We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Death Valley 1 Day - December

Scotland
Level Contributor
85 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Death Valley 1 Day - December

Thinking of doing a one day trip to DV in December, with the main purpose of photography. I will be travelling from Las Vegas and my hire vehicle will be a Cadillac Escalade. My route looks like this:

Leave LV at 07:00

Dante's view

Zabriskie Point

Stove Pipe Wells

Furnace Creek, CA, USA

Devil's Golf Course

Badwater, United States

Artist's Drive

Return to LV whenever

I am visiting from the UK, and this will be my first time to drive in Vegas and have never been to Death Valley before. Appreciate any comments or alterations that I should consider, also is the vehicle appropriate?

Northern California
Level Contributor
364 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Death Valley 1 Day - December

Read the top questions to the right, including "how far". Visit the Death Valley National Park website. Read previous questions.

Scotland
Level Contributor
85 posts
1 review
Save Reply
2. Re: Death Valley 1 Day - December

I have read a number of previous posts, and based my route on these. Therefore posted for comments and to see if this route could be improved upon, drop places or add places. I couldn't see any that had psoted for a December visit, and also asked if my vehicle is appropriate for the route. Can't find answer to this either.

Fortaleza, CE
Level Contributor
9,183 posts
377 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Death Valley 1 Day - December

You've looked at the park's Web site http://www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm? It includes a section on "Plan Your Visit." Different things appeal to different people.

Be sure to check the Web site, plus sites such as Google Maps and/or MapQuest, to confirm distances and driving time involved. It will be, I gather you know, a long day. Type of car is not relevant, since with rentals you'll almost certainly have to stay on paved (and-- maybe-- graded) roads. Best photography is at sunrise and sunset so you might try to leave earlier than 7.

Edited: 10:57 am, September 01, 2013
Fortaleza, CE
Level Contributor
9,183 posts
377 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Death Valley 1 Day - December

Just about any decent car will suffice to get to DV and back, and tour attractions on the main roads. No need to rent an Escalade unless it appeals to you in general. Rental agreements typically state what roads you can't take your vehicle on (if there's damage, or you need to be towed, you could have big problems). If you did want to go on dirt roads, there at least used to be a company at Furnace Creek that rented off-road Jeeps. Check the park's Web site.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
Level Contributor
14,240 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Death Valley 1 Day - December

This is a good general itinerary in the order that I would suggest these places.

Also on the way to Stovepipe Wells are the Devil’s Cornfield and Sand Dunes.

On Badwater Road after Artist’s Drive, another possible stop if you have time is Golden Canyon, a fun, scenic hike with beautiful colors and shapes. Like most of the better-known Death Valley hikes, it is as long or short and as easy or strenuous as you decide, and you can decide when you get there and see it.

On your way back to Las Vegas, if you are returning the same way (Hwy 190, Death Valley Junction, and Pahrump) and still have good daylight, 20 Mule Team Canyon is a beautiful side trip. It’s one-way eastbound, starting and ending on Hwy 190. The road is hard dirt and clay.

December has the shortest daylight hours of any month, so Sutter is right. You may want to start earlier from Las Vegas so you’ll at least be out in a rural area to enjoy early morning, and also to allow maximum daylight time in the park. Here is a website to look up sunrise and sunset times in national parks. Sunrise and sunset times in Las Vegas will be 7-8 minutes earlier since it's farther east.

www.sunrisesunset.com/USA/NationalParks/

The main roads are paved. A few side roads to specific places of interest (e.g. Devil’s Golf Course) are graded gravel, meaning unpaved but frequently maintained, and suitable for any vehicle driven carefully; you’d want to take it easy to avoid a flat tire or paint chips from pebbles.

Farabee’s rents Jeep Wranglers at Furnace Creek Inn from Sept-May. These are fully equipped for backcountry use, including heavy-duty tires. But you won’t need one for the places you are interested in.

www.farabeesjeeprentals.com/

ontario
Level Contributor
26 posts
79 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Death Valley 1 Day - December

Hi F_R,

How do you get from # 190 to Pahrump? My map shows it is on # 160 but maybe 190 & 160 join up but to me it looks as if you have to go north to # 95 and then down (S) on # 160. Am I missing something?

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
Level Contributor
14,240 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Death Valley 1 Day - December

CA Hwy 190 goes from the park to DVJ, where it ends. DVJ is a ghost town, a former Borax company settlement which now has a couple of residents and the Amargosa Hotel and Opera House.

When Hwy 190 ends at the T-intersection with CA 127, turn right. Almost immediately, across from the hotel, is the left turn for Stateline Road, which is a county road and not a state highway. Its name changes to Ash Meadows Road (it accesses the national wildife refuge of that name, a worthwhile stop in its own right if time allows). It crosses the boundary into Nevada and goes to Pahrump. In Pahrump, it will become Bell Vista Road. Follow Bell Vista until you see a right turn for NV 160, which is a main street in Pahrump and becomes an expressway outside of town. Take it straight into the south end of Las Vegas.

Scotland
Level Contributor
85 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: Death Valley 1 Day - December

Thanks guys for the replies. I will be picking up rental vehicle day before the trip, that way we gat an early start. We pick up the rental around 12:00, so have som time to spend. Thinking of a quick trip to Valley of Fire, have I got enough time, or would I be better with a quick trip to Red Rock Canyon?

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
Level Contributor
14,240 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Death Valley 1 Day - December

Valley of Fire is about an hour east of Las Vegas. It's a beautiful place, with some of the characteristics of the desert Southwest that is at its most spectacular in Zion, Bryce Canyon, and other Utah parks. The route is also beautiful; you don't take I-15 as for Overton, but Lake Mead Blvd out of town which becomes the North Shore Road along Lake Mead. (It runs roughly along the lake and through the adjaent red hilly country). If you want to be in DV the same day, VofF is a long detour. If you want to do it the day before, and spend the night in Las Vegas before starting for DV in the morning, I think it would work.

Red Rock Canyon, Nevada is right on the way to Death Valley, between Las Vegas and Pahrump.

Red Rock Canyon, California is outside DVNP on the west, north of the town of Mojave, and best seen on the way out of Death Valley toward Los Angeles or the San Joaquin Valley.

10. Re: Death Valley 1 Day - December

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 1:27 am, September 08, 2014