Bikepacking A Death Valley Loop and a Hot Spring. Day 2 (Steel Pass)

Day 2 of bikepacking Starting from Eureka Dunes to Saline Hot Springs over Steel Pass.

I probably woke up around 7:45ish am. The morning was chilly I was not ready to face the cool air. I remembered I was to lazy to cook my instant potato soup the night before but something warm sounded great the neighbors left camp early so Eric moved his gear and I followed to the picnic table I boiled some water and mixed up some soup it was fantastic. I did break more spork so I will be buying a titanium one for future camping trips.

We enjoyed are breakfast then leisurely packed up are gear while enjoying the views.

Then sun started to warm up as us.


I noticed this desert dune bloom took a snap and was off we started to wrap the back side of the dune on a sandy double track and was glad I had Alan at The Maven Bike shop build me up a set of Stan’s notubes  plus wheel set.

After a few miles of Sandy Double track we could see we would start to climb.


After a gradual climb the terrain changed to a harder shell surface.


I had looked back to where we came from and could still see the dunes but noticed we had climbed about a 1000ft.


Looking up trail we could see we would be kinda in a slot canyon soon.


We took a little break powered up on some snacks and water. We could here a sound of a vehicle around the corner.


They where not really moving anywhere then around one more corner they where waiting for another vehicle to  squeeze up a tech section.


We waited are turn while the truck navigated his was up. They where impressed that we have been bikepacking but joking with us I think hehe they where going to have margaritas when they get camped. The day was warm out and I was thinking dam that sounds refreshing. On my mind while riding I kept thinking when I get back to town I am going to have a Margarita.


Checking back at the kinda slot canyon. This canyon was very cool to check out.


Looking back we probably climbed another 1000ft


We where at the high point stop for a snack end up taking a power nap.


We had ridden up to about 4800ft elevation  and started to see Yucca trees. This one caught Erics Eye and had to be Photographed

As we started to drop we knew we where on to go soak in some hot springs I was getting pumped.


It was a long downhill fore arms where getting pumped so we took a break.


and then another


I really liked this Lava Ledge you could see lava fields around.


Lava rock meant to me there should be Hot Springs soon.

In the distance I could see Palms Trees like a real oasis which was good because I was getting low on water.


I was surprised how hazy the sky was getting.


I came up to the first area of palms trees saw at first glance there was a fence I didn’t see Eric he was ahead me I assumed he went ahead but I wanted to check the area out and saw the two hot springs.


I wanted to jump in but I thought I should move on and meet up with Eric.


rode another mile or two, two the second level of Hot Springs and found Eric hanging out by the Hot Spring. We rode around to find a camp spot to call home for the night.


Once camp was setup I set out to find the shower and soak.

20141119 Saline Valley BL2_3414 Palm Spring Shower l.jpg

I noticed a lot of Bat art around the springs. Didn’t really understand until dusk bats would fly by and take sips of water from the tubs.


I didn’t really get to many pictures of the tubs because there where a lot of Naked people soaking.

After soaking Eric and I rode down to check out the seen at the lower springs. Along the way. there was rock art.





This lower hot spring compound like was amazing the crystal tub. a true Oasis in the desert the weather was about 80 degrees and the elevation was 1400ftish.


Once cooling off and relaxing we headed back to are camp and to soak more.


While heading back I saw some local wildlife heading to the shower area to clean up.


the little guy was about 2 feet long. After watching he had no interest. I two was thinking about dinner a neighbor offered us some curry soup and a beer and we gratefully excepted. I watched the moon rise.


I finished off my whiskey and dosed off….. I was awake the moon was full about 2:50 am and the valley lit up. I decided to go soak the world was quite I started to get sleepy and crawled back in my sleeping bag. I was glad I had a full zip bevy tent but was thinking next time desert camping I will bring my tent with all the critters roaming around .


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