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.

Mammoth to Vegas. What points to cover ?

San Diego...
Level Contributor
184 posts
Save Topic
Mammoth to Vegas. What points to cover ?

I will be driving from Mammoth to Las Vegas in first week of December. While, I was going through different forums many people did it in one day from morning to evening and covered must visit points in between, which are - Mosaic Canyon (may be an hour), Devil's Cornfield (will take some walking time), Furnace Creek, Zabriskie Point, Mesquite San Dunes (dunes will take some walkable time), Badwater Salt Flats and Dante's View.

As per google maps, it comes around 400 miles. Am I missing any 'must visit' point, which I am missing here ? Is it doable ? If there are more places to visit, then I can plan to stay in between for one night. Please suggest what are other options or should I simply drive down to Vegas and give add night to Vegas. This is so big park/area that I am confused in its order and what should I cover.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
62,498 posts
114 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Mammoth to Vegas. What points to cover ?

Here is some info: Las Vegas to Yosemite National Park tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c182361 The description for Day 1 is your day, but in reverse. You may also want to spend some of your limited time on the first part of the Day 2 suggestions.

In your direction, this would be something like Devil's Postpile National Monument, Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Manzanar National Historic Site, Mt Whitney, Alabama Hills, Lone Pine

Death Valley NP: Panamint Springs, Father Crowley Point, Mosaic Canyon, Stovepipe Wells, Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Devil's Cornfield, Harmony Borax Works, Furnace Creek, {detour ... Badwater, Devil's Golf Course, Artists Drive, Golden Canyon}, Zabriskie Pt, 20 Mule Team Canyon, {detour ... Dante's View}

and on through Pahrump to Las Vegas

=========

If this were my trip, I'd spend a night *in* Death Valley NP.

Napa, CA
Destination Expert
for Napa
Level Contributor
7,675 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Mammoth to Vegas. What points to cover ?

In December, I would skip the Eastern Sierra stuff - Devil's Postpile and Bristlecone Forest will most likely be closed. You can see Mt. Whitney from the highway. With limited daylight, get an early start and get into Death Valley as early as possible. Finish with Dante's View at sunset. And yes, if possible, spend the night at Furnace Creek.

Also, why are you going to be in Mammoth Lakes? Good chance there will not be skiing yet and if it is snowing, you might get stuck there. Better to stay in Bishop or Lone Pine but not sure where you are coming from.

San Diego...
Level Contributor
184 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Mammoth to Vegas. What points to cover ?

Supercillious, I though if I can see some snow at Mammoth and stay there for one or two night. Am I thinking wrong ?

Camp Sherman, Oregon
Level Contributor
1,309 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Mammoth to Vegas. What points to cover ?

I would a look at several recent threads which address what to do in DV coming in from 395.

tripadvisor.com/…52479732

There are many other recent threads on this sort of trip. Nice time to visit before the holiday crowds.

http://www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm

Stopping at Father Crowley's Viewpoint on your way in, then a hike Mosaic Canyon followed by sunset at Mesquite Dunes would be perfect.

I would stay at at Stove Pipe Wells which is right between Mosiac Canyon and the dunes, very close by.

Then the next day continue down to Salt Creek, Mustard Canyon, visitor's center, then down Badwater Rd. to Devil's Golf Course, Badwater, then back up same road to perhaps Natural Bridge, then Artist's Drive, Golden Canyon, then exit out 190 stopping at Zabriskie Point, Twenty Mule Team Canyon and ending with a great view of the valley at Dantes View.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
Level Contributor
15,314 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Mammoth to Vegas. What points to cover ?

Most of what you need to know is here and on many other DV threads, but I do have to ask what the overall trip plan is. Do you live in Los Angeles, and want to go just to Mammoth, Death Valley, and Las Vegas; or is this part of a larger trip with other destinations? The reason for asking is that in winter, if you are considering places like Yosemite or Tahoe, weather conditions will decide a good portion of your itinerary.

If you’re going just to Mammoth and Death Valley, you’ll be going all the way up Hwy 395; the most efficient way is from Hwy 14 on the west side of the LA metro area. To get to Death Valley, you’ll be returning the same way. Anywhere on 395 north of Lone Pine, the chances of snow (both falling and accumulated) is very high. So you’ll need to be prepared for that. Along 395, there is lots of majestic scenery to enjoy, and Lone Pine, Bishop, and the smaller towns as well are great places to stop and look around or enjoy some of the local attractions; you can do some of it either going north or back south since you’ll be retracing your route on 395. Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the US outside Alaska, is just west of Lone Pine.

My own opinion: if you are into skiing or other winter sports, Mammoth would be a great place to stay for a couple of days. If you are going just to sightsee, two days might be too long, as Supercilious suggested. Devil’s Postpile typically closes in October or November depending on snow; the park shuttle stops running in late October. Some of the minor roads in the Mammoth area that don’t serve inhabited areas or winter resorts will be closed.

Here is a recent thread from someone else in LA who wants to see snow and Death Valley on the same trip. They don’t seem to have plans for Las Vegas, but some of the info might be helpful for you.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60787-i990-k68509…

Once you get the Death Valley sites in order as PNWF and Jes listed, they’ll be a logical itinerary from west to east. Mosaic Canyon is a beautiful hike, and you can see some of the unique formations, colors, and textures in an easy or moderate hike. People tend to linger at the Sand Dunes because it’s such a magical spot, and even more so at sunrise or sunset. If you get there in the morning, you can look for tracks made by wildlife that is active at night. Devil’s Cornfield won’t require extensive hiking, but it’s a great photo opp, especially if the sun is low.

Give yourself time to go to the park visitor center, where there are exhibits and a movie that will give you a better idea of what you’ve been seeing and the other things you will see.

Devil’s Golf Course, Badwater, Natural Bridge, Artist’s Drive, and Golden Canyon are all along Badwater Road, in the first 17 miles south of Furnace Creek. It’s a convenient detour south and then back north, if you stay at either Stovepipe Wells Village or Furnace Creek. (SPW is about 25 miles northwest of FC). After this detour, return to 190 and head east for Death Valley Junction, Pahrump, and Las Vegas.

Would I trade an overnight stay in Death Valley for an additional night in Las Vegas? Absolutely not.

If you have the flexibility to spend that night in Death Valley, do so. It will make your trip more leisurely, and you will also have an authentic desert experience. You’ll be able to enjoy the natural scenery and views surrounding you all the time in different lighting, see sunrise and/or sunset, take nature strolls or rides in the evening, and stargaze in genuinely dark skies.

San Diego...
Level Contributor
184 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Mammoth to Vegas. What points to cover ?

Frisco, I stay in Los Angeles. I have plans to go to Vegas. Death valley was always in my 'must visit', so I thought of going to Vegas via Death Valley. Then I added one more day to my plan, so that I can see some snow also in Mammoth.

If I go with PNWF's suggestion, it seems most interesting points come after long drive, near DV area only. Inside park staying options are expensive (for me). Do I have other nice options according to my trip plan ? Beatty will be non feasible option ?

Napa, CA
Destination Expert
for Napa
Level Contributor
7,675 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Mammoth to Vegas. What points to cover ?

We have stayed in Beatty when there were no vacancies in Death Valley when taking a trip there at the last moment. It's not a bad option if you are on a budget and follow Frisco's suggestion for stops on a two day visit.

As far as Mammoth is concerned, if your desire is to see snow and maybe play in it, you can wait and see what the conditions are like during the first week of December. It's a slow time there and you won't have a problem getting lodging. So, my suggestion, is to wait and see what the weather conditions are like before deciding on going there. You can probably wing it in Beatty as well. The place where you will need lodging reservations is in Death Valley itself if you do decide to stay there. All the other towns in the area won't be that busy.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
Level Contributor
15,314 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Mammoth to Vegas. What points to cover ?

Beatty is a nice town, IMO the best town to stay in within a reasonable distance of Death Valley. However, it is out of your way, not on the most direct route from 395 to Death Valley to Las Vegas. You could keep it in mind as a second choice if nothing else is available, but it would add a little extra mileage and travel time.

If the lodgings in the park are out of your budget, here are a couple of other ideas.

1. Go to Mammoth and enjoy it, maybe stay overnight or whatever time you wish, then go back down 395 and stay overnight in Lone Pine. It’s a couple of hours south of Mammoth in good weather. There’s an ample selection of lodgings, including a couple of national chain motels and several independents (I like the Mt. Whitney Motel and the Dow Villa Hotel historic section, not the motel, which is just a standard motel). Lone Pine is about 80 miles from Stovepipe Wells. Furnace Creek, the main center for most park activity, is 25 miles farther. Lone Pine is a nice town. As I said, Mt. Whitney is there, along with the Alabama Hills (a scenic area in the Mt. Whitney foothills that has long been popular for movie filming), a fun movie museum, a fine visitor center just after the turn for DV, lots of locally owned businesses, including restaurants, craft shops, and outdoor recreation goods, not a lot of standard chain stores, and Manzanar National Historic Site about 10 miles north of town. In winter, you won't be able to drive the entire 8 miles to Whitney Portal, the base camp for the climb, but you will be able to get to the Alabama Hills. I don't think there is anyone who can't find something to enjoy about Lone Pine.

If you get an early start from Lone Pine, you could see many of the places of interest in Death Valley in a day of exploring, then go on to Las Vegas. You would miss some things and not have ideal conditions, because daylight is so much shorter in December. However, depending on when you leave Lone Pine, you might have the opportunity to see the sunrise as you approach the park.

2. Don't stay over at Lone Pine (but do take some time to enjoy some of its offerings). Continue to Panamint Springs for overnight. This is 50 miles farther along than Lone Pine, just inside the western boundary of Death Valley National Park. (Be sure to see Father Crowley Vista Point on the way). Panamint Springs is a smaller, more rustic resort than Stovepipe Wells or Furnace Creek, with slightly lower rates. It has a pleasant, comfortable atmosphere, a gorgeous view from the front patio, and great food. The rooms are small, and if you have a large group, there is a family cottage that I think can house about 6 people. You’ll be closer to the major places of interest in Death Valley and be able to experience some of its special character by staying there instead of in a town.

When you’ve done your exploring in the park, ending with Dante’s View as your grand finale, it is only a couple of hours to Las Vegas via DV Junction and Pahrump.

9. Re: Mammoth to Vegas. What points to cover ?

-:- 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: 12:18 am, September 25, 2014
Get answers to your questions about Death Valley National...