gordo from the East?

Here is a video the Expedition Portal guys did with some Sportsmobiles, and the second destination was Cerro Gordo and you can see the dirt trail they came down going into Death Valley:



Have a great trip.
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Old 11-06-2014, 04:37 PM   #7
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Re: Cherro Gordo from the East?

Well, we ended up having to stay at home due to a little family accident / emergency, but this trip is definitely on the to-do list!

Jonny, thanks for the link to that video!

Anette
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Old 12-03-2014, 04:16 PM   #8
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Re: Cherro Gordo from the East?

My wife and I tried this route from the east over Memorial Day. The long access road heading north was fine. As you turned west up the mountain you were in solid rock washes. We were short on time so we reversed course. I asked the ranger about the road conditions and he confirmed that there was a lot of washout/flash flooding down the east side. My impression from the part I saw was that it was doable but plan on taking your time and have another vehicle along for backup. On the way into Death Valley a few days earlier we had camped at Papoose Flat (out of Independence). Very nice. We then took 10S07 through the Narrows after which it turned into a giant washed out river of boulders. Eventually the trail was barely wider than our Sportsmobile and we ran into a 4' high boulder spanning the narrows so we turned back. FYI, 9S15 was fine heading north to DV Road.
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Old 12-03-2014, 07:45 PM   #9
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Re: Cherro Gordo from the East?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bolty
My wife and I tried this route from the east over Memorial Day. The long access road heading north was fine. As you turned west up the mountain you were in solid rock washes. We were short on time so we reversed course. I asked the ranger about the road conditions and he confirmed that there was a lot of washout/flash flooding down the east side. My impression from the part I saw was that it was doable but plan on taking your time and have another vehicle along for backup. On the way into Death Valley a few days earlier we had camped at Papoose Flat (out of Independence). Very nice. We then took 10S07 through the Narrows after which it turned into a giant washed out river of boulders. Eventually the trail was barely wider than our Sportsmobile and we ran into a 4' high boulder spanning the narrows so we turned back. FYI, 9S15 was fine heading north to DV Road.
Great info. I saw a picture of the Lippincott road and there is a spot that looked like a bike had a hard time getting through. They do change yearly.
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