Yosemite to Death Valley in mid May 2011

Old Mar 8th, 2011, 03:02 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,518
I would recommend getting a Sat Nav, especially for the cities as I find the sign posts confusing. I've been to Vegas quite a few times and I still wouldn't be able to say which way is North or South, which makes it difficult to know which ramp to take

When I started driving on the other side of the road, the biggest problem I found was at the beginning in the rental car park, if there are no arrows you tend to follow your instincts and if a car comes the other way you tend to move to the wrong side.

The drive through Death Valley is easy, its a good quality road to Furnace Creek. I've been in July and I didn't find it particularly hot, although I do spend a lot of time in Australia so maybe I'm acclimatised. There is a golf course at Furnace Creek, I would have played there if I'd got there earlier. I did find it surprising that they do not seem to have shaded areas to park your car when visitng the tourist information centre.

I agree that Zion and Bryce are more impressive but there is a certain mystique about Death Valley whereas most people outside of the US have never heard of Zion or Bryce
Geordie is online now  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 05:17 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 867
Just a few comments.

The average high temperature for May in DV is 100F (38C)and the average low is 72F (22C). An obvious strategy is to get out and do your hiking and more strenuous activities in the morning and use the afternoons for driving around and looking at stuff. Furnace Creek Ranch has a pool where you can take a dip along with lots of kids.

When walking around in hot climes in the heat of summer I use an umbrella. Don't worry about people looking at you funny. They're more likely to compliment you on your good sense, or say something like "why didn't I think of that?" I assume that, being from England, you have such a device.

Here's the official Death Valley website. Click every link and read the whole thing. And make the Visitor Center at Furnace Creek your stop before embarking on sight-seeing. If you enter the valley from Las Vegas, stop at Zabriskie Point on your way in.


Zion, Bryce, and the Arches must have gotten lost from another thread, and in their heat induced delerium, somehow ended up in this one.
dbdurand is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2011, 09:56 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 114
I have to agree with others about Death Valley in May-not that interesting! It is great in Feb-April when the flowers are in bloom, but otherwise, not so great, IMO. However, Yosemite in May is FABULOUS!!! I was there last May. The waterfalls were very full, and since we have had a lot of rain this year, they should be very full again. Yosemite isn't really about the trees, it is about the beautiful glacial landscape of monumental proportions, the falls, the dogwoods in blooom (yes, in May) and so much more.I also agree that seeing the trees in Sequoia is a great addition to any trip. You would probably find yourself loving both places, and DV- not so much. Someone mentioned Zion which is another fantastic place. But if you go to Death Valley, have a good map to rely on. There was an article in the paper recently about how many GPS systems direct people down roads that are not maintained or are just trails, and several times people have broke down, got stuck etc., sometimes actually not making it out. The ranger did say there was one GPS company that he was able to work with to remedy this, but that the others are wholly inadequate. Sorry I don't recall for sure, but I think the one he said he worked with was TomTom.
Have a good trip whatever you choose
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