Thread: My first trip to Death Valley! 1,000 miles of fun and adventure.

  1. #1
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    Default My first trip to Death Valley! 1,000 miles of fun and adventure.

    So after a few months of planning and figuring everything out, having my dad and my little brother fly in we finally got to go to Death Valley! This was one of the most fun multi day camping trips I have ever been on. I wouldn't call DV an "expo" trip because most of it is on pavement and there are lots of available resources. However it was still a blast. I will try and document most of it with more pictures and less words.

    So here we are, getting ready to leave home. We left San Diego at about 1030.



    We took I-15 all the way to Baker and then took the 127 N. for a few miles. We found the trail marker for the Harry Wade exit Route and took that in to the park. It was a fun and scenic way into the park that allowed us to see the Ashford mill ruins and Badwater basin.















    From badwater we took a shot hike to natural bridge. It was a neat hike with some cool things to see.





    From the bridges looking out to Badwater



    Here we are at the start of Artist Drive. I would highly recommend anyone that goes to the park makes their way over to see this beautiful natural formation. I tried to get a good shot of the cruiser while I had it parked at the bottom of the lookout.







    This is the highlight of the drive for me, artists palette-so many beautiful colors all in one location.



    Out by the palette I saw this little plant, I think it is called desert holley



    From there we headed into furnace creek and saw this cool formation on the side of the road. So of course we had to stop and take pictures.





    I can't remember if this was day two or three, but we headed out for Titus Canyon. That was a nice drive, the roads were washboard but not nearly as bad as the Racetrack.



    This is a little ghost town out on the way to the canyon.











    More pictures to follow.
    For to Marines, love of liberty is not an empty phrase… Rather it’s displayed by blood, sweat and tears for the fallen.
    -General James "Mad Dog" Mattis

  2. #2
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    Here is a picture while we are inside Titus Canyon. It reminded me a lot of sandstone canyon if you have ever been to Anza Borrego.



    From the canyon we made our way to Scotty's Castle. It was really neat to see.



    After the castle we set up camp for the night. We started down the road to the racetrack and after we had gone two miles past the Ubehebe crater we pulled into a dried up riverbed and thats where we stayed. It was VERY windy that night so we parked the truck perpendicular to to cutout from the river which gave us sort of a wind break. It wasn't a perfect solution and we were still up through the night listening to the wind howl.





    The next morning we went back into mesquite springs for the bathroom and to refill our potable water jugs. And then back down the racetrack to the Crater.



    The Crater was pretty cool and I am glad we stopped there on our way to the Playa.

    We of course had to stop at Tea Kettle junction and get some pictures, what I didn't expect was to have to wait in line to get a pic! There were many more people in the park than I had planned on, I guess spring break influenced that.





    The racetrack was well worth the drive on that washboard. Before heading down I aired down to 26 psi. That combined with all the gear in the back softened the J springs enough that we could cruise down the road at about 40-45 mph. Something that would have never been possible in the old Tacoma. I think we would have been shaken to death had we taken that.

    So when you make it to the playa be sure to drive down all the way to the south end, that's where you will see the best "wandering rocks"







    From the Racetrack we headed back to Tea Kettle junction and took a right. Before we knew it we had climbed over 4,000 feet up tight muddy switchbacks and found ourselves in snow!



    Here is a video of us going through some run off puddles that we encountered on the trail. Deeper than I had expected but so much fun.



    Once we were on top of the pass we had a great view to the saline valley.



    That day we made it all the way back to Furnace Creek through stovepipe wells and slept at texas springs. The campground was almost full, but we still had a good time.



    On our way out of the park we checked out Zabriskie point



    Hole in the wall and echo canyon.



    Dante's view, very spectacular



    And last but not least, our picture with the DV sign leaving the park



    It was such a fun trip andI was glad to have my family there with me. Next time I might be able to talk my wife into going since there were so many bathrooms! I have a couple hundred more pictures so I will try and keep posting them, time has been in short supply and I wanted to get these up. I hope you all enjoy them!

    Jon
    For to Marines, love of liberty is not an empty phrase… Rather it’s displayed by blood, sweat and tears for the fallen.
    -General James "Mad Dog" Mattis

  3. #3
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    Looks like a great trip! Thanks for sharing.
    Aaron Newman

    www.CapturingLightandEmotion.com

    The journey of life as as much in ones self as the roads one travels.

  4. #4
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    great write up and looks like a fun family outing
    It would cool to see more pics as I have never been to Death Valley but I really want to.

    Would you say your timeframe was too short or ok? I am thinking a week would be plenty of time.
    cigar smoking, wilderness first responding, ham talking night nurse who is overland certified and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.....
    now everyone say "so what where have you been lately?"

  5. #5
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    Great pics and notes! I have been looking forward to your report all week. We were there 10 days ago and I already want to go back! Titus Canyon was definitely the highlight for us and made all 3500 miles worth it.

    Jason

  6. #6
    Lance,
    After making several trips I'd say a week would be a good introductory time frame. Heck a day is better than nothing, but expect DV to be a place that it will take months and months to see and each time you go back you'll find something better and better as you dig deeper.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1leglance View Post
    great write up and looks like a fun family outing
    It would cool to see more pics as I have never been to Death Valley but I really want to.

    Would you say your timeframe was too short or ok? I am thinking a week would be plenty of time.
    ww.soaztim.com

    "You know what relaxing vacation camping trips really need? More formality, and that's where EXPO comes in..."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1leglance View Post
    great write up and looks like a fun family outing
    It would cool to see more pics as I have never been to Death Valley but I really want to.

    Would you say your timeframe was too short or ok? I am thinking a week would be plenty of time.
    I think the time frame was perfect. There is so much to do and see that to try and do everything in one trip would be impossible, but I feel like we got a good taste of the park and what it has to offer in our 4 days there. I recommend that you get out there and see it when you can, you won't regret it.
    For to Marines, love of liberty is not an empty phrase… Rather it’s displayed by blood, sweat and tears for the fallen.
    -General James "Mad Dog" Mattis

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by digitaldelay View Post
    Great pics and notes! I have been looking forward to your report all week. We were there 10 days ago and I already want to go back! Titus Canyon was definitely the highlight for us and made all 3500 miles worth it.

    Jason
    The canyon was truly amazing, I'm glad that you were able to make it out! That is a very long distance to travel but I don't think it was in vain. It will be one that I remember for a long time!
    For to Marines, love of liberty is not an empty phrase… Rather it’s displayed by blood, sweat and tears for the fallen.
    -General James "Mad Dog" Mattis

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