Hi! I'm planning a 2 week trip in late November to early December ... I'll be flying into Las Vegas and meeting a friend with a vehicle, and from Las Vegas we'd like to spend time in Mojave National Preserve (1 day) and DVNP (2 days) before heading to Great Basin NP and on our way to Utah for some more parks and then home to Illinois.
I have a few questions about the early parts of our journey, and I realize some apply more to Utah/Great Basin, but the Great Basin forum is pretty quiet so I thought I'd try here ...
I'm wondering if any of you have any experience driving from Death Valley or Mojave to Great Basin. It looks as if we'd either be driving on 95 to route 6 (if coming from Death Valley) or route 93 (if coming from Mojave). Is there one that is clearly more scenic/enjoyable?
I have noticed that there will be a full moon right around when we will be in Death Valley - is it safe to go hiking/exploring at night? Any particularly good spots for stargazing?
I've spent a bit of time snooping around the DV forum looking for trip itinerary ideas - you guys have certainly spent a lot of time in the park and a lot of time giving great advice - thanks! It's very helpful! But since there's no forum specific to Mojave ... I was thinking of doing hikes at the Kelso sand dunes, Teutonia Peak, and the Rings Loop Trail near Hole-In-The-Wall. Are there any other must-sees?
What is Great Basin like in the winter? We are drawn there because we've heard there's some pretty spectacular stargazing, but I'm wondering if the roads stay open during the winter - is it possible to do the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive in the wintertime?
Thanks in advance for your help!