© 2015 mlsmith.us   All rights reserved
Death Valley 2015

Trip Summary

The Smith-Ferguson Family
Death Valley National Park is the second largest national park and encompasses over 5000 square miles in California and Nevada.

After years of bypassing Death Valley while traveling on Highway 395, we finally planned a quick trip to visit the park and some of the surrounding areas. The previous winter had been another dry one: The official drought in California is now in its fourth year, and is being reported as the worst drought since the state began keeping records. According to the NPS, rainfall inside the park from July 2014 through March 2015 has been only 1.84 inches. Even with these conditions, we were hoping to see some new and pretty wildflowers.

By the time we were able to plan and actually schedule the trip; it was too late to reserve any accommodations within the park other than campsites, so we resolved ourselves to staying outside the park. Hotel research was performed for various locations on the “Nevada side”, but we finally decided to stay in Lone Pine, Ca. because it was more familiar to us.

Day 1

Living near Los Angeles, our typical trip to the Eastern Sierras has us taking Highway 14 to 395, and we know that drive very well. Since one of the goals of this trip was to visit as many “new” places as possible, we modified that drive somewhat by taking Redrock Randsburg Rd from 14 to put us onto 395 earlier than normal. This provided us the option of stopping in Ridgecrest for lunch.

From Ridgecrest, we took Highway 178 / Trona Rd / Wildrose Rd through the Searle’s valley and finally into Death Valley National Park via Panamint Valley Rd. From here we took Highway 190 to 136, then on into Lone Pine.

Day 2

On Day 2, we retraced our steps to Highway 190 stopping at the Stovepipe Wells Ranger station and later the Furnace Creek Visitor center. From there, we stopped at Zabriskie Point. Originally, we had planned to head south on Highway 127 to Shoshone and then back up Highway 178. However, it was getting a little late so instead we went back towards Furnace Creek then South on 178 to Artists Drive & Artists Palette. After Artists Drive, we continued South stopping at Badwater before continuing as far as Mormon Point before doubling back to Lone Pine.

Day 3

Leaving Lone Pine, we took the same route into the park and past Stovepipe Wells. This time, however, we took Scotty’s Castle Rd North to Scotty’s Castle. After a picnic lunch at Scotty’s Castle, we backtracked slightly to visit Ubehebe Crater. After leaving the crater, we took Highway 267 to 95 North. From there we took 266 West through Lida and the Sylvania Mtns, then Highway 168 to Big Pine.

Once we reached 395, we went on up into Bishop so that we could “stop by” Schatt’s Bakery and have Thai for dinner at the Bishop airport.

Summary

Unfortunately, time constraints required that we leave for home the following day leaving many Death Valley sites unseen. This was to be expected, however, as the National Park is BIG encompassing over three million acres. We knew that we couldn’t see everything and now have a list of sites to see next time.

mlsmith.us
© 2015 mlsmith.us   All rights reserved
Death Valley 2015

Trip Summary

The Smith-Ferguson Family
Death Valley National Park is the second largest national park and encompasses over 5000 square miles in California and Nevada.

After years of bypassing Death Valley while traveling on Highway 395, we finally planned a quick trip to visit the park and some of the surrounding areas. The previous winter had been another dry one: The official drought in California is now in its fourth year, and is being reported as the worst drought since the state began keeping records. According to the NPS, rainfall inside the park from July 2014 through March 2015 has been only 1.84 inches. Even with these conditions, we were hoping to see some new and pretty wildflowers.

By the time we were able to plan and actually schedule the trip; it was too late to reserve any accommodations within the park other than campsites, so we resolved ourselves to staying outside the park. Hotel research was performed for various locations on the “Nevada side”, but we finally decided to stay in Lone Pine, Ca. because it was more familiar to us.

Day 1

Living near Los Angeles, our typical trip to the Eastern Sierras has us taking Highway 14 to 395, and we know that drive very well. Since one of the goals of this trip was to visit as many “new” places as possible, we modified that drive somewhat by taking Redrock Randsburg Rd from 14 to put us onto 395 earlier than normal. This provided us the option of stopping in Ridgecrest for lunch.

From Ridgecrest, we took Highway 178 / Trona Rd / Wildrose Rd through the Searle’s valley and finally into Death Valley National Park via Panamint Valley Rd. From here we took Highway 190 to 136, then on into Lone Pine.

Day 2

On Day 2, we retraced our steps to Highway 190 stopping at the Stovepipe Wells Ranger station and later the Furnace Creek Visitor center. From there, we stopped at Zabriskie Point. Originally, we had planned to head south on Highway 127 to Shoshone and then back up Highway 178. However, it was getting a little late so instead we went back towards Furnace Creek then South on 178 to Artists Drive & Artists Palette. After Artists Drive, we continued South stopping at Badwater before continuing as far as Mormon Point before doubling back to Lone Pine.

Day 3

Leaving Lone Pine, we took the same route into the park and past Stovepipe Wells. This time, however, we took Scotty’s Castle Rd North to Scotty’s Castle. After a picnic lunch at Scotty’s Castle, we backtracked slightly to visit Ubehebe Crater. After leaving the crater, we took Highway 267 to 95 North. From there we took 266 West through Lida and the Sylvania Mtns, then Highway 168 to Big Pine.

Once we reached 395, we went on up into Bishop so that we could “stop by” Schatt’s Bakery and have Thai for dinner at the Bishop airport.

Summary

Unfortunately, time constraints required that we leave for home the following day leaving many Death Valley sites unseen. This was to be expected, however, as the National Park is BIG encompassing over three million acres. We knew that we couldn’t see everything and now have a list of sites to see next time.

mlsmith.us