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Death Valley
#58725 05/24/21 10:16 PM
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Hello,

Kind of off topic but was wondering if anyone has visited Death Valley while on their Mt Whitney trip. I thought why not cross two things off of my bucketlist. I had a few questions about Death Valley.

1) Would you recommend staying in Lone Pine to visit Death Valley for the day.
2) What are the must sees there?
3) How many days would you recommend there?

Thanks in advance

Re: Death Valley
Weihrock #58728 05/25/21 04:56 AM
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The Death Valley forum https://dv.netllama.us/dv/ would be helpful here. Also the National Park web site https://www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm

1. From Lone Pine to Furnace Creek (park headquarters) is a two hour drive. Aside from staying in the park, the only closer city is Beatty, Nevada. Beatty is not convenient for Mt. Whitney. Inside the park there is the motel at Stovepipe Wells, the Furnace Creek Ranch, and the Furnace Creek Inn ($$$).

2. For a day trip consider these places. A web search will provide plenty of information.

Mosaic Canyon
Zabriskie Point
Badwater (lowest point in the western hemisphere)
Twenty Mule Team Canyon
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes east of Stovepipe Wells
Devils Golf Course
Devils Cornfield
Ubehebe Crater
The Racetrack (home to moving rocks)
Charcoal Kilns
Titus Canyon (drive through)
Natural Bridge
Artists Drive
Visitors Center at Furnace Creek
Historic Furnace Creek Inn (sit on the patio and drink a glass of wine while watching the sun set behind the Panamints)

If you have a few days for hikes, these are worth doing. A web search and guidebooks will have route information.

Corkscrew Peak
Coffin Peak
Furnace (or Funeral) Slot Canyon
Foundry Canyon
Sidewinder Canyon
Telescope Peak
Wildrose Peak
Fall Canyon
Redwall Canyon
Palmer Canyon
Moonlight Canyon to the Moonlight Natural Bridge

Note that virtually all hikes in Death Valley are cross-country. Navigation skills are required. A topo map and GPS are very useful.

3. How many days? How about how many weeks? Seriously, some great highlights can be seen in a day. You could also spend a month and still have more to see.

Pay close attention to the weather. DV is not a good place to visit in the summer when temps reach 100 to 120 regularly. Humidity is very low year round. Carry and drink plenty of water and sports drinks.

Unfortunately, two terrific web sites Death-Valley.net and panamintcity.com were recently closed by their operators. There is still a shelf of guidebooks available. The best guidebook is Hiking Death Valley: A Guide to Its Natural Wonders and Mining Past by Michel Digonnet.

Last edited by RichardK; 05/25/21 05:23 AM.
Re: Death Valley
Weihrock #58729 05/25/21 07:08 AM
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I hiked Telescope Peak in Death Valley National Park last year. Fun hike as you start at a higher altitude and temperatures are cooler. Not so fun drive (unless you have 4WD) as the road is rough.

There are no water sources available so plan accordingly.

Re: Death Valley
futbol #58731 05/25/21 07:41 AM
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It is an option for people flying to Calif. to hike Mt Whitney to fly into Las Vegas, and then drive to Lone Pine via Death Valley. A quick drive through will give you a flavor of DV, at least.

One thing to understand... depending on when you're going, it gets damned hot in DV, especially in the summer months. It's not much fun trying to view the scenery outside of your air-conditioned car, unless you go in the winter-spring-fall months.

Telescope Peak is an exception, because it is at a higher elevation.

Re: Death Valley
Steve C #58740 05/25/21 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve C
Telescope Peak is an exception, because it is at a higher elevation.

The same is true for other places in the general are, such as Charcoal Kilns or Wildrose Peak. Granted, these places will be warmer than Telescope Peak (or much of the hike up there). But even Charcoal Kilns (~7000ft) is not too bad in summer. One more thing. Contrary to what you see online and on road signs, Mahogany Flat Campground and Telescope Peak Trailhead are perfectly doable in an ordinary car. It’s definitely no worse than (or even as bad as) White Mountain Road. And it’s a whole lot shorter.

Last edited by StorminMatt; 05/25/21 03:41 PM.
Re: Death Valley
StorminMatt #58749 05/26/21 04:03 AM
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The condition of the road to the Telescope Peak trailhead varies depending on when the park service last ran a road grader through there. When we drove it several years ago, it was a bed of fist sized rocks past the kilns. We gave up, parked at Thorndike campground, and walked the rest of the way. Driving home, I noticed the car pulled to one side. Thinking that the alignment got knocked off, I took it to my mechanic. He pointed out that one tire had a chunk gouged out of it. At least, carry a full spare tire. Those donut spares don't cut it in Death Valley.

Re: Death Valley
RichardK #58761 05/26/21 01:14 PM
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I had the luck to have TWO flat tires in the back roads of Death Valley.

Fortunately, I was close enough to civilization when the 2nd one blew that i didn't end up finding out the hard way why it's called Death Valley. smile


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