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    • vegasphotog

      Thought I would share an abridged version of a great experience. In March of 2017 I ended up Googling about the Racetrack Playa adventure out at Death Valley. At the time, my trusted battleship was a 2002 Subaru Outback with 200,000+ miles, with bad front end ball-joints and a couple of marginal tires. I left the turn off at Ubehebe Crater and only got about 3 miles before I prudently realized now was not the time.

      So, we had a great weather window mid-November and I decided to try it again via Titus Canyon with ball-joints replaced and fresh meats from Costco.
      Had some great adventuring coming through Titus Canyon and in DV, I decided to either push forward in the dark to the Racetrack Playa or abort and head into an over-crowded camping area.

      Glad I pushed through....I got to the Racetrack around 9pm and no one was around, the air was still (tripod, long exposures) and a quarter moon.

      To be honest I was a little afraid walking out on the Playa in pitch black visibility having no idea if there were lions, tigers or bears. But, once I got to the Grandstand and the last of the mooncast was to slip behind the mountains, I snagged some fun shots. I spent a couple of hours shooting and then, exhausted just crawled into the back the Subie and met the 5:30am sunrise with a hot cup of 'jo. Good times.

      Who else has made it out there?

    • kevin
      Kevin Harrington

      First off, epic shot!

      Who else has made it out there?

      Not me. I knew the dirt road from the Ubehebe crater to the racetrack is a know tire popper, however, being the dumbass I am, I took the washboard at 60 mph. A sharp little rock decided to rip my tire to shreds 5 miles away from the racetrack. 100% driver error. Rather than risk driving more miles on my only spare, I idled my way back to pavement.

      I'll try again. Next time I'll drive at reasonable speeds and bring a full size spare.

      📷: That's the damage done on my 2012 Subaru Outback.

    • vegasphotog

      DUUUUUUUDE! Yep, your experience was my worst nightmare. There are areas that you can go pretty fast on the shale, but, I now know those first 3-4 miles are the most brutal. Since I was driving at night, for the initial part I think I was driving 10-25mph which was very tedious. Hope you make it back out there....really an interesting experience.

    • kevin
      Kevin Harrington

      I'm waiting until next winter to go back. It's just way too hot until late fall. Do you think I could get in through Lippencott Pass/Road with my Outback or is that pushing it? 3.6R with mud and snow tires, but no low gear and stock clearance.

    • vegasphotog

      I have never done the pass but I hear with any kind of moisture, mud, etc, it can be extremely knarley. BUT, my 4cycl subie has NEVER let me down. Hope you make it and post up pics.

    • Ben

      It depends on how much you love the underbody of your Outback 😉. I've done it on my motorcylce and while it would certainly be easier on 4 wheels, there are a few sections with moderate size bolders and off-cambers. If you go downhill you'll have momentum on your side. Keep in mind that there are not too many turn around points.

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