Cold and windy, but an enjoyable hike with my ten-year-old boy. Tagged Little Ubehebe as our bonus peak since there wasn't enough daylight to get over to Death Valley Buttes.
The peak and views made the washboard drive out to the Racetrack worthwhile.
The peak towers spectacularly over the racetrack, with views to match up top. Watching the shadows grow over Saline Valley as the sun set behind the Inyo Mountains was pretty sweet. The higher parts of the route have plenty of big bouldery features around that can be scrambled for the fun of it if not for necessity of upward progress.
i like it. i like it a lot.
This is a seriously cool place on earth. The Grandstand and playa are otherworldly. After Charleston, Telescope, Wildrose, Dry, and Tin we ended our trip with Ubehebe. We were surprised to find a good trail all the way from Little Ubehebe to the top of Big Ubehebe with only a few short scramble sections. The route was very fun and will not be forgotten.
NOTE: We made the drive out in my Subaru Crosstrek which has 8.5 inches of clearance and regular street tires. We drove slowly and carefully, averaging ~15 mph. But we did see a lot people cruising at 30+ mph, so it's no wonder that this road has a reputation for flat tires. Drive carefully and you will be fine. I have driven much worse in Death Valley.
Don't believe the hype. A rental jeep is probably unnecessary.
What Tom said below. Trip Report.
With Bob and Karl
The views of the racetrack are worth the hike.
Got to the Racetrack around mid-day after the long drive-in and hit the trail fairly late after fooling around on the Grandstand. Followed unmaintained trail up the ridge, considered turning around once the scrambling became more serious and the sun was going down. Decided to go for it. Overcame a few short class 3 sections, then powered to the top. Happy I made the right call, the views are extra sweet. Could even see Whitney peeking behind the Inyos to the west. Got down much faster than expect and with plenty of daylight left. A must-do peak when in the area!
A very snowy desert climb with Krista, John y Jose. So many people complain about the drive out. It was not bad at all, in fact, it was maybe the highlight of the trip. A nice road and a forest of Joshua Trees covered in snow! The peak itself was very fun and easy to climb, and the view to the playa and the Grandstand was very unique!
We only hiked to the false summit via the trail.
That's fun trail. Nice weather. Got to the summit around 2pm and hung out until 4:00. Hiked down, watching hte sun set.
Cold night before the climb, somewhere around 15F. Good view of the Racetrack/Grandstand from the summit.
Wow... I pooh-poohed the fact that it had a trail... but what a peak, what a trail! The previous day I had gone up Tin, a grand slog; quite a contrast.
Penelope and I camped at the end of the dirt road south of the Racetrack and next morning (Dec 7, 2010) hiked up the peak. The trail is easy to the lower summit, from there the trail steepens and is (in places) poorly defined. But the views from the summit are great and the whole Racetrack area and the Ubehebe Crater area are worth driving the 28 miles on a rough dirt road.
A real good time with lots of close fighter jet action.
Fun spur of the moment scramble up from the Racetrack. Loved the views into Saline Valley.
The first step is getting to the TH. The Jeep we rented at Burbank airport had 2 flat tires at the same time on paved Wildrose Canyon Rd as we entered the park! Fortunately a ranger at the campground had a compressor to pump up the less flat tire enough to limp into Stovepipe, where we pumped it up enough to get to Furnace Creek, but the tire repair machine was broken. So we pumped up the tire again and went to Farabee's Jeep Rentals where the proprietor, Richard, was kind enough to loan us a couple of tires so that we could drive to Pahrump, NV and finally repair those tires. That cost us a vacation day.
We still didn't trust the repaired tires (they were only 4 ply) so rented a Jeep with 6 ply tires from Farabee's and drove easily to Ubehebe TH. Due to lost time, we only climbed to the saddle and then tried to hit every other attraction that needed 4WD while we had Farabee's Jeep (such as driving up Echo Canyon).
If I went back, I'd rent a normal car at the airport (half the price) and use it for most of the driving, and rent from Farabee's for the off-road excursions.
The initial description is a bit off - the peak is at 5,678' which is less than 2,000' above Racetrack (not 3,000). That said, this is a great little hike with amazing views at both Little Ubehebe (the North Peak), and Big Ubehebe. The scramble from Little Hebe to the summit is clearly a highlight, but I'd say more Class 3 minus.
Hike is 5mi roundtrip, and I showed a total ascent of 2,405' including the vertical regained from the saddle to the southern peak. Took 3 hours with fair amount of stopped time for pictures and a minor route error on the way down.
We climbed Ubehebe on a beautiful sunny day. I really enjoyed the hike from Little Hebe to the summit. Awesome views in all directions.