Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Avoiding Death Valley

  1. #1
    143439 bobr9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Clarkesville, GA
    Posts
    145

    Avoiding Death Valley

    Will be driving out to the Rally from NE Georgia but need to make a stop in Arroyo Grande, CA first before I head up the coast to Salem. Arroyo Grande is on the CA coast in the San Luis Obispo area, so basically the middle of Death Valley (north to south) is in line with Arroyo Grande. I will be coming thru Denver, then head down to Arroyo Grande from there. Looks like I have two choices, either go right through Death Valley (most direct route) or go around the north side in the hopes it will be somewhat cooler, but obviously longer.

    Having never done the Death Valley rife before, I am a little concerned doing it in July with the heat. I will have a hydration pack, etc. Not sure that going around the north side will buy me much relief though, and uncertain of the road quality on that side. Looking for some advice from those familiar with this region what the best, safest option would be. Thanks...

  2. #2
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Clovis,CA
    Posts
    4,214

    I live here:)

    Well, not quite but its my backyard playpen. DV is a "No Mans Land" in daylight during mid Summer, period! Us locals DO NOT go there for the most part. Our time for DV is all the Winter months, we play hard there. NOW, all that said, one can go thru there, BUT its heavily advised after midnight and get out before sunrise!!! AND, recent Needles, CA(Colorado River/State Line) temps have been the same as DV, 129 degrees.....All this means riding the roads way past dark to LIVE thru it. MY pick would be do the night crossings, OR ride the routes further North thru Nevada, Caliente, Racheal and Tonapah and so on. Its still over a 100 up there, but not 120+. It rains more in mid state Nevada during Summer, so get lucky and find it raining in spots. I have crossed in July with rain bursts in Nevada and temps in the 70-80s range and no rain means hotter days hovering around the triple digits. DV and South this past week and foreseeable future forecast is horrible, NOT biker friendly. With the temps we had this week, NO amount of water will get you thru this on a bike @ 125+. Randy

  3. #3
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Clovis,CA
    Posts
    4,214

    Denver?

    Being I live here, the GPS direct route from Denver to Beach, if you're using GPS is WRONG. We go there all the time, Pismo. Denver to CA mid beaches is via Interstate 70 all the way to US50 to Delta, Utah and crossing to ELY, Nevada and US6 from ELY all the way into California. Barely inside CA and turn right onto Hwy120 to Yosemite NP and all the way to Oakhurst, CA and pick up Hwy41 South all the way to Coast. I've done this dozens of times, all this routing. You will enjoy this a TON more, even if slightly, very slightly more time with YNP park and all. So much MORE pleasurable riding this vs. the DV southern route you described. Most of Nevada is 4000-7000' going this way. Randy

  4. #4
    143439 bobr9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Clarkesville, GA
    Posts
    145
    Quote Originally Posted by Polarbear View Post
    Being I live here, the GPS direct route from Denver to Beach, if you're using GPS is WRONG. We go there all the time, Pismo. Denver to CA mid beaches is via Interstate 70 all the way to US50 to Delta, Utah and crossing to ELY, Nevada and US6 from ELY all the way into California. Barely inside CA and turn right onto Hwy120 to Yosemite NP and all the way to Oakhurst, CA and pick up Hwy41 South all the way to Coast. I've done this dozens of times, all this routing. You will enjoy this a TON more, even if slightly, very slightly more time with YNP park and all. So much MORE pleasurable riding this vs. the DV southern route you described. Most of Nevada is 4000-7000' going this way. Randy
    Thanks for this info. I think I will take your advice and follow this suggested route, even if it is longer. I suppose I will still be hitting some triple digit temperatures on this route?

  5. #5
    John. jstrube's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Atwater, CA
    Posts
    979
    Last year, coming back from the BMW RA Rally near Denver, I rode 70 to 15, through Vegas, then through to Bakersfield & north on 99.

    Look at this option, Do Denver to Vegas one day or just to Cedar City, it is a 6-700 mile ride to Cedar, then Vegas to Bakersfield, then hop 166 or whatever that road is over to the coast.99 gets me home, but I know there is a highway over to the beach. If you get up at the crack of dawn in Cedar, you can make Bako before it climbs too high.

    Or, for a prettier ride, go Randy's route. You will still hit triple digits more than likely... THough, I hear high 90's are in store for the CA valley next week.

    Oh yeah, the coast was in the 70's... I'd stay there... long term, if I could.
    John.

  6. #6
    Rally Rat warthog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    207
    Quote Originally Posted by Polarbear View Post
    Being I live here, the GPS direct route from Denver to Beach, if you're using GPS is WRONG. We go there all the time, Pismo. Denver to CA mid beaches is via Interstate 70 all the way to US50 to Delta, Utah and crossing to ELY, Nevada and US6 from ELY all the way into California. Barely inside CA and turn right onto Hwy120 to Yosemite NP and all the way to Oakhurst, CA and pick up Hwy41 South all the way to Coast. I've done this dozens of times, all this routing. You will enjoy this a TON more, even if slightly, very slightly more time with YNP park and all. So much MORE pleasurable riding this vs. the DV southern route you described. Most of Nevada is 4000-7000' going this way. Randy
    I did most of this route returning from the National in Redmond and will be riding the same route going to Salem. I'm leaving from Colorado Springs on the 11th. I was leaving on Friday but thanks to Congress I have 11 furlough days between 8 July and 30 Sept so I'm leaving a day early

    I'm planning on stops in Moab; Ely, NV; and Quincy, CA before pulling into Hayfork, CA. US 50 - "The Loneliest Road in America"- is a great ride compared to the Interstate. The KOA at Ely is nice and the casinos in Ely used to shuttle folks to and from the KOA.

    I also picked up a Silver Eagle Kula-XD evap vest just in case - hear they work very well in dry heat conditions.

  7. #7
    Registered User rebake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    green valley,il
    Posts
    449
    My wife flies into Vegas on friday then goes to Ridgecrest Ca.Cloudy and cool here- not so much there......
    Ed Baker

  8. #8
    Registered User David13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Lomita, California
    Posts
    774
    You will definitely experience triple digit temps in July. In many places. Needles, El Centro, Death Valley, and almost all the way around.
    I went thru' Death Valley in May and I had 114. At 2 in the afternoon. Not bad at all really. I think too many people exaggerate it.
    The flesh must be covered. No bare skin in that heat. And keep moving. Then it really isn't bad. Yes, it's hot and you sweat, but no big deal.
    You do want to stop and drink water. No one has to drink more water than me, all the time. When you do stop, do so only in the shade.
    It was 126 in Death Valley Sunday. Looking at the weather prediction, you may want to avoid that day out there.
    But there are a/c'ed stores all along the roads to stop at, eat, drink, and recuperate.
    Then get moving again.
    If the prediction is for 120 or so in Death Valley, you will experience the same at any low or no altitude location, such as Palm Springs.
    But you have to get your bragging rights somehow.
    dc

  9. #9
    Riding where it's hot! AZ-J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    2,627
    DV was 129F yesterday. In July it will be as much as 10 degrees cooler but much more humid from the Monsoon.
    My bike shown here
    Jordan M, MOA #24434
    My Blog

  10. #10
    GeoDude
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Carmichael, CA
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by Polarbear View Post
    Being I live here, the GPS direct route from Denver to Beach, if you're using GPS is WRONG. We go there all the time, Pismo. Denver to CA mid beaches is via Interstate 70 all the way to US50 to Delta, Utah and crossing to ELY, Nevada and US6 from ELY all the way into California. Barely inside CA and turn right onto Hwy120 to Yosemite NP and all the way to Oakhurst, CA and pick up Hwy41 South all the way to Coast. I've done this dozens of times, all this routing. You will enjoy this a TON more, even if slightly, very slightly more time with YNP park and all. So much MORE pleasurable riding this vs. the DV southern route you described. Most of Nevada is 4000-7000' going this way. Randy

    I'm with Polarbear on taking 50 across Nevada with a detour south to take 120 through Yosemite Nat'l Park. You'll not regret it. To get to 120 from 50 I'd suggest peeling off at Fallon, NV, take 95 south to Hawthorne, then 359/167 into Calif. A short south on 395 to Lee Vining to pick up 120. If you think 50 is the lonliest highway, wait until you get onto 359/167. It will be hot across Nevada with little to no shade outside of the sparse towns. Take and drink more water than you think you need and have a great trip. I'm envious.

  11. #11
    143439 bobr9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Clarkesville, GA
    Posts
    145
    Quote Originally Posted by kejorgensen View Post
    I'm with Polarbear on taking 50 across Nevada with a detour south to take 120 through Yosemite Nat'l Park. You'll not regret it. To get to 120 from 50 I'd suggest peeling off at Fallon, NV, take 95 south to Hawthorne, then 359/167 into Calif. A short south on 395 to Lee Vining to pick up 120. If you think 50 is the lonliest highway, wait until you get onto 359/167. It will be hot across Nevada with little to no shade outside of the sparse towns. Take and drink more water than you think you need and have a great trip. I'm envious.
    I read Polar Bear's post as taking route 6 all the way into Calif as opposed to 50 where they split in Ely. Are you saying that you believe 50 all the way through Nevada is a better choice than taking 6 at Ely? Suppose it may be a little cooler on our route.

  12. #12
    GeoDude
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Carmichael, CA
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by bobr9 View Post
    I read Polar Bear's post as taking route 6 all the way into Calif as opposed to 50 where they split in Ely. Are you saying that you believe 50 all the way through Nevada is a better choice than taking 6 at Ely? Suppose it may be a little cooler on our route.
    D'ohh - that's what I get for reading a post before I have my first cup of coffee. I've never ridden/driven 6, but hear good things (i.e. deserted) about it. As far as 50 over 6...... I'll defer to Polarbear on which road he'd recommend. Either way you'll run into hot weather and either way you'll be glad to reach 120 and Tioga Pass (elev. 9,943').

  13. #13
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Clovis,CA
    Posts
    4,214

    US6 to Tioga:)

    Both are neat roads. US50 and US6. I do both frequently on trips East from Clovis, CA. I mix it up. I do the Hawthorn, Gabbs and to US50 East to Ely or backwards. And US6 does go from ELY,NV. to Bishop, California. I turn off just inside state line for Hwy120 to Yosemite Park. AND DON out of Colorado, we are camping at that ELY KOA on the July9th evening. Matt out of N Hampshire and me meet there. Please come early and meet us. We are riding back to my home in Clovis and on North to Hayfork/Salem from there. Picking up Gini and the KLR. This coming week, as said above at least two of us on GSAs are in ELY on July9 for the night. Anybody else? Randy PS; I leave tonight July3rd for Grand Canyon and a big SW loop ride ending in ELY and West from there. MUST do a all night ride to beat the heat to escape CA and Needles.

  14. #14
    143439 bobr9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Clarkesville, GA
    Posts
    145
    Quote Originally Posted by Polarbear View Post
    MUST do a all night ride to beat the heat to escape CA and Needles.
    Thanks for the info PB. I see some of you are talking about riding at night in the hot areas to beat the heat. Do you find the animal threat to be not that significant in these areas?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •