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Old 11-02-2012, 09:26 PM   #1
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Death Valley Thankgiving 2012

We just bought a 1995 E350 hightop, 7.3 and will be taking it on it's 'maiden voyage' to Mojave/Death Valley in 2-1/2 weeks for a 6 day trip. It's an extended wheel base model, with a UJOR 4x4 conversion, 4" lift, 33" BFG A/T's. The interior is a little primitive, but we plan on some upgrades as our budget allows. I've got a few minor things to address before hitting the highway, get the 12v interior lights working, flush out the fresh water tank, check the fridge and get it working, charge or replace the 2-12v deep cycle batteries. It needs 'stuff', but for less than $10k, it's got a solid drive train and brakes, the cosmetics and interior stuff, I can take care of, I think we did alright

Mojave National Preserve: We were thinking of going out to Caruther's Canyon, climb Kelso Dunes, stop by the depot.

Does anyone have any good camp site they can recommend at Mojave?

Death Valley: We thought we'd bring the older kids out to see teakettle and the racetrack, and maybe over to Saline Valley.

Anyone ever take their Sportsmobile down Lippencott Mine Road/


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Old 11-02-2012, 10:20 PM   #2
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Re: Death Valley Thankgiving 2012

Good time to go!
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:29 PM   #3
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Re: Death Valley Thankgiving 2012

I went up it in 2010. It had one small wash out that gave cause for a little pucker as I passed it (the rear passenger tire kind of slid away as I passed it). The rest of the trail was fine. I think the condition of the road changes from year to year as I've read.

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Old 11-03-2012, 09:11 AM   #4
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Re: Death Valley Thankgiving 2012

Been up and down a few times. As Phil said there is the one spot. Going down, your left rear may experience a little air time. Try and look ahead down the valley every chance you get at switchbacks. Having to back up for rigs coming up hill is no fun.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:32 PM   #5
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Re: Death Valley Thankgiving 2012

Do some searching around on the Saline Valley Road. I heard there was some damage in a late Oct storm that made it more than the usual rattle-fest of washboard. Lots of folks go in over TDay though, so maybe it's fixed.

The Depot at Mojave NP is great. There's dispersed camping in Mojave NP, although they don't plug it much. Down in the Granite Mtns there's some nice unimproved spots, although that's bit south for you. Nearby to there try the Rasor Road OHV area; there are some nice nooks and crannies to camp in, although it will be heavily used over the holiday. Afton Canyon is an improved camp that isn't far off 15, and is pleasant enough, with running water (maybe). And you could noodle up that end of the Mojave Road. The improved camps in Mojave are pretty nice.

The Racetrack and whatnot is also heavy washboard. DVNP also lets you do some dispersed camping in some areas but they're strict about it so see their website for details. Can't stay out at the Racetrack itself. Mesquite Spring is a nice campground up at the north end of the park; the others kind of lag. A nice spot to stay is Panamint Springs lodge and campground. Good beer, and a nice little campground. It's kinda parking-lot ish like many camps in the area, but cheap with showers included. And lots to do nearby: the Panamint Dunes, hike to Darwin Falls, drive up to Darwin. Lots of fourwheelers usually hang thereabouts so you can usually get good info on conditions. A trip down towards Ballarat is nice as well.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:49 PM   #6
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Re: Death Valley Thankgiving 2012

With Mojave, just pull off a main road on to a dirt, then take a few more forks, get a hill between you and the main road and set up camp. Here are coordinates to a nice out of the way location.
35.350796 -115.520996

Rob's right about not staying at the Racetrack but there is a primitive campground just 4 miles south of the Grandstands (little past the fork to Lippencott).
36.637531 -117.574073
Its cold and windy up there but the Grandstands at sunrise is very cool. Poking around in the mine tailings is interesting. You can find some nice minerals.


Like Rob says, Teakettle washboard is second only to Saline. Air down and find the resonant speed.

Here is the Lippencott tight turn location.
36.644037 -117.597609


Have fun and post up a trip report.
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:49 PM   #7
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Re: Death Valley Thankgiving 2012

Hidden valley and Hunter Mtn is a fine way in but closes in winter. Guess you can call to find out if it's open.
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Old 11-03-2012, 06:31 PM   #8
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Re: Death Valley Thankgiving 2012

You can camp just past the Racetrack. We had 6 vehicles camped there in April. Maybe a mile past. Really quiet out there.

Mike
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:10 AM   #9
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Re: Death Valley Thankgiving 2012

Death Valley is an awesome place to go for 'T' day. This is the first year in the past five my wife and I won't be there for T day.

Check out my gallery for good spots.

If I wasnt in Kuwait I would send more info.

Gets cold

Happy Thanksgiving to All.

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Old 11-07-2012, 01:25 AM   #10
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Re: Death Valley Thankgiving 2012

Lipincott Rd. down from Racetrack is do-able in a SMB. There is one rather tight section on the lower end that a spotter is beneficial.
Although this photo does not do this spot justice, here is the tight spot. The pass. front is against a wall, even after backing to get a better angle at this corner.

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