This is a review of the campground at Panamint Springs. I have camped here twice, both times during spring break. Relative to the other campgrounds in Death Valley, I rate this one a close second.
Pluses: Hot shower (as long as you want!) to wash the dust off; availability (spring break is the busiest time and the campground doesn't fill up till later in the week); resembles a campground with separate spaces and most spots have at least a little shade (most of the Death Valley 'campgrounds' are no more than a gravel parking lot); great view of the Panamint valley and surrounding mountains; proximity to restaurant and mini mart across the street; and price was very reasonable.
Minuses: distance - it's about 30-70 miles to the main attractions in Death Valley, requiring a ride over 5,000 foot Towne pass; there is only one toilet in the men's room; and the wifi is pretty much non-existent, I was able to use it sporadically between 7 and 9 in the morning (but hey you are 50 miles from civilization!). With that said, there are some workarounds. There are some nice clean restrooms in the mini mart across the street, if you can't wait. I was able to get AT&T 4G service for a short period of time going up the grade to Towne Pass, enough time to call the wife and send a couple emails out. I suspect the signal was coming from the south end of the Panamint Valley so the road to the south may have coverage too. As far as distance, there is a lot of stuff close by in the Panamint valley if you are a decent hiker: Darwin Falls is a 15 minute drive to the trailhead from Panamint Springs and is a short hike to a series of cascading waterfalls along a scenic canyon, a nice contrast to the dry desert; Surprise canyon on the east side is a longer hike along a creek within a scenic canyon, without the falls but with an abandoned mining town at the end (4 wheel drive road to get to the trailhead but I was able to get there in the family minivan); and there are some abandoned mines to explore on BLM land on the west side of the Panamint valley, talk to the mini mart clerks for directions.
As mentioned above, for Death Valley I rate this a close second only to the Furnace Creek Campground, mainly due to the better location at Furnace Creek. However a spot at that campground is difficult to get without advance reservations. Otherwise I recommend staying at Panamint Springs.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Panamint Springs is a small western-style resort seated in the beautiful Panamint Valley in Death Valley National Park. Marvelous views of distant sand dunes and the soaring 11,000' Panamint Mountains complete the setting for leisure dining and relaxation. Panamint Springs offers 14 motel rooms & 1 cottage, restaurant, campgrounds, RV park, gas station, and mini-mart. Our motel rooms are very basic, but clean. Our rooms are cooled with an evaporative cooling system. Some units offer their own A/C window unit in addition to this. We are pet friendly, however additional fees apply. If you are planning on doing some exploring, you'll find that Panamint Springs makes a great base camp for neighboring ghost towns, abandoned mines, and even desert waterfalls. Great for 4-wheel drive exploring, hiking, biking, or just relaxing! ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Panamint Springs Hotel Death Valley National Park
- Hotel Panamint Springs