Death Valley current conditions?

Eldon SheaEldon Shea Registered Users Posts: 145 Major grins
edited November 16, 2015 in Location, Location, Location!
Thinking about a trip to shoot Death Valley this weekend. Does anyone know current conditions? I know they had a massive rainstorm a week or so ago and the Scotty's Castle area, Artists Drive and area south of Badwater are closed due to road damage. I need to be able to get in from the east (Baker) in my motorhome. I will probably stay at Stovepipe so I can shoot the Mesquite Dunes and perhaps Racetrack. Wondering if there might be water on the lakebed at Racetrack and how that would affect shooting. We will have a jeep with us to get to Racetrack, but it's a long way to go to find out the conditions are bad for shooting. Recent rain on the dunes is probably a good thing for wiping out footprints. Has anyone been there shortly after a big rain? Thanks.


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    OffTopicOffTopic Registered Users Posts: 521 Major grins
    edited November 12, 2015
    The best place to check on the current road conditions at Death Valley is on their Road Conditions Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/DeathValleyRoadConditions
    You can also post a specific question and they will answer you if they can. I will beg you to please not walk on the playa if it is even slightly damp, the footprints you leave will last for many many years and ruin it for other people, including photographers. If your trip is specifically to shoot at the Racetrack, you should wait until you can confirm that it is dry and is okay to walk on it. People are reporting that the road to the Racetrack is extremely rough, although it is open.

    November 10, 2015
    Most of the park is OPEN. The closures listed are the only closures. Everything else is OPEN. There is no estimation for opening dates. Over 100 NPS employees from around the country are working as hard as possible.
    Artist's Drive - Closed
    Badwater Rd - Open from CA 190 to Badwater. Closed the rest of the way to Shoshone.
    Big Pine Rd/Death Valley Rd - Open
    Cottonwood Canyon - Open first 8 miles(till road drops into the wash) Closed beyond.
    Hole in the Wall - Closed
    Lower Wildrose Rd - Closed between Wildrose Camp and Panamint Valley.
    Mesquite Spring Campground - Closed
    Scotty's Castle - Closed
    Scotty's Castle Rd/Bonnie Clair/267 - Closed from Ubehebe Crater turnoff to US95.
    Saline Valley North Pass - Closed by Inyo County. South Pass open.
    20 Mule Team - Closed
    West Side Rd - Closed.
    Keane Wonder - Closed.
    North Eureka Valley Rd - Closed by Inyo County. South Eureka to the Dunes is open.
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    Eldon SheaEldon Shea Registered Users Posts: 145 Major grins
    edited November 12, 2015
    Thanks. Yes, I know the road closures inside the park but I was interested in knowing if Racetrack is wet. I don't want to make that 20 mile drive on a harsh road to find out I can't shoot when I get there. Has anyone been to Death Valley this week?
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    Eldon SheaEldon Shea Registered Users Posts: 145 Major grins
    edited November 16, 2015
    Playa is dry as of 11-14-15
    The Racetrack playa was totally dry on 11-14-15. The surface is completely renewed from the last time I was there. Zero tracks from moving rocks. In fact, there were hardly any rocks present at all. You never know what you will find out there. The road is worse than normal for about a mile or two, where runoff used the road as a stream bed. It is rutted and rocky, but passable in a high clearance vehicle. 4x4 not really needed but high clearance is a must. Bryan

    "Flat n Smooth"
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