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DV Bucket List Ride w/Dan Diego & Friends

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So got a few days off from work, suckered some people to come out and join me for 4 days of riding in Death Valley.

We rode up from San Deigo and stays at Panamint Spings.


DSM8 (990), Dan Diego (KLR), Jon (KLR) and Sal (DRZ400)


The plan was for day 1 to do the Gohler to West Side road loop, day 2 was Hunter to Lippencott back out via Saline Valley.

Map of the two days rides



One the way on we did a quick side trip to the Kilns. Road was in good condition and no real surprises. Just a nice way to end the day after doing 200 miles of slab to get there. Still a lot of snow up there which was also nice, no bugs.






We started out hitting pavement on Friday KSU at 8am, knowing it was going to be a very long day. We took Indian Ranch Road to Ballarat. This was it’s usual fast paced ride so no real drama. Just smooth and spread out due to dust.




Stopped at Balarat and spoke with Rocky, put a few bucks into the jar since I did not buy any soda’s alway want to support him whenever we are there, he was excited about the rallys coming thru over the next few weekends.






From there we rode to the bottom of Gohler. This was the best I have ever seen it condition wise, did not even know the waterfall was there until right as I went over the top of it. Other than the typical slowing due to all the twists and turns it was really a cake walk of a ride. 








We did the side trip up to Barker Ranch since they had never been there before, again easy enough to ride. (no pics)


 As we got to the top it was getting cool and the weather was simply perfect for the time of year. 

We took a break at Mengal’s cairn. 








The downhill side as a challenging drop (the first one). I laid the bike down there, my only drop of the trip. Another team member went for a flying lesson. No injuries other than pride, and many meme’s to come from this I am sure. 










From there it was a pretty easy ride to the Geologist cabin. 

They have really outdone themselves maintaining this cabin. It was pristine, well stocked and had a lot of nice amenities. The shitter was pretty good too.


From there we just took the road out from the stipped butt and headed to west side road.






One of our riders was not used to this kind of riding and getting pretty tired at this point so we opted to head south. Getting on pavement we made a stop at bad water. 




Went on to Furnace Creek and then continued after a decent break on pavement back to Panamint. We wanted to do Titus but did not have enough hours of daylight. We did just shy of 190 miles that day.


Saturday was the Hunter Mountain/Lippencott loop.


This was only about a 110 mile day so we started out around 930.

Made a stop at Crowley point, a few months ago a jet crashed in the canyon so they no longer do the fly by’s which is a little sad.


From there hit Saline Valley and it was just a fast ride up to the hunter mountain turn off. Conditions were near perfect and the road was in some of the best shape I have ever seen. There was a little snow on South Pass but for the most part it was clear sailing all the way thru. 






Hunter Mountain was perfect, lots of moisture and very little dust. We hit some snow at the top but it was nothing of consequence. There is one very large mud puddle but there is a go around. Since the ground had been muddy there were a few spots that were heavily rutted but none of them were show stoppers. We did not stop at the cabin this time around.


Dropping down into Hidden valley it was pretty smooth sailing. The silt bed was very well established this year but so early in the season it was just a very long heavy rutted section of trail, over the next few months I am sure it will evolve into a dust bowl of epic proportions.




Most of hidden valley was like this..smooth




Coming into Tea Kettle looking back towards hidden valley




Made it out to Tea Kettle Junction and it lived up to its name. 





After a short break we headed to the race track. This stretch of road was in the worst condition I had ever seen in over 15 years of going to DV. Even worse than the year where it had all those wash outs. Wash board that was really deep in some areas. 








We made a brief stop at the Grandstand but the wind was really starting to pick up so we scooted to the end of the lake for the racing stones. They did not disappoint.










From there we took Lippencott out back to Saline Valley. Road has always been pretty rough and this year was no worse than other times I had ridden on it. 






From there we got back onto Saline Valley and headed back to camp.

Video of entire loop




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Well done you guys, I have one eye on the weather to do similar loops solo this week.  Glad you beat the rain! 

DRZ Sal, wow, riding with some much faster bikes was impressive!  And nice that you went up the stair in Gohler without ropes or ramps!

Loooong miles in Death Valley!


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Its all filled in there are no stairs right now overall was easier than any time I ever rode in the past

and drz is faster than the klrs on this ride

just not as fast as the 990


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Thanks to Dave for taking us all out there.

This was truly a bucket list ride for me and Jon. Sal had been there quite a few times and still had a blast. 


I tasted DV dirt “a few” times, but no harm done to bike or rider. 

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I have had some request for the GPX file of this trip. If there is a way to share it/attach on this site let me know of PM an email and I will sent it.


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On 3/11/2020 at 8:03 PM, DSM8 said:

Final trip stats


That's pretty fast for knobbies.

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2 hours ago, Zubb said:

That's pretty fast for knobbies.

I was flyin...

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