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Death Valley

Discussion in 'United States' started by Tonester, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not skiing related.....Has anyone been to or driven through Death Valley?

    We are heading off to LA in a couple weeks and are driving from there to San Fransisco via Death Valley (yeh, I know, the coast road is great but we have already done that drive and part of the road is closed due to mud slides).

    We are staying a night at Stovepipe Wells. We're planning on entering the park from the south east and exiting from the west. via Panamint Springs. From there, what's a good drive to San Fransisco (other than coast road)?
     
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  2. p2p

    p2p Addicted Ski Pass: Silver

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    Did a short trip through there many years ago, so memories a bit sketchy. Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes and Zabriskie Point were well worth the visit, but have horrible memories of Furnace Creek - Palm trees, lush green lawns, people driving around in golf carts!

    Heading north from Panamint Springs on 395, the views of the Eastern Sierra can be truly spectacular if you can score some decent visibility. Mono Lake well worth a visit if the lake levels are such that at least some of the formations are visible. Then 89 into US 50 has some sensational views over the crest of the Sierra, or even I-80 and sidetrips over Donner Pass is fantastic. One warning - on either of these routes, allow LOTS of time - either are capable of HUGE delays for avalanche control, accidents etc.

    Or of course you could head south to Bakersfield and then drive north up the San Joaquin Valley and discover new depths of boredom!
     
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  3. Slalom

    Slalom A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    We did it back in April. Left Vegas early, drove through Death Valley and stayed in Bakersfield overnight. Did it this way because we had to get to Yosemite the next day. Staying in Stovepipe allows you to do it at a more leisurely pace and to see more of the valley.
    We all enjoyed it and did it at a time when the temps were pretty good.
    Obviously from Yosemite we headed directly West in to SF. Besides the exit from Yosemite and the entry to SF, can't say there was anything else much of note travelling this path. Glad we got to see it as I've had friends that couldn't go through the valley due to floods.
     
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  4. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I did it the opposite way - San Fran to Yosemite to Vegas. Spent the night before Death Valley in Lone Pine.
     
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  5. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Boring in what way?
     
  6. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Of course, Mammoth Mtn is just off the side of the highway if you go via Yosemite in summer (via Lee Vining). ;)
     
  7. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeh, I know. But this is a strictly no-ski trip. Will have the non-skiing wife with me, and our mission objective does not include any winter sports :(
    Anyway, a couple weeks later I'll be in Japow :)
     
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  8. Slalom

    Slalom A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I did like this view I took of the Injo Mountains. Almost looks fake.
     
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  9. p2p

    p2p Addicted Ski Pass: Silver

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    Absolutely flat agricultural land that goes on forever. 10 miles of broccoli followed by 10 miles of cabbage followed by ...

    The ONLY reason to travel anywhere in the valley is to get to interesting places like Yosemite or Seqoia
     
  10. Darb

    Darb Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    It wasn't bad, i wouldn't rush back though.

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  11. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    @Darb wow! great photos. You have a way with a lens. for sure!
     
  12. tr+h

    tr+h One of Us

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    We did it from Vegas to mammoth in 2013. Well worth the effort. Stopped at Zabriske and Stove-pipe.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    What time of year?
     
  14. kylep

    kylep Cage rattler Ski Pass: Gold

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    About 5 years ago did Vegas to Death Valley, overnighting in Furnace Creek, then to Yosemite, overnighting in Sonora, then through to San Fran before continuing back down the coast. Unfortunately dropped a lens and didn't realise the damage it had done...

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  15. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I did it 19 years ago after working in Tahoe.

    Tahoe, San Fran, Yosemite, sequoia national park, over night near Death Valley in a trailer hostel, then Vegas.

    We made a pack the when the temp hit 80f we would stop the car and get out.

    We did.

    Will try and take a pic of some photos.
     
  16. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ok this is why I mentioned the date.

    Terrible photos but I can't find the proper album :-(

    But funny that the two the things I mentioned above! Sitting on the road and the yha hostel trailer!
     
  17. tr+h

    tr+h One of Us

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    3rd of January.
     
  18. Summit

    Summit Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Getting from DV to SF, I'd go Hwy 395 east of the Sierras if you want to see Lake Tahoe on the way, or if not Hwy 49 west of the Sierras is also a great drive, but slower driving with plenty of bends.
     
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  19. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Once we leave DV, we have a few days before we reach SF. So maybe 4 is the way to go.
     
  20. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Definitely go to Yosemite, then.
     
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  21. Summit

    Summit Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Do you mean Hwy 49 ? Both are great drives. Yosemite Valley is awesome in winter without the crowds. Lake Tahoe is also great, even if you're not skiing. It's even busier in summer. If you've got a few days you could do the 49 via Yosemite Valley to Placerville, then backtrack a bit up the hill on Hwy 50 to circumnavigate Lake Tahoe, then the Interstate down the hill to SF.
     
  22. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I just googled to check. Because a lot of the roads that are a quicker route between Tahoe and Yosemite are closed in winter.

    We got caught out on my trip - my dad ignored the closed road on the trip with my parents a year later. And Google tried to get us to use a closed road to Mammoth 3 years ago (I knew better though so we didn't go down that way but there was a sign anyway when we went past the turn). This time google has it right saying South lake to Yosemite via Hey 49 so hopefully it has smartened up!

    But just be aware.
     
  23. Summit

    Summit Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Pretty sure the 49 will be Ok, but yeah best to check on a daily basis when driving in January.

    If you've never been to Yosemite or Lake Tahoe and it's a 3 night trip, I'd stop 2 nights Yosemite Valley and then 1 night Lake Tahoe.
     
  24. chunky

    chunky Old n' Crusty

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    You won't be able to get to Yosemite via the Death Valley route. Tioga Pass will be closed well into this year. You will have to go up towards the roads to Lake Tahoe and come over the Sierra that way as the detour or go further up to the I80 near Reno.

    However we did the inland route to SF from LA last year and stopped at Sequoia and Kings Canyon. Yosemite is well within reach then before diverting west to SF?

    We crossed Tioga Pass and came down to Mammoth before heading back to LA. We thought about DV and perhaps venturing further across to Utah but concentrated on the Eastern Sierra for the autumn colours at the time.
     
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  25. chunky

    chunky Old n' Crusty

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    Mono Lake had some great formations in October last year and I imagine the water level won't have changed too much since then.
    [​IMG]Mono Lake 3 by
     
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  26. Summit

    Summit Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    You have to go too far north all the way to Lake Tahoe going that way. The quickest way between DV and Yosemite in winter is
    Head west from DV to Hwy 395
    South West to Bakersfield
    Bakersfield to Fresno via Hwy 99
    Fresno to Yosemite Valley via Hwy 41, Hwy 49 & Midpines.
     
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  27. tr+h

    tr+h One of Us

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    Mono lake was totally fogged in when we visited in early January 2013. Couldn't see the water even.
     
  28. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hey all. We are currently in the middle of our road trip. We stayed overnight at Stovepipe Wells, in DV, and exited through Panamint Springs. Wow! What a spectacular part of the world. Being January the tourist traffic is minimal and the day time temps very moderate. We did a short hike from Zabirske Point Trailhead through the Badlands trail. Stunning and so different to what I've ever encountered. I did the hike in shorts and a thin shell jacket...which put me in the Goldilocks Zone for temperature.
    We tossed up overnighting in Lone Pine, which seems like a nice kind of place, but decided to push through Bakersfield which would put us in a better position for the drive through toward SF today.
    Impressions of Bakersfield: largish and meh!
     
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  29. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    Did the exact same thing. Lone Pine is an "interesting" place.
     
  30. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Is it? Got there when it was dark, found a motel, went to bed. Left first thing in the morning.
     
  31. Summit

    Summit Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah, it's just on the way when you're looking for the quickest way between DV and Yosemite in winter.
     
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  32. Slalom

    Slalom A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Purely stopover town.
     
  33. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Like most towns in the west. Very few of them have anything to offer.
     
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  34. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Beatty (Nevada) has to be the worst. Starving horses in front yards with no grass, rubbish trash everywhere. Looked a scary place. I had planned to stop there, but travelled straight through. Looked too nasty.
     
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  35. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    Didn't have to do Bakersfield. But Modesto was truly bizarre.

    The towns down in the low desert are much nicer.
     
  36. IAB

    IAB A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    No "big piles of dust" type offerings?

    From the country that brings you the Big Banana, The Big Pineapple, The Big Worm, The Big Potato and The Big Whatever Else I laugh in the face of their amatuerism.
     
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  37. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Apparently the iconic crop duster scene from North By Northwest, supposedly outside of Chicago, was filmed near Bakersfield.
     
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  38. Summit

    Summit Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    and it was also the setting for one of the Rolling Stones best songs :D