Has anyone hiked across DV at Badwater?

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tchiker
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Has anyone hiked across DV at Badwater?

Post by tchiker » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:23 pm

I've always wanted to do this...just start the Badwater "trail" and hike across the valley and back. I suppose you would turn around once it stopped being flat and started going up an alluvial fan. Looking at Google Earth, it looks to be about 6 1/2 miles to the other side, so would be about a 13 mile out and back hike.

I see something on the map called "Shorty's Well" over there on the other side, so maybe could turn around there. And maybe could do it as a full moon hike and wouldn't even need a headlamp.

I'm not sure if it would be kind of boring or exciting. I suppose you could do 3 mph and would take just over 4 hrs. I still want to do it.

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JesPortland
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Re: Has anyone hiked across DV at Badwater?

Post by JesPortland » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:35 pm

I would like to. When it's cooler. We come late March and late October when it is too hot for that. A few years ago in the summer I believe a younger guy tried that, turned round but had run out of water. Died. So he might have been the "one" person that dies every year in DV due to heat.

I agree..I want to do it too. In the future I will be coming this time of year also and that time would work. Otherwise at night sure.

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wbdeford
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Re: Has anyone hiked across DV at Badwater?

Post by wbdeford » Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:56 pm

Yes. Two challenges:

1) Mud
2) Devil's Golf Course

As you get toward the west side, your feet often start sinking into the mud, but this varies. Sometimes it is just a little...in places, I have had it get close to ankle deep. I am sure at times it can be much worse.

Devil's Golf Course is easy to deal with, if you are aiming at Shorty's Well. When you come to DGC, follow its edge to the left until you find a nice water channel and follow that until you are out of the DGC.

There is somewhat of a maze of shrubs near Shorty's Well. If you don't want to deal with that, you can go around it to the left and hit West Side Road roughly 0.2 miles south of where Hanauaph Canyon Road crosses West Side Road.

You will hit West Side Road before you start up the alluvial fan.

If you want to do it, I would recommend programming Shorty's Well and the valley's "official" low point (which isn't really the low point, but that's another story) in to your GPS. I think this track is a little less prone to bad mud than going straight across to Shorty's Well, but I could be wrong.

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wbdeford
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Re: Has anyone hiked across DV at Badwater?

Post by wbdeford » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:00 pm

Another thing you might do, since you've gone that far anyway, is go roughly 3/4 mile up Hanaupah Canyon Road to sea level and look back out across the valley.

D.A. Wright
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Re: Has anyone hiked across DV at Badwater?

Post by D.A. Wright » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:52 am

Here is a link to an interesting account of an elderly man in poor health who hiked successfully across to the west side in the middle of August with temps in the high one-teens. He didn’t return. Nor did he wan’t to ...

https://desertfog.org/projects/finding-norman-2/
D.A. Wright
~When You Live in Nevada, "just down the road" is anywhere in the line of sight within the curvature of the earth.

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wbdeford
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Re: Has anyone hiked across DV at Badwater?

Post by wbdeford » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:44 pm

Wow, that is an interesting story. It looks from the map that Norman started from Badwater and walked to the "official" low point, and just kept on walking straight until he reached the west side vegetation. Not sure how bad the DGC is along that trajectory.

D.A. Wright
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Re: Has anyone hiked across DV at Badwater?

Post by D.A. Wright » Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:17 pm

The owner of the website and author is a retired Carson City Sheriffs Department detective, whom I met after he sought me out for consultation in this case. We still communicate almost daily. It was a sad but fascinating story.
D.A. Wright
~When You Live in Nevada, "just down the road" is anywhere in the line of sight within the curvature of the earth.

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Candace_66
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Re: Has anyone hiked across DV at Badwater?

Post by Candace_66 » Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:48 pm

wbdeford wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:56 pm
Yes. Two challenges:

1) Mud
2) Devil's Golf Course

As you get toward the west side, your feet often start sinking into the mud, but this varies. Sometimes it is just a little...in places, I have had it get close to ankle deep. I am sure at times it can be much worse.
I've hiked out to the low point (?) twice, once from Badwater and another time from Shortys Well. I ran into a little bit of mushy terrain but nothing really bad. As you indicated, the amount, extent, and depth of mud probably depend on conditions. And probably aren't predictable.

Looking through my pictures, I never encountered any DGC-type formations. Sometimes the surface was a little rough but nothing like DGC.

One interesting thing out there are all the different patterns and textures of the ground and the salt crystals.

A couple other links covering the topic of the official low point:

viewtopic.php?t=20909

viewtopic.php?t=22617

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wbdeford
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Re: Has anyone hiked across DV at Badwater?

Post by wbdeford » Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:57 am

Candace_66 wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:48 pm

Looking through my pictures, I never encountered any DGC-type formations. Sometimes the surface was a little rough but nothing like DGC.
Here are a few I took of the DGC I encountered, plus the water channel through it. I also marked in one of them where one can go around the vegetation with only a slight detour.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... ad1a07cf0d

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