Death Valley National Park
FEBRUARY 25 – MARCH 2, 2017
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Escape to one of the greatest surprises in the West and a cycling experience that simply cannot be duplicated anywhere else on the planet. This charitable cycling challenge explores the absolute best of Death Valley National Park, a renown cyclist's paradise with little car traffic, pleasant springtime weather, and unparalleled desert vistas. In springtime the average daytime high is 72-80 degrees – great cycling weather!
On Climate Ride Death Valley, you'll spend four days cycling 250 miles of paved roads passing spectacular salt flats, desert oases, cathedrals of red rock, and views of towering mountains like Telescope Peak (11,000 feet). With comfortable daytime temperatures, roads that are practically empty to cars, and the fact that you’re riding below sea level, it’s the perfect spring training! Additional adventures include short hikes and soothing dips in hot springs. Professional guides will accompany us each day to share knowledge about the area’s unique ecosystem for you to bring home to your community.
Wildlife and wildflowers animate the space between salt spires and sand dunes in this epic park. When the desert sun drops below the jagged horizon, the dazzling night sky sparks wonderment with its display of stars. This is a once in a lifetime experience, and we want you to join us!
You can learn more about this trip using the tabs above.
Day 1 – Arrival Day
Participants must arrive into Las Vegas, NV no later than 12:30 pm (we'll need to incorporate 4 hours post arrival for our drive to camp and bike fitting).
We will have two locations to pick up riders:
1 pm - pick up at airport (Terminal 1 on level Zero)
1:30 pm - pick up at Hyatt Place Hotel
Please see the Travel Information tab for details on car parking and pickups. We will arrive at our camp around 5 pm to enjoy our first evening together!
Day 2 – Ride Stovepipe to Panamint Springs – 45 or 66 miles
We begin our journey from Stovepipe Wells at sea level to Panamint Springs. It is a steady climb, and at 2000 ft we get to Emigrant Junction, where we take the road to Wildrose Canyon. This route takes us via Emigrant Pass (5328 ft) to our lunch spot high in the mountains. After lunch, you have the option to visit the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns, ride back through Emigrant Pass, or shuttle to camp. NOTE: due to ongoing road closures at Wildrose, this is an alternate route for this day that takes us back to the highway and an optional climb. The full mileage is close to 100 miles, so be prepared to shuttle part of this day.
Day 3 – Panamint Springs to Furnace Creek – 52 miles
Day 3 is another fabulous and challenging day of cycling from Panamint Springs to Furnace Creek. After 24 miles we encounter Towne Pass (4956 ft) followed by an 18 mile down hill - 5000 ft of continuous drop to Stovepipe Wells and the bottom of Death Valley. We continue down the valley over undulating terrain to the oasis of Furnace Creek. Although we'll climb 3400 ft today we get to enjoy a 5000 ft downhill to our overnight stop!
Day 4 – Furnace Creek to Shoshone – 73 miles
Well-rested, we will head out, passing the nearly evaporated Lake Manley, which at one point filled the entire valley. Maybe you'll catch sight of a tiny Pupfish, remnant of those wetter days, forced to adapt to dry conditions by learning to live in water five times as salty as the ocean's. Then, we venture to Badwater Basin, the lowest elevation in North America and eighth lowest location on earth at 282 ft below sea level! We begin with a steady climb into the clean air of the Amargosa River Valley and as we start descending we begin to breathe the crisp, clean air of Shoshone’s world class skies and take in the geology that marvel’s the town’s colorful history and rich mining district.
Day 5 – Shoshone to Furnace Creek – 64 miles
Climb up and out of Death Valley after sampling the healing waters of Shoshone hot springs and pool. The climb out (via Death Valley Junction) is long but never steep, and once over the top the run south through the Greenwater Mountains is all downhill. Following an optional stop at Zabriskie Point – one of the most panoramic views in the park – we head downhill to celebrate our cycling accomplishment for the week with an amazing dinner.
Day 6 – Departure Day
This morning we say goodbye to beautiful Death Valley. We will shuttle you back to Las Vegas with drop-offs at the preferred hotel and the airport. We will return to Las Vegas by 12 pm, so you should arrange for afternoon flights no earlier than 2 pm, or you can stay extend your stay.
The trip begins with pick-ups in Las Vegas, NV, which is very easy to get to. McCarran International Airport (LAS) is located on the south end of the Strip with daily flights offered by many carriers. Riders MUST arrive into Las Vegas, NV no later than 12 pm on the day the trip begins. Our shuttle information is below (we have a 3-hour shuttle to our camp).
The shuttle will pick up at the airport (Terminal 1 on level Zero) at 1 pm.
The shuttle will pick up at the Hyatt Place Las Vegas at 1:30 pm.
The Hyatt Place is a preferred hotel with special rates if you plan to stay in Las Vegas before and after the ride (more information about this pre/post-ride hotel option and pricing will be included in your Travel Planner after you register).
If you are driving to Las Vegas, you have several options for parking your car for the week. You can park at the Hyatt Place Hotel where we can pick you up for the trip. The airport has long-term parking available for $16/day. An alternative is OneStopParking – they list local hotels where you can park for a fee, sometimes as low as $4.25/day. A full list of Las Vegas parking garages can be found here.
When the trip ends, we will shuttle you back to Las Vegas with drop-offs at the preferred hotel and the airport. We will return to Las Vegas by 12 pm so you can book afternoon flights after 2 pm, or you can stay extend your stay.
Since this is a special departure, we are including a special set of FAQ's just for Climate Ride Death Valley. If these don't cover the questions you have, don't hesitate to shoot us an email!
Is this a fundraising event?
Yes. This is a charitable, fundraising event produced by Climate Ride. Your fundraising proceeds will support your chosen beneficiaries and the Climate Ride cause.
What is the required fundraising minimum?
The fundraising commitment for this event is $2800, to be raised by February 17th, 2017.
What are the fundraising deadlines? How do I secure my spot on the trip?
In order to secure your spot on the Death Valley Ride, you must raise at least $500 by January 20th, 2017 (5 weeks before the trip begins). If you haven’t, you must make a credit card deposit of the difference up to $500. You must meet your fundraising minimum commitment of $2800 by February 17th, 2017 - approximately one week before the trip departs. If you are not at the minimum by then, you may self-pledge the remainder. You can continue fundraising (up until December 1st) and request a one-time reimbursement from Climate Ride when your fundraising is complete.
I’ve nervous about the fundraising. Will I be able to do this?
Absolutely! This is one of riders’ biggest concerns. We want you to know it’s easier than you think and we're here to help you! Please reach out to Russ if you have any questions, concerns, or just want to chat about messaging and strategies. You can also visit our fundraising tips page to get started.
How much is Registration, and what does it include?
The registration fee is $100. This event is fully supported, which means we take care of everything. All you have to do is show up and ride. Here's a short list of what's included:
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as snacks and water stops each day.
- On Route support, including SAG vehicles and expert leaders and staff.
- A fully marked route, with maps and directions.
- Overnight lodging each night at beautiful campgrounds in & around the park. (Hotel options are available. See the Travel Planner for more specific information).
- Daily luggage transport to the next camp (you don't have to bike with your gear!).
- Nightly events and talks from engaging speakers about Death Valley and its environs.
- Access to donation software via the web, where you can customize your own Personal Fundraising Page to manage your fundraising and donations.
- Fundraising and logistical support from our amazing office staff.
What do I need to bring on the ride?
All riders need to bring a bicycle, helmet, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and a small suitcase or duffle containing clothes, toiletries, and anything else necessary for several days on the road (see below for bike and gear rental). The Travel Planner & Experience Guide will contain a more detailed suggested packing list. This document will be distributed to participants several weeks before the event. Although we provide healthy snacks and electrolyte products, if you have a non-perishable personal favorite or brand please feel free to bring some along!
Great news! You can rent high performance bikes & camping gear through our local outfitter! Detailed information is provided in the Travel Planner & Experience Guide.
> How do I rent a bike for the trip?
You can rent a high performance bike from our local outfitter! Choices include a Trek Touring Hybrid 7.2 FX Disc, Specialized Allez Elite, Specialized Roubaix Elite or a Trek Emonda.
Prices range from $125 - $313 for the week.
> I want to bring my own bike. Can I ship it to you to be build and ready for me?
Yes, you can ship your bike to our outfitter where they will build it, transfer it to Death Valley and then re-pack it and ship it home to you. You will find detailed information in your Travel Planner. The outfitter will charge you $50 to build the bike and $50 to pack it up, plus the shipping costs. The bike must arrive 96 hours before the trip start on February 25th. The bike will be packed and shipped home no less than 96 hours after the ride.
I see there are only 30 spots available... sounds like I need to get my spot soon?
Yes, this is one of our small departure trips and this group size makes for an incredible and intimate experience. Get your spot!
What happens if I have to cancel? What is the Cancellation Policy?
We know the unforeseen can happen. If you are unable to attend this event, please email Russ as soon as possible with the details of your situation. Due to the limited number of spots on the ride, a cancellation policy is in effect. Donations and registration fees are non-refundable and cannot be transferred to another participant.
How do I get to the trip start?
The trip will begin in Las Vegas, Nevada. (See more in the travel information tab.) You can get to Las Vegas by plane or car. We have full details in the Travel Planner, which is emailed to all participants ahead of the event. You must arrive at the latest on the Saturday, February 25th by 1 pm. The earliest you could book a flight to depart would be 2 pm on March 2nd, 2017. There is no additional charge for the shuttle to and from Las Vegas.
Can I drive and park in Death Valley and meet up with the ride there, rather than go to Las Vegas?
Yes, you can. We will notify you of a place where you can park your car. Please send an email to our office with this request.
Where do we stay? What are the overnight accommodations like?
We will be staying at campgrounds in and around the park, with stunning views of what makes Death Valley such a beautiful site to visit. All of the campgrounds will have hot showers and restrooms available. Camping is included.
Hotels near camp can be arranged at an additional cost on each night of this ride. Hotel space is limited in Death Valley and sell out quickly. Please contact our office for availability and pricing. More detailed information about overnight locations is provided in the Travel Planner and Experience Guide that will be distributed to each participant several weeks before the event.
Is there good cell phone service or wi-fi during the ride?
Certain places in and near the park will have phone service. However, the park is remote and your service may come in and out. Text messages are the best bet if you need to get in touch with someone.
Biking and Route Support
What kind of support can I expect while on the road?
Climate Ride has experienced, friendly, and professional support staff. We have rest stops each day with snacks and water, and on-route we have vehicle support ('SAG' wagons), mechanics, and a medical team. You can also expect an unlimited supply of camaraderie and encouragement from the support staff and your fellow riders!
What kind of bicycle and pedals do I need?
The most important factor in choosing a bike and pedals is comfort. You want to be riding a bike and using pedals that you will be comfortable riding with for multiple hours a day, for several days in a row. We have a webpage all about cycling equipment, including bikes and pedals.
Am I better off with a double or triple chainring?
If you have the option - you own or have access to two different bikes - go with a triple chainring, as there will certainly be hills to contend with on this ride. If you only have a double and/or prefer them, that'll work just fine too. Either way, make sure you incorporate hills into your training!
Should I get my bike tuned before this ride?
YES! We highly recommend getting your bike tuned up at least two weeks before the ride, especially if it's older and/or your bike mechanic skills are limited. You may need the additional time if parts are needed. We recommend using your local bike shop (support local retailers!). While we will have mechanics on the ride to help you if something goes wrong, there's nothing worse than seeing your friends pedal out of camp while your bike is getting a shifter fixed. You'll have a lot more fun riding a smoothly running bike than standing around in your chammy, waiting. Also, the mechanics on the ride ask that you not use them as your free yearly tune-up. It's poor form.
Can you accommodate my special bike (recumbent, tandem, over-sized, electric, etc.)?
Probably! These types of bicycles most likely will not fit on our support vehicle's bike racks, depending on the size and style. We cannot put special bikes into the support vans because that space is reserved for support supplies and to support riders in need of transport. In addition, we can only offer shuttles from where there are safe pull-off locations on the road. These can occasionally be far and few between in the Park. Generally, you can bring a special bike if you are physically able to ride every mile of the route, since we may not be able to transport it. Please email Andrew to discuss the possibility of bringing a special bike.
*As of 2015, our insurance policy has special requirements for electric or electric assist bikes that are permitted on our events. Electric or electric assist bikes permitted on our events are defined as: "a two-or three wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 mph." If you have questions about this, please email us.
Can I bring my hard-shell box?
Yep! If you are traveling to the trip start with a hard-shell bike case, email Russ to reserve your space. We will have space for a limited number of hard shell boxes.
Do I need to be a racer/hardcore cyclist to do this trip?
Absolutely not! This is a tour, not a race. This ride is great for new cyclists and seasoned riders alike. You don't need an expensive racing bike to get out there and pedal for the cause. To have the best possible ride, it is important to find a bicycle that is comfortable for you to ride most of the day and to begin a training program. Please see our tips on training here.
Still have questions? Shoot Russ an email and he'll be happy to help you out!