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Death Valley?

Discussion in 'Shows & Entertainment' started by mamamk, Apr 28, 2014.

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  1. mamamk

    mamamk Tourist

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    I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this question but I wasn't sure where else to put it!

    Husband and I will be in LV in mid-July. We're thinking about driving a couple hours to Death Valley and staying in one of the little lodges with the hot spring baths. I've never been to Death Valley and it looks incredibly beautiful, and Saturday night is our least favorite night to be in Vegas b/c of the crazy crowds.

    We're thinking we would leave Vegas around 3 or 4PM on Saturday, get there in time to see the sunset, stay up late looking at the stars, sleep a few hours, wake up in time to see the sunrise, and head back to Vegas mid-morning on Sunday. So we'll avoid the worst of the day heat.

    I know it's CRAZY hot in Death Valley in July, but I'm wondering if anyone has specific experience they could share about this? Especially experience with these hot-spring places. Just looking to learn more. No need to reply to tell us we're crazy, unless you have experience to share.

    Thanks much!
     
  2. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    What hot springs places are you looking at? I've camped there and my parents have stayed a few times at Furnace Creek. It is crazy hot in July, but you won't die there for a night. Just drink water.

    You won't have much time to see the park if you're just spending one night. Lots of things to see and most are very spread out over the huge park. We were there for 3 days on my last trip and barely scratched the surface.

    You can probably see Badwater and Devil's Golf Course on your way into Furnace Creek (if that's where you decide to stay), but you'll miss the dunes and Salt Creek and the canyons, etc.

    But it's a doable overnight.
     
  3. mamamk

    mamamk Tourist

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  4. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    I've been twice during Vegas day trips, including in June when it was 123. Sonya's correct you can't see everything, but you have a good plan to cover the spots she suggested (I'd also consider Dante's view for the overnight hours and sunrise) you're interested in during the alloted time frame. It's extremely hot, and couldn't make it more than short time of hiking / walking with these temps. Was able to complete longer hikes during my fall visit. I want to return in the winter to observe the paths of the shifting rocks.

    People try to squeeze in Grand Canyon in a day from Vegas w/o staying overnight, which is too brief IMHO, but your trip to DV is doable and reasonable, and after some time out in the 110s or 120s, you'll likely appreciate skipping mid day (it can prove dangerous if your car breaks down / you break down). Death Valley is typically 10-15 degrees warmer than Vegas.

    Bring a cooler (or at least a styrofoam w/ ice) and bring plenty of water, and don't go too far off the beaten path, even during the night, to make sure someone will spot you in the event you have any car or health issues. If you're planning on leaving the park via 374, save some time to stop at Rhyolite, the old ghost town halfway between the park and Beatty. You can't miss it, there's nothing else there.

    [youtube]OHWX_cdzFFU[/youtube]
     
  5. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    I'm not familiar with either of those places, but it sounds like a great trip!

    Viva, Racetrack is fantastic, isn't it? I think I know what happens with those rocks, but my fiance was convinced it was aliens. :haha: My best trip to DV was in spring. We saw the little fish spawning in Salt Creek and amazing flowers and critters everywhere. We were even out at Racetrack at sunset and drove back to Furnace Creek with a full moon. Took us 5 hours because we kept having to stop and walk around in the moonlight.
    (now I want to go back!)
     
  6. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    We've been to Death Valley a couple of times. It's really an easy drive. I might suggest not trying to do it all in one trip.

    For our first trip we did the south end of the valley, going via Pahrump and Shoshone. Badwater, Artist Drive, Devils Golf Course, etc. then back via the overlooks (Zabriskie and Dante).

    Second trip we drove all the way up on the Nevada side and did Scotty's Castle, Ubehebe, etc. Then drove down via the visitor center and back via Pahrump.
     
  7. mamamk

    mamamk Tourist

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    Well, y'all are just teasing me into wanting to make a longer trip. This one we're not really planning on seeing much except for whatever we see on the drive there and back, and a drive through Artist Drive and Dante's View. We expect to spend more time looking at the stars than anything else. I love finding dark dark places where we can stargaze. That's probably about it. Not planning any hiking at all, we'll probably hardly get out of the car during daylight hours! Any other tips for this short hop are welcome! Thanks so much.
     
  8. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    The Spring is a great time to go and my next trip to DV will be in March or April. There was a great special I saw in Vegas on cable which showed time elapsed video of the rock moves, and presented several theories before revealing the actual forces and conditions which cause the rock movement.

    Your overnight plan is what I'd set out to do, mainly because of the heat which prevents you from exploring a lot outside of your car during the day. If you love your overnight trip, you can always return in the future during a time when the park will be more hospitable to long hikes and active wildlife.

    I thought I'd be able to do more for longer periods despite the 120+ temps, but midday was very tough after 10-15 minute stretches in the sun. I'm able to take Vegas summer temps (100-110), but I felt a significant difference in the 120s. That said, I thought about flying out last year as the temps were forecast to possibly exceed 130 and maybe even broach the alleged 1913 record of 134, but the sun and thermometer fell short and "only" hit 129.9F.

    [YOUTUBE]U5bUmx-hk-c[/YOUTUBE]
     
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