Thank you to everyone who came to
IT'S TIME TO
Maybe you keep hearing awesome things about Death Valley but have never checked it out. Maybe you have been there before and part of you never left.
SCORCHfest 2018 is your chance to hop in your rig and make it to corners of Death Valley National Park that passenger vehicles can't, while also dropping in on some of the standard tourist must-dos.
Amazing vistas, historical landmarks, unique terrain, and off-road driving challenges will be your reward.
IT GOES DOWN ON
SCORCHfest is an annual off-the-grid, away from the beaten path, but not over the top, meetup for off-roaders.
We take a full three days to explore a remote corner of our planet that is driving distance from Southern California. This year, our first for the event, will be in Death Valley.
The free event is hosted by the Southern California Off Road Club and Hangouts (SCORCH), one of SoCal's largest off-road meetup groups.
RSVPs will be handled on our Meetup.com page.
CAN I HANDLE THIS?
YOU: Some off-roading experience. This should not be your first time, but you do not need to be a hardcore driver either.
YOUR RIG: 4-wheel drive, at least 9" of clearance, grippy/knobby tires, front/rear tow points, some armor advised (rock rails + partial skid plates), rear locking differentials will be a helpful bonus.
THE BAR: Stock Jeep Wranglers can handle this. All rides are lead by a mostly stock Nissan X-Terra Off Road Edition upgraded with better (but not bigger) tires, 2" body lift for tire articulation, rock rails, some armor, and a skilled driver.
BASECAMP AND LODGING
Basecamp will be at Panamint Springs "Resort" which offers basic campsites, 'glamping' sites, RV sites (dry and with hookups), motel rooms, and cabins, depending on your desired level of comfort. BOOK NOW as these will fill up fast.
Do not wait until the last minute to set one up.
Friday, October 19
We'll start with a 1pm Meet and Greet at Panamint Springs before rolling out at 2pm towards Titus Canyon. It's a one hour highway drive to the trailhead of an easy and well-maintained 26 mile dirt road up and over the Grapevine mountains. We'll stop to see petroglyphs on the way to a stunning 1.5 mile long stretch known at "The Narrows" through limestone formations. We'll pop out the other end of the canyon in time for the magical sunset ride on pavement back to Panamint Springs.
Saturday, October 20
We'll get an 8am start on an ambitious run that takes us on an easy ride through the ghost town of Ballarat on our way to the narrow canyons of Goller Wash. We'll make our way up some challenging terrain over Mengal Pass into Butte Valley to gaze our eyes on the stunning Striped Butte before heading back. Sites along the way include the remains of the site where Charles Manson was captured, several mining cabins, and the burial site of a Death Valley pioneer.
Our Saturday afternoon excursion brings us out to Chloride Cliff, the most scenic and expansive view in all of Death Valley. Getting there involves an hour on the road and 60-90 minutes on mostly easy but noticeably narrow trails with a fun, short challenge at the end for those who want drive all the way to the peak instead of hiking up the last 200 yards. We'll pass a few old mines along the way and the scattered remains of old Chloride City.
Sunday, October 21
Sunday is tourist day, which means we will be on pavement. We'll roll out at 8am to Badwater Basin (the lowest point in North America), head down the eye-popping Artists Drive, and end up at Mesquite Dunes where you can walk out into the proverbial desert before we all split up for home in the afternoon.
WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
SCORCHfest 2018 will be a 3 day long off-road exploration of America's most extreme and unique national park in late October, when anything can happen.
Right now the weather forecast is for warm days and cool nights with no rain. That does not preclude the unexpected possibilities of heat waves, gale winds, sudden storms, flash floods, bone dry conditions, and suddenly unpassable trails.
Your rig could get busted on the trails or the whole group may need to shelter-in-place for an extended period with no warning.
Quite frankly, you are a little crazy for even thinking about doing this.
Get your vehicle inspected before SCORCHfest 2018, particularly the suspension / radiator / cooling systems, because AAA is not coming for you.
Lots of water - The ultra dry air will suck the life out of you before you realize it so bring at least one gallon per person per day.
Food - We will be making lunch stops on the trail with no food around. Plus you need to be ready if we get stranded on the trails overnight and beyond.
Clothing - Layers for shifting temperatures and good shoes for loose dirt.
Radio - We recommend this BaoFeng radio so you can hear the other riders and the lead rig. You can elect to go with CB but the range tends to be very limited on this type of terrain.
Air Pump - We recommend this off road air compressor to quickly air SUV and truck tires up and down for better trail performance. Do not show up with a cigarette lighter-powered pump for passenger cars.
Tow Gear - Bring a tow cable or winch and have tow points to connect them to so we can pull you out of a ditch if needed.
Spare Tire - Duh!
Money - For gas, food (restaurant at basecamp), and park entrance fee.
Extra Gas - If you have mounts for gas cans, please bring extra gas. You probably will not need it but it will come in super handy if another rig runs out along the way.
Tools - Any tools you can bring along that might help get your rig or another driver's rig patched up in the wild would be greatly appreciated.
Camping Gear - Essential if you are camping. Helpful if we are stranded in an emergency.
THE FINE PRINT
The organizers of this meetup are not responsible for any damage done to your person or vehicle at this event, getting to this event, or after this event. We are a group of adults meeting up for an activity that takes a high degree of personal responsibility. All participants must do so at their own risk.
If you act like an asshat, douche, idiot, jerk, or in any way behave or operate your vehicle in a manner that is a risk or annoyance to others or does not respect the park, you will be asked to leave the ride and be possibly ejected from SCORCH.