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One-day route suggestions

San Diego...
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One-day route suggestions

The trip is this coming Saturday, April 26. We'll be starting in the morning from Tecopa, CA. And we have to be in Pahrump, NV by dark.

So, what can we see of Death Valley given that time frame? I've never been to DV before, so the famous sites are of interest to me: Badwater, Artist's Drive, Zabriskie Point, Dante's View.

Would a loop that included those be possible in one day? And are there other sites that would be along the same route that you recommend?

We won't be doing much hiking, just easy strolls from the car. But we are not against a short hike if it is worth it. And we will bring food for a "picnic at the gates of hell, though I t's forecast to be cooler than normal for this date.

Thanks for any suggestions and tips!

San Diego...
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11. Re: One-day route suggestions

Thank you for the answers. So it is OK to enter the park at the south and see Badwater, Artist's Pallete, etc. and then buy the pass at the VC at Furnace Creek? They won't check that I have it at Badwater, etc.? I think I'll just do that then. And thank you for the tip about seeing the west side on another trip. I think we will have a better visit if we try not to see too much in one day.

Thank you for all the advice.

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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12. Re: One-day route suggestions

Correct. If you use a fee machine, you get a printed receipt that you can put on your dashboard for a temporary permit. You can turn it in at the Visitor Center for an official map and a color-coded tab to tape on your windshield.

It's unlikely that anyone will ask you as you travel along, unless you happen to come across a ranger or if you attract attention in some way. If any staff should ask, tell them you are on the way to the VC and will be paying the fee there.

San Diego...
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13. Re: One-day route suggestions

Thank you for the reply. And just one last question, can you recommend a good picnic spot? Preferably quiet.

San Diego...
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14. Re: One-day route suggestions

F_R - my Mother's step-father grew up in Aqua Mansa and wrote a book. It was once a nice valley with water until the big flood. But it's just a wash now.

Anyway, I don't want to highjack sunrises post with family history :)

San Francisco
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15. Re: One-day route suggestions

If the weather stays cool, just about any place with a fine view would be good for a picnic. But not all fine view spots have picnic tables suitably located to enjoy the view, and you might have to be content with ordinary benches or just sitting on a ledge or a rock wall somewhere.

Badwater and Dante’s View would have no shade. Ditto for the Sand Dunes, and it can get windy in the afternoon. There are picnic tables at Salt Creek but they are near the parking lot, not next to the creek where you can see the lush greenery (I think the Park Service wants to minimize foreign matter going into the water, or people sneaking food to birds).

Furnace Creek Ranch has lots of shaded areas, and not all of them are crowded. In the date grove, there is a wooden platform with seats used for church services in season (fall through spring) by the Christian Ministry in the National Parks. It’s right in among the trees and is a beautiful peaceful setting, and I’ve never seen a lot of people around it most of the time. This is behind the fire station, which is to the west of the Post Office. If you’re there, walk over and see the massive solar generation plant, one of the largest in the country in the hospitality industry.

Another place at the Ranch is what I call the bird marsh. It’s the northwest corner of the golf course and is accessible from the airport road. The airport road branches off the main road into the Visitor Center from Hwy 190. The bird marsh is maybe 100 yards before you reach the airfield; you’ll see a green glass-front signboard with some flyers about DV wildlife. You can pull off the road there and walk onto the corner of the golf course where there are some seats. The “marsh” is actually septic ponds, which the Ranch has turned into a mini-habitat for waterfowl. I go there often, and I seldom fail to also see one or two coyotes roaming around the golf course.

San Diego...
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16. Re: One-day route suggestions

Thank you. We're in Tecopa now and it's windy. I appreciate your help!

San Diego...
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17. Re: One-day route suggestions

I guess we'll eat at Furnace Creek Ranch somewhere. Cloudy and very windy tonight like a storm is coming. Supposed to snow in the mountains - strange for this late.

San Francisco
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18. Re: One-day route suggestions

I checked about 8:00 p.m. and at that time, chain restriction were up on 50, 80, and 395 (Mammoth and June Lakes area), and high wind warnings on 14 in the Ridgecrest area, 58 west of 395, and I-5 over the Grapevine. We had a pretty good dose of rain in the Bay Area much of the day.

San Diego...
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19. Re: One-day route suggestions

There's snow on the mountaintops in this area. Rained during the night in Tecopa but seems to be slowly clearing up. Death Valley here we come. Thanks for all your help!

San Diego...
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20. Re: One-day route suggestions

It was a beautiful day in the park. A welcoming committee of 3 coyotes greeted us at the car. We saw Ashford Mill, Badwater, Artist Drive, Golden Canyon, Zabriskie Point, the museum and movie at the visitor center, and ate a picnic lunch at the golf course. Thank you for all your help!