Not a good time to go to Death Valley (8-6-22)

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Reinigm

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Westminster, CA
If you are looking for the craziest thing you can do in Death Valley, the UltraMarathon in July is it. People do die during this race. Personally, I think the entry fees cover burial expenses.

 

Lou Schneider

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It was my understanding that Pahrump was flooded out at the same time?
We've had intermittent rain for the past couple of weeks and a few days before the Death Valley floods a storm cell stalled over the alluvial plain east of town. It dumped about an inch of rain in an hour and the rapid runoff and debris flow closed Hwy 160 (the road to Las Vegas) for a while and did some damage to Gamebird Rd, a connecting route from 160 to the south side of town when the fast running water decided to use it as a channel. Once it reached the valley floor the water slowed down and spread out, flooding a fairly wide area on the southside with a couple of inches of water for a few hours until it dissipated into the ground.

Pahrump's problem is that much of the town is located at the lowest point of an ancient lakebed, precisely because rain or snow anywhere in the valley eventually winds up there. Pahrump comes from the Native American phrase Pah-rimpi, which means the place where water flows from rocks, i.e. an area of natural artesian springs. The aquifer has been pumped down since then so the springs are gone but there's still a huge pool of good water a few feet under the town.

Here's a picture of the flood's aftermath from the Escapees Pair-A-Dice Co-op's Facebook page. We're just off of Manse Rd, one of the routes the water took. This was taken the next day in the storage yard, the lowest point in the park and the only place that flooded.

The Great Flood of Pahrump 2022.jpg
 

Gr8bawana

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Nevada
You would be amazed at the number of European tourists that go to Death Valley in the blazing heat of summer, just for the experience of the heat.
Tour buses full of them from Vegas.
 

UTTransplant

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Cedar Falls, IA
There is a map of closed roads on the park’s official website. Absolutely everything is closed except the western road to Panamint Springs. The road is closed east of Pansmint Springs.
 

LarsMac

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Colorado Plains
My Dad was invited on a camping trip to Death Valley with some co-workers back when I was very young - First grade, I think. We were pretty freshly arrived from Virginia, and Dad was not really the camping type. That trip was one of only two such excursions that I remember with him.
It was, and still remains one of my favorite memories.

I still hope to get back for another visit.
 

JudyJB

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I was in DV a few years ago in early January and watched several busloads of joggers get out and get ready for a half-marathon. They were nearly all dressed in complete sweat suits--pants and shirts, and even a few hats and gloves. I was wearing my winter coat, long pants, and socks with my sandal. I figured that the joggers would go back to their friends and coworkers and tell them they ran a half-marathon in Death Valley, with the assumption that they had survived the heat!
 

JudyJB

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By the way, I have been driving from southwestern Colorado through Monument Valley and to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The whole four corners area has been having spotty rains, but this has been for a couple of weeks at least. The result is that there are puddles in the desert and even some water in many of the dry washes. And most of the vegetation has turned green, as well. No roads washed out, but a some roadway pullover areas need grading. Hope this all results in a good winter/spring wildflower display.
 

SeilerBird

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This time of year the Grand Canyon usually gets monsoon rain in the afternoon. This is how the Grand Canyon was formed. The Colorado River creating the GC is fiction.
 

SeilerBird

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More clarification please.
The GC was began 5 million years ago by the Colorado. The Colorado was 100 yards wide, and today it is still 100 yards wide. The GC is ten miles wide and at no point was the Colorado 10 miles wide. All you need to do is look at most any photo of the
GC and take notice of the fact that there is a lot of debris below many layers of the canyon. It is the rain falling on the rim that created the GC.

There are basically two different types of layers in the GC, soft and hard. The soft layers are clay and the hard layers are limestone. The soft layers flow down into the Colorado and go downstream. The hard layers end up piling up at the bottom of that layer. If the Colorado was carving the GC all the debris would end up in Baja instead of being deposited on the walls of the canyon.
Glen Canyon dam trip-12.jpgS&R Helicoptor.jpgCanyon gold.jpgCanyon photo.jpg

I have heard the story of the Colorado carving the GC many times and I think it gets passed on because it is a simple one sentence explanation.
 

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Lou Schneider

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The same storm that hit Death Valley on August 5 also caused extensive damage to roads and infrastructure in the Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park.

In the Mojave National Preserve Zzyzx Road is blockaded closed but is passable to the Desert Study Center with sections of rough gravel. The Desert Study Center and surrounding areas are closed to the public. Kelbaker Road between Baker and the park headquarters at Kelso is impassable and closed indefinitely due to two major washouts. The Kelso Depot and Visitor Center is closed until Spring 2023. Most other roads have been re-opened with several having sections of one lane dirt road over debris fields passable to 4WD vehicles.

Road Conditions - Mojave National Preserve (U.S. National Park Service)

In Joshua Tree the Big Horn Pass Road complex, Geology Tour Road, Pinto Basin Road (from the Southern Boundary to the Ocotillo Patch), and Cottonwood Campground and Visitor Center are closed due to flash flood damage.

Alerts & Conditions - Joshua Tree National Park (U.S. National Park Service)
 

Larry N.

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Westminster, Colorado
More clarification please.
Ever see a large flash flood? It can even dislodge boulders and carve out huge chunks of land. I've seen the aftermath in a couple of places in Colorado, including the Big Thompson Canyon between Estes Park and Loveland. Over thousands+ of years that can carve out a LOT.
 
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