Upcoming Events

Nov. 8th.Rick Henton Memorial Run- Death Valley

2019 Rick Henton Memorial Run (Veterans’ Day Weekend)

Ballarat, Ca- Death Valley National Park (DVNP)

This is an overland expedition type event. We will be camping in a new location each night. RV’s are not permitted on this run.
We plan on covering approx 200 miles over 3 days. Most of the trip is on dirt roads, however, due to the camping restrictions in DVNP, we will be forced to utilize paved roads and use the national park campgrounds. The national park charges $14/night. It is not possible to make reservations at these campgrounds. They are, first come-first served. This is the only legal way to keep the group together and be able to have a campfire at night. Flame cooking and fires are not permitted within the park, except in the designated campground areas.
Please be prepared to be self-sufficient. You will need to carry plenty of food and water for your party. A good rule of thumb for the dry desert climate is 1 gallon of water, per person, per day. Death Valley holds the record as the hottest place on earth (134f 7/10/1913). It also holds the record for the driest climate in North America. According to the weather almanac, normal November temperatures are 77f daytime and 48f overnight. Please be prepared for warmer/cooler temperatures and precipitation. The average monthly precipitation for November is .20 in.
Sunrise is approx 6:20am and sunset is approx 4:40pm
Before arriving in Ballarat, fill up your fuel tank in Trona, Ca. A full tank should get you through the weekend, however I recommend carrying at minimum 2 gallons of fuel reserve. We will be passing a fuel station in the Furnace Creek area but I will warn you that fuel in Death Valley is typically $1-$2 more per gallon than average.
You will have an opportunity to depart for home Sunday morning, or Sunday mid-day AFTER Titus Canyon if you cannot camp through Monday.
**We will do a potluck on Sat night. Please bring a dish. Please be mindful of your own food allergies. It is up to you to inquire about ingredients in the potluck dishes.
**Bring a bundle or two of firewood for campfires each night.
If you have any questions, please ask or message me direct.
Trail Boss: Mike Mattern- SDJC Boardmember

Friday 11/08
Arrive in Ballarat Ghost Town Camp Area (I'll be there around 2pm)
Please ‘donate’ a few bucks at the Ballarat store for camping, or the “Mayor” of Ballarat may come around and collect a few dollars.
36° 2'54.19"N, 117°13'36.80"W

Saturday 11/09
8:30am Drivers Meeting- Please be aired down and prepared to leave immediately at the conclusion of the drivers meeting. I know it is early, but there is a lot of ground to cover and the sun will be down earlier this time of year.
Depart Ballarat camp area. We will head south on Wingate Rd, passing the dry lake and active mining area. We will head east on Goller Wash Rd and follow Goller Wash to Keystone Mine. We will stop and check out the lower mine area. We will continue east to Coyote Rd heading to Barker Ranch. This is the location were the Manson Family was captured by law enforcement in raids on October 10 and October 12, 1969. Manson was caught hiding under the bathroom vanity. After Barker Ranch, we will head north through Mengel Pass, passing the trail side memorial rock cairn for Carl Mengel, an early 20th century prospector. There is a section of trail headed up to Mengel Pass that has a flexy, uphill climb but is stock Jeep capable. SDJC Black Ops will be on hand to give a spot if necessary. Leaving the memorial area, we will descend down a rocky, steep hill into Butte Valley. There are beautiful views from here of Striped Butte. From here the trail turns NE into Butte Valley. We will stop and check out Butte Valley Cabin and “Geologist’s Cabin”, built in 1930. Leaving the Cabin, We will head east on Butte Valley Rd. Butte Valley Rd. will turn into Warm Springs Rd. We will stop at the Warm Springs area. We will pass by several old mines along the way. Warm Springs RD will take us to West Side Rd where we will make a right and head south, and intersect with Badwater Rd (asphalt). We will air up, then head north on Badwater Rd approx 45 miles to Texas Spring Campground ($14). In the event Texas Spring CG is full, we will use Sunset CG ($14) as a backup. They are less than 1 mile apart. Close by is a Chevron in Furnace Creek. The Chevron closes at 5pm and reopens at 7am. I intend to fuel up before the drivers meeting on Sunday morning, unless we arrive at camp before 5pm, in which case I’ll top off then.

Sunday 11/10
8:30am Drivers Meeting (at this time, you can head for home if you do not want to continue on, or you can run Titus Canyon and then depart for home later in the day.)
We will depart for Titus Canyon after the drivers meeting. We will head north to Titus Canyon, a 45 min paved highway drive to the trail-head.
We will air down at Titus Canyon trail-head.
There is a very good write up and video of Titus Canyon here:
We will break for lunch at Leadfield Ghost Town.
After Titus Canyon, you will have the opportunity to depart for home if you don't want to camp another night. We will air back up at the end of Titus Canyon. If there is time, we will visit Ubehebe Crater. If not, we will head straight to Mesquite Springs Campground.
If time permits, we will head north from Titus Canyon on Scotty’s Castle Rd. and head up to Ubehebe Crater (approx 25 miles, paved). Ubehebe Crater is a large volcanic crater 600 feet deep and half a mile across.
Here is the NPS write up for Ubehebe:
From Ubehebe, we will head south to Mesquite Springs Campground ($14). This is a first come-first served campground. If it is full, we will venture back south and find a suitable camping location.

Monday 11/11
You are free to pull out anytime and head for home.

Ballarat Ghost Town Camp Area:
Ballarat Rd Trona, CA 93592
36° 2'54.19"N, 117°13'36.80"W

Texas Spring Campground:
Texas Springs Road Death Valley, CA 92328
36.459, -116.853

Sunset Campground:
Mesquite Rd. Death Valley, CA 923288
36.4575, -116.8621

Mesquite Springs Campground:
Mesquite Rd. Death Valley, CA 92328
36.9635, -117.3677

Google Maps Path- Day One:

Google Maps Path- Day Two:

Sunday Nov. 24th Toys 4 Tots Run to the Del Mar Race Track

With the spirit of giving to children in our hearts this Christmas season, the privilege would be entirely ours if you, your family, and your friends would join us for this very noble cause. Our sincere hope is to get our snow mitts on as many toys as possible for this longtime US Marine Corps holiday tradition Toys 4 Tots.

The day starts off when we all assemble at Fiesta Island at 7:00am (same location as last years Christmas event.) While there, we share some holiday cheer and conversation over warm steamy drinks and some tasty pastries. During this time, some of you can be putting your finishing decoration touches on our Jeeps before we begin our urban Jeep drive across the city.

Together as a group, we will convoy our Christmas decorated Jeeps from Fiesta Island to the Del Mar Fair grounds where we will deliver our toys to the Marines of the 4th Tank Bn/4th Medical Bn

It is with great enthusiasm we encourage you to deck the hull of your Jeeps with Christmas decorations for this event, there will be a good number of onlookers along our route of whom will show you their appreciation and holiday spirit for having a colorful Christmas holiday Jeep to gaze upon on the streets of San Diego.

Of course, we ask if you can please bring with you a brand new unwrapped toy of which we will be placing into the SDJC Santa’s Toy Sled.

Important Event Times & Details:

Please arrive at Fiesta Island by 8:00am. Many of us will be there at 7:00am, feel free to join the early birds if you like. We depart for Del Mar fair grounds promptly AT 10:00 am