Great Outdoors will be car camping at the Warm Springs in Saline Valley, one of the most remote parts of Death Valley National Park. There you will be able to fill your days with a whole lot of nothing: no radio, no TV, no internet, no phone, no electricity, no flush toilets. But you won't find yourself bored because you can fill that nothing with endless bathing in numerous pools filled with naturally hot spring water. There you will meet the "citizens" of Saline Valley, who are visitors like yourself who come from all parts of the globe to partake of this uniquely beautiful, isolated and friendly spot.
SPECIAL NOTE: Our 2016 trip was cut short due to extremely high winds. Some tent poles were bent and a shade structure was destroyed by the wind.
The Warm Springs bubble up near the middle of this 100 mile long desert valley, where the climate is like that of Coachella Valley, including possibly strong winds. There are mountain vistas in all directions and the night sky is without compare. There will be a new moon on Apr 26th while we are there.
Beginning in the 1960s, before the area was included within Death Valley, volunteers built concrete tubs and a shower. Those improvements, which could not be built in the National Park today, are accepted by the park service. As is the clothing-optional* nature of the area, nudity is certainly not required and the area is quite family-friendly. You will meet all sorts of interesting, friendly people, some of whom have been coming to the Warm Springs for decades.
*Note: If nudity offends you, we recommend you not go on this trip as there will be naked people there.
There are two pools very near where we will camp, and additional pools with more shade just a half-mile walk away.
Besides the bathing in the springs, those who are coming with 4-wheel drive vehicles may organize day trips to explore parts of Saline Valley or even go out of the valley into other parts of Death Valley National Park. You may need to bring extra gas!
We’ll have a potluck on Monday night. Bring something to share if you wish to participate. We'll also have a "wine tasting" one afternoon. Our goal is to identify a cheap, yet durable wine that travels well in the desert. Box wines, cheap bottled wine, and even non-wine are your welcome contribution. We'll provide an array of fine plastic ware, cheese & crackers.
You can tent camp or bring an RV, but your vehicle must be able to traverse at least 40 miles of sometimes rough dirt road to get to the springs. The last 7 miles of the road into Warm Springs will be a challenge for most RVs. A high clearance vehicle with good tires (and a good, full-size spare tire) is required. 4-WD vehicles may be required on some of the optional treks from camp during the week. Extra seating in those vehicles may be available for passengers, but we do not guarantee it.
You should visit the Saline Preservation Association's website (click here) for some interesting tidbits and current road conditions (click here)...
Some say the water at the springs is safe to drink, but if you intend to rely on that, be prepared to filter it. The park service has one (1) pit toilet, but bring your own toilet paper. In addition, every visitor is asked to bring 2 gallons of chlorine bleach which will be used to clean the tubs.
We are doing this trip in conjunction with GOPS friends that usually go twice a year. You can visit their website at: www.salinedv.com (click here)
Photos: To see some photos from prior trips to Saline Valley - click here.
Children: There may be children present.
Pets: Dogs are allowed. Please be aware there are snakes and scorpions at this location.
Prices: There is no charge for this event. Each person going must complete a separate registration. We do this so each registrant acknowledges our liability waiver condition.
Schedule Of Events
- Come and go as you please. You don't have to stay the entire week
- It is suggested that you carpool or caravan in and out in case of your vehicle breaks down - it's a long walk to civilization!
- Check campground white board for updates and hike/outing/4x4 details.
Amenities: Restrooms are pit toilets (just two of them). Fire rings made of rocks are at some of the campsites.
What to Bring: Read our suggested Ten Essentials list (click here), camping/cooking gear, food, bottled water (drinking & cooking), a couple extra rolls of RV style (single ply) toilet paper to use and leave some behind, a gallon of bleach to clean the hot tubs; warm/cool weather clothing, a bundle or two of firewood - no particle board, old furniture, plywood or construction materials. These cause the release of toxic gases when burned.
Directions: For a Google Map of our location - click here.
Climate: April - warm to hot days and cool to cold at night. Click here to see one 10-day weather forecast for Saline Valley.
Contact: Ed : Membership-PS@GreatOutdoors.org
Health Problems/allergies: It is the responsibility of participants to carry on their person a record of significant allergies, medications and medical history in the event of a medical emergency. Discuss any medical concerns with the hike leader if you wish.