Our family of four spent 2 nights at Furnace Creek Campground on Thanksgiving weekend. Furnace Creek Campground was the only one allowing reservations, which I had made in August. Good thing, too, because the campground was full and we were surprised at the number of people throughout the park.
Furnace Creek Campground is fairly basic camping. It has flush toilets and drinking water, but no showers. Nothing fancy, but our site was clean and well-maintained.
We stayed in the tent-only loop, site 116. This site was perfect for us--some scrubby bushes for us to nestle our tents in. Many of the other sites were wide open with no bushes, so we appreciated our little bit of privacy.
Site 116 is open to the west, so we would have baked in the afternoon sun (it got up to around 80° during the day, even in November) but our son had brought along a beach umbrella and we had welcome shade. We normally use tarps, but there are no trees. We also had only a faint breeze. In a wind, the beach umbrella wouldn't have worked.
There was no moisture in the air (it is Death Valley, after all) so after a high of 80° during the day, it quickly dropped to a low of 37° at night. So be prepared with warm-enough sleeping bags.
Two nights was the perfect amount of time for us. We went on a couple of good hikes, saw the highlights of the park, and just generally had a wonderful time.
Death Valley is truly "magnificent desolation". Many of the views are breath-taking.
I can't imagine this campground in bad weather. The dirt is extremely fine and powdery, almost like flour. Underneath it is baked into hard-pan. So if it rained, water would surely mix into a muddy slurry, or so I imagine.
As for wind--we didn't have any wind, but I imagine that fine, powdery dirt would lift up like the Dust Bowl. Just something to keep in mind when planning your trip.
All-in-all, Furnace Creek Campground was a fine base for camping and taking in the beauty of Death Valley.
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