Panamint/Death Valley trip info

I mapped out my usual route to Panamint Springs (PSR) from Livermore here. It avoids going over the Sierra where the passes may/will be closed, plus 395 on the eastern side from Mammoth south can get snowy too. I usually cut thru Wasco from I-5 to CA 99 because going on I-5 to Bakerfield ends up being slower. There may be weather going up CA 58 thru Tehachapi, so keep an eye on the forecast when you’re going to head down. Once you’re past Tehachapi, it typically warms up and the trip thru Mohave to Ridgecrest is fine (but can be very windy – watch it if you’re in an RV or a camper). You will want to stop in Inyokern/Ridgecrest and fuel up your tow rig/gas cans and get whatever other food/supplies you need for the week. Gas is very expensive in Panamint Springs and may not be available at all in Trona if you go that way. I wouldn’t recommend going 395->190 to Panamint if you are in an RV or are trailering and aren’t 110% confident in your brakes. The hill down 190 is long, very steep and winding and its hundreds of feet off the side if you lose it. The safe and marginally longer route is Ridgecrest -> Trona -> Panamint Springs. I don’t typically stop in Trona for anything if the gas stations aren’t open. Most of the stores are closed anyway. This route doesn’t get lots of traffic, but the road can be narrow in a few spots due to the edge crumbling here and there. Just keep an eye out for any oncoming traffic and use the whole road when needed. The road over the Slate Range from Trona into Panamint Valley is fairly short, but is steep and winding / narrow on the Panamint side – just watch for oncoming traffic in case there are any RVs or big rigs coming up the hill.

I’m planning to get into PSR sometime Saturday Nov 17. I will monitor 147.555 and CB 4, for whatever range that goes. There’s no cell coverage in Panamint Springs, but some marginal coverage along the Panamint Valley Rd (near the intersection of Minetta Mine Rd) at least for AT&T in case you need to make/receive a call. There is wifi at PSR, tho its spotty sometimes and capped for usage.

If you’re planning to go, lemme know when to expect you. I figure to spend Sunday scouting some trails with whomever is around. If you need a camp site/room, contact PSR at There is also camping available for free down in the valley itself, off the various trails/roads.



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2 Responses to Panamint/Death Valley trip info

  1. datkinson says:

    We were planning on being down there all week, but now can’t make it. Have fun in the desert! Dennis

  2. artstine says:

    Sorry to hear ya can’t make it. Have a great Thanksgiving. We’ll toss back a few beers for ya!

    I’ll be leaving later today meeting up with Michael Cline at the Flying J north of Bakerfield over nite and getting into Panamint Saturday morning. Got the wife and the dogs with me – should be fun 🙂

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