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Need road advise, from I-5 south bound, to 89 to 44, to 395 to Death Valley


mr. cob

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Howdy All,

 

Monday, the 23rd, I am heading south to Death Valley, got to get AWAY from the Nor-Wet gloom and rain for a few weeks. For years when I have done this I have plodded down I-5, over to Bakersfield taking 58, to 14, then taking 178 into Ridgecrest where we would stock up on supplies before heading into Death Valley.

 

Looking at the map, once I am in northern California, it looks like I could go from I-5 southeast on 89, then to 44, then to 395 taking 395 to Bishop and taking on supplies there and then go into Death Valley from the north. However, I have NEVER been on 89, 44, and 395 during this time of year nor have I driven these roads with an HDT with a 45 foot trailer in tow.

 

So my request is this, at this time of year should I take the safe, easy, BORING way to Death Valley, or should I make a bit of an adventure out of it and take 89-44-395?

 

Thanks for any information you can share.

 

Dave

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Dave,

The route you are asking about is a good one. We have taken it many times and is our preferred route. All roads are at least a good 2 lane road or better. You will need to check the weather but it will probably be OK. That would be the only thing I'd worry about. It is a much more scenic route than I-5, 58. If the weather is OK I'd go for it. Good luck. Dennis

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Dave,

The route you are asking about is a good one. We have taken it many times and is our preferred route. All roads are at least a good 2 lane road or better. You will need to check the weather but it will probably be OK. That would be the only thing I'd worry about. It is a much more scenic route than I-5, 58. If the weather is OK I'd go for it. Good luck. Dennis

Howdy Dennis,

 

Thanks for your reply, its the weather I am concerned about, really don't want to get caught on a snow covered icy road but this time of year it could happen. I-5 is quick but so darn boring.

 

Dave

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Howdy All,

 

Just checked this web site, < http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/statemap.htm >, it up dated by the California DOT, it shows parts of Hwy 89 closed for the winter.

 

When using this web site, goto the "HOME" page, there is a little box you can type the Hwy number into, doing this will give you current information on that road, really a nice web site to have bookmarked.

 

So it looks like I'll be taking the BORING route to Death Valley, again. :(

 

Dave

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You will love the scenery on you way down!

 

Hwys 44 and 89 are my neck of the woods......You are not going to find any snow on any of those highways right now and not much if any on the sides. We have had almost no snow even at the higher elevations in this area....... 2nd year without use of snow machines and shoes!

 

The section of 89 that is closed is through Lassen Park National and you wouldn't want to drive through there anyway....Hairpins and 35mph speed limit. You will be cutting off I-5 at Mount Shasta City, then turning on 44 at Old Station and following that out to Suasanville, where you would pick up 395 to Reno?

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You will love the scenery on you way down!

 

Hwys 44 and 89 are my neck of the woods......You are not going to find any sHowdy now on any of those highways right now and not much if any on the sides. We have had almost no snow even at the higher elevations in this area....... 2nd year without use of snow machines and shoes!

 

The section of 89 that is closed is through Lassen Park National and you wouldn't want to drive through there anyway....Hairpins and 35mph speed limit. You will be cutting off I-5 at Mount Shasta City, then turning on 44 at Old Station and following that out to Suasanville, where you would pick up 395 to Reno?

Howdy CrazyCooter,

 

Thanks for the information always nice to hear from someone local to the area. I'll do some more research on this route as I sure would like to take it. I'll have a look at my maps and see if I can see the turn off your talking about, I hate slabbing on the freeways but sometimes its the only practical way especially in the winter months.

 

Dave

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Depending on where you are headed to in Death Valley, turning off on Hwy190 at Lone Pine/395 is a pretty drive too. Driven and ridden this route a few times.

Howdy Crazy Cooter,

 

We'll be dry camping for a week at Stove Pipe Wells, then moving down to Sunset and dry camping there for a week before coming back home to the rain and gloom of the Nor-Wet. Thanks again for your suggestions.

 

Dave

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In my opinion, this is the best route down to Death Valley! All the needed roads will be open as long as we don't get a freak storm and plenty large for your rig. I would absolutely take the Hwy 190 unless you just want to drive ll the way down to Ridgecrest and back up the Panamint Valley. There are a couple of good climbs, but nothing like Town Pass.....Not like power will be an issue anyway!

 

I was looking over your SmugMug pics and it looks like we have been in a lot of the same places. Took my wife into Saline Valley back in 2012 for her first trip to Death Valley for an overnighter at Warm Springs. We used Stovepipe as a base camp as a nice central location and Sunset was closed for plumbing renovations that year. Unfortunately, she doesn't ride motorcycles so we rented a Jeep from Farabee's to tour the back country.....700 miles in 3 days! I bet it needed shocks by the time we dropped it off.....

 

I also stayed overnight on the south end of Saline Valley road near Lee Flat......Got some strange looks from people pulling the 5er in there! This is the type of stuff that makes me nervous about trying an HDT for our puller......

RVSalineRd2.jpg

 

Another cool spot we use for an enroute boondockin spot on the West side of the park right at Big Pine. A little railroad siding/town called Zurich on Hwy 168. It's only about 2 miles off 395.

RVBigPine.jpg

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as you end 44 into the T , you turn left onto 36, you go into susanville and pick up 395 at that point.

 

ever since they redid alot of 89 or was it 44 (a few years back) , its alot nicer to drive and quite a bit wider.

use to do the Reno to Medford,Oregon drive every weekend in the summer when we had friends living up there.

its a beautiful drive.

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Lou10,

It was the 89 that they worked. They may have done some on the 44 also but either way it is a nice road. And I agree with CrazyCooter.... It is a great road to take. You will see a lot of truck traffic on this route. It cuts off a lot of miles for any of them headed East on 80. There is a great rest stop on top of the mountain. Been years since we visited Death Valley but anywhere there makes for a great trip. Enjoy your trip Mr. Cob! This is a great time to visit but you want to avoid the 49er days or whatever they call it. Get really crowed at that event. Safe travels..... We'll be up into the NW in June and July. Maybe we'll make contact when we get up there. Dennis

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Howdy All,

 

Again thanks for all the suggestions, I'll be checking road conditions as we travel south and will if weather permits take the scenic route to DV, taking 136-190 off of 395 will take us right to Stove Pipe wells where we be camping for the first week.

 

CrazyCooter, many I have to give it to you no way in heck I would even think about taking my toy hauler into the area you towed yours, every time we have ridden those roads with our bikes the washboard has been so bad it would have shaken the trailer apart.

 

Thanks for the well wishes Lou10, thanks for your advise also mocroc.

 

Dave

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Howdy All,

 

We are now camped at a Walmart in Reno NV, got here by traveling Hwy 89 off of I-5, from 89 to 44 to 36/395, great roads and MUCH more enjoyable then slabbing down I-5. Tomorrow we'll take 395 south down to 190 east and then camp at Stove Pipe Wells for a week or so. Again my thanks to everyone who has given advise and suggested this route I really appreciate it.

 

Dave

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Dave,

Glad you enjoyed the route. We always enjoy it. And love the night sky at DV! So many stars! Happy Travels, Dennis.

Howdy Dennis,

 

The night sky in DV, is really something, sadly you can look east and see the glow of lost wages over the mountains. That said it is still one of my favorite things about DV, that and taking my rocking chair out a few hundred yards from the camp site and howling with the Coyotes.

 

Dave

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