Mojave Desert and Death Valley
I would like to take a stab at riding my GS in the above locations..can anyone help me with where to investigate this possibility. i live in Texas and wanted to ride out with a buddy to do lots of off rode and want to do it properly. if you dont mind could you email me with your suggestions, web locations?? how much time should we allocate? provisions?
Couple of things you need to ask yourself, what are your off road skills? Will you be riding alone, not another bike with you?
The reason I say this is because those places are huge open off road areas with every available off road experience from high speed dirt roads that the family wagon can handle to the most extreme rock crawling for the hard core 4 wheel types.
If you are new to the off road thing you canÔÇÖt beat riding Death Valley in the winter or early spring. There are good places to camp, or get a room (not cheap) and plenty to see and some great beginning and intermediate off road rides like going to the Racetrack, or the West Side Road, or Titus Canyon.
There is a n00b off road ride organized on Advrider that is happening in March. That would be a great way to get your feet wet.
On the other hand, if you are experienced off road, anything and everything is available to you in the deserts out west. Search Advrider for great trips and track logs.
Death Valley is really a place not to be missed, on or off road, it is a magical place. I will be there again at the end of February, I canÔÇÖt wait.
From rocks, to snow, to dunes the desert has it all. Shots from a few of the trips I took to the Desert
Bear in mind that there is a reason why one crossroad in Death Valley is called "Furnace Creek". I'd suggest avoiding the valley in the summertime. I'd also suggest carrying lots of drinking water, a tire plugger (and a pump). Get an Aerostich Evapodanna and keep it wet down.
Above all, I would suggest not riding anywhere away from the main highways by yourself. An organized tour in the spring sounds great.
I live near there and this year is going to be WET. Its had twice the normal water from rain/snow, so beware its backcountry. The Rangers there drive HumVee's and wonder why? Furnace Creek camping will be closed again, for the foreseeable future, its a lake as last year, but this year twice the rains fell. I have no firsthand knowledge of the conditions this year, but know we got a TON more rain/snow this year. Otherwise GO to DV, because the wet years this place blossoms extremely well and gets green. The canyons are frequently closed, due to wet conditions. Race track is a deep gravel and tough ride at times. Its one of the best offroad experiences you'll find in the West and absolutely beautiful in Jan/Feb/Mar months. Only Euros come in Summer to experience the heat as most locals stay OUT for obvious reasons. 125 is not my thing! If you find yourself wanting to pass through in late Spring/Summer, you had BETTER ride it at night or at Sunrise and get out early. Sunrise in DV is still over a 100 or very near it. Sunrise in DV is very neat and the mountains West get you cool quickly, as you climb in elevation. East, no relief. Happy Trails, Randy
DV is an absolutely magical spot.
There is a DATE FARM (Can't recall name, sorry.) located near the TINY hamlet of Tecopa -- wonderful fresh dates, and the date palms are eye-candy. Many hot springs around - some co-located w/ little mom and pop motels. Rustic.
As others have said, watch your gas and understand that this is the "low-lonesome" for sure. Very few gas stations around.
SR 136, which climbs out of the valley to the west and eventually intersects with U.S. 395 is just an amazing road, and I don't say that lightly.
Great trip to a thoroughly unique, mostly unspoiled place. . .go for it!
DV has Chevron gas at Furnace Creek, BUT its near $5 a gallon, ouch. Shoshone has a Chevron, SE of Furnace Creek 75 miles. West is Trona,CA and Lone Pine,CA areas for gas, both 75+ miles. Beatty,Nevada and Parump,Nevada are others to the East, not too far. Great rides. Randy
There's a great ride report over in ADV land right now about DV.
Got me thinkning about going back. I was there with the GS in early 2009 and some of the roads were closed due to heavy rain.
I have a week at the end of February and will be out there then.
Still trying to decide between the GS and the KLX????
Lotsa rough dirt roads. Maybe a bit much for the GS.
Looking to be in DV around June 5th. Any advice about that time of year. Thanks for the info/feedback to the other questions others posted.
Just came back from a multi day ride out to Death Valley, Beatty and Lone Pine. As long as you don't pass any gas you should be fine.
Make sure you stop and take a tour of "Scotty's Castle" it's about 60 minutes and $11.00 but it's well worth it and you'll thank me when you get back.
The scenery is just magnificent and the roads are all in beautiful condition. I have to say it's on my top 3 rides list. I didn't want to leave! Fellow motorcyclists were everywhere! As mentioned in the previous posts it's Magical.
As far as the weather in June it can really go to either extreme mid 40s or 100+ but this year has been on the cool side I'd imagine it will be pretty darn nice just be prepared for either extreme and you'll have a great time.
Went to Auto Club today and got a DV map-very nice.
Got home from Auto Club, and on my porch from Amazon is my National Geo DV map. This thing is really nice. I'm only 300 mi from DV, and never been there! This spring-I go.
Now, which roads? Take the RT or KLR? I'll be by-myself, so we'll see. Keep those suggestions comin'.
Just got back from DV;
I did ther KLR riders event last week over there on my other bike, KLR. Its dryer than I expected, with good camping at Furnace Creek, no issues. Off roading is easy to, with dry weather the last few weeks now. Temps were cool. Titus Canyon, a favorite, is an easy GS offroad ride of 20+ miles in the dirt. Its not always an easy ride, however, so watch the weather and park reports on Titus Canyon, DV..Anybody wanting to see DV in June is warped in the head! No insult intended, just beware the heat of the day, as its going to be a killer that time of year. I have done it, but "early,earlyt morning" crossing through the park is HIGHLY recommended. If you plan to stay for a day or two in DV Summer, only early wee hours are doable on a bike, otherwsie stay out of the sun and drink lots of H2O. The pavement temps are soooo hot, you'll see your tires left behind as you ride! Tube tires don't stand a chance in H***, during the mid day. Its a very serious challenge, for Summer DV travel, so beware and KNOW the rules of survival, as this is one of those kind of places. Happy Trails, Randy