My girlfriend and I will be driving from Vancouver BC to St George Utah in mid January, and want to see a bit of Death Valley on route. I say "a bit" because we'll arrive late in the evening on the 17th and stay until the noon on the 19th. One full day and one half day.
We'll be staying in either Stovepipe or Furnace Creek. I stayed at the Ranch about a decade ago and would do so again, but the latest reviews have not been kind. Definitely can't afford the Inn, so Stovepipe it might be.
I'm an avid photographer and my girlfriend is an artist. And we're both hikers. We're looking for some advice as to what to see and when to see it (when the sun is best positioned in the sky) during our modest time in the Park. Not interested in Scotty's Castle or anything northerly because we just don't have enough time. We'd much prefer spending a couple hours in a few spots than spending five minutes in a ton of spots.
Also looking for any advice I can find on our route there. I know snow is a problem at certain elevations, so the only way I can see is to drive down I5 to Bakersfield, and to come back up to DV from the south. Wondering if it should be safe to come back up via 395 or if it would be smarter to go all the way over to 127. Any thoughts?
If anyone can help (Frisco, you definitely know your stuff!), I'd be ridiculously grateful. Thanks very much in advance to anyone who replies.