Saline Valley Hot Springs

Share info and ask questions about great places to hike throughout the Death Valley and adjacent areas!

Re: Saline Valley Hot Springs

Postby deathvalleyjake » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:46 am

CactusHugger: I'd rather skip the crowds, but I do try to get out there a couple times a year. Not necessarily to the hot springs themselves, but at least out for a drive through the valley or to an interesting destination somewhere in the immediate area.
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Re: Saline Valley Hot Springs

Postby BoraxBill » Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:12 pm

Marble Bath: This desert oddity hides in plain sight thanks to a cartographic error and a desert explorer with a punny sense of humor.
A guy named Wendel Moyer installed a bathtub filled with blue marbles as a prank back in the 1990s near Steel Pass because...
There’s a location shown on various topographical maps called Marble Bath. The actual location marks a set of shallow decompressions in the bedrock near the Last Chance Mountains. The dips fill with rainwater and become a rare, precious source of water within an otherwise arid stretch of desert. But on some older maps, Marble Bath isn’t quite where the cartographers say it is. This false location is shown closer to Steel Pass Road and has fooled many a hiker on a quest to locate the ephemeral pools of water.

LINK: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/marble-bath
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Re: Saline Valley

Postby CrustyOldFart » Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:28 am

BoraxBill: I've always been curious about that site. I've heard lots of stories and studied the map of the area. Definitely a great bucket list item! Having been to the hot springs on a few occasions it wouldn't be too much of an extension to make it up to Steel Pass although I know the road gets rougher up that way.
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Re: Saline Valley Hot Springs

Postby wildbill » Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:12 pm

Should Death Valley's Illegal Chicken Strip Airfield Be Made Legal?
I always thought it was perfectly legal to use this airstrip. Although I've never observed a landing or takeoff there, I have been there while planes have been on the ground. No one to help if anything goes wrong, but the dirt airstrip is at least reasonable flat and free of large obstacles!
The Saline Valley Warm Springs Airfield, commonly known as Chicken Strip, is an unpaved landing strip near Saline Valley Warm Springs that has been in use for decades. However, when the area was added to Death Valley National Park in 1994, landing at the Chicken Strip became illegal by default regulations restricting the operation of aircraft on NPS lands.

LINK: https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2018/09/should-death-valleys-illegal-chicken-strip-airfield-be-made-legal
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Re: Saline Valley Hot Springs

Postby sandman » Wed May 15, 2019 7:39 am

What I hear is that the NPS has released an official plan for Saline Valley Hot Springs. Nudity is still going to be allowed since there is no federal law against public nudity, but a few things will change. I didn't get much details, but it sounds like the park service was reasonable and took public opinions into consideration to some degree.
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Re: Saline Valley Hot Springs

Postby happy_hiker » Wed May 15, 2019 4:34 pm

Saline Valley Warm Springs Management Plan EIS
Yes it sounds like they wanted to keep people happy.
"What we heard loud and clear from many of the recreational users was a desire to 'leave it like it is.' We feel this management plan will maintain a feeling of unconstrained recreation while protecting natural and cultural resources," said Death Valley National Park Superintendent Mike Reynolds.

But there were a few negatives:
• Existing mature palm trees will stay at Lower Spring and Palm Spring until they die of natural causes. No new palm trees would be allowed to grow and native plants will be added to provide shade.
• All nonnative plants, including palm trees, at Upper Spring would be removed.

I happen to like the palm trees!
https://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=39438
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Re: Saline Valley Hot Springs

Postby surfsteve » Thu May 16, 2019 5:47 am

Me too! Why don't we just hire a bunch of natives to care for the palm trees? That would make them native palm trees.
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Re: Saline Valley Hot Springs

Postby sandman » Thu May 16, 2019 7:48 am

happy_hiker: Thanks for the link! Most of the changes seem reasonable, but I think they should leave the vehicle support facility open. Not sure how elaborate that facility is, but the hot springs are pretty far from anything else and so anything to keep people safe is a good thing in my opinion.
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Re: Saline Valley Hot Springs

Postby Sparky of SoCal » Thu May 16, 2019 8:11 am

That “Vehicle Support Area” is a huge eye sore. I would rather see the bleached bones of human remains and rusty remains of autos along the road than that vehicle repair area.
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Re: Saline Valley Hot Springs

Postby sandman » Mon May 20, 2019 8:26 am

HARSH! LOL Rusty remains of autos might be a bit of an eyesore too, but I must admit that I've never noticed the vehicle support area and so maybe it's worse than I imagine it to be. Of course it's been a few years since I stopped at the hot springs although I've driven the length of the valley a couple times since then.
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