Blogs from Death Valley National Park, California, United States, North America


In late December, Anne and I traveled to southern California for a bit of hiking in Death Valley National Park and the Mojave National Preserve. On our last day there, we did one short hike in the Red Rock National Conservation area in Nevada near Las Vegas. This will be an abbreviated report just to keep it short and save a brief record for reference when we try to remember what we have done when. On Thursday, Christmas Eve 2020, we flew into Las Vegas and drove to Beatty, NV for our motel. Due to the worsening pandemic in California, we were forced to cancel earlier reservations at Stovepipe Wells in Death Valley and stay at the Death Valley Motel in Beatty. We were there for three nights. On Christmas day we tackled our most strenuous ... read more
Mojave National Preserve
Corkscrew Peak trail
Corkscrew Peak trail

Well, I thought that Death Valley has its name because nothing is living there, I was obviously wrong. Death Valley is one of the hottest places on the planet. It is a place of the temperature world record: 56.7 °C in the shade! It was also one of our road trip stops around the west coast of the United States. When we arrived, I didn’t have high expectations about this national park. Our friend Peter nearly advised us to skip it. However, we didn’t regret this visit. Interesting sand formations, hills, and dunes are very nice for pictures. The heat was extreme, so we truly appreciated that our car had an air-conditioning. And it was already the end of September, imagine the temperature in July! I have never seen more spectacular night sky than in Death ... read more
Badwater Basin

I wake up and check the old man has survived the night, despite his encounter with a power cable. He is feeling better so we set off for Death Valley. The road climbs and climbs until we reach the top of Towne pass. We’re at 4956 feet and it’s zero degrees. Then we descend into the valley on a road that it is more like a roller coaster. By the time we reach the bottom, we’re below sea level and the temperature has risen by 18 degrees. The variation in the landscape is astounding. We pass the sand dunes of Mesquite Flat, walk through the yellow rocks of Golden Canyon to Red Rock Cathedral and wander across the salt flats of Badwater Basin. Next, the stunning Artists Palette with layers of rock in every imaginable colour. ... read more
Towne Pass Death Valley
Mesquite Flats
Golden Rock Canyon

Monday, 12/25, Christmas.Drove down the very rough, curvy, dirt and gravel Titus Canyon Road to Red Pass and the trailhead for the Thimble Peak hike. The trail was about 2.5 miles long, one way, with an elevation gain of around 1,200 feet. With several significant ups and downs, the net elevation gain was more like a very strenuous 1,800 ft. The summit of Thimble peak is 6,381 ft. above sea level and is the highest point for miles around, thus the views were breathtaking in every direction. Probably the best hike of our trip. After returning to our car, we drove on down the twelve miles of even rougher, curvier road through Titus Canyon. Just to make things interesting, two minutes after starting down the road, a low tire pressure warning popped up on the info ... read more
Thimble Peak Trail
Thimble Peak Trail
Thimble Peak Trail

Nous voilà partis pour notre grand tour. Départ de Berkeley où nous avons passé 2 excellents mois. Notre voyage commence par la vallée de la mort. Départ aux aurores pour éviter les grosses chaleurs pouvoir au moins sortir de la voiture. A 7h du matin, il faisait déjà 40 degrés et on a vu 48° au plus haut. C'est un endroit vraiment magnifique : dunes de sable, roches de couleur, un oasis... Cela donne envie de revenir à un autre moment de l'année pour pouvoir en profiter car, après 10h, on sort pas de la voiture trop longtemps et même pour quelques minutes pas sans eau.... read more
dunes de sable
en arrivant dans la vallée
Arbre de Joshua

Well here we are at Death Valley and it is very HOT. At 5pm we were stood outside the Furnace Creek visitor centre next to a thermometer reading 114 °F which I think equates to 46°C. The day began nice and early as we had been told it would be be better to get through Las Vegas before the rush hour started. It didn't occur to us that it was actually a Saturday - us travellers have no idea what day it is. Anyway we were unhooked and underway by just after 7.30am. It was quite busy on the roads and it took us nearly an hour to get out of Las Vegas, it's a very big place! Then all of a sudden we were in open countryside, although that doesn't really describe the terrain we ... read more
Entering Death Valley Park
Zabriskie Point

Geo: 36.5604, -117.025Today proved to be another day packed full of sightseeing andexploring. We started off early to try and avoid activities in the extremeheat. First stop, Mesquite Sand Dunes. Off I went, tromping through the sand headedtowards the tallest dune I could find. Windswept and appearing smooth from the distance, these large piles of sand arenatures artwork as the shadows of early morning create a painted scene.Admiring the dune field from atop, it was time to return to the car and moveon. The Death Valley heatup was already starting. Approaching a bit of an Oasisin the desert, called Furnace Creek, a small area consisting of a hotel, desertgolf course, general store, and gas station we prepared to stop for breakfast.Just as we approached, a very sporty car turned in front of us from a sideroad. ... read more
287 top speed
Boys on the Salt
A Little ride!

We leave Vegas around lunchtime after we both finish some work and pack! The host of the airbnb, Bud, doesn't mind us being there a bit longer as we have vacated the room so he can have it cleaned. So we finish what we need to do and get on the road! We don't go very far before we spot an In n Out Burger that we have both never done and everyone recommends so we stop and take a breather and get some food & it lives up to expectation's! It's a very simple menu, 4 choices of burger and one fries and a drink, but their Double Double Burger is amazing. I order 2 burgers, 2 fries and a drink to share, but we really only needed 1 fries and as Hugh pointed out, ... read more

There is a good reason we did not roll out today and travel through the mountains on our original schedule: Winds... west 20 to 30 mph this morning increasing to 30 to 45 mph this afternoon into early this evening. Peak gusts of 55 mph through and below the mountain passes this morning will increase to 70 mph or higher this afternoon and continue through early this evening. Winds will begin to diminish after 8 PM PDT.......just sitting in the RV is like sitting in a rocking chair. Fortunately we got our trip to Death Valley in on Saturday and Sunday. For months I had talked about taking the bike to Death Valley only to find out that some of the main road from here to there was washed out in October and it was many ... read more
Mesquite Sand dunes...this tree has seen better days
Looking from the sand dunes in the bottom of the valley toward the moutains
So many dunes so little time to play in the sand....and it's starting to get hot already

If you read Wikipedia's entry for Death Valley you will find mainly a series of temperature statistics. It holds the record for the hottest temperature ever recorded (56.7°C). During that heat wave in 1913 there were five consecutive days where the temperature reached at least 54°C! It also holds records for the highest daily low (42°C) and the highest average daily temperature (47.5°C). The only time in recorded history that snow has been seen lying on the ground was in January 1922. The Valley nestles between the high mountains of the Amargosa and Panamint Ranges, and its floor lies 86m below sea level. The basin is the lowest point in the United States but is less than 90 miles from one of the country's highest mountains, Mt Whitney. This unusual combination of extreme height and depth ... read more
Dante's Point
Badwater Basin Salt Flats
Road Through Death Valley

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