Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: Death Valley flash flood

  1. #1
    ghostcount's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Condado de la Naranja, CA
    Posts
    592

    Death Valley flash flood

    Sad News.

    Scotty's Castle ruined after 3 inches of rain fell in a 5 hour period, apparently, a 1,000 year rainfall event for the area. Largest flood event ever recorded in Scotty's Castle area. Devils Hole flooded disturbing the endangered pupfish, power lines and water were demolished. Visitors trapped overnight, access roads damaged, tours cancelled...

    http://dvnha.org/news/165-largest-fl...-s-castle-area

    "Sex is like maths, add the bed, subtract the clothes, divide the whoo hoo and hope you don't multiply." - Leather jacket guy

  2. #2
    Vaughn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Humboldt County, CA
    Posts
    6,829

    Re: Death Valley flash flood

    I was hoping to spend some time there in February -- we'll see what roads are open by then. I'd prefer to come in from the north (via Eureka Valley), but that may not be possible.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  3. #3
    Randy Moe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    10,785

    Re: Death Valley flash flood

    Maybe I don't get the big picture, but why restore Death Valley which was affected by natural events.
    TIN CAN COLLEGE

  4. #4
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    12,331

    Re: Death Valley flash flood

    Well, a number of people died in the last big flash flood down there maybe a dozen years ago; so take that into account. I drove down there while there was still a thirty-mile long lake in the Valley and green hills everywhere, the second time in my lifetime. Pupfish have been through it innumerable times over the centuries. They seem remarkably adapted to fluctuations in sediment and salinity. But the Devil's Hole ones were an isolated single species and already severely endangered. We'll just have to wait and see. The road in from the north can be a real doozey with washouts. I know from experience. Not a good idea after an event like this. Randy - flashfloods affect much of the Southwest. Roads need to get repaired. Death Valley itself is National Park with a great many visitors every winter. The dirt tracks further in can take years to grade. But one simply can't hike in those distances. For example, Saline Valley is just as spectacular as Death Valley itself, but accessible only by dirt road and no place to get isolated. And I do emphasize the word distance. There's a reason they named it "death" valley. Not many convenience markets or cold beers and sodas back when wagon trains got bogged down on that crossing. There are significant parts of the
    overall Park classified as official wilderness; but the sheer ruggedness of most of the area inherently protects it. I've been to some utterly incredible parts of it
    when I was young, which literally defy any kind of color film.

  5. #5
    Randy Moe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    10,785

    Re: Death Valley flash flood

    Drew, you are correct. There is a useful infrastructure. I have been there twice and did not hike. i knew better.

    When I was there, they were actually testing cars in the heat, running the Hell out of them, then stopping and examining them under privacy tents.
    TIN CAN COLLEGE

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    4,590

    Re: Death Valley flash flood

    Wow! It should have been a great place to shoot during the storms and aftermath. What an opportunity.
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  7. #7
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    12,331

    Re: Death Valley flash flood

    The inherent problem is that there are really only two main road, and east/west one running from Nevada straight across Death Valley past Stovepipe Wells etc,
    then over the top to Panamint Valley. It's got only minor risk issues. But the other main paved road runs the length of Death Valley and thereby past a lot of side
    canyons which are normally totally dry but can flashflood catastrophically. No mere culvert will survive the tons of boulders and clay muck which can suddenly
    descend. It's just a matter of time. And a lot of snowbird types travel that highway to stay at Furnace Creek, a true oasis, but now way overdeveloped for my taste. This last flood cycle was apparently a spin-off of hurricane activity in Mexico. SW flash flood season typically extends thru Oct then subsides by Nov. What
    intrigues me is if El Nino (allegedly on its way) will bring enough Dec rain to trigger another highly memorable Death Valley bloom next Spring.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2,691

    Re: Death Valley flash flood

    I went to DV for 10 days to 2 weeks every December/January for 25 years. I was there a week after the last big flash flood when a mother and son ignored the warning and were drowned. their car washed about a mile in the flood.
    By the time we got there all paved roads were open. they do a great job of clearing because flash floods happen so often, just not usually such large ones. I have been there when the main north south road was closed at both ends for nearly a week because of floods and continuing rain.
    DV is a beautiful place and easy to enjoy if one uses common sense and checks the local weather predictions every morning.

  9. #9
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    12,331

    Re: Death Valley flash flood

    There are roads which washed out fifty years ago and have never been reopened, but still have "temporary" closure signs at the junction! As usual, whenever
    planning to wander off a paved highway, check with local first. For instance, if you're planning to head into Saline Valley from the north, first stop at the Ranger
    Station in Lone Pine and carry a minimum of two weeks of food and water. Yep. You can get trapped in there pretty darn easy. From the south, check at Stovepipe Wells. The smaller paved roads up to Wildrose are generally open but can be affected by snowfall; but the dirt sides roads can sometimes get problematical for ordinary passenger cars. On the other side of Death Valley, the road to Dante's View is generally fine, but does wash out from time to time. The numerous jeep tracks hither and thither should generally only be traveled in convoy, in case one vehicle breaks down, and with ample emergency planning. They're still looking for bones of various people who got stuck out there somewhere and died of thirst trying to walk back. Backcountry hiking can be very demanding too, and very hot and dry. If in doubt try some of the more popular trails, but start early before the predictable crowds. Some of those places can
    be confined right where you want to prop up your tripod, and you don't want to have people using it as a handrail !

  10. #10
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Coquitlam, BC, Canada, eh!
    Posts
    4,484

    Re: Death Valley flash flood

    They're still looking for bones of various people who got stuck out there somewhere and died of thirst trying to walk back.
    Could that be the Germans? I thought some of their remains were found.

Similar Threads

  1. Death Valley
    By Terry Hull in forum Location & Travel
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 9-Sep-2014, 21:34
  2. Need Death Valley Advice re Racetrack & Saline Valley
    By Richard K. in forum Location & Travel
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 31-Dec-2010, 10:26
  3. Death Valley
    By Terry Hull in forum Location & Travel
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 11-Feb-2010, 17:43
  4. Photographer Gordon Chapple drowns in flash flood
    By Curtis Nelson in forum Announcements
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 12-Sep-2008, 12:21

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •