Yep, I always forget that it's a NP now. I used to go to Saline Valley before it was included in the NP..sheesh i'm getting old.
I had wanted to do a hike near Racetrack into Corridor Canyon but it was very windy at the time. We had initially planned on camping south of Racetrack but we got the itch to continue to Saline Valley. The lure of soaking in the springs with a nice beverage was overwhelming. The route down to Saline Valley is the Lipincott Rd and is a 4x4 only road. I have been up and down this road numerous times in the past but never with such a big, heavy rig. It was helpful to have some info from Adventureduo as he had been down Lipincott a few weeks earlier.
With the Atlas case in 4lo we crawled down the trail. The road was pretty chewed up as normal and had two very narrow spots as well as a pretty tippy spot. My wife had to get out and spot me on one washed out narrow corner but other than that it wasn't too bad. I'd even do it again in the SMB!
The top of Lipincott Rd.:
The second narrow spot ( the first one was much tighter than this):
We made it without incident to the Saline Valley Rd. and continued on to the springs. The evening was very windy (no suprise). So we made dinner in the van, went and soaked and called it a night. The next morning was calm and clear, beautiful!
For this trip we had 7 more friends and family join us a few days into the trip. Our camp grew dramatically with more tables, ice chests and food boxes!
Later in the week my friend Michael and I hiked up a nearby canyon that has been intriguing me over the years. We gave it a go and were astounded at the scenery! The canyon walls, rock strata, and terrain above was incredible! The hike involved some scrambling and climbing but was pretty fun. We eventually reached a dryfall that we deemed unsafe to descend back down without rope protection. We both concluded that we would be back next year with ropes and gear to continue up canyon.
Looking up towards the canyon from the Steel Pass Rd.
Looking back down from the first scramble.
We even found an arch!(pretty rare around here) This one is probably 20+ ft high:
We stayed at the springs for 9 days and had a great time with our friends and family from 3 states! We were sad to leave but we will be back soon enough.
Before we made our way too far back home we stopped at Benton Hot Springs for the night to get some more soaking in!
We spent one more night with my parents at Great Basin Nat'l Park in Nevada. This is our usual stopping point on the way back.
We had a great trip and it was the first Saline trip for the SMB. The van performed great and was very comfy. The shelter it provides when the weather get bad is awesome! It's great to hide inside and watch a movie when the wind is blowing like crazy outside!
As always we also met some great people ( even some fellow SMB'ers) , Dennis and Dorothy with their custom SMB from Santa Barbara! There was also a gentleman out there that had a solid axle conversion 4x4 Sprinter SMB.