View original topic: the Race Track in Death Valley
0to60in6min Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:44 pm

hi all,

anyone have been to the Race Track in Death Valley in a vanagon? My question is it possible to do it?

the last time I've been at the Ubehebe Crater (where the unpaved road to the Race Track begins) a park ranger told me that it's not good to go with my vanagon so I didn't go.

thanks for any infos or tips,

914 mike Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:09 pm

Been there, done that. Lots of wash board....make sure everything is tightened down. Totally doable in a 2wd. Not far from there is a mine (nickle?).....spent a fun night out there barking at the moon....

Ahhh the good ol' days......

izzydog Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:18 pm

I did it last February and it was kinda wet in spots but no problem other than what seems like endless washboard. About 20 miles of it. DOH.

Californio Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:24 pm

Nice trip but don't try Hunter Mountain if there's snow...the NPS map says something like "not recommended in winter" but interpret that as "don't go there." There's no cell coverage and towing is $285/hour from Lone Pine, minimum charge $1,000. I have a Syncro, too, with M/S tires and 15" wheels. Helpless. Be forewarned.

snuf Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:18 pm

If you haven't been to Aguereberry Point before, it will give you a breath taking view of the valley from the north to the south.
Once at the end of road at the parking area, to the left is an outcropping of rocks, follow the trail on the back side and it takes you to the best viewing area. A bit different than Dante's View and 1,000 feet higher.

canvas guy Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:30 pm

I did it a year ago in my 2wd Westy w/ Bilstein touring shocks & melted the tops of the rear shocks. Made it out & home over 600 miles, installed HD's but haven't been back to retest.

Meanwhile The Syncro Brothers w/ moi had no problem w/ their OME & Pro Comp shocks.


Chris_L Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:16 am

Went there last winter in our stock, 14" syncro. It is washboard but no problem for any reasonably well taken care of Vanagon.
Had a great time, camped out at the primitive camp site another few miles down the road. From there we dropped down a crazy steep road to the west.
A few photos of the racetrack proper:

WestyBob Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:48 am

Folks ... If you go there please don't pick up, touch or stand on the rocks, or kick thru the trailing ruts. In addition to it all being a unique geologic phenomena, doing any of this changes the dynamics and impacts on-going geologic research.

canvas guy Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:58 am

No problem getting in there in a 2 wd vanagon if you go 5 mph or 30 mph for the 26 miles of washboard gravel road to get there. Anything in between will & did toast my 3 YO Bilsteins if trying to keep up w/ the Syncro Bros? That said, it is worth the drive.

Dogpilot Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:05 am

While it is unique there, it is not geologically unique. If you want to see hundreds of examples of the same phenomenon, drive the pipeline road that run just south of I-40 from Kelso Road exit in the Mojave. As you come across the hill tops, you will see myriads of larger and smaller rocks with the same tracking features in the desert armor there. Besides the rocks, there is an interesting abandon mining camp as well. It also will let you see a huge number of flowering cacti this time of year.

As the previous poster pointed out. This is for everybody to see, so do try to not disturb it.

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