Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Your thoughts on Death Valley, CA in late Feb or March

Your thoughts on Death Valley, CA in late Feb or March

Feb 3rd, 2008, 05:00 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 3,289
Your thoughts on Death Valley, CA in late Feb or March

I've lived in California for years, but have never made the trek to Death Valley. My husband has never been particularly enthusiastic, however he has agreed to try it. I am thinking of 3 nights. We will be driving from Long Beach. I could not map quest it for some reason. Is it a particularly long ride (more than 6 hrs?) and is it hard for those easily subject to motion sickness?

Is there enough to keep us occupied? We're not golf players or people who sit by a pool, but pretty vistas please us as do some light hiking.

What about places to eat besides the pricey Furnace Creek Inn?

Yes, we found a room at the Ranch; but if I wait too long to make up my mind, it may not be available!!

Any thoughts you have will be appreciated. Thank you.
annetti is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2008, 06:11 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,385
That is a great time to go to Death Valley. and with all the rain this year you will probably get a good sighting of wild flowers!

Death Valley is for hikers and nature lovers, unless you just want to veg out at Furnace Creek, which is fine, too.

I haven't been there is several years....so I can't recall any other restaurants.

I don't think the ride is difficult - just boring.
cabovacation is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2008, 06:26 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 3,289
Thank you, Cabovacation. Any idea how long that "boring" ride takes?
annetti is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2008, 06:40 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17,106
to get directions

Go into Google and type in "Death Valley Ca map"

when the small map appears, click on that.

when the larger map appears, click on "get directions"

Under the start point, type in "Long Beach, Ca"

google gives you about 6 hours.
easytraveler is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2008, 06:40 PM
  #5  
TheWeasel
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Yahoo maps shows it as 4h 45min coming in through the west side on 190. Otherwise, it shows about 5.5 hours coming from the south (I-15 to 127).
 
Feb 3rd, 2008, 06:55 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 3,289
Thank you, Easytraveler and TheWeasel. Anyone know if motion sickness would be a problem for the very sensitive?
annetti is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 03:33 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
We went to DV for the first time last month. If you like to hike there is plenty to keep you busy for 3 days. If you take a high clearance 4 wheel drive be sure and drive Titus Canyon and Racetrack Playa. There are two other restaurants at Furnace Creek Ranch that are less than the Inn. I would suggest picnicing a couple of times while there. I would also suggest dining once at Furnace Creek Inn. It was very good. There is a good picnic area at Scotty's Castle. You might want to hike to Darwin Falls. Click on my name and you can get my trip report from about a month ago. You will get to see flowers, which we didn't get to. Even though you don't sit by the pool, you might want to experience theirs for an hour, because it is unique in the fact that it is springfed and unchlorinated. Lodging at the ranch is just basic, but it is good after a day of hiking. That is where we stayed also. There is a store at the ranch so you can restock your supplies if you need to. We found DV very interesting and unusual place to visit. It is just a wierd place, but pretty in many spots. One of those places you should see at least once.
spirobulldog is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 03:05 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 3,289
Thank you, Spirobulldog for your thoughtful reply. I tried to find your travel report, but could not. Do you remember the title, if so it might be easier when I scroll down your list of responses? Thanks.
annetti is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 03:07 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 5,545
The restaurant at the Furnace Creek Ranch is not that expensive.

The only other place besides the Inn is Stovepipe Wells (about 20-30 miles away).
RBCal is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 05:54 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 3,289
Thank you, RBCal.
annetti is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 06:46 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
If you click on my name it is #89 right now. That could change by a few #'s the next couple of days.
spirobulldog is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 07:13 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 3,289
It was #89. Thank you. I enjoyed reading it and the information was great!
annetti is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 07:16 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 3,289
Can anyone help me with information about the ride. We have a traveller with us who has serious problems with motion sickness in a car. Is there a lot of twisty roads and deep descents? Going up and down steep hills frequently brings on her queasiness and the resulting motion illness. Thank you.
annetti is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 09:07 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 747
I've only been there once, but I would say that the road to the west (190) was definitely somewhat winding and steep. The road from Baker in the south would be easier for someone prone to motion sickness.
curmudgeon is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 10:28 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,385
I don't recall windy or hilly roads. Perhaps you can go to Google Earth and see a map.
cabovacation is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 10:30 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 76
Hi Annetti!

Death Vallley is one of my favorite places and February/March is great time to go.

I would recommend taking the road from Baker (127) instead of 190. My husband and I took 190 a month ago and it is steep and curvy in places.

For meals, it is a national park so the choices are limited. The Wrangler Steakhouse at the Ranch is nice. This spot turns into a decent buffet at breakfast/lunch. There is also a coffee shop that is adequate. There's a nice restaurant at Stovepipe Wells, which I have gone to for breakfast and lunch. You can also get a burger type lunch at the golf course.
I haven't eaten at the Inn.

Some of my favorite activities: sunrise at Zabriskie Point or Dante's View. Sunset at Zabriskie Point. Hike Golden Canyon. The first part of Golden Canyon is fairly easy. Salt Creek Trail, which is a very easy trail with a boardwalk. Also Badwater and the Devil's Golfcourse are great spots. These are just a few of the places I love.

The rangers at the visitor center will have a lot of other great suggestions for easy hikes and great vistas. My main recommendation for Death Valley is to see it at sunrise at least once and sunset every night! The rangers have a great list of places to view sunrise/sunset.

Have a great trip!

franny is offline  
Feb 5th, 2008, 10:06 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 18,063
Hi Annetti. You can avoid the twisty parts of Route 190 if you go via Ridgecrest (178) taking it east via Trona, then Panamint Valley Road north to the 190.

Quite a scenic road in that part in my opinion. You can also use the back way via 190 to 127, Baker etc.
What I've done is go in one way and exit the other. I spend the night before in Ridgecrest and there are lots of place to eat there as opposed to on the other side.
mlgb is offline  
Feb 5th, 2008, 06:22 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 3,289
Thank you, Curmudgeon,Cabovacation, Franny and mlgb! The queasy stomach in my family thanks you, too for the road advice!
annetti is offline  
Feb 6th, 2008, 10:50 AM
  #19  
210
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 80
You can find great information right here
www.nps.gov/deva
210 is offline  
Feb 6th, 2008, 05:36 PM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 3,289
Thank you, 210. That's a great website.
annetti is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:38 AM.