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THE OUTDOORS ALMANAC | BRIEFS

Airstrip to hot tubs closed

November 08, 2005|Joe Robinson

NATURAL hot tubbing at Saline Valley's warm springs will require a little more patience after Death Valley National Park officials shut down a gravel airstrip popular with fly-and-soak visitors. Heavy rain in September damaged the Chicken Strip runway, says park spokesman Terry Baldino, though visitors can still drive to the site.

"We've officially closed the airstrip for safety reasons until it can get fixed," says Baldino. He has no estimate when that will be.

Cobbled together by fliers, the strip has been deteriorating since the '90s. The area was under Bureau of Land Management jurisdiction until 1994, when it was incorporated into the park. Administrators say they need a plan for the area before they can upgrade the strip.

In the '60s, enthusiasts diverted water from the springs, an attraction for generations, to rudimentary hot tubs, creating an oasis for outdoor rub-a-dubbers.

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-- Joe Robinson

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