Death Valley

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Jim Johnson

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Tarry and I are thinking of going to Death Valley after we return from Mexico on March 1.  Two questions: is this a good or bad time to go; are any other forum members going to be there during that time?
 

BernieD

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Jim

We are heading there early next week for a few days. Will try and remember to let you know how it is. Last I heard, the trail from Rhyolite to Titus Canyon was closed due to rock slide.
 

Carl L

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Jim Johnson said:
Tarry and I are thinking of going to Death Valley after we return from Mexico on March 1.? Two questions: is this a good or bad time to go; are any other forum members going to be there during that time?

Probably OK.  Things warm up in the Valley fairliy rapidly:  ave. max for March 80.4?,April 89.8?,  May 99.3?.    This has been a warm winter in California deserts.  Keep an eye on the DV weather forescasts as you go there.

 

BernieD

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Jim Johnson said:
Tarry and I are thinking of going to Death Valley after we return from Mexico on March 1.  Two questions: is this a good or bad time to go; are any other forum members going to be there during that time?

Jim

The only reason to bypass Death Valley is if your heart is set on doing the Titus Canyon trail, our favorite trip. There were some rock slides and washouts but budget contraints won't have the road cleared and drivable until 4/1 at the earliest. All other roads in the park are open and accessible.

Weather has been variable. It was in the 80s and clear when we got here on Tuesday. But on Wednesday very high winds had dust blocking most views, couldn't even see the mountains across the valley. Thursday was clear again. Temperatures have been in the 70s with upper 40s overnite. There was a 30 degree temperature drop driving to Rhyolite and Beatty Wednesday. By the way, it is a very neat little museum in Beatty. The short term weather forecast is more of the same, but no mention of high winds.

Fees were raised January 1st. If you don't have an annual or Golden Age pass, the 7 day pass (good for all occupants of the vehicle) was doubled to $20. Sunset Campground, where we are, went up to $12 nitely, 1/2 price with the Golden Age card. Not to worry about reservations, I would estimate about 900 empty spaces right now. The campground has a dump and potable water.

Thursday we went on a Ranger walk at Badwater, 282' below sea level. The ranger told us about a sink hole that recently opened at the Devil's Golf Course and took us there after the walk. About a 6' diameter layer of salt fell into the water below the salt crust exposing about a 10' deep briny pool. The salt looks like snow and you expect a walrus to pop it's head up. Try and find it, not many Park personnel are aware of it, it is fascinating. If you are at the Devil's Golf Course parking area, line up the information sign back toward the "highway". Follow that line and the sink hole is a couple of hundred feet from the parking area.
 

AlGriefer

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I, too, have been thinking of going through Death Valley on my next trip to CA.  I plan on going from Las Vegas to Pahrump and then over to Death Valley on CA-190 through to US 395.  I noticed that CA-190 is restricted for motorhomes over 40' from Panamint Valley Rd to CA-136.  Does anyone know how bad that section of road is?  I'm withinn the limits, but have a toad.

Thanks in advance,
Al
 

JohnSandyWhite

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England
:) We visited Death Valley while we were Touring the USA. We stayed for 5 days and I must say it was one of the High (?? ;D ??) poiints of our Tour.  ;D ;D ;D
 

BernieD

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AlGriefer said:
I, too, have been thinking of going through Death Valley on my next trip to CA.  I plan on going from Las Vegas to Pahrump and then over to Death Valley on CA-190 through to US 395.  I noticed that CA-190 is restricted for motorhomes over 40' from Panamint Valley Rd to CA-136.  Does anyone know how bad that section of road is?  I'm withinn the limits, but have a toad.

Al

Pahrump is on the east side of DV, 395 is on the west. I'm not sure why you would want to swing all the way around to the west to come in. The fastest, simplest and easiest way to get to DV from Pahrump is to go north from the center of town about 5 miles to W. Bell Vista Ave., there is a large sign to turn to Death Valley. Follow the road, it changes name a couple of times (Ash Meadow, State Line) to Death Valley Junction. Turn right and an immediate left and you are on 190 into the park. The route is 2 lane all the way but in good condition and easy driving.
 

Wendy

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Are you talking about going from Pahrump to Death Valley and then leave Death Valley over Townes Pass on 190 and over to US395? If that's what you're talking about, the road west of Panamint Springs is very windy and probably isn't such a great road with a toad (we've only done it in cars). And keep in mind that the road up from Stovepipe Wells over Townes Pass is STEEP, also steep on the way down the other side. My recommendation would be to go up Death Valley to Scotty's Castle (which is well worth a visit and the price of the tour) and out that end of the park, into Nevada. Take US95 to NV266 (which turns into CA168) and on into Big Pine where you hit US395. This will also take you past the Bristlecone Pines....oldest living things in the U.S.

Whatever you do, don't skip Death Valley. It's an awesome place and worth a long visit. Of course, we are a bit biased having worked there for 4 years......
 

AlGriefer

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wendycoke said:
Are you talking about going from Pahrump to Death Valley and then leave Death Valley over Townes Pass on 190 and over to US395? If that's what you're talking about, the road west of Panamint Springs is very windy and probably isn't such a great road with a toad (we've only done it in cars). And keep in mind that the road up from Stovepipe Wells over Townes Pass is STEEP, also steep on the way down the other side. My recommendation would be to go up Death Valley to Scotty's Castle (which is well worth a visit and the price of the tour) and out that end of the park, into Nevada. Take US95 to NV266 (which turns into CA168) and on into Big Pine where you hit US395. This will also take you past the Bristlecone Pines....oldest living things in the U.S.

Whatever you do, don't skip Death Valley. It's an awesome place and worth a long visit. Of course, we are a bit biased having worked there for 4 years......

Thanks, Wendy!

That's exactly right!  I guess I didn't phrase it too well. 

I'm glad I looked at the CA restrictions and asked here or I'd probably regret it!

Al
 

Carl L

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AlGriefer said:
I, too, have been thinking of going through Death Valley on my next trip to CA.? I plan on going from Las Vegas to Pahrump and then over to Death Valley on CA-190 through to US 395.? I noticed that CA-190 is restricted for motorhomes over 40' from Panamint Valley Rd to CA-136.? Does anyone know how bad that section of road is?? I'm withinn the limits, but have a toad.

Thanks in advance,
Al

It is bad.  I did it once with my 23 foot TT and ever since I take the Panamint Valley Rd thru Trona to avoid it.  (I like to camp at Panamint Springs).  In addition motorhomes and big RVs hate the pull over Towne Pass into Death Valley.  Read the review in Mountain Directory.  There is a long streatch of the road at 9%!

As the other folks have said, give this route a miss.  Over in Las Vegas you are actually on top of the best overall route into DV.  Take US 95 to NV 373.  South on NV 373 to Death Valley Junction, CA.  Take CA 190 west down an easy 3% grade into Furnace Creek and the center of DV's tourist facilities.    Excellent road all the way.

   
 

Wendy

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Carl Lundquist said:
It is bad.? ?I did it once with my 23 foot TT and ever since I take the Panamint Valley Rd thru Trona to avoid it.? (I like to camp at Panamint Springs).? ?In addition motorhomes and big RVs hate the pull over Towne Pass into Death Valley.? ?Read the review in Mountain Directory.? There is a long streatch of the road at 9%!
?

Ah, Trona. On our first trip thru Trona, we stopped at the little wayside park to have lunch. Stepped out of the VW, took a deep breath, jumped back in the van and headed on to Ridgecrest. Only times we ever stopped there after that, were a couple of times when we drove out to Trona Spires (look for it in Star Trek V or was it VI?).

Don't want to repeat myself and Carl, but Towne Pass is VERY STEEP on both sides (especially on the DV side). We did it one time in our 35' 5th wheel.....halfway down the west side I smelled something burning. Calmly told Mike "Hey, pull over, something's burning!!!!!!!!!!!!!" He did and the front brakes on our truck were on fire. I reached for the gallon jug of lemonade I had in the truck while Mike calmly pulled out the fire extinguisher and put out the fire. Turns out, the trailer brakes weren't working, nor the rear brakes on the truck....all braking was being done by those poor truck front brakes. I don't think we ever exited that way with an RV again.

 

Carl L

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Ah, Trona. On our first trip thru Trona, we stopped at the little wayside park to have lunch. Stepped out of the VW, took a deep breath, jumped back in the van and headed on to Ridgecrest. Only times we ever stopped there after that, were a couple of times when we drove out to Trona Spires (look for it in Star Trek V or was it VI?).

Trona has cleaned up its act no end.  Last couple of times I have been thru, the air was ok.  The town itself is a dusty little desert mining town with nothing to recommend it tho, except it is on the way to somewhere else.
 

BernieD

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Carl Lundquist said:
Trona has cleaned up its act no end.? ?Last couple of times I have been thru, the air was ok.? The town itself is a dusty little desert mining town with nothing to recommend it tho, except it is on the way to somewhere else.

Carl

Believe it or not, we've gone to Trona as a destination. It has a nice museum and an interesting old town. The museum sells mock road destination signs:
Nowhere? ?15 miles
Trona? ? ? ? 25 miles
 

BernieD

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BernieD said:
Carl

Believe it or not, we've gone to Trona as a destination. It has a nice museum and an interesting old town. The museum sells mock road destination signs:
Nowhere  15 miles
Trona        25 miles[br]Date Posted: April 01, 2006, 02:15:36 PM

Tom

How do I delete these double posts???
 

Tom

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BernieD said:
How do I delete these double posts???

Bernie, I don't see any double post. OTOH someone on staff might have seen it and deleted it.
 

Wendy

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I think he's talking about the quote within the message that's quoting the message that it's in? I'd fix it but not sure how?
 

Tom

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wendycoke said:
I think he's talking about the quote within the message that's quoting the message that it's in?

Oh, thanks Wendy. My brain wasn't in gear.

To fix that stuff, you (or Bernie) have to click the Modify button and fix the syntax of the quote tag. I often insert the tags manually and, if I'm careless, I'll get it wrong or get the tags reversed. The forum software sees something wrong with the tags and inserts what it thinks is a missing tag. e.g. (replace my parentheses below with square brackets) -

(quote)Stuff between these two tags will show up as a "quote" correctly(/quote)

If I erroneously type:

(/quote) ....... (/quote) or (quote) ........ (quote), the software will insert an additional (quote) or (/quote) in an attempt to make a pair and the result isn't pretty.
 
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