4WD necessary for Needles Sub? and some other planning questions

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#1
I will be staying in Vegas and going out to do some videos of the Needles sub, Cima Sub, and maybe over into Arizona. Theres a chance of doing an overnight and going to Tehachapi.

1,. Do you think 4wd is necessary, or can I use good judgement with 2wd (along with gallons of water, some scrap lumber from Home Depot, and a bottle jack, shovel, and 12v inflator from Walmart just in case?). I driven in the east coast sand dunes in 2wd alot, but with truck, not a rental.

I know I want to do the following areas:
Hills of Ludlow
Ash Hill Wye
Ash Hill

I have seen good roads out there go into a dip and turn into fine deep sand. Ive heard that some spots look firm but you can sink in over time.

The problem is that big rental outfits wont guarantee 4wd or awd, and the jeep rental places only give you 200 miles. From Death Valley or Vegas thats not enough.

2. If you think 4wd is necessary, any rental places at Barstow?

3. I never trespass, and plan to stay off the mow right-of-way and out of the places they dump ties.......do the police have alot of contact with railfans on these subs (its always unpleasant)?
 

HDSDcouple

The Unwanted Line
#2
Well i lived in Vegas for 20 years almost. here is what i can give ya.

2wd will work as long as it is not raining. Remember if there are storms you can see with your eyes in the hills stay out of the washes. flash floods can hapen in the Mohave desert miles away from the rain event. Don't use lots of power in the sand, as soft foot is always beter traction. take lots of water. take lots of water. take lots of water. Always tell some one where you are going. not just i going out to take pictures. Use a person you know as a info point even if it is a recorded message and leave details. Like on Us95 15 miles south of needles and mile post 147 turning south into desert. then call and clear it when you are back on the highway. I know hundreds of people into off roading who do this, that way if you have not cleared the message and to much time goes by there is a point to start to look for you. I know it sounds like over kill but it can save your life. you can die in a few hours out there if your not careful. last but not least, wear gloves to move anything, i mean anything. snakes, spiders and scorpions live under everything out there and a good pair of gloves can save your life. there a spider out in the desert that can kill you in less than 50 min and you never see a hospital if he bites you. I can tell you for fact they love the old wood bridge the BNSF uses out there.

if i think of anything else i will let you know
 

Nahalle

Too much BNSF orangeade
#3
I flew down to L.A. in august 2011 and rented a Hyundai. Took that car all over the Needles sub in 116 degree heat, up Cajon pass trails, out on an occasional dirt road at Topock grade, and paced hotshots at 75mph. In hindsight I did some crazy things with that car, but I always kept food, a gallon of water and drinks, and a towel to shade my head in the csr. Between Barstow and Needles there is maybe TWO gas stations, one Subway near Barstow and, on old Route 66, I maybe passed 10 cars the whole day. You must be aware that there is VERY LIMITED cell service in the entire area as well, I went hours out of the range of the AT&T network. An unexpected side effect of the heat was my cameras seizing, I had maybe 10 mins of shooting before I retreated to the A/C'd car for their relief. The effort is very much worth it though, and if I get the chance again, I will do it in a heartbeat.
 
#4
Well i lived in Vegas for 20 years almost. here is what i can give ya.

2wd will work as long as it is not raining. Remember if there are storms you can see with your eyes in the hills stay out of the washes. flash floods can hapen in the Mohave desert miles away from the rain event. Don't use lots of power in the sand, as soft foot is always beter traction. take lots of water. take lots of water. take lots of water. Always tell some one where you are going. not just i going out to take pictures. Use a person you know as a info point even if it is a recorded message and leave details. Like on Us95 15 miles south of needles and mile post 147 turning south into desert. then call and clear it when you are back on the highway. I know hundreds of people into off roading who do this, that way if you have not cleared the message and to much time goes by there is a point to start to look for you. I know it sounds like over kill but it can save your life. you can die in a few hours out there if your not careful. last but not least, wear gloves to move anything, i mean anything. snakes, spiders and scorpions live under everything out there and a good pair of gloves can save your life. there a spider out in the desert that can kill you in less than 50 min and you never see a hospital if he bites you. I can tell you for fact they love the old wood bridge the BNSF uses out there.

if i think of anything else i will let you know
I knew about washes because I have hiked in slot canyons, but heres a great vid about what can happen:

[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORZQUlk8vxg[/YOUTUBE]
 
#5
well I am here and it is turning out to be quite an adventure. Route 66 is closed in both directions at Ludlow. To the east it remains closed until Amboy Road. Fortunately they forgot to block off Main Street in Ludlow so I went all the way up the hill and took a left heading out east on the dirt road that bypasses the barricades.

I took several videos east of the crossing, which is east of Ludlow. once a track warrant was released it was nonstop action, including light helpers going east.

I went east to Ash Hill a couple of hours before sunset and got some more great video. As it grew darker you could see the headlights off the west bound trains spread out across the floor of the valley almost like airplanes lining up to land. Meanwhile the scanner was crackling with a dispatcher reading of high wind warnings for all the trains.

I could sure use some help trying to figure out how to get to the hills west of Ludlow. All the instructions on the net say go up to the top of the hill in Ludlow and make a right heading west and drive along next to the tracks. But that sure looks like flagrant trespassing. There is active construction going on and there are graders and payloaders up there now widening the right of way. So I tried to get there by coming from the other direction, in other words, from Lavic siding. I couldn't do that because66 West is closed

Google Maps says that there is a road that goes over the tracks at the top of the hill in Ludlow to baghdad-chase road. Baghdad chase road could get you to the hills but I can tell you that the crossing does not exist.

Google maps also says there is a road that goes under I40 to the hills but it is a wash full of soft wet sand.
 





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