Death Valley National Park

We rolled into Death Valley in November 2018 looking forward to catching up with friends and seeing what a dead valley looks like.  I could not have been more surprised by the scenery, wildlife, and amazing adventures to be had. While the heat just about melted us, the scenery was worth it. We had a great time with friends, Erich and Paige, and lasted almost a week.  Finally, the heat won, and we left to pursue cooler temperatures and air conditioning. 

Death Valley is the hottest and driest place in the US, with a record setting 134°F and the ground temperature can be 80°F hotter than the air temperature! I am not sure we would have ventured in there had I known that in advance.

We stayed at Furnace Creek campground and through my mixup, ended up with a dry site (as in no power). While not typically a problem for us, in the heat it was a huge issue. Keeping the RV cool, the fridge working and not loosing all our food did prove to be an issue. In the future we will make sure we book an electric site. The campground is nice, simple and fairly good spacing from neighbors. We found the majority of people came in for only 1 or 2 nights. We didn’t have any issues with noise. The campground is an easy walk to the visitor center for assistance with directions, maps and a nice air-conditioned place to read through the history of the park. 

Beating the heat is the name of the game in Death Valley. We hiked in the early morning hours, did car tours during the day and sat outside and enjoyed the warm evenings catching up with friends. While the first trip, it won’t be the last! 

Badwater Basin is the lowest point in North America, at 282 feet. Once the site of a lake, some 2 to 4 thousand years ago. Now the salt flat left behind runs between 1 to 5 feet deep and stretches as far as the eye can see.

I was blown away by the areas that we explored inside the park and can’t wait to go back. Covering 3.4 million acres, we barely scratched the surface. On the next visit I hope to get a little cooler weather and visit racetrack playa (with the mysteriously moving rocks) and Scotty’s Castle.

3 thoughts on “Death Valley National Park

  1. Laura

    Death Valley is high on our list. Everyone who goes there loves it… as long as it’s not too hot… or too cold. Your photos are fantastic! It’s such a crazy, unexpectedly colorful landscape. You did a great job of capturing its other-worldliness! Glad you guys were able to withstand the heat. It’s definitely no joke.

  2. Shannon

    Wow, hard to believe it was still that warm in November! We visited in December 2018 (the week of Christmas) and it was quite comfortable — pleasant during the day and a little chilly at night. Apparently we unwittingly visited during 7 of the 10 good days per year. When you go back, be sure to stop at Ubehebe Crater on the way to Racetrack Playa. It’s one of our favorite places in the park — so weird and wonderful.

    1. wanderer Post author

      Thanks for the tips – those are definitely on the list! Glad you had a comfortable visit. Perhaps next time we will cross paths.

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