Exclusive Invitation to Bob Coleman’s Death Valley Trip, March 16-18
Some of you may not know that I am a huge desert rat. Now on my fourth jeep, a 2010 Rubicon Wrangler, I have traveled most of Southern California’s back country roads over the past 40 years — plus Nevada, Arizona and Utah.
However, in my opinion the best of the best off roading adventure in the US, probably the world, is Death Valley. And it will be Springtime in Death Valley! Best time of the year to be!
So, here is the deal. If you are reading this, you are invited to join me the weekend of March 16-18. I have planned a bucket list excursion that you will remember for the rest of your life!
First, I have drafted Live Oak Bank’s Jordan Blanchard to be the trail master. Now, I’m really a weekend warrior and don’t have many off road enhancements for my Wrangler. Jordan’s jeep is so tricked out it he may have to tow it to Death Valley. Oversized tires, winches, tow ropes, extra gas, tools, repair kits. . . .we’re gonna be in good hands with him. We’ll call him AAA Jordan!
Now, don’t fret. We are going to do easy stuff. If fact our route can be done with any high clearance two wheel drive vehicle.
Friday, March 16
To check this baby off your bucket list, get to Las Vegas by Friday, March 16th. (Or, if you are attending ICBA in Las Vegas, this is when the conference is wrapping up.)
You have two options. Ride shotgun with someone, or rent your own 4WD jeep.
Most car rental companies in Las Vegas will rent a 4WD jeep. Just reserve it with them. The other option is to rent a car in LV and then rent your jeep in Death Valley.
Again, we’re not doing anything white knuckle dangerous that requires technical expertise. But, if you don’t want to drive, team up with someone and ride shotgun.
By Friday night be at Longstreet’s Casino in the middle of nowhere. The good news rooms are @ $80. Suites are $100! It’s an easy 2 hour drive from Vegas.
I will host a dinner Friday night @ Longstreet’s.
Saturday, March 17
We’re leaving bright and early Saturday morning — 7am.
We will drive north and enter Death Valley via Titus Canyon.
Titus Canyon Road
- Vehicle needed: Two-wheel-drive, high-clearance recommended; four-wheel-drive may be needed after adverse weather conditions. Two-way section from west OK for two-wheel-drive, standard clearance vehicles.
- Distance: 27 miles; last 3 miles on west end are two-way
- Time needed: 2 to 3 hours
- Start: Nevada Highway 374 (Daylight Pass Road), 2 miles east of park boundary Road
- Conditions: One-way road from east; this dirt road is rough, steep and narrow; often closed due to snow, mud, or wash outs; two-way section from west is graded dirt road.
Lunch will be @ Furnace Creek, Death Valley. (This will be the time for those of you who want to rent their own jeep for Sunday’s trip. You will need to hitch a ride with someone through Titus Canyon though.)
Afternoon will be on paved roads. Badwater (lowest elevation in the US @ -278 feet) We will then drive to Dante’s View @ 5,500 feet for an awesome view of Death Valley — a one hour trip.
Then, back to Longstreet Casino for dinner. (call it 1 ½ hours) (Gary Reynolds of Partner Engineering has graciously offered to host the Saturday night dinner.)
Sunday, March 18
Sunday’s itinerary includes:
Ubehebe Crater, Teakettle Junction, Racetrak Playa.
(You may have heard of these. Racetrak Playa is where rocks move on their own! Worth the price of admission by itself.)
This is all on a fairly flat dirt road. Again, a high clearance vehicle can do it. Actually, any car can do it. This is really easy stuff so don’t fret.
I guess this is a 10-12 hour trek. Again 7 am to 7 pm. For this one, I recommend we pack up some sandwiches and drinks to take with us as we are on our own with nowhere to buy food or drink. Jordan and I will get some big coolers, so maybe everyone can throw us a 10-spot and we’ll take care of lunch for everyone. (There may even be some adult beverages buried under the ice in one of the coolers.)
BONUS: We may get lucky with a superbloom of the flowers, but no guarantees.
BONUS: You can look down on Lippincott Mine Pass Road and thank me we’re not going there!
STUFF TO KNOW
Cost: No fee for Jordan and I. You pay for your room, vehicle and food. I am hosting the dinner on Friday night. Gary Reynolds of Partner Engineering hosts Saturday night.
No cell service on the road in Death Valley. (I always carry a Garmin InReach Satellite GPS unit that is in contact with a US-based 24/7 global monitoring center in case of an emergency.)
This is end of the world type terrain. A once in a lifetime adventure.
You will need to pay an entry fee to Death Valley — $25 each day. If you are over 62 you might want to buy a lifetime pass to all National Parks for $80! (They just raised the price. I got mine last year @ $10. As the ranger said, it expires when I expire!)
Sunday night you can head back to Vegas (easy 2 hour drive) or book another fabulous night @ Longstreet’s.
Space is extremely limited, so first come, first served! Everyone on my email list is invited — that even includes everyone @ SBA! Call or email Bob Coleman if interested @ (818) 974-8934, firstname.lastname@example.org.
No worries if you can’t make it in 2018, we’re already talking about 2019!