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Old 08-07-2013, 10:53 AM   #1
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Death Valley roads and other areas trashed

I don't think anyone's headed out on this now, since it's too hot, but for those planning for the fall keep these closures in mind. I noticed that some damage caused by August floods last year were still affecting backcountry roads last winter; some stuff never gets repaired. But they also don't report on that, so use this as a guide to assess whether an area might have drastically changed conditions.

This is from the DVNP daily report as of Aug 7, 2013:

Current Road Conditions
Badwater Road……………….…….CLOSED south of Badwater Basin; CLOSED at south entrance.
Big Pine/Death Valley Road……….CLOSED due to flood damage.
Emigrant Canyon Road….. ……….CLOSED due to flood damage.
Harry Wade Road…………………..CLOSED due to flood damage.
Keane Wonder Road........ ………..CLOSED; road and mining area closed to entry due to mine safety hazards.
Mosaic Canyon Road ....... ………..Rough; high clearance recommended.
Mustard Canyon Road...... ………..CLOSED due to mud.
Panamint Valley Road...... ………..CLOSED due to flood damage.
Racetrack Road................ …….….Very rough; washed out.
Saline Valley (North)......... ………..IMPASSABLE at Willow Creek.
Saline Valley (South) ........ ………..Signed CLOSED by Inyo County; damaged due to washouts; very rough.
Saratoga Springs ............. …….….Rough; 4-wheel drive recommended.
West Side Road…………...............CLOSED due to flood damage.
Wildrose Road.................. ………..CLOSED due to flood damage.
WARNING on all backcountry roads……..possible flood damage and inaccessibility. Please use caution

Here's a Facebook page with some pics and current conditions:
https://www.facebook.com/DeathValleyRoadConditions
PS: wonder if they even bother to try to repair these until the fall? I wouldn't work out there now...I used to work as a paver and at those temps it would be downright dangerous.
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:59 AM   #2
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Re: Death Valley roads and other areas trashed

And here's the damage to roads in the White/Inyo area:

Haiwee Pass Road and Trail – Road and trail are temporarily closed. There is major damage to the road, trailhead, and trail.
Wyman Canyon Road – Road is impassable to passenger vehicles and very difficult to travel for off-highway vehicles.
Foothill Road – Sections of the road are impassable to passenger vehicles as a result of wash outs at Shepherd Creek and the North Fork of Bairs Creek.
Division Creek – Road is closed a half mile before the powerhouse.
Mazourka Canyon – Road is closed.

I suspect Mazourka will get repaired; lots of comm stuff up there. Wyman? They had done some repair there for a blocked culvert when I was there last year so I know it gets maintained but make sure you check, even in the fall, to make sure. It wasn't even passable by passenger vehicles when I was there, so "very difficult" is probably not an exaggeration.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:31 PM   #3
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Re: Death Valley roads and other areas trashed

Yeah I really wonder if South Pass will be open for those doing the DV trip in October. I just can't see how those storms didn't wipe that out especially if they are having trouble on the Racetrack Rd itself. But the park might very well grade the road; stuff outside the park maybe not
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:20 PM   #4
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Re: Death Valley roads and other areas trashed

According to this website Hunter Mountain road is open. October is still a ways off so anything can happen.

http://www.maturango.org/janetmuseum...road_info.html
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:22 PM   #5
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Re: Death Valley roads and other areas trashed

I am headed to the Bishop area next week. May get as far south as Lone Pine. I will give an update of what I find.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:57 AM   #6
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Re: Death Valley roads and other areas trashed

I'm in Mammoth right now; I'll see if I can get by a ranger station. The DVNP daily report is pretty accurate but they often don't report a less-used road going from 4wd required to semi-rock crawl.
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:16 AM   #7
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Re: Death Valley roads and other areas trashed

Just looks like it would be more fun - isn't this why we have these 4X4 vans?
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:04 PM   #8
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Re: Death Valley roads and other areas trashed

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajaSportsmobile
Just looks like it would be more fun - isn't this why we have these 4X4 vans?
A ticket from Ricky Ranger will take most of the fun out of your 4X4. I'm sure the Rangers get a little peeved by people driving on closed roads.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:36 PM   #9
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Re: Death Valley roads and other areas trashed

I'm talking about getting 30 miles up washboard then finding a four foot drop. Then having to back a couple of miles to turn around. Part of the fun but sometimes I'm hoping for the 40 MPH graded road I had traveled on before it washed out.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:33 AM   #10
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Re: Death Valley roads and other areas trashed

Just got back from a week along the 395 corridor.

Wyman Canyon was listed and still posted as closed. I also talked to a ranger who said it was completely washed out. We took it anyway expecting to spend the night at the washout and return up to the bristle cone forest the next day. When w got to the washout it was evident that others had gone one through so we did as well. High clearance vehicles with a spotter should have no problem.

Mazourka Canyon road was listed as washed out before we left. The County has made full repairs.

We stopped and talked to some volunteers and Inyo County staff working on installing trail signs. When I asked about the DV road closures in general, they looked at our vehicles and said the postings are meant to stop weekenders in SUV's from going into the back country and getting stranded.

As a side note the Inyo County Worker handed me a pair of maps published by the California Trail Users Coalition. They mark out all of the trails in the Inyo National Forest that are open to vehicle traffic. They are much easier to read than the PDF's from the National Forrest Website. http://www.ctuc.info/ctuc/index.php/maps
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