Death Valley Plus ???

Old Jan 24th, 2024, 04:52 PM
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Death Valley Plus ???

I know we are planning this very late, but have 1 week at the end of February and want to plan a girls' trip to Death Valley to celebrate 2 big birthdays.

Usually do lots of research, but very short on time to do that. So would appreciate any comments on this trip.

We like easier hikes, photography and observing nature. May be able to relax by a pool long enough for a drink or two. Not interested in casinos or shows.

How many days would you suggest in the NP and then where else to go? Joshua Tree would use up too much time driving there. Sequoia NP too far? Red Rocks Park near Vegas on our way back?

Looks like we can get reservations at Death Valley Oasis for first part of trip. Are there interesting day trips we could do from there? Sequoia NP too far?
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Old Jan 24th, 2024, 06:54 PM
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I take it that you are flying into Las Vegas and renting a vehicle there. I would not spend more than 2 days/nights in Death Valley. You are right. Joshua Tree is too far. There are lots of Joshua Trees in the Mojave National Preserve. There are some sand dunes and you may be able to visit the Mitchell Caverns.
As for Sequoia/Kings Canyon you will find that all of the access is from the west with no open roads over the Sierra Nevada mountains.
In the Las Vegas area, Red Rocks and Valley of Fire are good places to visit as a day trip. The other thing to see east of Las Vegas is Hoover Dam and the huge bridge high over it. After going through a security checkpoint, you can drive across the dam into Arizona. After you go across the dam, head up to the second parking lot (free). The covered parking on the Nevada side is a bit of a rip-off IMO.
If you don't want to drive all the way back to LV, there is a good hotel/casino about 3 miles from the dam. On the way back from seeing the dam, you can park in a lot and take a trail to get on the walkway of the big bridge. The walkway has the apex of the bridge and the state line marked. It is a great place to get photos of the dam.
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Old Jan 25th, 2024, 06:17 AM
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Zion National Park is only two hours from Las Vegas and is a premiere national park like Yosemite and Yellowstone. You would probably have a more quality experience there than Death Valley. Sequoia is likely to be snowed in.
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Old Jan 25th, 2024, 09:58 AM
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It certainly isn't current... but it was recent enough to remain imposing




Death Valley is always often enough a fun idea... and to have a chance at it in February (when humans can stand the elements) seems like a great idea.


Hope you have a grand time.

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Old Jan 25th, 2024, 05:06 PM
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I like to approach Death Valley from Vegas by heading north on rt.95 to Beatty then heading west over the mountains with a stop at the ghost town of Rhyolite where there is a house built of bottles. Then when you get to the highest point on the road stop at the pull off where there are toilets. Walk across the street and take in the panorama of DV. Then drive down into the valley.

Stop into the visitors center get a map the NP is huge. Do check out the have to see places like Badwater, Devils golf course. Borax works etc. One easy, interesting hike is Marble Canyon, DH and I did an hour or so there two years ago when we were in our 80s so not too hard. I do not know if Scotties Castle is open since the flood damage but it is interesting. We have not made it ti Ubhebe crater yet. look at the stars at night.

if you look at the average temperatures for your trip, it will probably be great for touring. That said, it is winter and DV is ringed by mountains that you cross to get in so check the local conditions and fill your tank before you head in, There was snow that closed some mountain roads when we were there in December.

There is plenty to do for two or three days and you will use time getting there and getting out. Near Vegas are Red Rock Canton MM, Valley of Fire State park, Hoover Dam, Lake Meade and a bit farther Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce NPs. If you will be going to a couple of NPs in the year, get the America Beautiful pass.

Have great trip,

Last edited by oldemalloy; Jan 25th, 2024 at 05:32 PM. Reason: Add info
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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 06:35 AM
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Day 6-7:
  • Grand Canyon National Park: Drive approximately two hours by car from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon"
Good itinerary but it's actually more like 4.5 hours from LV to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
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Old Feb 6th, 2024, 05:46 PM
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Does anyone know if the rains are heading as far east has death Valley? Not going for a couple of weeks, but I know once things are washed out they donít get repaired quickly. Of course, we will be looking for and heeding all alerts.
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Old Feb 6th, 2024, 07:07 PM
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There's been rain but not huge amounts -- mostly trace amounts. There is a bit more forecast the next couple of days but mostly just showers. Just keep checking to see if there is another major storm front between now and your trip.

(BTW -- I have no idea what PrairiesHiker's post is about - its supposedly a quote of an earlier post but I don't see anythng like the quoted post?? )
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Old Feb 6th, 2024, 07:09 PM
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Meant to add te storms have headed east but there is a huge mountain range to the west that 'intercepts' most precip before it get to DV.
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Old Feb 19th, 2024, 06:35 PM
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So we'll be spending 5 nights at Death Valley end of February. May seem like too much time, but we just want to meander, photograph and relax after the cold weather back east. Will be coming from Vegas, entering through the Furnace Creek entrance and staying at Furnace Creek Ranch. Would it be worthwhile to do a day trip to Lone Pine and the west entrance one day? Thinking perhaps we could see Mt Whitney, but it appears to be a 4 hour round trip without hopefully lots of stops to stop along the way.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2024, 02:29 PM
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Anyone have an answer to this question I posted above?

Would it be worthwhile to do a day trip to Lone Pine and the west entrance one day? Thinking perhaps we could see Mt Whitney, but it appears to be a 4 hour round trip without hopefully lots of stops along the way to look at things more closely.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2024, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Clousie
Does anyone know if the rains are heading as far east has death Valley? Not going for a couple of weeks, but I know once things are washed out they donít get repaired quickly. Of course, we will be looking for and heeding all alerts.

I was reading the other day that "Badwater", which is routinely dry, now has standing water since last year, (which simply hasn't evaporated yet)


It won't impact you much... unless you are hell bent on a photo standing beside the popular sign there.


I don't believe you will have any navigational problems as a result of the rains.

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Old Feb 23rd, 2024, 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Clousie
Anyone have an answer to this question I posted above?

Would it be worthwhile to do a day trip to Lone Pine and the west entrance one day? Thinking perhaps we could see Mt Whitney, but it appears to be a 4 hour round trip without hopefully lots of stops along the way to look at things more closely.
lone pine is a nice little village. Great scenery. You can drive through Alabama hills, where many films were shot. There are rocks with weird shapes. Also a film museum. And a busy cafe (Alabama hills).
I love the place (including staying in the old Dow villa hotel). Probably worth the drive. Road passes a quite high col (was there last year, there was some snow)
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