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Vegas to Death Valley & Highway 395 on Thanksgiving Trip

Houston, Texas
posts: 51
Vegas to Death Valley & Highway 395 on Thanksgiving Trip

Fellow Traveler,

I am posting this in Death Valley & Las Vegas forum. Please help me planning the best itinerary for this trip.

Here is my trip information-

Context:

I need some advice on my thanksgiving trip in and around Vegas. 4 of us friends are landing in Vegas on Thursday morning. I will be the one making solo trips around. My friends are going to stay in Vegas and enjoy. I have been to Vegas earlier.

Traveler information:

28, guy, Indian, working in IT, staying in US since 2011, this will be first solo road trip

Past Travel History:

San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, Austin, Dallas, Miami, Phoenix, Atlanta, Smokeys, Yosemite, Key West, PCH, Napa calley, Grand Canyon, Santa Fe, Lousiana,Philly

Flight info:

Landing Vegas from Houston Thursday morning 8:15.

Leaving Vegas for Houston Monday morning 1:30.

Likes:

Road trips, driving, building Gaming PC

Budget:

Should be reasonable for solo travel. No fancy stays.

Now, places I have considered visiting (Adjustable) on this trip:

1. Death Valley NP - Dante's View, Zabriskie Point, Badwater Basin, Devil's golf course, Artist's Drive, San Dunes, Ubehebe Crater

2. Along highway 395 - Lone Pine ,Mount Whitney (Portal road drive), Alabama Hills Convict Lake, Mono Lake, Manzaner, Bodie

3. ET Highway

4. Zion NP

Not able to decide between:

1. Should I make this loop? LV - DVNP - Lone Pine - Bishop - Tonopah - Rachel - LV

I can start from Vegas around 9AM on Thursday and cover Death Valley during day time and reach Lone Pine by night. Then, continue along 395 on Friday morning, reach Tonopah by night for stay. Then, cruise along ET highway to Vegas on Saturday covering Valley of fire state park. Then on Sunday, do a day trip to Zion NP.

Or,

Should i make short trips from Vegas?

Thursday : LV - DVNP - LV

Friday : LV - ET Highway - Valley of Fire park - LV

Saturday : LV - Zion NP - LV

Sunday - In Vegas

Other things to consider:

- No snow driving experience.

- Will I encounter snow around that time?

- What should I carry as solo traveler ?

- Should I visit ghost town alone ? (if going there)

- Main aim is to drive on scenic routes. Some photo ops.

How would you plan out if you had to do this solo trip?

Open to all suggestions. Will be glad to hear your replies. Thanks!!

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
posts: 10,867
reviews: 42
11. Re: Vegas to Death Valley & Highway 395 on Thanksgiving Trip

Here is a story about Bodie that Sutter posted elsewhere. Good info about this specific ghost town and about what ghost towns in general may contain (they are all different, but Bodie is one of the best examples in California).

seattletimes.com/html/travel/2022279288_bodi…

Houston, Texas
posts: 51
12. Re: Vegas to Death Valley & Highway 395 on Thanksgiving Trip

Thank you for helping me plan my trip. I completed the road trip as per the plan. I was a bit lucky to escape both the winter storms and had my trip just in between them.

Here is the photo blog I have put on Flickr!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/110872769@N08/sets/72157638421398275/

Thanks again! :)

Kipling. SK
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park
posts: 3,219
reviews: 81
13. Re: Vegas to Death Valley & Highway 395 on Thanksgiving Trip

LOL, why so many pictures of the car?

Here is the shortened hyperlink URL of your photoset>> http://goo.gl/HSGPgO

Thanks for posting!

San Mateo...
posts: 702
reviews: 25
14. Re: Vegas to Death Valley & Highway 395 on Thanksgiving Trip

proxycon...

Great photos... what did you think about what you found...

Randy

Houston, Texas
posts: 51
15. Re: Vegas to Death Valley & Highway 395 on Thanksgiving Trip

May be side effect of traveling alone. Was clicking pictures of car. :)

@RandyHees - It's very true that everyone suggested here - one day is not enough in Death Valley. Then, I realized that one trip itself is not enough. You need multiple trips and you have to stay the night in Death Valley.

I am already planning for my next trip. But, this time will go with someone. Traveling alone took its toll financially.

I found myself in hurry at some places due to time constraint and early sunsets. Next time will just plan 2 days in Death Valley, cover Racetrack Playa. This was a trip I will never forget.

Encinitas...
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
posts: 12,988
reviews: 9
16. Re: Vegas to Death Valley & Highway 395 on Thanksgiving Trip

Nice Pics. Would make a nice Buick ad!

How did the Go Pro work out?

Houston, Texas
posts: 51
17. Re: Vegas to Death Valley & Highway 395 on Thanksgiving Trip

Ya, should contact Buick to negotiate a free car in exchange for this ad !

Did video editing almost entire weekend. Below is the one video containing clips of all days. Planning to put individual videos of each section soon. So that, interested folks can research on how driving in Twenty Team Mule Canyon looks like. :)

Also, the final video looks nice on my 1080 screen, even on other 1440 monitor it looks ok . But, YouTube upload looks a bit washed off. Not sure why. Anyways. here's the link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pI_dMEu_QA

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
posts: 10,867
reviews: 42
18. Re: Vegas to Death Valley & Highway 395 on Thanksgiving Trip

Thanks for letting us know about the trip, and yes, there is no such thing as too much time in Death Valley!

Fortaleza, CE
posts: 7,525
reviews: 360
19. Re: Vegas to Death Valley & Highway 395 on Thanksgiving Trip

Photos of your car, but none of any alien abductions (and, thankfully, none of the subsequent probing). Really nice photos. Make me want to return to the area. I stayed at the Mizapah Hotel in Tonopah maybe 50 years ago, with my father, when the hotel still had a casino (that's gone, isn't it?). I assume you drove through nearby Goldfield, site of an epic, 42-round boxing match in 1906.

Edited: 2:13 pm, December 11, 2013
Fortaleza, CE
posts: 7,525
reviews: 360
20. Re: Vegas to Death Valley & Highway 395 on Thanksgiving Trip

Link to story about the boxing match npr.org/2012/06/16/155116391/rediscovering-a…

Your video reminded me a bit of this one of driving the road from 395 to Bodie. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4jnkDW2glw

Edited: 2:17 pm, December 11, 2013