Las Vegas and Death Valley - basic outline

Old Dec 22nd, 2020, 05:43 AM
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Las Vegas and Death Valley - basic outline

Planning a trip for the last week in February. Obviously COVID could interrupt our plans and we will cancel if we have to.

Who - myself, hubby, and our boys (11 and 12)

Plan is to fly into LV and stay at Hilton Grand Vacation Club Flamingo for 3 nights. We arrive on a Saturday. Sunday we'll head to Valley of Fire and Hoover Dam (I know the visitor's stuff is closed). Monday will be a day on the strip. Tuesday we'll head to Red Rock Canyon and then continue to The Ranch at Death Valley for 3 nights.

DV - arrival day will be the Salt Creek Interpretive Trail and not much else. We'll have two full days to explore. Friday we'll head out via the scenic route back to LV with a few stops along the way. Fly home Saturday.

Does the layout make sense?

Thanks!
rizzo0904 is offline  
Old Dec 22nd, 2020, 10:09 AM
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In Death Valley, drive the one way Artist Drive and take the short hike up to Artist Palette. Watch out for the drainage structures at the parking areas. I saw a motorcycle upside down in one. The driver was injured and there was no cell phone coverage. I drove to the visitor center about 15 miles away to report so he could get help dispatched.
You can also take a hike at Badwater (282 feet below sea level). Lowest point in the US.
You might want to spend a night in the Hoover Dam Lodge instead of one of the nights on the "strip".
If you come back to LV on I-15, you could stop in Primm NV (Exit 1). There is a roller coaster at Buffalo Bill's.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2020, 12:45 PM
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Your plan makes sense and would fit into your timeframe. Where are you staying Friday night and what time is the flight out.

FWIW I wouldn't move to stay at Hoover Dam Lodge -- especially since the visitors center is shut and no tours are being offered. Of course that could change by Feb?? A drive out to take a look - sure.

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Old Dec 22nd, 2020, 02:08 PM
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Don't have the last night planned yet. We'll probably just do an airport hotel to make the next morning simple. Taking the scenic drive back from DV, I think it'll take a while to get to LV and we won't have much time there our final night.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2020, 03:05 AM
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I do not know which scenic drive you plan on doing, but if you go north in the valley to the road to Beatty, you could stop for a few minutes to take a look at Rhyolite, a ghost town that has a house that was made of bottles that has survived. The hotels at the southern end of the strip are only a mile or two from the airport, l do not think there is a real airport hotel, so just look for one that is clean, close, affordable.

On your way back to Vegas from Hoover dam, drive over to Valley of Fire state park. You can go through it to I-15 to get back to Vegas.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2020, 11:05 AM
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Some comments about DVNP:

It's really, really big, like 4 Yellowstones, at least it feels that big because so many of the roads are in poor condition so it can take 4 hours each way to get to just one thing. You would need over a week to see half of sights, and would likely have to rent a jeep to reach some of them due to rocky roads, sandy roads, or sharp rocks on the roadway that would eat thru regular tires.

You can just stay near the highways and still see a lot, a few drives like Artist's Drive are quite good and paved. If you want to do a mine/mountainside hike then the Keane Wonder Mine is good, but it will take most of the day if you go all the way to the top. Lots of mine artifacts all the way up that trail so lots to entertain the boys. Note that there are abandoned mines and piles of tailings and abandoned pipes literally all over the park, so it may not be the pristine wilderness you are looking for. The brick kilns are a long way up in a forest on the way to LA but interesting. You can see the Sierras from Dante's View (on a clear day only, no dust in the air) but Mt Whitney is not quite visible from there as is often stated in tour guides. Things like the Racetrack or Eureka dunes will take a full day for each and require an early start and the proper vehicle/tires.

If your boys are into the original Star Wars movies, you can have a lot of fun matching up real locations with movie frames, see https://www.panamintcity.com/exclusives/starwars.html Most of the sites are close to parking lots so it isn't hard to find them.

Last edited by tom_mn; Dec 23rd, 2020 at 11:07 AM.
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